Six Tips for Saving on a Home Remodel

| September 17, 2012

saving money when remodeling

Remodeling your home is an exciting task full of possibilities. What’s not so exciting is the expense of renovation. Keep in mind these six tips for saving on a home remodel, and you can enjoy your refurbished home without the high price tag.

1. Develop a realistic budget

In order to not overspend on your home remodel, it’s critical to budget how much each part of the renovation will cost. Before construction begins, research how much each item should cost (materials and labor) — for instance the kitchen cabinetsflooring and new bathtub. Then add 10% to the total to handle the inevitable surprises and cost overruns.

Developing a home remodeling budget will tell you if you have enough money for everything you want to do. If you find that you don’t have sufficient funds, prioritize the items and then figure out whether there are cheaper alternatives.

2. Interview several contractors

The right home remodeling contractor can save you a bundle. Talk to several contractors before making your decision. While you don’t want someone who only focuses on cost and therefore might do substandard work, you do want a professional who is sensitive to your bottom line and has suggestions for getting the most for your money.

3. Do some demo yourself

Much of the demolition in preparation for a home remodel is dirty work but doesn’t require a great deal of expertise. If you have the brawn, stamina and time, you can save a little money by completing such work as tearing out old cabinets. Before starting any demolishing, consult with your contractor. There could be electrical outlets and plumbing that you need to steer clear of. Also, the contractor may be able to dispose of the debris.

4. Look into rebates

A variety of energy-related rebates exist for home construction. Check the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star website for rebates on qualified home products for your area, including a variety of appliances. Remodeling “green” rebates also exist at the state level, and you can get federal tax credits until 2016 for installing energy-efficient systems such as solar energy.

5. Buy materials as they come on sale

If possible, look for local business sales and scour home sales even before you start the remodeling process for appliances such as refrigerators and ovens. Also, you may be able to pick up various materials, such as carpeting and tile, that you know you want in your remodel. You can often save a substantial amount by doing this. Just make sure you will definitely be able to use the items and that they are the right size.

6. Use recycled and salvaged materials

Do the environment good and save money by seeking out salvaged materials that have been removed from other homes during construction or are excess from other projects. Find items such as doors, lighting, cabinets and windows through brick-and-mortar locations such as architectural salvage yards and home recycling centers, as well as online classified ads and other sites that offer such items.

It takes a little work to save money on a home remodel, but it will help you enjoy the renovation more.

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Category: Home & Garden, Remodeling

About the Author ()

Julie Bawden-Davis is a Southern-California-based writer specializing in home and garden, real estate, small business and personal finance. Since 1985, her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Entrepreneur and The Los Angeles Times. Julie is a University of California Certified Master Gardener and has written five gardening books, including Reader’s Digest Flower Gardening.