Remodeling can be a very rewarding experience. A new kitchen, updated bath, or fresh paint all have the potential to increase your property value and give you tremendous satisfaction. However, most homeowners find they need to budget wisely if they want to reach their renovation goal without going over budget. Here are some tips for saving money on your next remodel:
1. Plan Your Project Carefully – Usually, renovations go smoother when planned properly and implemented methodically over time as opposed to trying to accomplish everything at one time (unless that’s what you’re looking for). Tackle smaller items first and wait until those projects are fully complete before moving on to another phase of the project. This may include refinishing hardwood floors in one room before re-carpeting or repainting a room before re-wallpapering.
2. Start Early – Avoid last-minute shopping trips by planning your renovations well in advance and buying materials during sales events. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a renovation project, but if you wait until the weekend before starting a bath remodel it could leave you with limited options and higher prices for supplies and fixtures. Remember to include shipping time in your calculations when ordering online; this will avoid any last-minute mishaps and ensure that your new bathroom is fully functional by the time you return from work on the first day!
3. Shop Around – Just like in most other retail situations, you’ll find that there can be quite a discrepancy in price. For example, the same ceramic tile can be found throughout your town for varying prices per square foot so it pays to shop around and consider all of your options before making a final decision.
4. Check Secondhand Shops – You may not want to go through the hassle of buying secondhand materials just for the sake of saving money but if you’re remodeling on a budget now would be an excellent time to stop by those shops & clinics that are selling off their surplus items. They’ll often have just what you’re looking for or know somebody who does. Plus, they usually offer far more selection than most retailers which will give you even more options when selecting materials for your renovation project
5. Hire Professionals – While not every home renovation project requires a professional, it’s always a good idea to hire one if you’re tackling something new or need help with complicated installations. Many professionals work on an hourly rate so this will basically allow you to get more “bang for your buck” since their time is already being compensated for, and the materials are usually less expensive when purchased wholesale.
6 . Consider DIY Kits – Do-it-yourself kits can be just what you need but don’t be misled into thinking that everything is included in the kit. If there is something that isn’t listed then ask about it before purchasing because they may not have had time to include it ahead of production of the kit. Also, make sure you know exactly how much time and effort is involved in performing the job so you know what to expect.
7. Hire a Designer – If you’re still unsure about exactly what type of renovation project you want for your home, hire a professional designer who can help you choose the materials that are right for your budget as well as drive up the value of your property long after the renovations are complete. A good designer will have many resources available to them which they can use to find you discounted prices on materials, fixtures & appliances. This way not only do you retain the services of an expert but if something goes wrong with any aspect of your remodel they may be able to help resolve it quickly & efficiently since they’ve built their business relationship with these manufacturers over many years.
8. Give Yourself Time – Avoid rushing your renovation project and always leave yourself enough time to find the best deals for materials and even shop around for a new professional if you’re not satisfied with the one that you initially hired. This will also give you time to research any problems that might come up during installation or other aspects of your home improvement project so that they can be resolved appropriately before moving on to the next step in construction.
9. Sign Up Online – Many companies are now offering “club” type benefits for signing up online which could save you money on virtually anything from flooring to cabinets & bathroom fixtures. These types of clubs usually offer exclusive mailing lists where members receive advance notice about upcoming sales events as well as other materials that can be used to help improve your home. Membership discounts are usually available to the general public but not everyone knows about them!
10 . Refer a Friend – If you know someone who’s had work done on their home recently, call them up and ask them for the name of their contractor or designer. You’ll often find that they’re more than happy to refer you since these professionals will receive free advertising through your word-of-mouth referral & your friend will feel like they’ve given you a gift (which in many cases they actually have). These referrals are great opportunities to pick up some helpful tips as well as get ideas for features that may enhance your own renovation project.
11 . Look Online – The Internet has opened up an entirely new world of information for DIYers & homeowners alike who are looking to save money on home improvement projects. There are dozens of websites that can offer you some extremely valuable tips, advice, shopping guides, and even coupons that may be applicable to your home renovation project. The Web also has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to how-to articles, company reviews & testimonials which have been posted by past customers who have had work done by these professionals.
12 . Hire Reputable Contractors – A reputable contractor should always provide references upon request but don’t hesitate to ask them for the names of people they’ve worked within the past before hiring them for your own project if you find yourself questioning their credibility. This is especially true if they offer any kind of insurance or warranty with their services as these can be voided if they don’t have a solid reputation. In addition, make sure to ask for the names of other customers who you can contact for more information about their work and how satisfied they were with the results – whether positive or negative!
