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Remodeling Your Home on Budget

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How to save money when remodeling your home while maintaining your sense of style. Save labor costs by doing it yourself if you're handy and save materials costs with creative shopping if you're not.

So you've decided to take the plunge and remodel your home to better suit you. Congratulations! It's a huge undertaking and you'll need the enthusiasm and energy you feel now to carry you through when the going gets tough. It will get tough but it can be done and on budget!

Are you handy? If so you can save the most money on your house remodel by saving labor costs. It’s not easy being your own boss if you take on the entire project yourself, though. First you’ll need to decide if you’re really up to the task and if so, how much to handle yourself and how much to hand over to professionals. Do you have the time and experience? The ability to stick with projects when they last longer than you think? Don’t forget to take your relationship with your significant other into account, if applicable.

Home renovations can be tough on a relationship without adding exhaustion and unmet expectations to the list of things to stress about. However, do-it-yourself renovations can be both extremely frugal and satisfying to accomplish. One of the best benefits of doing things yourself is being able to upgrade finishes with the money you save on labor. Do be careful not to overspend on upgrades or your budget savings can go out the window. It can also be difficult to assess exactly how much to budget for materials when an inexperienced DIYer makes a costly mistake. Pad the budget by 10%, just in case.

Don’t despair if you don’t know which is the business end of a hammer. There are still ways to save money, especially if you have the time and motivation. Online shopping can be a great way to get fantastic deals on just about everything for your renovation. Aside from popular local and national auction sites, check the free section of classified ads for usable discards. Think it’s only junk? What about the divorcee who’s all too happy to unload a whole house full of perfectly fine furniture and fixtures for free just to get them out of sight quickly. With some patience and luck, you can benefit.

There are also lots of places to pick up closeouts on new materials and great deals on gently used cabinets and fixtures. Get to know some local real estate agents. They often have clients that are selling or even giving away things to be able to move quickly. You may be able to pick up things that you can barter with your contractors even if you don’t need them yourself.

It will take a lot of work on your part to oversee the project, even if you hire a general contractor to make sure things are going smoothly to be able to come in on budget. Most likely it’ll be your own self that will need to be kept in check since it’s all too easy to go with the upgraded version of everything that’s just a teensy bit more expensive and so exactly what you really want. Just remember to keep the big picture in mind and try to go for the splurges that will have the biggest impact. Try not to even look at things that are just above your price range but do look at the high end versions to find the styles you want to emulate. Keeping this vision in mind, you can make the compromises that you need to without feeling like you’re settling. You can do it and it will be worth the effort! Happy Renovating!

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