8 Ways to Save When Remodeling

posted June 14, 2019 in Blog

Does your home need some love this summer? With warmer weather finally here, many homeowners are considering making minor and major improvements around their home. However, these renovations can be pricey. The average kitchen remodel tops $60,000 and a bathroom overhaul can run $18,000. No worries, though! With some careful planning and smart choices, you can shave thousands off the cost of renovations.

Here are 8 terrific ways to save when remodeling:

1. Don’t do a complete remodel

It’s tempting to want to go all out once you’re in the process of remodeling, but unless structural damage demands that a room or area be completely gutted, there’s rarely a reason to start from scratch. Instead of knocking down walls and hallways, try to envision the outdated area with a fresh coat of paint, new light fixtures and some minor décor changes. Is your kitchen a total blast from the past? Instead of giving it an overhaul, consider replacing the drawer handles and knobs, staining  or painting the cabinets and replacing trim and moldings. Perfecting old cabinets can be a full 50% less expensive than putting in brand new ones.

Potential money saved: $30,000

2. Shop around for a contractor

Choosing a contractor is not a decision to take lightly. You’ll want to find someone honest, professional and reliable – and willing to give you a decent price. Don’t hire anyone on the spot; check out at least three different contractors before making your decision. Ask for references and meet with each contractor in person to get a feel for their character and professional conduct. Take note of whether they show up on time and their willingness to answer questions. Doing these simple tasks will provide you with important clues about their reliability. Be sure to ask your prospective contractor if they generally stick to their schedules or tend to fall behind. In this business, time is money, and a delay in a project’s completion can cost you a pretty penny. Finally, be sure to sign a detailed contract before making any final decisions. The contract should stipulate the final cost and estimated timeframe for the project.

Potential money saved: Several thousand dollars

3. Consider long–term costs and benefits

You don’t want to choose the most expensive option for every remodeling decision you’re going to make, but it often makes sense to pay more now if it’ll save you big further down the line. For example, if you’re installing clapboard siding, you’ll save in the long run by paying more for pre-primed and pre painted boards. Using the more expensive prefinished claps means you’ll need half as many paint jobs in the future.

Potential money saved: $1,250 (for a 10×40 area)

4. Pick decent but midgrade materials

Choosing the cheapest materials usually ends up costing more in the future. But that doesn’t mean go with the most lavish and expensive. In general, it’s best to go with the midgrade option whenever possible. One significant area where you’ll see this at play is in carpeting. Basic olefin and polyester carpeting will run you $1 to $2 per square foot, while wool costs upward of $9 per square foot.

Potential money saved: $400 (for a 40-square-foot area)

5. Bring in natural light without windows

Looking to add a splash of sunshine in your kitchen? Don’t cut that gigantic hole in the side of your house just yet! Adding windows is a major deal and there are other, less expensive ways of bringing sunlight into your home. Instead, consider installing a “light tube.” This genius contraption slips between the rafters on your roof and works to funnel sunshine down and into the living space below. Adding a double-pane window can run you $1,500, while a light tube is only $500.

Potential money saved: $1,000

6. Lend a hand

You don’t have to be super-handy to help out and save money at the same time. You can easily do some of the demolition work yourself, paint some walls or even sand the walls to prep them for painting.

Potential money saved: $200 a day or more

7. Increase efficiency, not size

If you feel like your kitchen is too cramped and you need to push out some walls to make it work, think again. You can more easily reorganize your kitchen for maximum efficiency and save tens of thousands of dollars. Replace large, clumsy shelves with pullout drawers that are equipped with racks for easy, aesthetic storage space. Upgrade your cabinets with lazy susans, dividers, pullout trays and more. Consider hiring a professional organizer to show you how to maximize the space you’ve got; the organizer’s fee and the money you’ll spend on the specialized cabinets will still fall way below the cost of an expansion.

Potential money saved: up to $50,000

8. Make small changes first

Starting with minimal changes can make a big difference! You might not realize what some fresh coats of paint, new cabinet hardware and updated blinds can do for your home. Installing a new ceiling fan or adding an area rug can also do a lot for your living spaces!

Potential money Saved: Thousands

However you choose to go about your renovations, don’t forget to call, click, or stop by Greater Iowa Credit Union today to learn about our fantastic rates on home equity loans and home equity lines of credit now with no closing costs!