Saving money on renovations to your home makes tons of sense. Yet saving money on renovations doesn’t mean you can’t get what you want, either. In fact, there are plenty of practical ways to be budget-conscious when revitalizing your house without giving up your dreams.
If you feel like your property is just screaming for a facelift, read over the following 15 tips geared toward saving money on renovations. Even if you only apply a few of them, you’ll be well on your way to a home you adore without overspending!
Create a Budget
Most Americans don’t have a lot tucked away to put toward renovations. In fact, a typical United States homeowner probably has a nest egg of less than $4,000. Knowing that, you’ll want to look at your own savings account and ask yourself what you realistically can afford to spend to fix up your house.
Don’t feel too burdened if you realize that you can only spend about $1,000 or $1,500 right now. Part of saving money on renovations is waiting or only doing what’s possible at the moment. For instance, if you feel comfortable spending $1,500 and putting another $1,000 on a low-interest credit card that you can pay down quickly, you have $2,500 for a remodel. And that’s enough to at least do a smaller project, such as hiring a roofing company to patch old shingles or perhaps overhauling a powder room.
Map a Plan That Focuses on Repairs First
As you’re creating your budget for saving money on renovations, keep a separate list of all the repairs you need to handle before you launch into other, less essential, projects. In general, you shouldn’t embark on tons of renovations before fixing core issues like the cracked concrete around your pool, your plumbing leaks, or rotting door frames.
Sure, paying for residential roof repairs may not seem too exciting. Yet it’s practical and will actually help you with saving money on renovations in the long run. The last thing you need is to start a major facelift on your property, only to be waylaid by expensive repair and maintenance jobs you ignored.
Skip a Vacation One Year
Looking for another tip for saving money on renovations? Why not scale back your vacations and put the money toward a remodel? It’s fine to skip going to the beach or mountains. Sure, you might not love the idea of a staycation, but you can have fun in your own area. Take daily hikes in a nearby park. Visit a museum in your hometown. Camp out with friends in your backyard.
Skipping a vacation allows you to bank the money you would have spent on everything from hotels to gas. That way, you can put those dollars in a separate fund to pay off your home remodeling.
Focus on Value-Adding Renovations
All renovations are not created equal. Some add tremendous value to your property, whereas others don’t really move the needle on the appraised value of your house and land, if applicable.
In general, you will want to embark on value-adding renovations, especially if you plan to sell within the coming five years. What are the highest types of value-added renovations? Think heavily used spaces. Kitchen facelifts tend to pay off. And many people who want to add shine and freshness to their homes call bathroom remodeling services. After all, bathrooms are highly trafficked places.
Although you might have to spend a little upfront for these renovations, you’ll be saving money on renovations in the long run by building up the value in your real estate. That way, when you do sell, you can see a better profit.
Do the Remodel Yourself
One surefire method to begin saving money on renovations is to handle them all yourself. This requires that you not only have the desire for DIY work but that you feel confident that you can get and use the proper tools for a properly finished project.
Here’s a word to the wise, though: Undertaking home renovations alone can become quite daunting. What seems like a breeze in a YouTube tutorial might not be so simple when you’re trying to figure it out solo. For that reason, you may want to see if you can work with a contractor and just partially contribute to the remodel. You’ll still get the benefit of saving money on renovations without having to feel the need to make every decision.
Get Plenty of Bids
So you say that you’re not going the DIY route? No matter how much you like a contractor or handyman, get at least three to five bids for each major renovation project. You might think that it takes a lot of time to get bids, but it pays off handsomely. You’ll be shocked at how much a bid can vary depending upon the expertise and background of the contractor.
Even if your neighbor says that they loved the concrete repair services they got from a local provider, shop around. A huge advantage of having bids to choose from is that you can potentially use the bids to negotiate with your top pick. For instance, if you love the local provider but feel their bid is too high, you could see if they would lower it to be in line with another provider’s bids. They might say no, but you never know until you ask.
Buy Scratch and Dent Appliances and Equipment
As you dive into your home updates, you may find yourself in need of new appliances. Refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, microwaves, washing machines, dryers, and other products can rapidly eat away at the money you’ve put away. Instead of thinking that you have no choice but to buy what you see online, stop by a local store. Ask about scratch and dent equipment.
Many stores have floor models of appliances that end up getting little dings. Maybe a shopping cart hit the backside of a dishwasher unit, or perhaps some kid scratched the side of an oven. As long as the ding or imperfection doesn’t hurt the performance of the appliance or show up after installation, you’re golden. Scratch and dent appliances may be deeply discounted, saving money on renovations while perhaps enabling you to get a better model than you might have purchased brand new.
