Home improvement projects can be very expensive as well as time and labor intensive. In order to make sure you get the best value for your money and a home improvement project you will be happy with, you need to plan ahead and do some upfront research. Here are 7 tips for how to save money on home improvement costs.
Tip #1 Honestly assess what parts of the home improvement project you can do yourself.
Depending on your experience and skill level, you may be able to do all or part of the home improvement project yourself. This will definitely save money, but you do need to be honest with yourself about your skills and also put a value on your time. General contractors and other specialists may cost money, but in the long run may actually be the most efficient and effective choice. You may be able to do some of the demolition work and trash removal, painting, landscaping and other parts of the project. Identify these ahead of time to help cut down on costs.
Tip #2 Look for materials and tools on sale
Home improvement stores often have sales where you can buy materials and tools at drastically reduced prices. Look for sales and comparison shop to get the best deals. Being a smart shopper can save you a lot of money on your next home improvement project.
Tip #3 Get at least 3 quotes from general contractors
If you decide that you do need to hire a general contractor for your home improvement project, make sure to thoroughly check their qualifications, experience, and references. Ask for bids on the same exact project so you can compare them. Don’t necessarily go for the lowest bid. Cheaper isn’t always better. Weigh all the other important factors like experience, professionalism and your rapport with the contractor. Even though you will not want to make your final decision on price alone, getting several quotes can save you money and also help you find the most qualified contractor.
Tip #4 Make sure your contract is comprehensive and everything is detailed and clearly spelled out
Once you decide on a general contractor, make sure you read all the fine print before signing a contract. All the costs for material and labor should be detailed, start and completion date included, and warranties spelled out. Never work with a contractor who isn’t thorough and who will not clearly explain all the aspects of the job to you.
Tip #5 Schedule your home improvement project for the off season
If your home improvement project is seasonal, you can save a lot of money by scheduling during a time when the contractor is not in such high demand. For example, have central air installed in the winter.
Tip #6 Consider less expensive alternatives
Another way to significantly reduce your home improvement costs is to consider less expensive alternatives. This could involve using less expensive materials, using a prefabricated building or addition, and making the improvement smaller.
Tip #7 Plan everything out ahead of time to avoid having to make changes mid-stream.
Making changes in the middle of a home improvement project can significantly add to the cost. Planning everything out ahead of time will not only provide you with opportunities to identify where you can save money, but can also help you to avoid additional costs during the project.
Planning ahead of time is the most important factor in saving money on your home improvement projects. Follow these 7 tips for how to save money on home improvement costs, and you will sure to be happy with your next home improvement project.