5 Tips to a Home Remodel Project that Won’t Break The Bank

5 Tips to a Home Remodel Project that Won't Break The Bank
Image courtesy KJ Styles on Unsplash

Whether you’re out of space, and you don’t want (or can’t afford) to move, or you simply want to change the look of your home…a home remodel can be a costly endeavor.

You could take out a home equity loan to fund your home remodel, however who wants debt on top of all the stress of remodeling a home?

A smart move is to pay for your remodel with cash instead. 

Here’s how to set up a home remodel budget that will help you complete the changes you want without wrecking your finances in the process.: 

1. Scope

The budget you need will obviously depend on the scope of the project and the cost of materials (and labor if you plan to outsource the job) where you live.

Consider the average costs of popular home renovation projects:

If you planned to remodel just these three rooms alone it could cost you anywhere from $30,000 to $81,000 dollars!  That’s why it makes sense to play it smart when doing your remodel, whether or not you opt to take out a loan to get the job done.

2. Plan

Begin by planning the renovations that you need or want the most.  Or, if you’re renovating with resale in mind, then consider renovating those rooms which have shown to deliver the best return on investment such as the kitchen or bath.

Once you’ve determined the room(s) you’re going to renovate first, use Home Advisor’s guidelines to get a basic idea of what your renovation will cost.

Now that you’ve worked out your estimated cost, add roughly 15 to 20 percent to that figure.  

3. Get Estimates

If you’re hiring the job out get several estimates before going with any one company. 

A few things to keep in mind:

  • ⬥ Don’t automatically go with the lowest estimate. Cheap can mean cheap quality and it may cost you more when all is said and done.
  • ⬥ Ask people you trust for recommendations, but get quotes from several different vendors. 
  • ⬥ Check out the reputation of the person you’re considering hiring. Look for online reviews and ask the provider for examples of previous work they’ve done.
  • ⬥ Any reputable service provider will be happy to furnish you with testimonials of former clients so don’t be afraid to ask for them.

4. Budget

This assumes that you’ve already got the rest of your budget well in hand, that you’ve got emergency cash set aside for a rainy day and that you’re able to regularly save money.

If this is you, then it’s not too difficult to work out how much you need to set aside each month to fund the cost of your renovation. 

It’s advisable not to begin renovations until you have all (or nearly all) of the money set aside. 

However, if you’re renovating a room that isn’t used on a regular basis, that won’t expose a portion of your home to the elements, and/or that is relatively minor in scope, then you can realistically begin renovations before you’ve got the entire amount set aside. 

Your own judgment is paramount here, as each person’s situation is different.

5. DIY part of the project

Finally, one way to reduce your home remodel costs is to do part of it yourself. If you’re not comfortable with the “building” part of things you could do one or more of the following tasks to cut costs.:

Demolition

Tear up old carpet and/or linoleum, remove cabinets, etc. yourself and clean everything up so that your contractor can get straight to work.

Find low cost materials

Speak with your contractor to find out what materials they’ll need to do the job, then shop for low cost materials yourself. This will give you full control of the material side of the renovation equation.

Hire subcontractors yourself

If the job is big enough that your contractor will need to hire out help, consider finding subcontractors yourself. This could save you a considerable amount of money. Don’t be afraid to stipulate this in the terms of the contract. It’s your money, after all.

DIY paint

Save a few hundred bucks – or more – and do some or all of the painting yourself!

When you are thinking about remodeling, remember to plan with HomeZada and its templates.

For other remodeling tips, check out these posts:

How To Prepare for a Home Remodel

How to Stay Within Your Remodel Budget

How to Prioritize Your Remodeling Projects