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How to Decrease the Cost of Home Renovations the Smart Way

Renovations enhance your home’s style and function. There are many ways to update your space, from a bathroom to a kitchen remodel. Outdoor upgrades like adding a porch also increase your home’s curb appeal.

However, these projects can be costly. In fact, the average large-scale remodel can cost between $19,800 and $73,200. So, here are tips to decrease your budget the right way.

1. Do Some of the Demo Work

If you have the time and resources, then do the demolition yourself. This saves you money by not having to hire a contractor. In fact, demolitions can start at around $4,000. Plus, knocking down walls is fun to let out your stress.

Just wear safety goggles and protective gear and don’t remove any load-bearing walls. In addition, be mindful of where the electrical and plumbing systems are located.

2. Create a Budget

Before you start the renovation, determine your budget. Research average remodel prices for your specific project. Also, you want to factor in labor and material expenses.

Another cost you may need to account for is hotel fees. If your home becomes a construction zone, you won’t want to be living there full-time. Plus, if your kitchen becomes off-limits, budget for dining out expenses. Here are a few more costs to keep in mind:

  • Obtaining permits
  • Installing appliances
  • Updating plumbing and wiring
  • Cleanup expenses
  • Dumpster fees

Set aside extra money for emergencies once you have your budget. You never know when an unexpected problem could arise, such as a leaky pipe.

3. Refinish Floors

Instead of replacing your floors, refinish them. It could be around $2,000-$7,700 to install new hardwood flooring. Keep in mind that the price includes labor and materials. So, a simple refinish can save money and give your floors an updated appearance.

Before you start, wash the surface with hardwood cleaner and sand the room’s perimeter. Then, follow these steps:

  • Scuff and sand the floor
  • Vacuum and tack
  • Cut in along the edges
  • Pour the finish and roll it out

4. Secure Proper Financing

With the high costs of renovations, you don’t want to deplete your savings account. Luckily, there are plenty of financing options out there. One is a home equity line of credit. These types of loans use your home equity as collateral. The credit can help pay for a larger purchase, such as new flooring or countertops.

Here are a few more ways to finance the project:

  • Save up over time
  • Use home improvement loans
  • Apply for a home equity loan
  • Use a cash-out refinance
  • Government loans, such as HUD Title 1 property improvement loans

5. Have a Detailed Plan in Place

You want to have a vision for the space before you start knocking down any walls. It will help you to stay on budget and prevent impulse purchases.

First, determine the scope of the project. For example, what is the goal and timeline for the renovation? You also want to come up with a design theme so you can pick decor that fits the room well.

In addition, know what items you’re willing to splurge on and where you can compromise. For example, you may splurge on a tile backsplash but simply repaint the cabinets. Consider drawing out your vision board to reference it throughout the project.

6. Obtain Necessary Permits

With all the moving parts of a remodel, you may forget to obtain permits. However, this can be costly down the line. Building inspectors may have you start the project over if your house isn’t up to code. Another thing to consider is that you may pay fines or could have a harder time selling your home.

To learn whether you need a permit, call your local municipality or visit their website. If you hire a contractor, they should know which ones are necessary. Projects needing a permit often involve electrical work or any structural changes.

7. Repurpose Items

Before throwing everything away during demolition, save certain items, like cabinets or windows. You can always repaint and update hardware to refresh your shelves, too. This reduces costs and is better for the environment.

Also, before heading to the store, “shop around” your own home. For example, do you have an unused bedroom bookcase you could move to the living room? Check out thrift shops and architectural salvage stores for second-hand items.

Once you order your supplies, save on delivery fees and pick up items yourself. You can rent trucks from home improvement stores or find a trailer online.

8. Do the Painting Yourself

A new coat of paint can freshen up walls and cabinets. It’s an excellent way to give your space some personality. Neutral tones, blues, and greens are all popular color options for homeowners. Plus, painting is a cost-effective and straightforward DIY task.

However, try out a paint sample or two before going all out. It can save you time and money if it doesn’t look like you envisioned. Also, do the prep work properly before painting. Fill and lightly sand any cracked or flaking areas and wash any greasy spots thoroughly with soap.

9. Increase the Space’s Function

You may assume a bigger space is more efficient, but that’s not always the case. Additions can be costly – so instead of changing the current layout, just make it more functional.

For example, you can add cabinet-height pullout drawers in the kitchen. These can increase storage space and take up less room than bulkier shelves. You can also add racks and dividers to organize the drawers better.

Another idea is to add built-in bookshelves in the living room. These can display items like family photos or other decor. It can also hold everyday items, such as remotes or children’s toys. You can even have built-in storage underneath your stairs to keep things hidden.

10. Be Creative With Finding Ways to Bring in Natural Light

Natural light can brighten up a room and boost your mood. The first solution to bring in more light is to add larger windows. Although, this can be expensive and time-consuming. Instead, consider installing a light tube in your hallway or bathroom.

They capture daylight and spread it throughout your home, lowering your electricity bills. You can place them between roof rafters without harming the awning’s structural integrity. Also, hang more mirrors and paint with lighter colors to reflect more sunlight.

How to Save Money on Home Renovations

Making upgrades to your home is a rewarding experience that can increase its value. Oftentimes, though, money can be a concern. So, follow these tips to reduce your budget during your next renovation. You’ll enjoy the result even more knowing you made it happen yourself, or for pennies on the dollar.

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