With the popularity of home improvement shows and home reno stores popping up everywhere like coffee shops, it’s easy to get caught up in the home improvement craze. In fact, Americans spent around $400 billion on home improvement last year – a number expected to shoot up over $450 billion by 2023. It’s easy to understand why, the thought of sprucing up our living spaces is exciting. Upgrading your home with a more modern style can do wonders for your quality of life. But just because you don’t have a lot of money in your budget for a major home makeover, doesn’t mean you can’t experience that same joy that comes from giving your living space a new look. There are plenty of ways to save money on a home improvement project, five of them are below.
- Plan Ahead
There’s no time like the present to start window shopping at those home improvement stores. Just cruising the aisles will give you ideas for the look you’re going for, get you familiar with all the details that need to be considered and, most importantly, tell you how much you’re looking at cost-wise for materials. Knowing what materials you want can save you money down the road instead of relying on a contractor’s estimate for materials that may cost more than you need to spend to get the look you want – and ensure that you are getting exactly that look.
- Save Money on Building Supplies
After you’ve had a look at what’s available in stores, you can try hitting up your local building supply auction or Habitat for Humanity ReStore and look for gently-used versions of what you’re after. In general, contractors don’t like working with materials supplied by homeowners because they don’t want to assume the risk for materials that don’t come with a warranty or guarantee of some kind. But if you plan on doing some of the work yourself, buying used can help you save some of your budget for later. Just make sure that if you are doing-it-yourself, that you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Stick with low-risk jobs that aren’t going to cause problems and force you to hire someone to fix your mistakes or worse, have them doing emergency repairs.
- Donate What You’re Replacing
Speaking of Habitat for Humanity, did you know that they can come to your home and remove old fixtures, furniture, appliances, cabinetry, windows, doors, etc.? The items you donate are sold in their ReStores and the money is used to help them fund their work. This can help cut down on your labor costs, get a charitable donation tax receipt, is better for the environment and can help out a great cause. For more information, check out their goods donation page at https://www.habitat.org/restores/donate-goods.
- Spend your Money Strategically
Get rid of the notion that because you’re buying a big-ticket item that it has to cost a lot. Going for the less expensive sofa or dining room table can clear up budget space. You can look for ways to fancy up these items if you need to. Adorning your sofa with stylish throw pillows can make it look more luxurious and the right lighting can give your dining room table that stately look without having to pay for premium wood. The idea is to go for well-built, middle-of-pack options, going too cheap just means having to replace them that much sooner.
On the other hand, when it comes to things you touch every day, spending more is a good idea. Appliances, kitchen cabinets, faucets, doors and door hardware experience a lot of wear and tear so springing for better quality options will give your home those nice accents and can also save you money on replacement costs.
- Wait for Contractor Services to go “On Sale”
Most people wait for spring or summertime to start a home reno project. Makes sense when you’re thinking about the weather. The problem is, that’s when contractors, suppliers and delivery services are at their busiest. If you don’t like the prices you’re getting quoted, someone else will. If you live in a state with mild winters or you can get used to the idea of getting work done right after the new year, you may be able to get an off-season discount on contractor services. Another way to save money here is to look for discounts you might already have but didn’t know you did. Membership at a big box store could get you a discount on renovation and installation services. A good example is Home Install Experts, who offer a 10% discount to Sam’s Club members.
It’s easy to think of a home improvement project as a major investment of time and money but it doesn’t have to be. Taking your time and concentrating on one room at a time is a good way to save on money and headaches. Start with the rooms you and your family spend the most time then move on to other areas of your home when the time, and your budget, is right.