13 . Ask Lots of Questions – A professional will never mind answering all your questions regarding a renovation project since it’s what they’re paid to do. However, if they come across as annoyed by your inquiries then you might want to consider hiring someone else for your home improvement project. They should also provide some “up-front” pricing on materials so that there are no hidden costs along the way which could lead to disagreements between both parties. This is also true for designers since they should be able to tell you exactly how much your new furniture, cabinets & flooring will cost before the project starts.
14 . Get it in Writing – Never sign any document without reading through it first and if there are terms or conditions that you don’t understand then speak with a professional about them so that they can clarify any questions or concerns that might arise regarding the renovations on your home. Make sure to get everything in writing so that there are no misunderstandings between both parties after the project is completed which could lead to more problems down the road.
15 . Watch Out For Add-Ons – Often times contractors will try to pressure homeowners into adding additional work onto their renovation projects which can lead to unexpected costs. A reputable contractor will give you a clear explanation of exactly what they’re recommending and why but if they can’t justify it then you should politely decline the additional expense (no matter how small it is).
16 . Ask for Discounts – A licensed & insured contractor should never hesitate to offer you some sort of discount on any materials that they supply for your renovation project since this will help you save money in the long run. In addition, always ask them if there are any coupons or discounts that they have available for their services which could reduce your initial expenditure even more. There are times when this works even with companies who don’t normally offer any type of coupon but try to find out beforehand so that there aren’t any surprises later on.
17 . Find Someone You Trust – It’s extremely important to find a contractor that you have complete faith in since this person will be spending long hours working at your home and they’ll also have full access to your family’s belongings during the renovation. If you don’t feel comfortable with them being there alone then ask someone else or simply let them know that you won’t allow it unless another individual is present as well.
18 . Look for Professional Indemnity Insurance – This type of insurance covers both errors & omissions which can help protect homeowners from any future liability claims which may arise after the improvement work has been completed by their professional contractor. While most home renovations are safe, there are occasions when things go wrong without any warning or indication that they would happen but with the right insurance policy in place, you won’t have to worry about being held liable for certain damages.
19 . Get Organized – It’s important to get organized prior to having any work done on your home so that you can keep track of all the moving parts without too much hassle. This means labeling boxes as soon as they’re brought into your house and giving a clear area where tools can be placed which will prevent contractors from leaving them around haphazardly. In addition, if there are workers who frequently enter & leave then it makes sense to provide a small bench or table just inside your doorway which will allow them to put down their things before going about their business inside your home.
20 . Find out About Working Hours – Most renovation projects occur between the hours of 8am & 5pm Monday through Friday which means that anyone who’s employed in the field will be paid for at least eight hours each day. However, companies will often hire teams of workers to work on different aspects of a project simultaneously so there could be people working longer than usual without any additional compensation. Ask your contractor about their policy regarding this matter before you sign any documents with them since it’s easy to forget about once the work has begun and doesn’t seem like an issue that deserves attention.
21 . Take Care of Billing Disputes Early – If you don’t think that you were provided the service that was agreed upon during your meeting then notify your contractor immediately to resolve the problem. Don’t wait until they’ve left your home, or you’ve missed work to deal with this matter since you’ll likely be forced to pay for the additional service which could turn into an even greater expense depending on what it is that they’re asking of you.
22 . Have a Functional & Useful Emergency Kit – When renovations are being done at your home then there’s always a chance that something will go wrong without any warning whatsoever so you need to be prepared for worst-case scenarios in advance. Ensure that everyone can quickly clear out of your property if issues do take place by having an emergency kit located directly outside your front door containing anything from flashlights, first aid supplies, fire extinguishers,s and safety gloves. Also, you should designate another area of your home that can be used as an emergency meeting place just in case it’s impossible to exit through the front door.
23 . Get Recommendations & Reviews – If there are other individuals who have worked with a particular contractor before then you’ll benefit greatly by asking them for their input and opinions since they’re able to give insight into what you can expect when working together and what to watch out for. While online reviews typically only capture certain aspects of an individual’s business acumen, multiple testimonials will provide much more information which helps paint a clearer picture of who you’re about to hire.
