Let’s face it. Home renovations cost a lot of money! If you aren’t a DIYer you will have to pay for contractors, laborers, and materials, and all the cost can add up fast. Some people spend up to $10,000 on a small renovation! What more if you’re planning to do the whole house?
It’s not exactly a cheap project (or hobby) to start. Oftentimes, homeowners get too carried away with their home renovation project, so they spend way more than they initially planned. Creating a realistic plan and managing your expectations will reign in the impulse. The following tips will also help you keep track of your expenses for a more budget-friendly home renovation project.
Create a Budget Spreadsheet
Every home renovation plan should start with making a budget. The best way to do that is to create a detailed spreadsheet of every possible expenses for your projects, from labor to materials. For example, if you’re planning to renovate your living room, list down all the items that need to be replaced in your spreadsheet. Include everything—lighting fixtures, paint, flooring, furniture, and decorations.
For the things that need work, talk with a contractor and get a quote for how much it will cost to have all the work done. Quotes are just estimates. It’s likely the actual cost will be higher, so remember to make an allowance for additional expenses.
Be sure to get estimates from several contractors and compare all the options.
Pay in Cash
If you’re renovating to sell your home, it makes sense to get a loan to fund your project because you’re anticipating a return to help pay off the loan. But if that’s not a case, it would be better to pay for the project with money that you already have.
Loans can build up high interest over time. And you will be paying it for months or years if you don’t have the means to pay it off in one go. In the end, you will be spending more way more than what your home renovation project is worth if you get a loan. While using a credit card has it benefits, ultimately, you’ll rack up interest and other fees if you don’t have the ability to completely pay your credit card bill every month. Always weigh the pros and cons before you swipe (or tap) your purchases.
In the end, paying in cash will help you keep better track of your expenses, as well as limit your spending to the amount the you already have.
Choose Efficiency and Long-Term Value
Budget-friendly doesn’t always mean spending less during the project. You also have to consider the long-term effects of the decisions you make. For example, opting for energy-efficient lighting fixtures may cost you more initially, but you will be making savings on your monthly energy bills. Plus, compact fluorescent lamps (CLFs) and light emitting diode bulbs (LED) can years longer than the cheaper standard incandescent bulbs.
For your water fixtures (e.g., faucets, shower heads, and toilets), water-efficient models are the most cost-effective and eco-friendly choice. For instance, old toilets normally use 3 to 7 gallons of water toilets, but new ones can use as little as 1 to 1.6 gallons.
You don’t even have to worry about the work it takes to replace an old toilet if you choose an upflush Saniflo toilet. When you install a Saniflo toilet, you don’t need to break the ground to create a drainage. The toilet comes with an efficient discharge system, composed of a discharge pipe and a macerator, at the back of the toilet that can be connected to your sewage system, septic tank, or holding tank through pipe extensions. Whether it’s fixtures or appliances, the wisest choice for efficiency and long-term savings are energy- and/or water-efficient models.
Use High- and Low-End Materials
Renovating on a budget doesn’t exactly allow you to splurge on high-end materials, but that doesn’t mean you should compromise on quality all the time. When it comes to materials, you almost always get what you paid for. The best solution is to strike a balance between high- and low-end materials. Scrimping on vital construction materials for home renovation is not just unwise; it’s downright foolish. You’re risking the structural integrity of the building and your own safety if you do that.
However, it’s perfectly all right to not spend thousands on high-end furniture, organization, and decorations. As most of my readers know I have filled my home from top to bottom with thrifted finds and have still been able to create a stylish and inviting home. Sometimes, you can get high-end for a low-end cost if you search for alternatives. For example, you can use lifelike silk flowers instead of real flowers for your decor. Silk flowers are more cost-effective since they can last much longer and can be reused multiple times.
French Farmhouse Style Faux Olive Tree Topiaires
DIY What You Can
DIY has been trend that is continually picking up pace in the home improvement community. It saves the DIYer significant amount of money if they can do minor repairs and work that may otherwise cost hundreds or thousands of dollars when done by a professional. Most of all, they have more freedom to pursue what they want for their home.
When it comes to deciding what to DIY and what to leave for the pros to do, it’s extremely important not to overestimate your own ability and not underestimate the needed work. Do your research first and think realistically. Do you have the knowledge skill to accomplish the task without compromising quality? Do you have the tools needed for this? Don’t DIY unless you’re confident that you can do the work at a near professional (or at least, more than acceptable) level. For more tips on DIY check out my post: Five Basic DIY Skills That Will Save You Money.
Take Advantage of Sales
Buying on sales is a great way to save money when you’re buying materials in bulk. Of course, you may have to wait for a long time to take advantage of seasonal promotions and clearance. To avoid this, you should schedule the start of your home renovation project at close to when stores go on sales.
Stores all over the United States organize sales every month, but you’re guaranteed to make the most savings when you shop during massive sales, like Black Friday sale and Christmas sale.
Tackle One Project at a Time
Getting in over their head in the planning and process of their home renovation project is the usual reason many homeowners go way over their budget plan. When planning for your home renovation, check your resources if you’re able to do the whole house or multiple rooms with what you have. It is also important to shop around for the best materials that will fit in your budget. For example, if you are looking to make repairs to your garage or basement floors, check out Garage Flooring Chicago. The great thing about the internet is having the ability to find the best deals outside your own region. This can be a big help when it comes to home renovation. It means you might not have to settle for products you don’t really like just because they are all you can find locally.
If your bank account does not agree with your lofty dreams, just tackle one project at a time. Your house won’t run collapse or run away if you don’t replace your counter top or change up your interior design. Choose the part that need immediate the work. When you can afford it, you throw yourself into the task of renovating the remaining parts.
Replace When Necessary
For home renovation, it’s more practical to reuse old materials if they’re still in good condition. However, there are materials and aspects where this doesn’t apply. For example, it’s always ideal to change your locks periodically. It’s even more important to do it immediately after an incident occurred recently.
If you lost your house keys or separated with partner whom you lived with, you should replace your locks right away. Check the reliability of your locks too. It should not be too easy to break into with a set of lock picking tools or any equipment, especially if you’re living alone.Moreover, you consider installing security measures, such as burglar alarms, CCTV cameras, and automated lights to increase the safety security of your home.
Sticking to your home renovation budget can be see if you create a detailed plan and stick to it. You going over the budget doesn’t just involve a few bucks. Home renovations are costly, so you may be acquire thousands of dollars in debt by the time after your project is complete if you don’t rein yourself in.
Create a comprehensive renovation plan, but restrict yourself to what you can afford with the money your have. Then you can create budget spreadsheet, where you add and remove things that work and don’t work with your current finances. From there, you can apply money-saving hacks to help you stick to your budget from start to finish.
I hope you have found these tips helpful! Try not to get overwhelmed and just take things one step at a time. Best of luck on your next renovation project.
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this is a great post, Amber, and just what we’re dealing with now. My husband and I are doing all the wall painting ourselves, letting the pros do the important part like trim and woodwork. It’s a difficult balance to know what to do ourselves and what to let other’s do. great tips!October 10, 2018 at 5:53 pm
Great Debra! It is so hard to ever stay on budget with these renovations! Planning is key for sure!October 11, 2018 at 6:49 pm