How to save on home improvement and building costs
Most of us see plenty of dollar signs when we think about building or renovating our homes. And why wouldn’t we? Home construction costs are up as much as 3 percent nationally from 2017, relators and contractors say.
There are so many projects to choose from as we imagine our dream homes. Every single one has different prices. Kitchens, baths, painting, roofing, siding, HVAC, plumbing, dry wall and crown moldings are only a few. Many people take on a combination of needs, so they need to make sure their budgets are in place.
Fortunately, there are ways to save money on every type of home improvement project, even when you hire a contractor to avoid the headaches of a do-it-yourself project. Here are a handful:
- Limit the size of your project. Does your kitchen or bathroom simply need a new look instead of a complete overhaul? Hire a contractor to replace cabinetry or flooring instead of gutting the entire room. That will save thousands and the area will still look fresh and new to you and guests.
- Do prep work yourself. It will help your contractor out and save you some serious cash. Rip up old carpet yourself. Take off cabinet doors or remove tile. Talk to the staff at your local hardware store or do a Google search for tips. There is a lot you can do on your own before your contractor comes in to do the heavy lifting.
- Pay cash. Save the money for your project instead of taking out a loan or line of credit. It could save you a lot in interest that will build up if you pay over time.
- Reuse materials. You can save a lot by using existing cabinets, appliances or other materials. A cabinet reface is much less expensive than installing new cabinetry.
- Use mid-level materials. Many are just as beautiful and have the same quality as expensive high-end materials. Talk to your contractor about your options and go over every detail. As they say, the devil is in the details. Pay attention.
Meet with at least three contractors to evaluate the fairest bid. Explain that you are trying to keep costs low and receive the highest quality work possible. Ask each potential candidate if they complete projects on time. Pay attention to how they describe what they do. Get all estimates in writing and trust your instincts. But keep in mind, cheapest isn’t necessarily best. In some cases, you get what you pay for.
With some research, attention to detail and open communication with your contractor, you can lower some of the costs of your home renovation. That will also save you time and stress throughout the course of your project.
Good luck – and happy building!
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