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9 Ways To Save On Home Renovations

9 Ways To Save On Home Renovations
Diana Star Jul 10, 2019
Want to Earn Some Extra Money?

ways to save money on home renovationsHome renovation has, since time immemorial, been known to be a costly affair.

It’s one of the most expensive domestic projects any homeowner can ever undertake.

Making distinctive renovations to your living space can be accomplished with the right plans that fall in line with your budget.

Usually, when all the renovation work is done, you might later find out that a friend or relative didn’t pay much for their renovations.

If you’ve found yourself in such a position, then you have a clear understanding of how uncomfortable that feeling can be.

While you paid a fortune for major adjustments to your home, someone else paid half (or less) of what you parted with.

That should never be a deterrent from ever doing any home renovations. This post will shift focus on different ideas and plans you can use to lower your renovation costs.

With a little strategic thinking, right timing, and design, you’re well-placed to kick-start your home renovation.

Enough said; here are simple ways to save on your home renovations:

1. Keep Track of Your Renovation Budget

Whatever you measure has to be managed, and what you manage has to be minimized.

As you lay awake in the middle of the night in the course of your home renovation, what races through your mind? Finding the perfect shade for your bedroom wall?

Changing your living room wallpaper? Or maybe the shock of finding termites while in the process. Nope, it’s the thought of spending more than you’re supposed to.

Without proper planning, the thought of overspending can quickly become a reality. With tons of receipts coupled with mind-boggling decisions, it’s easy to lose your financial cool.

Creating a budget and sticking to it requires a lot of planning and perseverance. Stick to your initial plan throughout the renovation process.

On top of your unexpected cum inevitable snafus, experts recommend adding approximately fifteen to twenty percent of the total cost to your budget. You probably know what that involves if you’re into home remodeling TV shows.

You wouldn’t want to run out of cash halfway through the remodeling with foundation issues or plumbing problems. Homes (especially older ones) are most likely to have hidden expenses.

Putting that in mind, you’ll be prepared in case anything goes wrong or prices are off the charts as compared to earlier projections. Funds you set aside specifically for any inconveniences are known as a cushion.

Before deciding on how much to set aside for your renovation, focus on how you’re going to finance the whole process. Your budget should most likely fit within your budget based on your mode of funding (loans, credit or cash).

The most important rule to adhere to when budgeting is to prioritize. Know what you need, do some price inquiries/comparisons and include it in your budget.

2. Be Your Own General Contractor

Once you have all that you need, don’t waste your time and money searching for the right contractor(s) to bring on board. Doing it yourself is an option worth putting into consideration.

Like most homeowners, you probably have a pristine landscaped mansion in mind before you begin making the necessary changes.

Turning that vision into reality may cost you a few extra bucks when you opt to take the easy way out and get others to do it for you.

Becoming a DIY contractor doesn’t mean that you need to have any practical or theoretical experience in anything construction related. To be one, you need to:

  • Know how to handle waste since each renovation stage will have tons of waste. It will help if you have a dump trailer parked outside your home. Once it fills up, take the burden of taking it directly to the garbage center.
  • Run errands yourself. Subcontractors charge approximately $60 – $90 per hour for a single trip to the hardware store for a bag of screws.
  • Have the right material at hand. Depending on the project you plan on undertaking, ensure you have what you need well beforehand. Proper planning will hasten the process to your advantage.
  • Decide on the best financing option. Make some personal and home improvement loan comparisons and settle for the one that fits your renovation needs.
  • Be prepared to do all the dirty work. Rather than pay a tradesperson for hefty labor costs, take it up yourself and do it according to your specifications.

Getting your hands dirty can significantly impact how much you need to borrow for a successful remodeling. You’d be better off saving $50,000 by working part-time or taking a break from work to focus on your renovation.

3. Repair and Recycle Old Stuff

Recycling stuff is one of the best ways to limit waste around your home. By using a portion of the building’s existing fabric, you’re reducing the need for new (and costly) materials, cutting down on landfill and generally keeping waste to a minimum.

Materials you recycle don’t necessarily have to come from your backyard. You can find tons of useful stuff on a local Facebook group, Gumtree, or eBay. Likewise, if you have material that can still be used, post them on the same platforms and make some quick cash.

If you look hard enough, you can find fittings and materials that are just right for your renovation. Try as hard as you can to salvage exotic and reusable materials and purchase them for up to half of their original price.

The material you settle for will probably dictate your renovation’s aesthetic. Fortunately, you have a full enough range to try out a couple of themes you’ve never tried before.

Pieces that have been reclaimed, for instance, can be used for industrial, rustic or retro chic looks. These can also shake things up for the better in a modern setting.

