6 tips to save money when renovating
Last modified: 2019/02/06 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Renovating your home to update surfaces, fixtures or other aspects is the reality of many homeowners. This is especially true if you’re looking to modernize or make rooms more comfortable and beautiful. However, it should come as no surprise that home renovations can be costly and going over budget is a common experience, especially for the novice in the world of renovations. If you’re on a tight budget or you’re just hoping to save a dollar or two while carrying out your chosen project, look no further than this article.
We’re here to offer some serious tips and tricks to save money when taking on a renovation.
6 ways to save money when renovating your home
1- Work with a professional
If you have little to no experience in the field of renovation and are taking on any big jobs, working with a professional is paramount to cutting costs. Hiring a trained professional to take on serious home renovations might cost you a little bit initially, but makes the most sense from a financial perspective. Big renovation jobs have several stages, and if you’re not qualified, you may overlook crucial steps.
Working with a professional will allow you to avoid unnecessary disasters as well as unexpected costs. Make sure to do ample research when looking for the right contractor, and get a quote upfront.
Not only will a professional help you to save money in the long run, but you’ll be able to craft out a timeline regarding how long the renovation will take. If you’re going to have to stay in a hotel or at a friends house, this will further allow you to budget.
2- Reduce, reuse, recycle
Although renovations are generally about new beginnings, this doesn’t mean you should avoid repurposing what you have. Reusing old pieces of your home or working with recycled materials is an excellent way to save money. Take a trip down to your local Habitat for Humanity and see if they have any building materials or furniture that you could use.
If you can’t find anything second-hand that piques your interest, consider reupholstering couches, chairs and sofas. Paint is another great way to save a little bit of money while breathing new life into the rooms of your home. Change the colour of your kitchen cabinets or your bathroom armoires, update wall colours and so on. This may seem like a small change, but sometimes those are the most impactful.
3- Work with affordable renovation materials
Yes, we all dream of beautiful hardwood flooring gracing every room in the home, but depending on your budget, this may not be realistic. Switching out more expensive materials to those which are affordable is a great option, especially in rooms that face wear and tear, such as the kitchen and the bathroom. Instead of real stone or granite, consider engineered stone as well as laminate in place of marble.
Instead of working with beloved hardware, consider floor tiles that mimic the look of wood. If you really want to work with high-scale materials, reserve them for places that are smaller or to make a statement.
4- Don’t over-renovate
You may be under the impression that the only way to increase the resale value of your home is to renovate and add high-end materials and finishes to the interior or exterior. Unfortunately, expensive home renovations do not have a 1-for-1 guarantee. Instead, focus on simple but effective renovations, as practicality will override design. Make sure to deeply consider the reasons for the renovation in the first place and think in the long term; will it affect the resale value of your home in a positive way? Will the renovation better the quality of life for yourself, your loved ones and family?
If you can answer yes to these questions, then you should feel comfortable moving forward with the renovation.
5- Start with your renovation budget
Before you spend hours online looking for the perfect material, it’s recommended that you carefully plan out a budget and be realistic about how much you can afford to spend. Plan for unseen costs, as these generally crop up when it comes to these projects. If you don't have the money and then some to be able to cover the costs, then we’d suggest waiting until you're in a comfortable financial position.
If the renovation is an emergency or has a specific timeline, you might want to consider taking out a line of credit or a loan that will allow you to cover the costs. A home equity line of credit is taken out against the equity you have built up in your home, meaning this type of loan is backed by an asset. Although these loans generally come with additional fees, they will allow you to take on that much-needed renovation.
6- Keep plumbing in place
If you’re planning on a kitchen, bathroom or laundry room renovation, moving the plumbing will occupy plenty of unnecessary time, effort and costs. Upgrading your plumbing might be a necessity, however, the key is to keep all major pipes and plumbing sets up right where they are. In many cities and municipalities, moving your own plumbing is actually illegal. Further, this project is not recommended for the novice homeowner.
Incorrectly installed pipes are incredibly costly, and worse, any damage caused by incorrect installation could cost thousands of dollars. If it is absolutely necessary for you to move your plumbing points, work with a professional or qualified plumber who will be able to advise you on how best to work with your home's layout.
These six suggestions may seem simple or obvious, but you’d be surprised how often the easiest parts of a home renovation are overlooked. Consider our first suggestion when it comes to taking on any form of home renovation, and work with a professional to have everything done within your means the first time around.
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