No doubt about it, renovations can put a major dent in your bank account. But the damage doesn't have to be that extensive if you plan ahead a bit and take some of our advice.
1. Plan, Plan, Plan
Planning is the number one thing you can do to make your project run smoothly and thus reduce or eliminate any project changes which always add cost. You may think designing the space yourself would be the most cost savings approach, but hiring an architect to help you with the parts you don't know will save you money in the long run. If you're determined to do it yourself, find every book and article on the subject of do-it-yourself renovating so that you know what you're getting yourself into. Take your time, think things through, and plan as best you can for anything that could go wrong. Have a Plan A, a Plan B and even a Plan C.
2. Find Inexpensive Materials
While you're taking your time planning, you can also be scouting out sales in local housing supply stores. Faucets, lighting, appliances and many other parts of your project may go on sale before you're ready to start work. You can also check out online places like Craigslist and eBay to see what gems might be out there that others are selling. Also check out your local Restore. Someone else's trash, could be your treasure. Be sure to scout garage sales, auctions, estate sales or leftovers from other constructions sites. Keep your options open and be creative.
3. Use What's Already There
Save money on lighting by utilizing natural sunlight to it's best advantage. Keep plumbing fixtures in place like sinks and toilets. If you have a trailer, use it to haul your supplies yourself rather than having them shipped and if you don't have one, consider buying one. It will pay for itself many times over.
4. Be Flexible And Go For Fakes
Expensive hardwoods are beautiful but pricey. Research all your options to find something more inexpensive but still beautiful. Many laminate countertops can now mimic the look of pricier granite and other solid surfaces. Think outside the box when it comes to materials. Maybe that salvaged tin bucket for $2 would work wonders as an over the count sink light after spending a few more dollars on wiring materials. Spend more money on things that will give you long term efficiency and save in energy costs like LED lights or energy efficient windows.
5. Think To The Future
If you know you have a dream in mind that you just can't swing right now, then do what you can now but plan for the future. If you know you want a new gas range at some point but have decided to make due with your 20-year old electric range for now, be sure to plumb in a gas line now so that when the funds open up for the new appliance, you'll be ready to go. Do as much as you can now to get to your dream renovation that you can, and you'll be that much more ahead of the game when you're ready to take the next step.
Source: Michelle Schwake for Stafford Family Realtors