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Tips For Big Savings On Home Renovations

Home renovatons not only improve the quality of your life, they can also lower your energy consumption and will definitely increase the market value of your home. Here are a few tips to help you save big dollars on your next project.


Keep an Eye Open for Bargains on Materials


Cutting down your home renovation costs doesn’t mean you have to compromise on the quality of your materials.  As you are preparing for your home renovation, make sure you keep a watch on local store sales and flyers.  Many times, companies come out with discounted prices for their over-stocked products.  However, buy only those products that you need and don't get swayed by great deals on things that just aren't going to fit with your design or space.


Not too long ago, I happened to be walking down a street and noticed a tile store shutting down their business.  The owners were retiring and wanted to divest themselves of all their stock.  I bought a beautiful Travertine bathroom sink for $100.  Afterwards, when I researched on-line, I was thrilled to discover that the same one was retailing for between $350-$600.  I haven’t started on my renovation yet but I have a gorgeous sink ready to go.  Going on-line to sights like Craigslist and Kijiji could snag you a great buy too.  I have a client who found a set of really nice kitchen cabinets and a granite counter top on one of these sights for 1/3 of the retail price. You can also talk to your friends, co-workers and relatives who might have left-over renovation materials they would be happy to get rid of for free or for a fraction of the price they paid.


Prepare a Budget

Although budgeting may not be the most fun part of the process, it’s extremely important.  Renovations are notorious for costing more and taking longer than anticipated.  Therefore, in addition to starting out with realistic goals and expectations for your renovation schedule, setting aside a contingency fund of approximately 15% of estimated costs can help you stay within your renovation budget.  Be forewarned, you will almost always end up spending more when working without a budget.  Clearly analyze the estimated costs inclusive of labor, permits, tools and material.  By allocating your renovation budget wisely, you will be well on your way to a beautiful and cost effective renovation.


Do What You Can Yourself but Know When to Hire Professionals

If you are relatively handy, a great way to save money is to tackle some jobs yourself and hire professionals for those tasks that are outside of your skill set.  Making an honest assessment of your capabilities and time availability is key to this decision, especially since work of subpar quality can hurt more than help home value.  When hiring a contractor for certain aspects of your remodeling project, it is typically advised to get at least three quotes to find a fair price for the quality of workmanship you are expecting.


Determine the Scale of Your Renovation That is Appropriate for Your Home


Time and time again I have seen sellers over-renovate.  By this I mean renovating in such a way that expenditure will never be able to be recouped when the house sells. For example, I once saw a kitchen reno in a very modest townhouse located in a very modest neighborhood that would have been appropriate in a high-end house in an upscale neighborhood.  When it’s time to sell, buyers will no doubt love that kitchen but I can guarantee they won’t want to pay what it must have cost the seller to put it in.  The limiting factor is the general market value of similar homes in that neighborhood.  Honestly, not all renovations bring worthy returns in the long run.  For instance, swimming pools may be an absolute must in Palm Springs but they are more of a detriment in a place like Victoria.  We just don’t have the weather for them to be a desirable feature. 


If you do a renovation for your own enjoyment, by all means, go to town if you want.  But when you sell, don’t expect to recoup all your costs if you are scaling your renovation way beyond the general market value of comparable homes. 


A Finale Word of Wisdom  


Pay cash for your renos.  If you haven’t got the money, save it up before you start.  Not only will you negate the extra cost of interest payments on a loan, there is something very satisfying about paying cash and enjoying the freedom from the burden of future debt.


By paying attention to some of these basic tips, you will be able to reduce your renovation costs drastically.  Till then, happy renovating!

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