Costs add up quick when you’re remodeling your home. So it’s good if you can find some money saving tips for a home renovation.
When we first started work on our fixer upper, we knew we didn’t want to take out a huge loan and be burdened with paying off extra debt for years.
So, we’ve learned to DIY a lot of the renovation work, avoided taking out loans, and learned a few money-saving tricks along the way.
Here are 8 money saving tips for a home renovation
1. Take your time
The faster you want everything done, the more likely you’ll have to take out a loan to pay for it all. But if you take your time, you can pay slowly and maybe even avoid having to take out a loan.
Think of your home renovation as a journey. Part of the excitement of remodeling is imagining what it’ll look like at the end & witnessing the transformation. Enjoy the anticipation and creative process.
2. Dedicate part of your paycheck
Whether you’re hiring contractors to knock out a project, or planning to tackle it yourself, you’ll save money and be more likely to keep yourself on a budget if you dedicate part of your paycheck to the cost of renovations.
Just like you’d save a percentage for savings or retirement, plan to save a percentage of your paycheck for a certain time for a specific remodeling project.
3. Do it yourself
The oldest money-saving trick in the book. Find out what you can do, and do it yourself instead of hiring a crew to save a lot of money!
I can paint. And I actually like painting. So we save a lot of money right away when I handle the painting instead of hiring a paint crew.
When we wanted to install flooring, we took a class at a local flooring store and learned how to lay tile. We ended up saving money in our bathroom renovation because we installed the new flooring ourselves.
Home Depot and Lowe’s both offer courses teaching DIYers how to complete home projects. And there’s always YouTube if you need a quick tutorial as well.
Do what you can yourself…but remember your limits & pay a professional to handle more difficult things like wiring and plumbing.
4. Don’t change your home’s footprint
Completing re-configuring your home’s layout will be extremely costly. This is where you have to weigh the cost vs. return of your investment.
Our 1970s house was configured in a way that the kitchen was a small cubby in the center of the house – not exactly up to modern taste.
We wanted to tear everything down and move the kitchen to a whole new place But that would have meant breaking up the foundation to move pipes and cost a small fortune.
So we found a compromise in keeping the kitchen (and plumbing) where they were: we removed just 2 walls and created a semi-open floor plan (which is now trending thanks to pandemic lockdown fatigue).
We saved over $20,000 by finding a more affordable solution rather than completely re-configuring the layout of the house!
5. Stick to the classics
This tip is more about the types of finishes you pick for your home. The more non-traditional you go, the more expensive something will be.
You may be sick of seeing white subway tile in kitchens and bathrooms. But there’s a reason why it’s considered a classic choice: it’s neutral & affordable.
Colorful and intricately designed finishes cost more to produce. So they cost more to buy and install.
Classic styles are also a better return on investment. Because features like subway tile, neutral-painted walls, and white countertops are neutral, buyers easily picture themselves living in that space. Which means that your home will be more likely to sell quicker because most buyers have the same taste.
6. Think smarter, not larger
If you find that you’re running out of room, don’t solve the problem by building an addition. Instead, find ways to add efficiency in existing rooms.
An office can transform into a guest room with the addition of a Murphy bed that folds away into the wall when not in use.
Easy furniture hacks can help add additional storage too.
7. Do your own demo
One of the biggest money saving tips for a home renovation is to do the demo yourself.
Some of the easiest things to Demo Yourself are cabinets, doors, and non-load bearing walls (be sure you get a wall checked to see if it’s load bearing before tearing it down!)
8. Re-use & re-purpose
If you’re busting out walls or moving doors, remove the good materials carefully so you can potentially re-use them in other areas of your renovation.
This has helped us a ton as wood prices skyrocketed during the pandemic. Anywhere we had previously removed framing, we’re re-using the good wood for framing of a new closet.
You can also save money by repainting old furniture and adding new hardware to make it look more modern.
Beginning work on an old, dilapidated house and paying for each project from our paychecks meant that the renovations would take longer. And 4 years into this renovation, we’re still working on it….
But it’s been a HUGE relief knowing we don’t have a home renovation loan to pay off! And using these money saving tips during the renovation process has also meant that we never hurt for cash or had to live paycheck-to-paycheck.