No matter how big or small your project, it’s a fact that home improvements and renovations often cost more than you bargained for. And while some costs are unavoidable, there could be several small things you could be doing throughout the project that could potentially add up to significant savings. Remember, no matter what your budget is for this project, it’s usually possible to both stay within it and enjoy the results once you’re done.
Source Materials Yourself
Many contractors have tried and true sources for the materials they use on the job. These places are usually good to begin your materials search – but they aren’t necessarily the only places for you to shop. Thanks to the internet, you now can search out items that may cost less than if you buy them in a single location.
Shop around, and see if you can find local places that will price match to help save on shipping or freight. Remember, however, to run everything by your Pro before you purchase to make sure that what you’re getting is indeed a good deal and not something that’s going to cost you later.
Go Line by Line
Pros do a lot of projects each year. They may also specialize in certain areas where they know what’s going on particularly well. And those same Pros may offer additions or extras on the project that they know will enhance the way that it looks and functions in the end. However, some of those additions or extras are not only unnecessary, but they can also have a significant impact on your bottom line.
Ask to go over the project with your Pro line by line, step by step. If you see something added that you hadn’t thought of previously, ask about it. Some things, like outlet covers, you’ll find that you definitely need. Other things, such as upgraded baseboards, you may be able to do without - saving you money that you can put toward things that you do need.
Again, remember to speak with your Pro and ask why he’s specifying something; he could have a good reason you haven’t thought of yet. And if not, ask him to remove it.
Staying organized is by far the best way to make sure you’re staying within your budget during your home improvements. For example, if you need to move out for a portion of the job, make sure you book your hotel reservations early to save money. Likewise, if you’re doing a kitchen renovation and don’t have access for a set amount of time, plan meals around your Crock Pot to avoid excessive take out fees.
You’d also be surprised how easy it is to lose track of materials if you aren’t on top of things. A misplaced box of tile could mean you need to order twice, while not double checking a box of tile to make sure it’s correct before it’s installed means that you have to order twice and pay for twice the labor costs.
Take On Cosmetic Tasks Yourself
DIY is not for everyone, and in many cases, it’s unadvisable as well. However, there are some areas that you may be able to take on yourself to save money. This can mean tearing out your old kitchen cabinets (after making sure the plumbing and electricity are unhooked properly) or it could mean doing the final paint job in the bathroom. By taking on small, surface type jobs yourself, you could end up saving on the Pro’s fees.
Look for Energy Efficient Options
Saving money during a home improvement project doesn’t end when the project is done; by making energy-efficient changes to your home, the savings continue. In fact, a study done by the state of Maryland found that for every dollar you put into your home in energy-efficient upgrades, you save $7 over the life of the project. That can be a significant saving in energy bills over time that can more than make your project pay for itself.
It’s tempting to want to hand over your whole project to your Pro at the start and merely sit back and let your home improvements happen, but doing so could end up costing you more than you’re ready to pay. By being involved in the project right from the beginning, paying attention, and doing your homework, you could find that your project comes well within your budget, while still achieving the goals you’ve set in place.