Ideas for Saving Money During Your Renovation — And Down The Line


 Ideas for Keeping Costs Down Now


Before gutting a room and starting over, try painting with new colors and making decorating and lighting changes. You can even paint your old, dark paneling for a updated effect. Sometimes a designer can help you achieve achieve the desired change at a much lower cost.

Spend money on nice carpeting for main floor and master suite. Use a lower grade carpet for other bedrooms and basement. Using the same principle for fixtures, drapery and wallcoverings can help stretch your dollar.

Include in your budget a little something for the unexpected. It’s a fact of life; the older the home, the more likely unticipated issues might arise once work begins. No one likes having to have to come up with more money than they had planned.

Is a high-commission architect really necessary, or can a draftsperson design what you need? Can a design professional on the contractor’s team take the place of an independent interior designer? Every circumstance is different, but at least asking these questions can be big a way to keep costs down.

Very often a contractor can find alternatives to the architect’s original approach or materials specifications. This ‘Value Engineering’ approach can achieve the same goal or effect at a much lower cost.

Plan your kitchen or bathroom renovation around the sinks and other water fixtures. Having to move or reconfigure plumbing generally takes a project to a higher price level. Re-routing major electrical systems is to be avoided for the same reason.

‘Cost-plus’ estimating & billing can save dollars on larger renovations. Paying only for the materials, labor, and a contractor mark-up can take a smaller bite than the higher mark-ups built into fixed-price estimates. Talk to your contractor about the fine points of each type of arrangement.

Bigger isn’t always better. Sometimes more efficient ways of incorporating kitchen needs in a smaller space will work just as well.  Maybe spending a little more on cabinets with special dividers, trays, shelving racks, etc. means fewer cabinets & less square footage for whole kitchen.

Find ways to multi-purpose a space or an allocation of square footage. Can the laundry room be combined with the pantry? Can a seldom-used spare bedroom be configured as a sitting room?

Looking at a major home renovation that includes room additions? You may be surprised to know that it could cost less to tear down the house, or at least part of it, and start over.

Be sure you carefully pick out everything you want for your redecoration before any work is begun, including appliances, faucets, molding, and even mechanical items. Changing your mind in the middle of the project will always hit your pocket hard, since so many aspects of the job are interrelated.

Does the kitchen need to be designed for a gourmet cook, mostly for storage, or for someone who often uses caterers in entertaining?  The answers may dictate how much you need to spend on appliances, cabinet designs, increased sq footage for countertop space, and more.


 Ideas for Saving Money In the Long Run 


Determine how long you plan to stay in a remodeled home and spend accordingly. If you’re going to move in a couple of years, spend on things that will increase resale value. If this is your permanent dwelling, spend more on personal comfort.

Be sure RedGuard waterproofing is used in every shower and tub surround, as well as with floor tile application. It’s a lot less costly than tearing out wet, rotting wood later. Likewise, an Aquaguard-type basement drainage system is a smart thing to include when finishing a basement. You’ll be thankful when the next heavy rain hits.

Some money savings accrue over the long term. Installing highly efficient appliances and mechanical systems can mean significant long-term savings. The same is true with windows, insulation, lighting, even lightbulbs. ‘Green’ building may cost a bit more up front, but makes plenty of financial sense down the line.

Smart planning also includes maintenance-free materials, such as Hardiboard, Trex decks, PVC window frames, etc. Again, consider thte additonal cost a one-time investment against bigger ongoing costs down the road.

‘Aging-in-place’ amenities for older homeowners are less expensive when they’re included in a renovation, compared to adding them separately later. For example, bracing-in walls for handicap bars, or designing a place for a future ramp or elevator.

Get rid of old materials that will eventually fail and cost bundles down the road. For instance, old cast-iron waste lines should be replaced all the way to the street. Or electrical wiring that’s old and not ‘up to code.’


Have questions on how you might keep expenses down on that new kitchen or other room idea? Let’s discuss it at 404-841-8841.



remodeled bathroom