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Cutting costs and reducing waste on home improvement projects

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Many homeowners associate cutting costs with cutting corners, which can put their personal safety at risk. And some projects can also produce a great amount of waste (having a negative impact on the environment).
But there are ways to save money while still making sure their homes are safe and sound; and steps can be taken to reduce waste:

Use Recycled Materials

Homeowners can greatly benefit from and save a lot of money (as well as reducing waste) by using recycled materials for small-scale DIY (do-it-yourself) projects, which can be purchased at various locations (for example, Habitat for Humanity has its own line of ReStores (nonprofit home improvement stores that sell recycled building materials at a steep discount). For more info and store locations, go to www.habitat.org.
And always save salvageable materials (like lumber, hardware, fixtures and appliances); There's several organizations that collect these materials, which can be reused by other organizations or homeowners either now or at a later date.

Whenever Possible, Schedule Projects During the Offseason

By postponing projects until the slow season, contractors are more likely to offer discounts in an attempt to stay busy and continue to generate income. Savings will vary depending on a number of factors, but it's very likely that homeowners can save as much as 5 percent (or more) on the overall cost of the project.

Consider Adaptability When Designing a New Home

The U. S. Census Bureau has estimated that within the last decade, roughly half of all homeowners have lived in their homes for at least 10 years.
If building a new house, do so with the expectation that you'll one day move out or even outgrow it- ensure that your home is easily adaptable: Prospective buyers won't have to make costly overhauls, it's less waste overall, is financially sound and also eco-friendly.

Sources: “How to cut costs on your home improvement project” by MetroServices-Valley Homes guide-The (Sunday) Vindicator, Feb. 2, 2014 and “Tips to help you reduce home improvement project waste” by MetroServices-Valley Homes magazine-The (Sunday) Feb. 9, 2014

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