Home Improvement on a Budget
Part of the fun of owning your own home is the freedom to create the kind of space you’ve always wanted to live in. But some homeowners are forced to delay making improvements because of the costs involved. Despite what some may think, it’s not necessary to spend a king’s fortune in order to live in a castle; just follow these helpful tips.
If it’s not affordable, insisting on top-of-the-line appliances, imported granite and hand-made cabinetry may prevent a project from ever getting started. Home renovations expert Don Vanderhort suggests compromising and cutting back on the scale of the project as two ways to help set priorities. For example, if expensive teak cabinets truly are a priority, a homeowner may have to settle for a less expensive flooring to balance out the budget.
There are several ways and places to shop for materials when renovating a home. Before taking a trip down to the local hardware store, watch for money-saving coupons in your local newspaper circulars and online. Stores often have discontinued or seasonal stock for sale at low prices. Resale stores, foursquare and tag sales are also great places to find building materials, tools, furniture and appliances that can be refurbished for much less than buying new. Shopping out of season and buying, say, outdoor kitchen supplies in the winter is another way to hang onto more of your hard-earned cash.
Some Internet retailers sell flooring and other bulk items at deep discounts, but watch out for high shipping costs; in some cases paying a higher per-square-foot price at the store downtown costs less than paying to ship heavy items. And speaking of shopping online, always be sure to conduct a quick Google search for the name of the store and “coupons.” Doing this can help you track down coupon codes, which may enable you to save up to 40 or 50 percent or get free shipping.
Not only can shopping for recycled or repurposed materials save money, but taking unused construction materials and other scrap to a recycler or selling them outright is a quick way for homeowners to recoup some of the money they spent. This practice also has the added benefit of being better for the environment, giving you another way to feel good about the project at hand.
Not every homeowner has the time or knowledge to complete a home renovation project, but anyone can be their own helper or clean-up crew. HandyCanadian advises homeowners to save money on labor by acting as their own general contractor, carpenter’s assistant and trash detail.
Picking up supplies, painting walls and cleaning up the project area when complete can save dozens of hours of general labor costs. Skilled homeowners can save even more by doing as much of the job as they can by themselves.
Consider the ROI
Making Home Improvements that add value to a home or improve energy efficiency still cost money to begin with, but they may help homeowners keep a balanced budget in the long run. Consider the potential return on investment when choosing which improvements to make and which materials to use. A second bathroom may be costly to install, but it will increase a home’s value far more than, say, a home theater.
Delaying improvements can not only decrease a homeowner’s enjoyment of their house, it may delay necessary repairs–costing more money in the long run. Making renovations on a budget can take longer–and working bit by bit until the project is finished requires patience–but at least it will get done.
With so many ways to reduce the cost of home improvements, even a homeowner with little financial wiggle room can figure out a way to tackle most any home improvement project and ultimately increase the value of his home.