Home renovations cost money, and expense can quickly snowball if you don’t manage your expectations. With the price of materials and labor nowadays, it doesn’t just take a few hundred dollars to fund a project. Most renovations start at $10,000 and get more expensive as the project scale gets bigger.
Before embarking on a home renovation project, it’s always recommended to come up with a detailed, realistic plan and reasonable budget to put a cork on your expenses. There are several ways you can control the cost of your project, like using cash to pay for materials and balancing the quality of materials you use.
Read on to find out what else you can do to manage your renovation expenses.
Create a Budget Plan
Creating a budget is not about how much you are willing to spend but how much you can spend. Start your budget plan by getting the exact amount of how much you are able to allot for your home renovation. This will help you choose a design that’s within your budget to achieve.
List down what you want to do and what you need—cabinets, fixtures, flooring, organizers, paint, etc. Then get quotes for the cost of materials and labor. Once you have a comprehensive list with quotes, go through it, and remove items that don’t work with your budget.
A quote is not an exact calculation but an estimate at that time. Prices can change or stocks can run out, so make allowances for unexpected expenses.
Pay in Cash
Paying in cash is one of the best ways to stay on track with your budget while renovating. The money goes through your hands, so you’re always aware of your spending.
When you purchase with a credit card, you’ll have to factor in interest and possible surcharges. The same goes when you get a loan, which should be reserved for when you’re selling your house. In which case, there will be a return, which can help you pay off your loan quickly.
Of course, paying in cash isn’t convenient or accepted all the time, especially when you’re purchasing online. Before embarking on your renovation project, learn all about your credit card (e.g., the interest rate, interest calculation method, credit limit, fees, etc.). This way, you can take into account the fees you need to pay on top of the price. Regularly check and record your statements during the renovation to avoid going over the budget.
Take Advantage of Sales
There are several opportunities in a year—like Black Friday, Christmas, and Easter sales—to save on buying materials for your renovation. Prices can go down as much as 50 percent during major, which makes it the perfect time to make big purchases, like electronics, power tools, furniture.
Online shops, aside from physical stores, also have their special offers and exclusive deals. Being patient and waiting for seasonal promotions will give more room to work on your budget.
Combine High- and Low-End Materials
When it comes to materials, you will almost always get what you paid for. You don’t need to use the highest-quality materials to get good results all the time. When you’re renovating on a budget, the best way to save on materials is to balance between the high- and low-end stuff.
For cabinets and organizers, you can get ready-to-assemble ones, but don’t scrimp on crucial materials, such as flooring, countertops, and fixtures. These part will need a lot of work to replace, so they need to be able to withstand long use.
Some cheap tools and materials can be dangerous to safety and security of your home. Weak and faulty wiring can cause accidental fire and electrocution, so it’s always best to get the high-
end items. This is the same for sockets, breakers, and anything that has to do with the power connection in the house.
Think Long-Term and Efficient
Don’t compromise on things that are as good as permanent in your house. It will be hard and expensive to replace or reorganize things like the flooring and drainage system of your house. As such, your most important considerations are the durability of the materials and the efficiency of the design.
You need to think of the efficiency and long-term use and savings of your fixtures too. Although LED lights are slightly more expensive than standard incandescent light bulbs are, they are more practical than the latter because they last much longer and consume very little energy while producing the same brightness.
You would also want to use water-efficient fixtures, like low-flow showerheads and faucets and low-flush toilets. You may want to consider using high-efficiency upflush Saniflo toilets and avoid extensive work of breaking the ground for a new drainage system.
Almost everything in the house can be reused, especially if they’re still in good condition. Even some items that you think are junk can be repurposed into something new.
Before you throw out something, ask yourself if there’s a way to reuse it. For example, old wooden furniture that has lost its luster can be cleaned and refinished to bring back its shine. Or they can be transformed into vintage pieces with the right technique.
For the things you can’t reuse, you can either sell them or donate them if you think they can be useful to others. There are organizations, like Habitat for Humanity, that will accept your donated materials and even help you take them down for free.
Another’s trash can also be your treasure. Hit up recycling centers to find cheap, used materials that you can still make use of. A word of warning, though: contractors may not choose used materials to avoid accountability in case there are unforeseen damages.
Do It Yourself
Leave the heavy lifting to the contractors. But if it’s within your abilities, you may as well do it yourself. Painting the wall, assembling furniture, restoring furniture, and even attaching flooring can be done even without professional experience.
Labor is paid by the hour. So the more work carpenters do, the more time it takes and the more you will pay. Before starting a project, you should be clear about the work that you can do and those that will be left to the contractor.
Embarking on home improvement projects is the best time to learn how to DIY. You can gain plenty of practical skills and knowledge that will be useful for maintaining your home and saving on costly renovations later on.
Replace When Necessary
If you’re moving into a new house, you need to replace a few things to ensure your security. Whether it’s functioning or not, you should always change the door locks immediately during renovation.
The previous owners or someone you don’t know may still have copies of the keys. When buying new locks, test their security with a set of skeleton keys, and make sure they can’t be lockpicked easily.
Home renovations may cost a lot, and the expenses can quickly go out of control if you don’t create and stick to a budget. Plan wisely, and make a budget spreadsheet before starting on a project. This will help you make realistic choices for a money-saving renovation.
However, while it’s good to save money, you shouldn’t compromise on the vital parts, like foundations, flooring, wiring, drainage. Buying cheap materials and taking shortcuts can put your family at risk and cost you more later on.
Learn to balance high- and low-end materials, and think of long-term and efficiency. Do the work yourself if it doesn’t sacrifice quality and safety, but leave the most crucial parts to the pros.