Top 5 Tips to Save You Money on Home Remodeling Projects

The following is a post from staff writer Crystal at Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, where she writes about finding the balance between paying your bills, saving for your future, and budgeting for the fun stuff along the way.

Remodeling your house can be an effective tool used to achieve that look you’ve always wanted while retaining the neighbors that you have grown to love. Whether you’re renovating for your own pleasure or selling your home, a well planned renovation can transform any home into a work of art. It can also turn your home into a money pit.

Here are 5 tips to save you money on your home remodeling project:

1. Make Small Cosmetic Changes

For example, installing new cabinets in your kitchen could easily cost you $10,000 or more. A practical and economic solution is to simply replace the cabinet doors and hardware. Replacing the doors saves you from having to buy all new cabinets and gives a fresh new. Cabinet doors can be custom made to replace your current doors at a fraction of the full replacement cost. Small tasks like changing the lighting or adding a fresh coat of paint can take years off of the look of a house.

2. Use Moderately Priced Materials

For example, marble and granite countertops are very expensive and can quickly eat up your remodeling budget. Rather than using natural stone countertops, you can save a substantial amount of money by using a manufactured stone. Manmade stones are less likely to stain and are much cheaper. In the case of bathrooms, especially half baths, you can purchase left over pieces of granite slabs at a discount and still have a fantastic looking counter space.

3. Use Qualified Professionals

It may seem cheaper to hire Uncle John to fix your lighting issues but it will be a whole lot more expensive if you have to call an electrician later because your lights short circuit. One of the big ways to save money on your home improvement projects is to get the job done right the first time. Shop around. You will be able to find a qualified professional at a reasonable price. There is no use paying to have the same job done twice.

4. Address the Visible Areas First

If you want to stay within your budget, be sure to address the most visible areas first. Many homeowners deplete their budget on small pet projects and neglect the big areas that will make their home look better immediately. The kitchen and bathrooms are two areas that standout in any home.

5. Do Small Projects Yourself

If you have a basic knowledge of home improvement, you can do some projects yourself. Painting walls, putting up a mailbox, or varnishing your deck are all comparably easy to do and hard to mess up. If I can paint a room, anybody can paint a room. You can save yourself a pretty penny by doing small, easy yet time-consuming tasks yourself.

Mr. BFS and I save money by following our own advice. We’ve been happy homeowners for almost 4 years and have put a grand total of less than $3,000 into home remodels, yet our walls are painted exactly how we wanted and our entire first floor has wood laminate that can stand up to our dog’s paws.

You don’t need a large house to plan for some home remodeling projects. Little house plans can be difficult too because they require greater precision.

What tips have I missed?

7 Responses to Top 5 Tips to Save You Money on Home Remodeling Projects

  1. I would add ‘Keep Up On Maintenance’ to the list. People remodel and everything looks great, but if things aren’t maintained, that shine disappears quickly and you’re remodeling again before you know it. Carpeting will last longer if it’s professionally cleaned on a regular basis. Wood floors, cabinets and stained woodwork should be cleaned and polished as needed. Simple house cleaning on a regular basis will reduce dust that will make freshly painted walls look grimy. People are too often all about putting in the brand new things, but forget about keeping them looking new for as long as possible.

  2. Here’s a trick my contractor buddy told me last summer when we were trying to spend about $3000 updating (as in out of the 80s!) our home in order to sell it (quickly) (and we got $17,500 (8%) more than the RE agents initially wanted to list it for).

    Appliance paint. Our fridge was 20 yrs old. We wanted to include it in the sale. So what we did was put painters tape on all of the fridge hardware and trim and then applied 2 coats of white appliance paint to the dinged up, kinda rusty spots on the doors. Voila! It looked like new.

  3. Ideal Home Improvement says:

    Installing new kitchen cabinets is a pricey endeavor. If you’re looking to save money refacing is a good alternative. It costs up to 60% less and takes much less time. You will have updated cabinets in days!

  4. Hey Crystal, those are all good tips. I just wrote a post a week or two ago about my favorite money saving tip…buy discounted Home Depot gift cards online!

  5. The Prudent Planner says:

    Don’t forget to get 3-4 bids. For example, if you are redoing your kitchen you will find there are huge mark-ups when it comes to counter tops and cabinetry. Shop around online first and foremost. Then visit your local shops and compare. Have a couple contractors over (reputable contractors, try visiting angies list)and ask for a full bid on everything.

  6. Maybe one of the best tips is to actually hire someone to do everything and never do it yourself! Pros have a better chance of doing it right the first time. Whereas we tend to fook things up!

    Sam

  7. jeannu says:

    Amazing tips. All of them are wonderful.. I really like number 4. Keeping your home in new trends will surely make it more lovely and wonderful!

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