Home Improvement

5 Cost-Effective Ways to Save on Home Renovations

Story Highlights
  • 1. Do prep work yourself
  • 2. Don’t do a complete home remodel
  • 3. Pick decent, midgrade materials
  • 4. Go DIY but know your limits
  • 5. Shop around for the best contractor

Are you in desperate need of a kitchen makeover but you simply can’t afford all the bells and whistles that come with renovations?

You are not alone.

Many homeowners sit with outdated rooms and items simply because it is too expensive to remodel an entire room in one go. But renovations don’t have to cost a lot if you know how to keep your budget in check.

Here are a few ways you can make give your home new life without breaking the bank:

1. Do prep work yourself

In order to save money and cut down on labor or contracting costs, do the prep work yourself.

It will probably take you a few full days but when you’ll be saving a lot of money.

You can start by removing and discarding old carpets, for instance. This will shave a few Rands off the installer’s bill which is more than you think because these companies charge an arm and a leg.

Grab your family and some tools and get working. Imagine the sense of accomplishment you’ll have at the end!

2. Don’t do a complete home remodel

Unless you have a room that is basically falling apart, don’t try to do everything at once.

Cut costs by starting with small things and upgrading items that you already have. You can, for example, refurbish your existing living room set instead of buying a new one.

If you are remodeling the kitchen, you can simply refinish the cabinets in order to bring their colour out again. This can actually save you up to 50% compared to the cost of new cabinets.

You can also replace small things like old drawer handles and knobs.

3. Pick decent, midgrade materials

If you decide to use premium materials during your home renovation, it could increase the cost quite a bit.

You’ll also find that it isn’t always as practical as it pretends to be. An area where you will notice this the most is when you decide to carpet a room.

Carpeting an entire room will definitely take a huge bite out of your budget. Another expensive material is granite countertops. You can easily laminate your existing countertops instead of spending thousands on granite. Sure, it looks nice, but you’ll be too scared to work on it because it cost you so much!

4. Go DIY but know your limits

Everyone makes DIY look so easy, but when you try it, it’s never quite so simple.

When you do the work yourself, you are saving a lot of money. You won’t be paying any labor costs (unless you want to reward yourself with a cold one) and your only expense will be the materials.

Having said that, you should know where to stop yourself. Larger projects require professionals and it is better to leave it to them. It will cost more, but you won’t run the risk of messing it up and having to spend more money in order to fix it.

5. Shop around for the best contractor

A remodeling project is only as good as the contractor you hire.

Take your time and shop around for the person who fits the job best. This person should give you a fair quote and provide examples of the work that they have done.

You can look online at reviews in order to determine what the quality of work is like.

Pay attention to the small details when you hire a contractor: if they are continuously late, they aren’t serious about the job.

Ensure that they complete the project on time as well. Time is, after all, money.


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