Remodeling provides a number of significant economic benefits. Among these include: 1) an increase of a home's resale value, b) generation of local jobs, and c) a better place for families to live. Regardless of these positive impacts, families still think twice about renovating their homes. As always, renovation price remains to be the principal issue.
Of all the rooms in the house, the most expensive to renovate are kitchens and bathrooms. According to Remodeling Magazine, a main kitchen remodel can cost around 15,000 to $58,000 while additional bathrooms approximately costs around $40,000. If an average American worker earns only more or less $45,000 a year, it is nearly impossible to pursue a major remodeling project.
With these figures, it seems that any remodeling project looks hazy for an average American worker and his family. Well, there’s always a workaround. By observing the following tips, homeowners might just have enough money saved to carry on with small, staggered remodeling projects.
With these figures, it seems that any remodeling project looks hazy for an average American worker and his family. Well, there is always a workaround. If they observe the following tips, homeowners might just have enough money saved to carry on small, staggered remodeling projects.
Do Things Yourself
DIY cuts major remodeling costs. It allows homeowners to save thousands of dollars or nearly as much as 30% off projected renovation costs. However, be careful as to which jobs you are going to have to do yourself or risk burning more money than you hope to spend. If you have not seen a power saw or a hammer in your life, it is a clear indication that you are not yet ready to engage in remodeling on your own. Seeing a hundred home improvement shows does not guarantee that you are going to have that same seamless project of a foolproof project outcome. Those TV shows involve a lot of takes where producers only show the most interesting and best scenes available. Otherwise, the show will not be as fun and compelling to watch.
If you lack the experience in construction and design, it’s better to leave the major aspects of construction to professionals. But you can save serious cash by assuming jobs that anyone can do such as light demolition jobs, crown molding, cleaning, painting, tearing out carpets, removing lighting and plumbing fixtures, and knocking down wall cracks. These are small jobs that a little sweat equity will go a long way.
Find the Right Contractor
If you think DIY is not for you, hire a contractor. Do all the necessary screening and interview bit to find out if your contractor is legitimate and does quality work. Pick out three contractors that fit the profile of what you are looking for. Compare their prices; opt for the cheapest offer.
If you are doing some DIY work and entrusting the fraction of your remodeling to a contractor, choose one that gives you the best tips and who is willing to guide and coach you as you work, at reduced rates. This move will not only help you save but also open doors for you to learn new skills.
Whether it is custom-made cabinets, countertops, or doors, ‘custom’ usually means ‘more expensive’ since it is a deviation from the manufacturer’s normal production processes. It requires accurate measurements, more attention to detail, special materials, and sometimes, speedier delivery. Having these extras usually translate to 60% to 80% more costs. Go for standard-sized items when purchasing materials. There is a bigger chance of finding items on sale since home depots and local stores need to clear out inventory at some point.
Remodel Around Things That Still Work
Unless you are dealing with a kitchen with a busted plumbing, faulty electrical wiring, and kitchen cabinet doors falling from its hinges, then you have to think twice if you are going to pursue major remodeling. A lot of homeowners make the mistake of undergoing full-blown makeovers when all they need is a design revamp. For example, instead of replacing your kitchen cabinets, (which are still perfectly intact, by the way) maybe what you need is just a little paint, or a finish to make it look new again. Replacing your kitchen cabinets could cost somewhere between $4000 to $15,000 for a 10x10x10 kitchen, as opposed to a gallon of paint which just costs a measly $5 to $25.
Another common mistake homeowners make is moving plumbing. Moving the sink or the toilet will do you more harm than good since the costs of doing so is like installing new plumbing, which runs somewhere in the range of $700 to $1000 for a 3-feet move. If you plan to do this, you are not only going to deal with plumbing concerns, but you will also deal with the tedious demolition job. If you are tired of how your sink looks, just replace it with one that suits your preference but leave the waterworks alone.
Shop local and Waive Delivery Offers
Go local when shopping for materials. Local suppliers offer minimal delivery charges and sometimes, none at all. It is also easier to have the items replaced or returned if what you received were not the items you ordered. If manufacturers require a delivery fee, offer to pick up the items instead if you have a truck or a van. International or national suppliers usually charge a hefty sum for delivery since they need to pay the driver and the haulers, spend for gas, toll fees, and insurance premiums to give you an assurance that the items will arrive at your place in the manner you are expecting to receive them.
Buy Surplus, Go for Recycled or Auctioned Construction Materials
If you are taking the DIY route, you can save a lot by shopping for surplus or salvaged materials. Home depots offer surplus items on the cheap, at least half off, to clear inventory. Get updated on auctions happening locally by typing in "building material auction [your state]" on the Google search bar. There are lots of quality items, which usually comprise of new overstock supplies, surplus or slightly damaged items offered at dirt-cheap prices. There are even bids that can go as low as $1. It is like finding treasure that other people consider as rubbish, thus, the price. Resale stores such as Habitat for Humanity and online buy-and-sell trading sites such as Craigslist, Freecycle, and eBay also offer the best deals you can’t get anywhere else.
If you have a neighbor who recently renovated his house, you can ask to buy leftover items, if any. You can also tap your contractor friend’s resources to buy items on a discount. This will work especially if you can’t find auctioned items or supplies on sale.
Do Remodel during Off-Peak Months
Like weddings, there is also the best time to build. Scheduling remodeling plans during peak season, just before kids go back to school or before Christmas is a bad idea. These times are when contractors aka parents are busy prepping their kids for school or doing Christmas shopping with family. As a result, many contractors become unavailable. This gives those available ones a reason to jack up their prices by as much as 4%- 5% their regular rates. To avoid being a victim of opportunists, plan remodeling during lean months, say, after New Years or before summer.
About the Author:
Marie Christine Umali is a blogger and home improvement enthusiast working for Kitchen Cabinet Kings, a leading online distributor of discount bathroom and kitchen cabinets. Find high quality birch, maple and oak kitchen wholesale cabinets at Kitchen Cabinet Kings and get the best value for your money. Free shipping is offered to buyers with orders worth $3000 and up.