How to Save Money on Home Renovation Costs

Many homeowners find themselves putting off much-needed updates due to concerns about the price tag.

With Americans projected to spend $340 billion on home remodeling in 2018, the cost can range from just a few bucks to hundreds of thousands of dollars depending on the size of your space and the type of work you need.

How can you invest in home improvements that add value without breaking the bank? Here at Elite Renovations & Design, we’ve put together a list of five helpful tips for saving on your next remodel.

#1: Have a Plan

It pays to think ahead. The more planning you do up front, the fewer expensive hiccups you’re likely to encounter.

  • Set some goals. Do you want to boost the value of your property? Add convenience and functionality? Cut utility bills? Or just bring the look and feel of your home into the 21st Century?
  • Do your research. Talk to people who have done similar projects. When shopping for contractors, ask lots of questions about what to expect at different stages of the process.
  • Decisions, decisions. One of the most expensive mistakes you can make is asking for big changes after the work begins. Have your contractor draw up highly detailed plans ahead of time, including everything that needs to go into your project such as paint colors, materials, appliances, fixtures and more.
  • Create a timeline. Are you wanting something done in time for the holidays? Before school starts? Work backwards from your desired completion date and allow extra time for unexpected delays.

#2: Have a Budget

Smart budgeting means setting priorities. Decide which must-haves you’re willing to splurge on, and look for opportunities to save on quality items elsewhere.

  • For example, you might choose upscale options for high-traffic areas that need to look good for entertaining guests, or for permanently installed items that need to stand the test of time, like windows and bathtubs.
  • Include incidental expenses such as extra restaurant meals during a kitchen renovation, or even a few nights in a hotel if you need to move out temporarily while work is underway.
  • Another wise move is to include an extra 10-20% for unexpected expenses that become necessary after the work begins.

#3: Choose the Right Contractor

Solicit bids from at least three contractors, but don’t automatically go with the low bid. There are several things to consider when choosing your contractor.

  • Get referrals. Ask for suggestions and read online reviews. Look for a contractor with the right experience and expertise for your particular project.
  • Cheapest isn’t always best. Quality work means you’re adding value and less likely to have to waste money on a costly re-do.
  • Sweat the details. Don’t just compare total bids. Go line by line to find out exactly what materials and other products the contractor will use, and exactly how much each one will cost.
  • Make sure everything is insured and legal. Only hire contractors with the proper insurance. And don’t ignore the permitting process — doing so will hurt you come inspection time and likely result in thousands of additional dollars in corrective work.

#4: Prep Before the Pros Arrive

Remember you pay for labor by the hour. There may be some unskilled tasks that you can do ahead of time to prep your space.

  • Removing furniture and personal items from the workspace
  • Cleaning the space before work begins
  • Removing old flooring, carpet, tile or other items to make room for the new
  • Painting a room yourself
  • Demolishing non-load-bearing walls

#5: Prioritize Cost Effective Changes for Big Results

Here are a few smaller changes that can add value to your property:

  • Avoid moving big-ticket items like plumbing, electrical wiring, bathtubs, wall or windows, which can drive up your labor and materials costs drastically.
  • Look for energy saving opportunities with appliances, windows, doors and insulation designed to keep you comfortable while reducing heating and cooling expenses.
  • Shelving, door-mounted racks and roll-out cabinetry are a few simple, cost-effective ways to help you get organized and delight future home buyers.
  • Check with your local Habitat ReStore or salvage yard for quality used materials to enhance the look of your home, save money and send less waste to our landfills.
  • Refinish existing cabinets and give them fresh handles or knobs instead of replacing them.

Are you looking to remodel your house? Contact Elite Renovations & Design for a free quote!

Read our previous article for even more cost-effective home renovation ideas:

Use that Tax Refund to Make Those Home Improvements You’ve Been Putting Off

Newly expanded kitchen