As a parent, you already know how quickly kids grow. And one thing you can count on is that it’s only going to speed up. Meanwhile, not only does your home stay the same size, but it also takes the brunt of the wear and tear that comes with growing pains. So there’s probably a good chance that at some point before you move out of your current home, you’ll get some work done to it. It could be for repairs, to update the look of your home, to accommodate your growing family, to increase the resale value of your home or it could be all of the above. There are many reasons why parents decide on a home reno project but one thing they all have in common is the desire to save money where they can when doing it. The tips in this post can help you do just that: save money on your home renovations.
First Things First – Plan!
And by plan, we mean budget. You need to know how much you have available for your home reno project, to the nickel if possible, and to be disciplined enough not to go over budget. It’s easy to get swept up in the moment and make purchases you don’t need to when it comes to upgrading/updating your home.
You’ll also want to put aside a portion of that budget for an emergency fund. There’s always the chance that you might end up having to pay for emergency repairs, for dinners out and maybe even a hotel stay. The rule of thumb is 10% of your budget but how much you’ll need could very well depend on the size of the job and the type of work being done. For bigger, more complicated projects like kitchen upgrades, you might want to put more away in reserve.
Once you have a ceiling, it’s a good idea to sit down and write down all your costs. This will show you where you’re spending your money and possible reductions you can make.
Or, as This Old House puts it, “Increase Efficiency, Not Size”. Which is basically to say that you don’t necessarily need to take out walls or add an extension to your home to give you more space. For example, look for ways to increase storage space by adding racks to cabinets and closets.
We also recommend focusing on one area of the home at a time. This will help you stay on budget, give you time to save more money, and reduce your stress!
Look for Sales, Discounts and Rebates
If you wait to make summer purchases in winter and winter purchases in the summer, you may find better deals. The same goes for contractors and installers. Booking work in the winter when contract work is notoriously slow could give you leverage to negotiate a better rate.
If you’re a member of a warehouse club, you may have discounts available to you for home renovations through your membership. Sam’s Club members, for example, get a 10% discount on home renos through Home Install Experts.
You can also check the “used” section of the stores you’re shopping at. You may be able to find materials in practically-new condition for a fraction of the price.
Finally, if you’re shopping for appliances, find out if there are any manufacturer rebates or financial incentives being offered by the federal government and/or your local government for buying “energy-efficient” models by visiting the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) website.
Spend Your Money Wisely
What’s most important in a home is different for everybody so deciding when to scrimp and when to splurge is up to your personal taste. However, it’s a good idea to spend the extra money on quality products for things that get a lot of use. Think countertops, floors, toilets, cabinet doors, faucets, etc. Not only will you want them to last longer, but these items also tend to get noticed by guests and potential homebuyers. If you are on a budget, start with the areas that see the most usage.
Do What You Can
You might think that because you watch home improvement shows on TV or online that it’s as easy as following along. Nothing can be further from the truth. Trying to do-it-yourself may end up costing you more money in emergency repairs. If you have done construction before, great. If you haven’t, you may still be able to reduce labor costs by starting with smaller projects that are meant to be done by homeowners or doing things that don’t require experience like renting a truck to haul your trash to the dump yourself.