24 . Ask for Formal Estimates – It always helps to get at least three different estimates from professionals in the field before making any final decisions since one specialized contractor may know reasons why another is charging more for the same type of work. You can often negotiate a better price by citing other quotes that you’ve received and asking them if they would be able to match the lower rate or at least meet some of the accompanying points in order to receive your business.
25 . Get a Contractor’s License – Before allowing anyone into your home who claims they’re in the business of renovating then make sure that they have a valid contractor’s license dating back at least three years which is issued in the state where they’ll be working. This piece of paper is vital when it comes to resolving disputes or having someone held accountable if anything goes wrong so don’t let anyone tell you that it isn’t required since all remodeling & renovation companies should have this documentation on hand before starting any work.
26 . Meet with an Attorney – In order to completely protect yourself from anyone who may try to take advantage of your situation then you’ll want to meet with an attorney before signing any documents. They should be able to secure a comprehensive contract which states what you can expect from the contractor, how much it will cost and when the work will be completed by. This is especially important if you’re working with someone who isn’t licensed because they won’t have this basic piece of paper on hand which prevents them from being sued for negligence if things go south during the renovation process.
27 . Protect Your Home Before Contractor Arrival – Even though you’ve already arranged things with your contractor there are still steps that need to be taken in order to protect yourself against any loss or damage to your property. It’s highly recommended that you install temporary wallboard over any windows which are being worked on in order to prevent the glass from shattering into your home at any time. You should also tape off any areas where construction will take place, keep pets in a separate room away from the chaos and cover all expensive items with plastic sheeting or drop cloths so they’re not harmed during the process of building & renovating.
28 . Ask What They’ll Do if There’s an Emergency – If there is an unexpected event that takes place while renovations are being done then you need to know exactly what your contractor will do to resolve this issue before things even get started. Will they be able to come back another day? Or, will they have to start all over again? Also, talk with your renter’s insurance representative in order to find out what the requirements are when it comes to protecting your property and possessions during this stressful process.
29 . Get a Completion Date – Once renovations start then you should be provided with a completion date which indicates exactly when you can expect them to be finished so that you know how much time you’ll need to take off from work or for other family members who may need assistance getting around. It’s important not to draw out this process too long since problems will arise if meetings aren’t held on-site at least once every two weeks and you and your contractor agree that they’ve been completed successfully in order for final payment to be issued in full.
30 . Have an Emergency Meeting – If there is ever an emergency or any major change to your contract which could affect the cost of renovations then you should be able to schedule a meeting between yourself, your contractor, and your architect quickly. This way you can discuss what needs to be done in order for everyone involved to move forward with renovation plans without any problems arising that would cause anyone to lose their funds or waste much-needed time.
31 . Meet with Architects & Engineers Regularly – If either one of these professionals come out to view the work being done on your home then they should provide you with updates through email, text messaging or handwritten notes which indicate exactly what has been completed so far during the project’s timeline. This step helps keep everything running smoothly by preventing misunderstandings about how things are supposed to be done in order to reach the desired outcome.
32 . Don’t Just Trust Emails or Texts – If you’re presented with many details about how work will be completed, progress updates, and when things are scheduled to take place throughout this process then it’s highly recommended that you sit down in person so everyone can discuss exactly what is expected of them since they may not realize that there isn’t enough time for everything which was discussed on paper or through text messaging. Leaving out information like this can lead to problems during renovations if one professional assumes that something has already been taken care of while another individual believes they still need to address it before moving forward which causes your renovation costs to go up due to wasted time and materials not being used efficiently.
33 . Ask Questions & Take Notes – Asking questions remains one of the most powerful ways to avoid making costly mistakes when it comes to hiring a contractor and an architect during renovations which is why you should feel comfortable speaking up and asking anything that comes to mind without worrying about how it might be perceived by other professionals on-site. Also, take lots of notes so nothing gets lost in translation which can cause problems later on if other professionals believe certain things were supposed to be done while another individual thinks they should pick up where the last meeting left off.
34 . Shop Around for Discounts – You should never feel afraid or hesitant about shopping around for discounts since offering trades with contractors and architects does happen often enough especially if you’re able to provide them with word of mouth referrals. This process can be beneficial for everyone involved since you’ll receive added perks during the renovation process, trades will likely spend more time completing tasks so they earn larger paychecks and professionals won’t have to worry about finding additional clients which makes them more inclined to offer discounts instead of losing your business altogether.
