Anybody who's gone through a home remodel knows that they rarely go according to plan or budget. But as time passes and styles change, you must keep your home in proper repair and up to date in order to maintain and increase its value. With the average kitchen and bathroom remodel costing $20,556 and $9,348 (according to Homeadvisor), respectively, any renovation is bound to set you back a decent amount of cash. To help you accomplish the repairs and renovations you need while saving when possible, here are some ways to slash the bill of your next remodel.
1. Schedule your remodeling when contractors have less business.
Generally, contractors are busiest in summer and fall. If you wait until the slower winter or spring season to schedule your work, you may be able to negotiate a discount.
2. Evaluate maintenance and long-term costs before making a plan.
There are a number of scenarios where paying for a more expensive material up front will provide savings down the line that more than make up for the initial expense, particularly if you plan on staying in your home for a longer period of time. For example, if your house needs exterior paint, consider siding instead. While you'll pay several thousand dollars initially, siding is a more permanent solution that eliminates the need for and expense of future paint jobs.
3. Use existing plumbing/electrical locations when possible.
Moving pipes for sinks and toilets can rack up plumbing fees fast, and electricians' wiring charges don't come cheap either. As you formulate your remodel plans, consider keeping existing locations of sinks, toilets, and wiring; the less you move, the less you'll pay.
4. Stick with standard sizes.
While you're certainly free to install oddly sized doors, windows, and bathtubs, they'll cost you dearly. Standard sized materials look just as good and function just as well for a lower price.
5. Expand your horizons when buying materials.
Materials make up a large portion of any remodel bill. Here are some options for lowering your materials bill:
Ask your contractor if you can buy leftover supplies from other jobs. Contractors often end up with a stockpile of odds and ends from completed jobs, and they may be happy to unload some of that inventory at a great price to you.
Shop used and salvage materials and fixtures at places like Habitat for Humanity's ReStores. Note: be sure to check with your contractor before buying salvage items, because some contractors will not install used materials.
Visit building supply auctions to save on overstock materials and other supplies.
6. Tackle some jobs yourself.
Talk to your contractor about tasks you could perform to save money. For example, if you hire a contractor to remodel your bathroom, ask if you could save on your total bill by removing the existing tub, vanity, and other fixtures yourself. Cleaning up after the construction crew and painting are other tasks you may be able to perform yourself to save on labor costs.
Related reading: Spruce Up Your Home with 4 Simple DIY Projects
7. Recoup some costs by selling old materials.
Inevitably, you'll end up with a lot of trash when you remodel. Remember that one person's trash is another's treasure! Sell old appliances, fixtures, and materials via websites to defray some of the costs of your remodel.
While any home remodel will cost you a pretty penny, there are ways to save if you look and are willing to put in a little time. Next time you upgrade your home, use these tips to save where you can.