If you’re not into reusing stuff, be in the habit of recycling it responsibly. Prime candidates for recycling are glass and metal. When purchasing new material, be mindful of their level of recyclability.

If it’s mostly made of a material that can easily be recycled, it will go a long way in making your renovation more sustainable.

If you’re looking to make your renovation sustainable, it all boils down to three major principles of reducing (waste and usage), reusing (fittings, fixtures, and material), and recycling (using both unwanted and recycled items).

4. Other than Windows, Use Alternative Means to Light Up Your Room

It can cost you up to $1,500 to cut a big hole on the side of your living room or bedroom as well as rearrange the framing.

You don’t have to waste time and resources when there are less expensive means to capture light in your living space.

For one, you can use lighter and brighter paints for your ceiling and interiors. The brighter your interior wall, the more the light it reflects into your room. LRV (Light Reflectance Value) ranges from 0% for black to 100% for white.

Anything in between is bound to have an LRV that’s either greater or lesser. For a brighter room, consider painting your ceiling white. You may want to stand out by using purple green or black as your preferred paint color.

If you do, you open your room to many deficits. The major one being that the light bounce becomes degraded. You obliterate your illusion of depth. The list goes on and on. Stick to white for the ceiling and you’re good to go.

In your bathroom backsplashes or kitchen walls, incorporate affordable but highly reflective tiles. In perfect light conditions, glass tiles can reflect up to 100% of the light that comes into contact with them.

An alternative to glass tiles is glossy ceramic tiles. They are also cost-effective ($2 per square foot), add style to your living space and reflect light ‘to the max’. For added reflection, try installing metallic backsplash tiles.

Finally, pull in natural light with the help of glossier paint. This will give your interior walls a mirror-like effect. As you purchase your can of glossy paint, consider its durability, finish, coverage and most importantly, whether or not it fits into your budget.

5. Use Cheap Ideas to Make Your Home Look Like a Million Bucks

If you’re looking to renovate your home on a budget, you’re in luck. There are more ways than one to do so using next to nothing of your allocated funds. These are a couple of them:

Spread a Few Throw Pillows On Your Couch

A sure way to brighten and accessorize your living room is by getting different colors of throw pillows on every couch. You can choose to either make them on your own or purchase them at an affordable price.

Replace your older throw pillows with brighter, fuller ones. Alternatively, you can simply buy new covers with different textures and colors. The more pillows you have, the better.

Get Some Framed Works On Your Wall

Anything from DIY art to family photos is enough to make your house a home. Before taking the step of mounting any art pieces, ensure you understand the proper way of putting them up.

Also, ensure that it’s the right scale and size for the wall you want to decorate. Framed artworks should not be present on every wall. Otherwise, you’ll end up going against their intended purpose: add a touch of class to the dimmest living space.

Shop Around For Budget-Friendly Accessories

Accessorizing a room can be achieved by drawing inspiration from home decor magazines. Though most of them advocate for splurging to get the best results. Different accessories go for different prices.

Fortunately, numerous online home stores offer discounts for all the best home accessories. Stuffed toys serve as some of the best accessories.

6. Make Most of the Decisions Up Front

The more plans you’ll decide to work on through the course of the design phase, the easier it will be on your renovation project. The smoother the course of your project, the less you’re likely to spend.

Overruns come about as a result of unexpected plan changes that pop up during construction. To avoid such situations, draw up a detailed plan of the changes you have in mind. If you’re not skilled in that particular area, have an architect do it for you.

What may come across as ‘small choices’ may end up becoming costly consequences for you as well as our contractor. For instance, your choice of shower faucet will affect the valve that goes into the wall.

Your preferred floor type will, in turn, affect the specific type of subfloor you’ll use and so on. Homeowners don’t consider details such as these; quick research on the world wide web, however, can yield a plethora of checklists for projects big and small.

Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for sales. By that time, you’ll have a limited in-stock inventory.

Any schedule that doesn’t work in your favor may end up costing you a whole lot more than what you set aside for in your budget.

Therefore, get your plans in place well before the renovation date, go through them once, twice or more and follow what you’ve put down to the letter. Adding new plans will end up being a costly affair.

7. Download Any of These Free Home Renovation Apps

Renovating your home is no easy fete. From shopping for supplies to planning and design, the whole process can be burdensome both to the mind and the pocket as well.

Fortunately, modern technology has promoted the ever-growing number of home renovation apps that homeowners can find particularly useful.

Embracing technology to help in the renovation process can not only save you money but also speed up the whole process.

It’s advisable that if you’re embarking on a DIY project, ensure you have the following apps installed on either your Android or iOS device:

Home Design 3D

This is the app for you if you’re rearranging, designing or drawing up floor plans for your home. With Home Design 3D, you can create your living space in either 2D or 3D.

