Top 10 Ways to Save on your Home Renovations

Home Renovations On a Budget

We all need a change every once in a while. Tastes change, styles and trends evolve and it becomes time to purge the old and bring in something new. If it is your house that is outdated, bringing in the new can cost an arm and a leg. We can’t all just go out and buy a new house every time we want to change the look of our humble abode.

Here are some tips on how to plan the perfect remodel and a list of the top 10 ways to save and still get the home makeover you are dreaming of.

First things first:

What is your budget for the renovations?

The first thing to figure out is how much you want to spend on the renovations. The decisions you make will need to match your taste and your pocketbook. There are a dozen little things that will add up to be a big expense, so always expect it to cost more than you plan for. Set your budget a little lower than you really have put aside for the renovations. This way you will not be overly stressed when the costs start adding up and a surprise expense comes along.

Will you use a contractor?

Many homeowners are quite the handyman and may decide they can cut costs by doing the renovations themselves. Others would never consider picking up a hammer or screwdriver because they don’t know the difference between a Philip’s and an L key. Then there are some who are fast learners and believe in the power of positive thinking and the miracle of YouTube

The answer rests largely on two factors:

1.  The type and complexity of the project. Your level of skill and the time you have available to work on the project

For more of Andrea Davis’ article on whether to hire a contractor or do it yourself.

2. Whether you use a contractor or decide to DIY there are ways you can save money and have a new look.

Top 10 Ways to Save on your Home Renovations

1. Laminate

A kitchen is always one of the most expensive rooms to make over but there are ways to save money while doing it.

“Kitchens are consistently on the top home renovation project lists, with most people hiring a professional to assist,” says Jason Chuck, managing director of Houzz Australia and New Zealand.

A study conducted by showed that most homeowners decide with kitchen renovations to make their kitchens bigger by at least 55% when redoing it. Most kitchen renovations include new countertops, backsplashes, appliances and floors.

One of the greatest choices on a budget for the kitchen is using Laminate.

The pros of laminate:

  • Cost efficient:  Laminate is cheaper than many options
  • Easy to clean
  • A variety of color and designs
  • Extremely durable
  • Scratch and Heat resistant
  • Easier to install as flooring than hardwood, etc.

Laminate isn’t just for floors. Benchtops, countertops and other surfaces can be laminate finished.


2. Make your bathroom renovation withstand the test of time

For most of us the bathroom is more than a place we get ready for our day. It is a statement on our home. After all, any visitor who stays for any amount of time is going to have to visit this room too. So it is a popular choice for remodeling.

Choose classic and simple options that will last through all the trends and still look fabulous.


3. Leave the plumbing alone

Catherine Nikas-Boulos of the Daily Telegraph has a great article about renovations  where Roger Ibrahim, who heads up the bathroom design team at Domayne, says if you’re relatively happy with the layout of the bathroom, then don’t start changing it, for change’s sake.

“If you keep the plumbing where it is, then you’re saving yourself quite a bit of money,” he says. “Then, you can make the products the hero.”


4. Stick to stock sizes not custom

Angela Colley of Money Talks News says to “look for standard sizes when you purchase materials. Custom pieces cost far more than the stock pieces sold at home improvement stores. For example, RemPros, a remodeling group, says that custom kitchen cabinets can cost 60 to 80 percent more than stock cabinets.”


5. Floor Displays and Discontinued Models

You can save a lot of money by asking about possible discontinued and floor model appliances or fixtures. They are often marked down below sale costs.


6. Get Someone Who Knows What They Are Doing

It may seem like you will save money doing it yourself but if you are unsure or don’t know what you are doing you could be setting yourself up for disaster- and a huge bill to fix what goes wrong.


7. Give It A Simple Facelift

When budget is a concern doing simple things like changing the drapes, fixtures, paint can make it feel like a whole new room without a major bill attached.

An article at Homes to love talks about other ways to make cosmetic fixes.


8. Buy Second Hand and Repurpose

Contacting Habitat for Humanity can be a good thing for you and another deserving family. They will come disassemble your donation and it will go to a good cause. This will save you time and money having to take old kitchen cupboards down yourself. There are lots of good second hand and repurposed options available for you to find and add character to your home.


9. Buy Your Own Supplies and Shop Around

Contractors tend to always use the same suppliers. Not necessarily the cheapest. You can search for sales and compare shop until you find something that works with your budget


10. Take Your Time

It is always nice to have it done and over with when renovations are underway but it can be easier on your pocketbook to take your time and wait for sales. Take on one project at a time and buy supplies as they go on sale so you have them when it is time to start the work.