If you’ve got plans for renovating your home this can be a great investment. The right home improvement project could really increase the value of your property and your curb appeal as well. Ideally, you want to save money where possible, however, as home renovations can be very costly. With a few tips and tricks you can find places to cut costs and remain with a realistic budget. Here are twelve clever ways to save money on your next home improvement project.
Stick to a realistic budget
One of the main things to consider when buying property is the long-term investment. Many people budget for renovations before buying and opt for a house that’s more of a fixer-upper. If you’re planning on selling you need to consider how much the home improvement work you do will add to the value of the property. Either way, it’s important to stick to a realistic budget. It’s not advisable to go over your original budget and eat into your savings or max out your credit card. Figure out what you can afford from the get-go and communicate this clearly to your contractors.
Choose the right contractor
You’re going to be in close contact with your contractor so it’s important to find one you can trust. Shop around and speak to a few, often you can base this on a gut feeling. As well building a rapport with them, however, you’ll need to get a few quotes and compare prices. You could also ask for recommendations and referrals from people in your neighborhood. If someone you know hired a home window contractor, for example, speak to them to find out about their experience.
Opt for standard shapes and sizes
One way to save money, whatever your home improvement project, is to opt for standard shapes and sizes if possible. Bespoke designs are much more expensive, so it’s better to avoid strangely shaped fittings where you can. If your windows or rooms are odd shapes there may not be much you can do but shop around and find the best designers that will cater to these. Try and go for standard sizes as well as these will be more widely available.
DIY what you can
Even if you’re not very experienced, what better opportunity to brush up your DIY skills? Certain tasks are easier than they look and if you manage to do them yourselves you’ll save a lot of money on labor costs. Watch a few YouTube tutorials to get an idea. Once you get a bit of practice doing this like painting, plastering, and even tiling, this will be very satisfying. You’ll learn useful new skills for life!
Borrow or rent tools
If you are going to do some DIY yourself but don’t have much equipment, it’s often cheaper to borrow or rent tools rather than buy them outright. You might not use the new tools you buy very often, especially if they’re for a specialist project. Here are some of the best tool rental services in 2021 for you to check out. Compare the prices of rented tools compared to new ones in the store and bear in mind how long you’ll need to use them for. Better yet, see if you have a friend, family member, or neighbor who might lend you some in exchange for a home-cooked meal.
Use tried and tested methods
Another good piece of advice if you’re planning on doing DIY is to use tried and tested methods. Don’t try to attempt something totally new or difficult. This goes the same for your contractors. Speak to them about your plans and ensure they have plenty of experience in the type of work you need. This way you can have peace of mind that there hopefully won’t be any errors leading to unforeseen costs.
Look for second-hand items
If you’d like to save money on your home improvement project, you should consider going used. There are plenty of places to buy second-hand items such as furniture, building materials, decking, appliances, and more. Often these are as good as new but perhaps duplicates or spares. If you’re not experienced in looking for second-hand items, here are a few tips for finding furniture on Facebook Marketplace, for example. This is a great place where you can get just about anything and shopping here can end up turning into a fun hobby. You can find great deals and it’s more environmentally-friendly as well.
Source recycled materials
You could also try to source low-cost building materials or recycled materials for your home improvement project. Research in your local area. This is a much more common option nowadays and it can save you money. It’s also a more sustainable choice. Building sites will get rid of surplus materials so find out if there are any available near you. You could also look into reupholstering furniture with recycled materials and other creative upcycling projects. This a more original way to decorate your home and your upcycled creations will make lovely conversation pieces.
Create a feature wall
If you’d like to save money on materials, one clever trick is to build a feature wall. For example, if you’re remodelling your kitchen or bathroom but can't afford to cover the entire room in expensive tiling, you could create a feature instead. Use bespoke tiling for one section of the wall and a cheaper tile for the rest. The same idea works for expensive wallpaper, or if you want to create a feature with exposed brick. Get creative, and you find a design that really enhances the space, but stay within budget.
Avoid moving certain fixtures
One other way to save on your next remodel, especially if you’re renovating your kitchen or bathroom, is to avoid moving certain fixtures. Changing the electrics or plumbing of a house can be complicated and costly, so leave things like appliances, showers, and faucets in the same place. You can then change the decor around them and still transform the space. Your contractor will be able to give you advice on this and provide the best solution for you.
Sell your surplus materials
If you have surplus materials when you finish your home improvement project, you can sell these online. You’d be surprised what people will be and you can make a little cash on the side to help pay for your project. Facebook Marketplace will even have groups dedicated to building materials, so it’s well worth checking this out. Alternatively, you could put an ad on a noticeboard in a community center in your local neighborhood. You can also sell your old furniture and other household items. Try out a couple of second-hand websites. People love a bargain so as long as what you’ve got in good condition you should be able to shift it.
Track your spending
Even though you’ve spent hours meticulously setting your budget, you need to keep track of your spending to ensure you don’t get carried away. You could try using one of the best spending tracker apps, for example. These monitor all your expenses and you can divide your overall budget up into different areas. This makes it easier to look for ways to cut costs as well. With home improvement projects, unforeseen costs are likely and unfortunately there’s not much you can do about this. If you plan ahead and control your spending, however, you should be able to keep to a realistic budget, and you’ll hopefully have emergency funds just in case.