If there are any changes to be made in your plans, you can do all the editing by altering colors, size or positions in 3D and in real time. Any design you embark on can easily be saved for later.


Magicplan is a free smartphone design app that ensures that each piece of your design fits squarely in their space. Before making costly purchases for pieces whose measurements you’re not sure of, use Magicplan to come up with a rough estimate.

It does this by simply analyzing a single photo of your living room, bedroom or any room you wish to make changes to. It will then provide measurements that would be fitting for your floor plan.


Some of the design and remodeling work may be too much for you to handle. That’s where Airtasker comes in. By keying in your precise location, you can get in touch with various specialists and skilled craftsmen in your area.

While some of them may not be all that affordable, this app provides a transparent pricing platform where you can negotiate the prices and settle for the best bargain. With Airtasker, you won’t have to worry about hiring a contractor anymore.


This has got to be the biggest repair manual in the world. For individuals who have no clue about fixing broken items, iFixit basically empowers homeowners with illustrated and crowd-sourced step by step guides on fixing practically anything.

You’ll also be provided with a list of virtual stores around your location where you can make the necessary purchase for replacement supplies.

By doing this, you can save a lot when it comes to repairing as there will be no need to spend a fortune on simple fixes around your home.


Earlier in the post, we touched on recycling and how you can either save or make money from materials you use in your renovation. BuildBits is the app for you if you’re also keen on reducing wastage while at it.

This app is essentially a marketplace whereby homeowners can either buy or sell renovation material. That will save on the high costs involved in disposing of them. This plan was probably outside your budget in the first place.

Clearly, there are loads of renovation apps out there. You have no reason to waste your money on contractors or redo the whole project as a result of wrong measurements or other expensive mistakes.

It costs nothing to have these apps on your phone. Install them and use the least amount of money to transform your outdated house into a stylish home.

8. Sometimes All it Takes is Some Stress-Free Decluttering

Major home renovations can be the most stressful undertakings you may ever embark on.

Whether you do it on your own or bring on board a contractor with experience, that ‘simple’ renovation will be sure to bring a seasonal disruption to your everyday lifestyle.

The inconvenience can, however, be minimized by getting your living space in order and planning well in advance. The former will save you time, money and sanity – if undertaken the right way.

As you know, decluttering is a means to keep your home tidy before, during and after renovation. Before starting the project, ensure you firm up a full contract with your contractor(s).

This will give you a rough idea of what’s expected to take place based on a detailed timeline. Also, throughout the remodel, you’ll be able to determine what organizing tips to follow in the course of the remodel.

If your contractor isn’t specific or you’re going into the project without one, you risk stalling your renovation or even worse. Your contract needs to have a start date, the right address, along with a date of completion.

Will your kitchen be unavailable for a week or more? Another way to maintain stress-free decluttering is to find a temporary place to prepare your meals. Keep a small file folder where you’ll keep your preferred take-out menus.

Preparing meals from your makeshift kitchen will alleviate the need to eat out or pay for food deliveries.

There’s no known way to avoid the inconveniences that come along with hectic house renovation projects. There are major steps you can take to make it as stress-free and cost-free as you possibly can.

Use them to prepare in advance as you get ready to embrace your low-cost, renovated home.

9. Know When to Skimp and When to Splurge

High-end renovations can dry you of your last dime – that’s a fact. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to do it cheap all the way. Even if you don’t plan on being generous in your spending, try creating an illusion of a costly upgrade.

Splurging should only apply to features that have recently been installed permanently; that includes cabinets, windows or bathtubs.

A different approach to making your renovation appear expensive is to keep the high-end finishes for the front door, dining room, kitchen, and other high-traffic areas. Make areas where guests spend the most time key places to splurge on.

For several home renovation materials, it’s safe to purchase options that lie between the lowest and highest priced. Generally, the mid-range price points will ensure you get something that lasts long with no problem in between.

For higher-end items, there’s not a lot to offer in terms of return. This is because no one will even notice whether you spent over $10,000 for a particular superior product.

At the same time, place items you’re looking to spend less on in areas where it’s easier to either replace or remove. Countertops, for instance, are fairly easy to detach and restore.

If granite is out of reach, try out laminate. They’re quite affordable and serve the same purpose. Also, you can make an upgrade at any point you feel like changing the texture.

Bottom Line

The purpose of doing a home makeover is to get maximum enjoyment from your home. The number one factor that keeps homeowners away from renovating their homes more often is how expensive it can be.

Planning for your renovation can go a long way in preventing costly surprises. More time spent on planning leads to a more successful renovation, not to mention the high expenses you’ll be saving yourself from.

Have fun with your home. Make it as comfy and trendy as you want it to be. Do it all without a morsel of regret later on.

Diana Star

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