There’s no way around it – renovating a home is expensive. Even smaller projects can quickly add up – and most homeowners end up spending thousands of dollars more than they expected to.
But most people who own a home – or purchase a real estate investment – know that making these kinds of changes are necessary and beneficial. They can help to increase the value of your home and make it far more functional and/or attractive. So, it’s no wonder that 58% of Americans plan to attempt some sort of home improvement project every year.
However, the average cost of a renovation project is roughly $15,000 and only 36% of homeowners spent under $10,000 to complete their projects.
However, it is entirely possible to save yourself some serious cash when tackling renovation projects throughout your home.
Here are four simple ways to keep more money in your pocket.
1. Research Costs First
While most homeowners know how important it is to set a budget before they start, many people set highly unrealistic ones. These tend to be based on ideal price situations with little wiggle room. But if you’ve done one of these projects before (or simply watched any show on HGTV), you know that there are plenty of unexpected costs.
Before you set your budget or hire contractors, do a lot of research to give yourself a better idea of what it is really going to cost you. For instance, if you a re-doing your bathroom, you will want to know exactly how much it will cost to retile the floors, install a new tub and shower, replace the sinks, and fix any new plumbing.
Be sure to factor in the costs of both materials and labor. This is where you might need to talk to some experts to get ballpark estimates. Break down each element of the project and try to budget on the higher end just in case there are any issues.
Also, be sure to research what a fair price is for each project. Then get as many quotes as you can from contractors or builders and encourage a bit of a bidding war to see who will budge on their prices.
2. Repair or Refinish Rather than Replace
It is always tempting to start over from scratch, especially if you are really sick of the way your home looks. But this is often a huge waste of both money and resources. Try to consider what can be repaired or refinished before choosing to replace.
Wooden fixtures throughout your home can often be easily changed without having to be replaced. However, you’ll need to be cautious of unpreparable damage like mold, termites, or water damage.
For instance, your kitchen cabinets may look outdated. Sanding and repainting them can breathe in new life. The same can also be done with pieces of furniture, baseboards, or wooden floors. And with the help of a detailed woodworking guide, you can easily finish many of these projects on your own without having to hire help!
Look online for inspiration and see if you can find rooms with similar structures or elements that can be replaced. If you want to re-do your kitchen pantry, look for ways to improve it with extra storage, brighter paint colors, or upgraded features rather than tearing it out completely.
3. Know Where to Splurge and Where to Save
When it comes to home projects, there are certain times when it is actually worth it in the long run to spend more money. Some things are worth the higher investment because cheaper options will wear down faster, require replacements, or not work as efficiently.
It is often better to go with more expensive options when there is a major difference in the quality of the outcome. For example, vinyl flooring is a far less expensive option – but putting in real hardwood or tiles will increase your home’s value tremendously and last much longer. Energy efficient HVAC systems or kitchen appliances tend to have a higher price tag, but they will help to lower your energy bill every month.
That initial big investment will pay off over time – especially if you want to sell the house.
But there are certainly other ways to cut corners. This can be opting for engineered siding for the exterior of your home, less-expensive backsplash tile sheets, and cheaper lighting fixtures. These are great ways to save yourself a pretty penny.
4. Consider Used Options
You don’t necessarily have to buy everything brand new when renovating your home.
You will be pleasantly surprised at how much money you can save by checking out used items for sale on sites like OfferUp and Craigslist. Often times, people will sell extra materials from their own renovation projects, so you could find extra tiles, lighting fixtures, wood, or counter top pieces for heavily discounted prices.
You can also find slightly used items that are still in great condition, like tubs & sinks, hardware, or other pieces of furniture. Finally, don’t forget to check out the scratch and dent section of the hardware store. Appliances with barely noticeable dents are often discounted – so you might be able to score top quality items for a fraction of the cost.
Renovating your home should be a fun and exciting experience – not a stressful one.
While you can’t expect everything to go according to plan, you can avoid the major headache of running out of funds by saving as much as you can with any type of home improvement. Hopefully, these four pieces of advice will save your pocketbook a bit in your next big project.
Author Bio: Riley Swanson is a lifestyle blogger, passionate about food, fashion, home improvement, and traveling. She is also an avid traveler and shares her traveling experiences in her blog Riley+Christian Travel.