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Savings in Home Renovations

Whether it’s down the line or about time, home renovations can create a pricey puzzle for even the most savvy savers.

From kitchens and cabinets to the halls and walls of your house, the fear of a busted budget can be tough to shake. According to This Old House, “it’s hard not to end up shelling out more than you want to, even if you want to pen a check for a million bucks.”

But despite these concerns, consumers don’t have to sacrifice their dreams to save a penny or two. With some strategic thinking related to design, materials, and timing consumers can cut costs without cutting corners. Here are six tips and tricks to save on your next home renovation.

1 - Show Me The Money!

What gets measured gets managed and, in this case, the measurement is money. Start off by creating a budget for everything. A little foresight on the money front can really pay off down the road. Remember to set aside up to 20% of the budget for unexpected fixes and circumstances. From there, prioritize your list of renovation projects and use the remaining 80% of the budget to allocate towards this list. 

What you will often find is that there are areas that consume a large portion of the budget that may not need that much monetary attention. Use these observations to choose less expensive materials, items or appliances or cut them out altogether if they’re deemed unnecessary.

Use cash as much as possible in order to stay in line with your estimates. This will keep you from running too wild with credit. And remember that throughout this process, spreadsheets are your friends. And even though they may occasionally hurt to look at it, they’re actually providing the tough love your budget needs.

2 - Light It Up

The home is happier when the lighting is right. Take time upfront to check out your lighting needs. Assessing the situation and getting it right at the beginning of a remodel is a much more cost-effective approach than redoing the lighting after years of ownership.

One way to save is to add windows allowing for sunlight into rooms where incandescent lighting used to be the norm. And while you’re at, cut your heating and cooling costs by using insulated windows. Two birds with one stone.

If new windows are a bit out of the price range, try a cheaper option like adding light tubes. Also known as sun tunnels, solar tubes or tubular skylights, light tubes transport light from the roof to the room via a highly reflective tube.  When it comes to brightening up a bathroom, hallway or other living space, consider this cheaper option.

Finally, installing dimmer switches throughout the house can also provide an easy way to use less electricity by simply adjusting the lighting to account for the natural light already filling the room.

3 - Squeaky Clean Hygiene

If you want to burn through cash fast, look no further than the bathroom. Bathrooms are a prime-time money vacuum as many come to find out. Stay away from busting budgets by keeping your restroom to a functional size. Many times, creating a luxurious lavatory turns into more than anyone bargained. Keep it simple. Small tricks like buying shower curtains over glass shower doors can save thousands of dollars and countless squeegee swipes. Finding used mirrors, cabinets, tile and hardwood can also save you a pretty penny.

4 - DIY

We live in the information age and you better believe that applies to home renovations. You may have your doubts when it comes to tile or drywall but there’s still a lot you can do even if you don’t categorize yourself as particularly handy.

When it comes time to demo the space, grab some companions and have some fun. This is something that contractors can do but chances are you can do it too. If you can demo, clean up, and get surfaces ready, you’ll be able to save some cash or reallocate it to some of the tighter areas of the budget.

YouTube is also a great resource in the world of DIY. If you have the time, commitment, and determination, there’s a lot you can do on your own to prepare the way for the pros. Don’t have tools? Rent them from a local hardware store and use the return date as a deadline to get things done.  

5 - A Splash of Color

Before you start ripping through walls and tearing down doorways, take a second to think about a fresh touch up for the room in question. Sometimes, expensive grand plans can be saved by adding a fresh coat of paint. Need the room to feel bigger or brighter? Switch up the color. Want to liven up the living space? Grab some brushes and a can of color and experience the transformative power of a new look. 

Not a pro? No worries. Painting is a relatively cheap endeavor that a careful amateur will have no problem pulling off.

6 - One Big Change

Despite your best budgeting efforts, some costs are inevitable. Whether it’s a modern kitchen, a remodeled bathroom, or an opened up area downstairs, big, dramatic changes have to be made. However, this doesn’t mean you have to wreck your financial game plan.

When it comes to big changes, prioritizing what needs to be done first and foremost is a smart decision. Consider your family’s growing needs or the stage of life you are about to enter before doing anything too elaborate. A nifty tip is to open up a ceiling where an attic or pitched roof is located. This can give your living quarters a much-needed revamp that will change the way you feel about your house for the rest of your years.