Sticking to a budget is critical when renovating a home. Very rarely will you find homeowners with unlimited spending capital to fix up their place. Most homeowners must determine their budget and avoid busting it at all costs. Otherwise they’ll find themselves in financial hot water and nobody wants that.
We’d like to help. Here’s 10 ways to spend wisely on your next home renovation.
1. DIY, Anyone?
Right off the bat, if you have the necessary skills and experience needed for your upcoming renovation project you should put them to work. If not, you’ll end up paying a contractor a pretty penny for labor. Hands down, quality always beats price, so if you lack the skills please avoid doing it yourself. But on the other hand, if you can do the work and do it right, you’ll save a lot of money on contractor costs.
2. Complete Your Own Demo Work
Demolition is usually how most home renovations begin. You do realize that you don’t need to be a skilled craftsman to knock down sheetrock walls, take down studs and remove what’s no longer needed, right? How about doing it yourself?
As an example, if you’re putting in a new deck in your backyard, why not take down the old one yourself? You’ll save money in labor costs that you can use for other critical aspects of the project.
3. Replace Kitchen Cabinets
Even if you choose to forgo fixing up the entire kitchen, replacing kitchen cabinets is always a nice way to spruce up the place. But don’t go too crazy when choosing new cabinets. Pick an affordable, good quality option based on research, previous testimonials, and reviews from happy customers. You can find high-quality, low-cost kitchen cabinets online on this website where they ran a recent survey.
4. Replacing Everything Might Not Be the Best Option
In certain cases, you may want to completely renovate and remodel an entire room. But this might not be the best option if you’re following a strict budget. So instead of replacing everything, stick to the notion that some improvements are better than none.
As an example, if you intend to renovate your kitchen, consider resurfacing your kitchen cabinets and putting on new hardware. Upgrade your refrigerator and dishwasher to more energy-efficient models. Maybe slap on a new coat of paint. But leave everything else as it is to save money.
5. Consider Selling Some of Your Old Stuff
While not necessarily a tip for spending wisely, recommending selling your old stuff is a good tip all the same. If your old furniture and appliances are in relatively good shape, you can put them on sale on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or another online market that lets you sell your goods for cash.
6. Pay Your Contractors with Cash Instead of Credit
This tip could help you in multiple ways. First off, some contractors are willing to give their customers a discount when they pay cash for their services. So you might end up getting a price reduction by offering to pay them in cash.
On the other hand, by using cash instead of credit you’ll avoid potentially paying heavy interest later on. This is wise if you’ll have to pay for your renovations using a credit card or a personal loan. Paying interest later on could end up costing thousands of dollars extra over the long run, so avoid it like the plague.
7. Avoid Making Big Purchases until Items Go on Sale
Big-ticket items go on sale regularly throughout the year. So be patient and willing to wait for the next sale before replacing power tools, appliances, outdoor furniture, indoor furniture, lawn care items, and more. Think about the big American holidays (July 4th, Labor Day, etc.), Black Friday, and other similar days and wait to make purchases on high ticket items until these holidays roll around.
8. Cost-Saving Opportunities Pay Dividends Over the Long Run
While potentially expensive upfront, certain appliances and renovations will lower your overall costs and monthly expenses for the long term. So do not be afraid to invest in things like energy-efficient appliances, new insulation, new windows and doors, and any other potential cost-saving opportunities. You might spend money now, but your monthly heating, air-conditioning, and energy bills will cost a heck of a lot less for many years to come.
9. Use Rewards Credit Cards to Pay for Your Renovations
Warning: this tip only applies to financially responsible people. If you aren’t responsible with your finances, you could end up digging yourself into a deep hole of credit card debt. You’ve been warned.
Now, those financially responsible should pay for supplies, labor, and everything else using rewards credit cards. But the caveat is that you have to pay the full balance on your credit cards right away to avoid paying interest to fully benefit from this tip. If you spend enough and rack up serious rewards points, you might end up with a free family vacation, free plane tickets to any destination in the world, or other great rewards like gift cards, hotel rooms, and cash.
10. Purchase a Mix of Low-End and High-End Materials
Not all of your renovations materials need to cost top dollar. Certain things like beautiful quartz countertops and other statement pieces should undoubtedly get the royal treatment. But other areas do not necessarily need high-end, top-quality materials even though it may feel that way right now. So think about your entire project and figure out where you can save money by buying lesser quality materials.
Home renovations are very exciting for most of us, but they are also challenging when you have to stick to a strict budget. The best advice to spend wisely on your next home renovation is this: budget wisely, try not to get in over your head, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty if it will help you save a buck or two.