15 Ways To Save On Your Remodel
By Kurt Real Estate Nov 23, 2019
Home buying and selling season is quickly approaching and, whether you’re looking to sell or just looking to upgrade, it’s no secret that many homeowners are currently undergoing remodels. Just take a drive through Dover Shores in Newport Beach. Nearly every street has at least one, if not two or more homes under construction. Homeowners and investors alike are turning one-story 1960’s homes into two-story modern estates because that is what most current buyers want -modern.
This is not to say that buyers aren’t interested in a classic; everyone has their own taste, but for the most part, buyers want new. So how do you accomplish this if you’re not a cash-loaded investor ready to buy, tear down, build, and flip. Many homeowners are embarking on the process of remodeling with hopes of not breaking the bank.
Remodels can be extremely expensive. New kitchens, floors, doors…none of it is cheap and you certainly don’t want the work done cheaply because it will show. ThisOldHouse.com has some pointers for saving a little along the way.
1. Increase efficiency, not necessarily size. How can you maximize the space? This doesn’t always have to mean blowing out walls and expanding. Shelving, cabinets, and drawers can help solve spacial issues in a small kitchen. The cost to expand a kitchen just 200 square feet can be upwards of $50,000.
2. Bring in natural light without adding windows. Sometimes adding more or bigger windows is necessary. Other times, it is unnecessarily expensive because of the effect it will have on the framing. Think carefully about where it is necessary. For windowless bathrooms and hallways install a light tube between the roof rafters and funnels. It’s a third of the cost.
3. Stop by a recycling center. Lightly used fixtures and building materials can save you hundreds. As long as they’re in decent condition, there is no need to buy everything new.
4. Donate trash. By inviting an organization like Habitat for Humanity, not only are you doing good, but you also get a tax deduction for anything you donate.
5. Do some of the demolition yourself. While this can save you a pretty penny, be sure to do some research on demolition. You don’t want to start knocking down load bearing walls.
6. Think long-term. For items like clapboard siding, opt for the more expensive pre-primed/pre-painted type. This will save you the expense of multiple paint jobs later on down the line.
7. Use your contractor’s resources. Many contractors have odds and ends left after jobs that you could take advantage of. Remember the saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
8. Cut back on recessed lights. Recessed lights involve cutting holes and insulation. Needless to say, while they may look nice and brighten a room, there are other less expensive ways to brighten a room with light fixtures. Recessed light are not necessary in every room of the house so try to cut back.
9. Consult an architect. This will help you get an idea of the scale of the project and what you can handle. Not every remodel needs a full architectural team. Get some guidance and make a decision that is financially sound for what you want to accomplish.
10. Consider look-alikes. You can save a lot on hardwood flooring when you opt for an alternative. Today, there are numerous brands that make great quality faux wood panels.
11. Wait to remodel during the slow times. Summer is the most popular time for renovations. Therefore, labor is scarcer and more expensive. Wait until just after the new year to begin your project. You’ll find yourself saving time and money.
12. Don’t move the kitchen sink or toilets, if possible. Moving the kitchen sink can be a huge add-on to your plumbing expenses. Try to steer clear of the idea altogether.
13. Use off-the-shelf dimensions. Don’t choose to build something ten feet wide if the plywood plans come four feet wide.
14. Demolish and start from scratch. In some cases, doing a complete tear-down and remodel is necessary for the scope of work and will ultimately cost less than trying to make unrealistic changes to your current home.
15. Make decisions early, Peruse the aisles of your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. Figure out what fixtures you like, what granite you’d want to go with, what wall and cabinet color schemes appeal to you, etc. This preliminary thinking will help you to make decisions quickly once the project begins.
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