A home remodel project includes a number of different components, such as demolition, drywall repair, fixture installation, and clean up. All these stages are associated with their project cost estimates and prices, which may increase as the job is underway if additional issues need to be addressed.
During a project, you may incur added costs if your home isn’t up to code, you need to make structural changes, or you have to find alternate accommodations while work occurs. The average cost to remodel an entire home is $47,000, which can be quite an investment. Before you get discouraged, consider some ways you can save money on your home improvement project. These money-saving strategies can make your home remodel easier to achieve without breaking the bank.
1. Create a Budget
Without a budget, it’s hard to keep track of how much you’re spending on your renovation project. Before you begin work, estimate the costs associated with it, from start to completion, including:
- Clean up.
Making a budget and ensuring you’re sticking with it through every phase helps eliminate some of the surprises that could negatively impact your long-term financial situation.
2. Do Your Research
Become an expert on the type of project you want to tackle before you begin. There are many resources, such as books on construction, videos, and experts to help you understand the process.
Speak with friends or family members who have done recent home remodeling projects and listen to their stories. When you do extensive research, you may find it easier to identify potential challenges before they occur. This allows you to prepare financially and within your estimated timeline for these problems.
3. Make a Plan
Create a plan that includes a detailed vision of your completed project and all the steps you need to take to get there. Your plan should include a rough timeline of the project and cost estimates for each phase.
The information included in your plan depends on the type of home renovation you’re performing, but may include demolition, installation, and finishing touches. With a solid plan, you know what to expect and it’s easier to stay on budget.
4. Obtain Permits
When you’re trying to save money on your home improvement project, it’s tempting to skip permit applications. However, if your project requires a permit, it’s more financially beneficial to obtain the permits before completing the work. If you don’t, you may be forced to tear up the project after it’s completed and re-do it according to code, which can cost you double.
Permit laws vary by location but, most of the time, you need a permit for:
- Electrical work;
- Structural changes;
- Moving a fence line;
- HVAC work;
- Plumbing work;
- Window installation.
Painting, replacing bathroom fixtures, or installing new lighting generally doesn’t require permits but it’s best to check with a contractor first.
5. Consider the Time of Year
Inclement weather can slow down your progress, which increases what you’re paying for labor or alternate lodging. If you plan to hire a contractor for help with remodeling, keep in mind, they’re most likely more in demand in the summer months since the weather during that time of year is usually more favorable for construction. Consider taking a chance and starting your project in the fall to potentially cut down on contractor costs.
For smaller projects, you may be able to remodel your home yourself without a contractor, which could save you money. However, this option is only worth it if you already have the DIY home tools you need for the project and if you know you can complete the project quickly and achieve quality work.
7. Hire a Contractor
If your home remodel project includes tasks you’re not equipped to complete or don’t feel comfortable doing, you may need to enlist the help of a remodeling contractor. There are many complex home renovation projects you shouldn’t DIY, especially those that involve electrical, restructuring, or plumbing work.
Before you hire and work with a contractor, ensure they have experience with your specific project, and check their references. When you’ve narrowed down your choices, ask your contractors for bids on your project so you can review their cost estimates. When you choose the contractor with the most reasonable pricing for their quality of work, you’ll save money on the job.
8. Utilize Used Materials
If you decide to buy used materials or repurpose the materials you already have, you can save a substantial amount in your budget. The average bathroom remodel budget includes 10% to 20% in brand-new fixtures alone. If you repaint, refinish, or repurpose your current vanity and tub, you can easily complete a bathroom remodel under budget.
9. Haul Your Materials
Clean up and haul away can also be hefty expenses because they may require hours of labor. Most homeowners spend about $200 to $300 on debris haul away. If you invest your sweat equity and haul the materials away to your local landfill or recycling facility yourself, you’ll save money on the project.
In 2019, it cost an average of $55.36 per ton to dump debris into a landfill and that number is expected to continue increasing. Before spending money to dump materials or items you no longer need, consider donating them. If these items are in good shape, you can take them to a thrift store or donation center, such as Habitat for Humanity, for free.
11. Consider Look-Alikes
Use designer brands to pull inspiration for your design and decor. However, when it comes time to buy the fixtures and accessories for your project, consider purchasing lesser-known brand-name items to save money.
12. Avoid Moving Plumbing
The average cost to move a single plumbing line is between $650 and $1,500 but this price doesn’t include fixing the drywall or other damage that’s caused when you move these pipes. If your current project layout involves moving plumbing lines, it may be beneficial to explore other alternatives.
13. Rent Tools
Your home improvement project may call for specialty tools. Instead of investing in tools that you may only need once or twice, consider renting them instead. For example, a multi-functional tile saw costs about $1,200 to buy, or you can rent one for about $50 a day. You can save a significant amount of money on your project when you choose to rent tools instead of purchasing them.
Home remodeling can be an expensive undertaking but most projects are well worth the investment. To ensure your next renovation project remains budget-friendly, use these tips to save money throughout the process.