35 . Track All Progress – If you’re able to keep track of all progress made during renovations then it’s easy for everyone involved to stay up to date with what needs to be done in order for everything to be completed successfully which prevents costly mistakes from being made when there isn’t enough time scheduled within a certain timeframe or enough money budgeted for certain materials or tasks. This step helps avoid arguments between professionals on site since there is no confusion about exactly how much work has been completed so far and whether any additional steps need to be taken before moving forward toward the desired outcome.
36 . Don’t Skip Meetings – Avoiding meetings with experienced contractors and architects can result in problems later on if any misunderstandings arise about how you want something done, what needs to be completed first or how long it should take to complete certain tasks. Skipping out on meetings increases the chances of your renovation taking longer than expected which can cause problems if you’re trying to meet a strict deadline or stay within a specific budget.
37 . Ask for Ongoing Support – If you feel like one meeting is simply not enough then don’t hesitate to ask for ongoing support throughout your renovations since detailed plans aren’t always possible without speaking with professionals in person about exactly what needs to happen during this process. This step helps avoid issues down the line by preventing missed appointments, forgotten lunch orders, and additional expenses because things are moving at a much slower pace than expected throughout this entire process.
38 . Establish Your Budget – An expert contractor and architect can both help you establish your renovation budget with ease which is beneficial since this step prevents any misunderstandings later on about how much money needs to be spent in certain areas of your home or business. Having a clear cut budget established helps professionals stay on track without wasting too much time, effort, or resources during renovations which save you money at the end of the day regardless of whether you’re working with subcontractors, employees or simply trying to save as much time as possible throughout an ongoing project.
39 . Communicate Challenges Quickly – If problems arise during renovations then you should always communicate them quickly with all parties involved instead of letting things go until they become larger issues that need immediate attention. These challenges could be anything from a misunderstanding between professionals on-site to something as simple as a broken part of your home which needs to be replaced in order for renovations to continue successfully. Problems shouldn’t be ignored since they can cause additional expenses and issues that can prolong the overall renovation process if not addressed quickly enough.
40 . Stay On Top of Ongoing Progress – It’s important to stay on top of ongoing progress instead of waiting until after everything has been completed to see what went wrong or what needed more attention than originally expected. Understanding why certain tasks were completed as planned helps prevent future problems from arising as well as preventing you from having an unpleasant experience with professionals during renovations which is why staying on top of updates is so beneficial when it comes to keeping everything running smoothly during this ongoing process.
41 . Clear Out Unneeded Items – Having professionals inspect your home or business before renovations are vital to avoid costly mistakes which can occur if certain items are in the way of where new carpeting, tiles, cabinets, and even plumbing might need to be placed within a certain area. By removing unneeded items you can prevent possible damage to your home or business while also avoiding expenses that could come up later on if you don’t take care of things in advance instead of simply hoping they won’t get in the way when the time comes for renovations to begin.
42 . Duct Tape is Your Friend – Instead of wasting money on expensive plastic sheeting when it’s not necessary then duct tape is another option that works wonders in terms of covering up areas in your home or business that will be in the way during renovations. By using something like duct tape you can prevent any damage to walls, floors, and even furniture if necessary which is why it’s important to keep this step in mind throughout your renovations since it only takes a few minutes to complete while also saving money at the same time.
43 . Be Flexible with Start Dates – Unfortunately, things don’t always go according to plan when renovating a large area within your home or business due to delays that might occur for any number of reasons, meaning you should be flexible with start dates instead of automatically assuming you’ll begin once everything has been purchased without any issues along the way. Knowing when professionals are able to work on your home or business allows you to avoid wasting money on additional expenses when renovations need to be pushed back from their original start date for any number of reasons.
44 . Work with Professionals You Trust – It’s important that the professionals you hire to complete renovations within your home or business carry a strong reputation throughout your local community since this saves time and resources if they run into problems while working onsite. While it may cost more money upfront to use professional design consultants, landscapers, and even designers who have received numerous recommendations from previous customers instead of hiring someone new without knowing what type of quality services they’ll provide in return, having trustworthy individuals working on your home or business will save more time and money over the long term which is why referrals from previous customers are a great way to find someone you can trust before renovations begin.
There you have it, forty-four tips to help you save money before renovations begin along with many additional pointers that can also be taken into consideration as well. By simply following these steps throughout the renovation process you’ll be able to make smart investments which will allow you to reduce any number of financial issues before they become problems later on during this long-term process.