Home improvement can quickly ruin anyone’s budget, as things normally cost more than people think or the entire process takes much longer than planned. If you are planning to complete any home improvements around your house now or in the future, you are going to want to figure out what you need to do to save yourself money and time.
Here are 11 tips to save on home improvement:
1. Do Not Make Multiple Changes
The biggest tip that we can give you is to never make multiple changes while you are in the middle of a project. All of those, “while you are at it” or “maybe I should do this or use this material instead of that” statements can add hundreds if not thousands of dollars to your final bill. It can be difficult to stick to your original design or dream, especially as you are noticing other items that you think you will love even more, but it is the easiest, yet most difficult, way to save money.
2. Do the Demo Yourself
You can save quite a bit of money if you do the demolition work yourself and then have a professional come in to do the actual remodel. Of course, this will only work if you know what you are doing, because if you don’t, you can actually make more work for the professional and end up paying more. However, most people can tear down a deck, remove cabinets from a wall, or pull up flooring, as long as they are careful.
3. Look for Deals
There are plenty of deals to be found when it comes to home improvement if you have a little patience. We recommend taking your time, if you can, and find everything that you will need when it goes on sale. After all, that closeout flooring or countertop can be the highlight of your new space. The same goes for new appliance, which normally go on sale during major holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day. You may even want to consider looking for what is considered a scratch and dent model, because some of those appliances are marked that way even though the scratch is on the side in the back where no one will ever see it. That little mark can save you hundreds of dollars!
4. Don’t Move Plumbing or Electrical Outlets
Moving your plumbing and electrical outlets around can add a lot of money to your final home improvement cost, which is why we always recommend keeping your appliances, sinks, and toilets where they are. While adding new plumbing lines or electrical outlets can also be expensive, it could be a good option if it is going to improve your new space dramatically. A good example of this would be adding a sink to your kitchen island or a spigot over your stove for filling large pots and pans with water.
5. Choose Stock Cabinets
Custom ordering your cabinets will cost you almost double of what you would pay for stock cabinets and they are not any better. Unless you have a space that needs odd sized cabinets, we recommend sticking with stock cabinets that are available in the standard sizes. If your cabinets are still in excellent shape, you may want to consider refacing or repainting them to save even more.
6. Ignore All the New Trends
Trends come and go, and if you follow one of the newest ones, you will be ready to remodel again in only a couple of years. We recommend using timeless features and then using décor to make the space look trendy.
7. Opt for Mid-Grade Materials
That marble countertop will look fabulous in your newly remodeled kitchen, but the price tag and the fact that it can stain easily might not make it worthwhile. Marble might be the perfect countertop for bakers, so it can be a wonderful investment if you make a lot of cookies and pies. However, to save money, you might want to consider using marble for a small countertop and another material everywhere else.
8. Think Vintage
You may want to consider using two bookcases placed back to back for an island in your kitchen or an old dresser for the vanity in your bathroom. You can find older items like these at estate sales, yard sales, Craigslist, and even thrift stores. A little elbow grease can turn these pieces into the main focal point of the room.
9. Prioritize Your Home Improvements
Given the choice of replacing your windows or replacing your floor, you may want to consider doing your windows first. The reason for that is that you will save money on your heating and cooling bills, which will put more money in your pocket when you want and need to do other projects around your home. If you think about the potential savings of each project, you will find that it is easy to prioritize which ones should be done first and which ones should be held off till last.
10. Plan for All Those Unexpected Problems
We always recommend saving at least ten percent of your budget for any issues that may crop up, because if you don’t, you may not have the money to finish your renovation. That may cause you to take out a loan or use a credit card, and with interest rates rising, you may be paying off that debt for longer than you think.
11. Choose the Right Contractor at the Right Time
There are certain times of the year when contractors are looking for work, and if you find that time, you may be able to work out a deal that benefits both of you. You will still want to get at least three different bids, and while the lowest price might seem like the best option, weigh that cost against how well you got along with that contractor. There is no point in choosing the lowest bid if you were put off by the contractor’s attitude or they have been late to every meeting you have scheduled. In those scenarios, you may end up paying more in the long-term, as time does equal money.
These tips can help you save on all your home improvement. Some of the savings, you will see as cash, while the rest will be your time. However, at the end, you should have the home of your dreams, along with time and money left to spare.
If you need professional help with your home improvement project please feel free to call us at (832) 489-7958 or click here to request a call.