7 Tips for Getting the Most from your Remodeling Budget

Cost-conscious homeowners get the most from their budget with proven tips for how to save money on remodeling. Living in a home you spent too much money renovating takes the shine off those updates. Conversely, when you stick to these tips for saving money on home remodeling, knowing you got great bang for every buck you spent will enhance your enjoyment in the years to come.

1. Do Some of the Work Yourself

If you have the skills, experience and time to do all the work yourself, you can expect to cut costs by as much as 50 percent. Homeowners with less time and experience can reduce costs by doing some of the work, usually the demolition part. Removing old flooring, counter tops, cabinets, plumbing fixtures and light fixtures requires hard work and safety precautions, but not professional-level skill.

2. Choose Functionality Over Size

A cramped kitchen makes getting work done more difficult, but so does an oversized space where you must take several extra steps from the refrigerator to the stove. The same principle is true in the bathroom or laundry where extra space has no clear advantage. In short, spend your money on making remodeled areas functional – big enough, but not so big the space and money spent on it are wasted.

3. Upgrade Rather than Replace Cabinets

If the cabinets are in good condition but are simply dated, you have options such as re-facing them, painting them or refinishing them. Replacing outdated hardware gives them a fresh look too.

4. Keep Water and Gas Where it Is

Remodeled kitchens, bathrooms and laundry areas that don’t require changes to the location of water lines and gas lines are significantly more affordable.

5. Hire Contractors Yourself

This tip can bring moderate reward, but it is high-risk too. You will save the General Contractor fee if you hire the subcontractors for framing, exterior work, plumbing, electrical, flooring, counter tops and more. There are several risks in this approach you should know about. It takes time to interview several contractors and get estimates for each task. They must be scheduled properly to ensure that work is done in logical order and a timely manner. Remodeling contractors know the best subcontractors in your area and which ones to avoid, and scheduling the workflow is their expertise.

6. Be Wise About Good, Better and Best

Everything you’re considering as part of the remodel is available in good, better and best quality options with rising prices across the spectrum. Take an example from flooring: Vinyl sheet flooring embossed to mimic hand-scraped wood planking is good; laminate flooring with a photographic applique of wood is better; solid wood flooring is best. The principle applies to counter tops, cabinets, lighting, appliances, plumbing fixtures…everything. You’ll find items in every price category that fit your unique sense of style, so saving money doesn’t force you into a remodel that is dull and indistinct.

All your options are new, attractive and functional. If that is sufficient for your remodeling goals, then good-quality items offer the best value. With that approach, you can maximize your savings or splurge on a few items, perhaps a kitchen island with power outlets and a prep sink if you love to cook or a jetted tub in the master suite if a relaxing haven is your goal, and keep your overall budget quite low.

7. Pass on Neutral Paint

If you’re planning to sell your home, then neutral colors are a better choice. When, however, you’re remodeling your home for your enjoyment, use rich, luxurious colors that will put a distinctively new face on your home’s interior. Paint is inexpensive, and even dark colors can be covered in taupe tones if you one-day decide to sell.