Upcycle Used Materials
Another way to save dollars when revitalizing your home is to recycle used materials that still have lots of life left in them. You can find used materials from flooring to cabinetry if you search online. Plus, you may be able to get discounted leftovers from commercial building renovations in your area.
By purchasing used items for your home remodel, you’ll also be acting in an environmentally responsible way. Many perfectly good materials are tossed into landfills after jobs are finished. If you can use them for your own project, you will help keep the earth a little cleaner.
Remember that you may even be able to reuse items from one part of your house to use in a remodel in another part of the house. Ask your contractor about this as an opportunity.
Buy Materials Yourself
Most of the time, contractors have special arrangements with places that sell building materials like doors, lumber, plumbing fixtures, things for roof damage repair, and more. Their special arrangements allow them to buy items at steeply reduced discounts. However, you still may be able to beat the prices they can get.
If you’re patient and you don’t need to do your remodel too soon, you may want to spend some time looking for sales. For example, you could plan a kitchen remodel for a year from now. In the meantime, check out savings on everything from cabinets to shelving to recessed lighting fixtures. When you see amazing deals, buy the items that you know you’ll need. This is one way of saving money on renovations that will require you to store your merchandise for a little while in your climate-controlled shed or garage. Still, it can make sense.
Another option for getting sweet deals on appliances, materials, and other objects is to get together with fellow homeowners and make bulk purchases. You could conceivably enjoy quite a savings on a large order of one type of item, such as stone pavers, bricks, or fence posts. Then, you would just need to divvy up your items among everyone who bought into the group purchase.
Keep the Windows the Same Size
Are you considering second story additions for your house? Your added rooms will need new windows, and you might just be able to add new windows to the already existing part of your home by making sure all the windows in your home are the same size.
Many window installation companies will sell windows at radical discounts, such as “buy one, get one free”, or “buy four, get the fifth free.” Whatever the same, you could wind up refurbishing all the windows in your home without adding anything to your building price. Of course, this only works if the windows in your other stories are already all the same size! But it’s worth considering.
Go for Lower-Cost Curb Appeal
Have you been unsure what to include in the first phase of your house upgrade? Maybe the place to look is outside. In terms of curb appeal, exterior home remodeling can be surprisingly affordable. In fact, you may be able to start saving money on renovations just by sprucing up the outdoor elements of your home.
What should you consider doing? Why not plant some trees or at least trim the ones that you already have? You could also add a patio or walkway. Maybe your home would spring to life with a paint job, or by adding new shutters. And that front door? Replacing it could completely transform the way your house looks from the street.
Never underestimate the power of curb appeal. You can make your dollars go a long way if you carefully select a few exterior projects to work on this year. Then, you can start putting away money to focus on your home’s interior a little later.
Customize Only One Thing
Though it can be tempting to pay for custom materials and upgrades, resist the desire to spend all your money on the highest-end items. Often, just customizing one piece of your remodeling project can make a huge difference in the outcome. And you’ll save a lot in the process.
Want an example? Say you’re going to pay for a roof installation job. Great. But why pick the priciest roof shingles, especially if they won’t really make that much of a noticeable difference? Perhaps a better solution would be to spend a little more on something that could turn your roof into a practical, functional showpiece, like attractive self-cleaning gutters.
Look for Tax Breaks
Every year, you need to pay taxes. Yet what if you could get some tax breaks on your next home remodel? It may be possible if you’re thinking about installing solar panels on your rooftop or even replacing all your windows with energy-efficient models.
Always look into the possibility of getting a tax cut when you’re evaluating what to renovate and which materials to buy. It’s always good if you can lower your overall tax burden, even if it’s just by a few hundred dollars.
Live at Home During the Phases of the Remodel
Is your home remodel going to make it tough for you to stay in the house? Unfortunately, lodging fees can add up. Unless you can stay for free at a relative’s or friend’s home, always opt to stage your remodel so you can remain in your own residence.
Sure, at times it might be hectic, especially if you’re revamping your kitchen or main bathroom. However, it can be worth the hassle because you’ll be saving money on renovations that you can put back into making sure the end result is nothing short of spectacular.
Don’t worry when people keep telling you that your home makeover is going to cost a bundle. As long as you set your sights on saving money on renovations, you’ll be able to get through the experience without feeling too much of a pinch.