A home renovation, be it a single room or a complete overhaul, can do a wonder of good. Not only can you create a space with the utmost comfort and efficiency, but you can also significantly increase the resale value of your home.
But renovations are notoriously expensive and it’s easy to let them spiral out of financial control. Don’t let that happen. There are a number of ways to save money on your home renovation. Here are five strategies to consider.
Invest Some Sweat Equity
It will always be cheaper to do something yourself than pay someone else. The more of the renovation you can handle, the more money you’ll be able to save. Exactly how much of the project you can DIY will vary considerably based on your skillset and the scale of the remodeling, but even the least handy homeowners can find a place to pitch in.
The best places to focus on are the front and back ends of the projects that don’t require skilled, licensed professionals. For instance, most people are likely capable of doing some demolition work. Similarly, you might be able to handle some of the renovation’s finishing touches, such as painting or landscaping.
Two things to consider when taking on home renovation projects. First, if you have the willpower but lack the tools, you can usually rent them from hardware stores. This will prevent you from having to purchase items you may never use again. Second, if your project requires a permit, you’ll need it in hand before you start tearing down walls.
Do Your Own Transporting
If you’re not up for any home demolition work, you can get involved in your home renovation — and save some money — simply by driving. Retailers and contractors usually charge a material delivery fee for getting the necessary supplies to your house. You can eliminate this extra charge by picking up the items yourself. If you don’t have a vehicle large enough to haul the construction material and can’t borrow one, you can always rent a truck or trailer. While this may cost you a bit upfront, if you use it for a few trips, it can more than pay for itself.
Leave the Sink, Take the Savings
If you’re doing a kitchen or bathroom renovation, you may be tempted to move the location of the sink, bathtub or toilet. Unfortunately, this will be a costly move. Plumbing can often be one of the largest expenses in a home renovation. Not only will you need to pay for materials, you’ll have to hire a professional plumber to do the work.
Unless your heart is dead set on a design that requires moving one of these large features, keep them where they are and work your renovation around them. You may find that you can make other changes, like opening up a wall, that may yield greater results for a lower price tag.
Add Light Without Windows
Natural light is a big selling point with homes, but cutting a hole in your house to add a new or larger window can be pricey. You may find adding a feature such as a skylight or light tube, which funnels sunlight down into the living space, to be less expensive than adding a window.
But there are tricks to brightening a room without any construction. Painting the space bright white or eggshell will reflect more light around the room. Adding a mirror or two will do the same. Even something as simple as changing the lightbulbs can help. Full spectrum bulbs are designed to emulate midday sunlight.
Shop Recycled and Reused
Few savings methods are as effective as purchasing reused items over new ones, and this strategy can reap big financial rewards on your home renovation. Resale shops, salvage yards, material auctions and the like all sell new and gently used building supplies for a fraction of the cost of major retailers. You can also check selling sites like eBay to see what people are offering. You never know what you can find!
A great place to start your shopping is at a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The non-profit operates more than 900 of these locations across the country. Customers can purchase everything from appliances to building materials to furniture for below retail prices. Even better — all the money goes toward helping Habitat for Humanity continue its incredible work.
Whether you’re ready to do the work now or need a bit more time to plan, it’s always a great time to start saving. Learn about all the ways AAA and Discover can help you save money and handle your financial needs.