how-to-save-on-your-remodeling-projectAccording to a Harris poll, almost sixty percent of homeowners plan to spend money on home improvement projects this year, but fewer than twenty percent plan to spend more than $10,000. How can you make home improvement projects fit in your budget when the national average for a major kitchen remodel is $56,768 and a new a wood deck is $10,048?

Before you start remodeling, you should consider whether going forward with a project is even worth it. Remodel magazine says the 2015 average home project will cost $43,800 but return only 62.2 percent of your investment if you sell your home. If you decide to move ahead, use these tips to bring down the price of your big project.

Save on Materials

You can save on project materials by buying recycled building materials, keeping an eye out for hot deals, and even getting imitation wood rather than the real thing. Make other small sacrifices on things such as size, color, finish and accents to save you thousands of dollars. You can get recycled building materials from Habitat for Humanity ReStores. They sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances at fractions of retail prices. All proceeds go toward building homes. Home improvement stores have big sales on ticket items such as countertops, kitchen island installation, or new windows, especially during the holidays. Purchase your item when you find a great deal and then plan the rest of your remodel around it. You can buy imitation laminate wood planks strongly resembling hardwood floors at about half the price of real deal, prefinished oak.

Plan a Budget and Schedule

Create a budget, but build in a 10 to 20 percent margin of error for whatever could go wrong. Stick to a timetable to help avoid cost overruns by eliminating inefficient use of any labor you may hire or having subcontractors show up to perform work that’s not ready for them to tackle.

Save on Labor Costs

Some projects are best left to professionals, but there are some things you can do yourself. Maybe you can do interior painting and trim work if you can handle basic tools such as a paint brush, ladder, miter saw and a coping saw to help you save a bundle on labor. If you hire a contractor, make sure to ask about doing your own demolition or cleanup. Also ask if you can order supplies yourself. Contractors often add markups for themselves on the materials they order for your job. You can also save if you can pick up materials and haul away job waste yourself. You’ll find that you usually pay contractors more during summer months, their busy season, than in winter months, when work usually slows and they may discount their services.

  • By: Draper and Kramer Mortgage Corp.
  • In: Housing, Tips
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