5 Ways to Save Money in Your Home Renovation
Before-and-after pictures of home renovations are so inspiring but photos don't show the price of transformation. If you want a new home in this economy, this piece is meant to help you make your current home seem new.
If you are going to hire someone else…
- Make room for overspending. Conventional wisdom is that your actual costs will be about 30 per cent higher than the contractor's bid, but they can be far more—sometimes double. To avoid overruns, wait until you have finalized plans before starting work.
- Do not use your home as collateral. No upgrade is worth the risk of losing your home if you fall behind on payments. Tap into your savings because that is the safest way you can remodel your home. If you have to take out a home loan, make sure you can handle the fluctuating interest rates.
- Hire contractors with proven track record. Talk to your prospective contractors' past clients. With the building craze of the past few years, many firms had to hire new, unproven workers, so verify that recent projects went well.
- Understand the fees. It is crucial that your contract include a maximum dollar amount if your architect charges you based on total construction costs. The same holds true if his or her fee is based on an hourly rate. Ask whether that figure includes additional professionals he or she might need to bring in, such as a structural engineer.
- Protect yourself. In the event you have to fire your architect or contractor, your project could be in jeopardy if your contract doesn't stipulate that you're entitled to the plans for work that's been done up to that point.
If you are going to do it yourself…
- Do not settle for cheap materials. Because you are going to get what you pay for. If you're going to do it, do it. If you can't afford to do it, wait.
- Make sure your dimensions are equal and symmetrical. An inch or even sometimes a half an inch can make a difference in providing the full impact and effect that you want. If you're not sure about how to measure or you can't follow the directions, don't hesitate at all to call somebody, ask them to come over and to take the measurement for you.
- Stick with the classic and timeless. Going too trendy means short term satisfaction. You want something that's going to stand the test of time, and you want something that's going to last for years and years.
- Anticipate chaos. You probably want to do that up front, get it over with, and then you can slowly start to piece your life and your home back together. Understanding the time and the pacing of your renovation will make your experience less frustrating and more rewarding.
- Always look after your own safety. The most important things you can have on a job site for your own personal safety are goggles to protect your eyes; ear protection to protect your hearing; and gloves to protect your hands from splinters, nails and such. Moreover, a good set of boots is also needed because there are nails and sharp objects everywhere. The last thing is, you must have a first-aid kit.
Renovating your home can be an expensive pursuit, but if done right, you can do it cheaply and still add value to your home. Make sure that you know your limitations – in terms of skills and money – so you don’t have to take shortcuts and end up ruining the whole plan.