With a down economy and a low employment rate still prevalent in the US, it is wise for one to mindful of every penny he spends on things. Money does not grow on trees and every American should always save in case unfavorable conditions arise. Home improvements cost money and if home owners are not engaged in any planning and budgeting initiatives before they dive into the remodeling activity, he might end up on the losing end with mounds of debt and an unfinished home.
Bathrooms and kitchen are, by far, considered the most expensive rooms to remodel and not having a plan could leave you with a ballooned bill. It does not have to be that way though. There are many ways to save on home renovations and it’s not a rocket science. You just have to be patient, well informed, and creative. There are great ways to stretch your dollar without compromising design, material quality, or function. You can start by having a definite plan of action. With careful planning and time, you can save a lot. Check out these money-saving tips that could help you achieve the bathroom of your dreams without leaving a deep dent in your bank account.
Prepare a ‘Splurge or Save’ List
Identify the materials that you need to buy. If you’re remodeling via contractor services, tell the firm or the contractor foreman to list down the materials required for the remodeling initiative. You need to have an itemized list of the necessary items you need to buy and the quantity of each. This will allow you to create and set a fixed budget. While it may be only an estimate, at least the price range will still be within the figure you can afford. You may also seek for your contractor’s advice on more alternative materials that will produce similar looks but on a more affordable price scale. By doing this list, you will be able to see which areas you can save and splurge on. Doing so will help you prioritize.
Have a Contingency Plan
A good plan always incorporates contingency measures. Setting aside an emergency fund that you can access at a moment’s notice is a must, whatever the situation, regardless if you’re engaged in home renovation or not. This is in preparation for those unforeseen events and unfortunate mishaps that might happen along the way and gives you that peace of mind knowing you have a ready stash available anytime. You may set aside at least 10% of your total budget as an added insurance.
Dig Into Other People’s Trash
What other people consider trash might turn out to be your most priceless find ever. And by trash, we don’t mean literal garbage. These may be items that other people no longer have use for anymore, which they are willing to donate or auction off in exchange for just a few bucks. If you’re lucky enough, some might even consider giving items for free.
There are other shops than just the Home Depot – If you want to save (who doesn’t?), check out alternative stores for equally good items for bathroom remodeling. Look for local auctions in your area or try browsing Craigslist. Try Habitat for Humanity Restore for recycled items that still look great with little re-work and polish. Vintage thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales offer great, one-of-a-kind pieces that might just be what you’re looking for. Score vintage lighting fixtures, salvage wood furniture or vanities, the possibilities are endless.
Sell Your Trash
By selling some of your old or unused items, you’re earning additional money to add to your remodeling budget. So don’t be too hasty to get rid of things when you can earn from them. Have a garage sale or sell items on ebay. Doing this is a relevant reason to de-clutter and purge.
Get Down and Dirty
Labor costs are sky-high these days and if you’re scrimping, you could save at least 20% of your remodeling costs by using a little sweat equity. There are tasks that are surprisingly easy to do on your own, and if you are unsure how to execute them correctly, there are YouTube and other home improvement sites that teach and offer step-by-step guides for amateur DIY-ers. You might find it daunting at first but once you get the hang of it, you might even consider home improvement activities a hobby.
Don’t Move Plumbing and Electrical Wiring
Don’t make the biggest bathroom renovation blunder by moving plumbing and electrical works as it could cause your budget to balloon out of proportions. Any rerouting of plumbing and electrical lines rework require the expertise of professionals. Working with existing electrical lines and plumbing locations could save you money. Work around your current floor layout where the sink, toilet and bath tub remains intact. You may move other around furniture, change themes, paints and decor, for variety.
But while you’re at it, seek for quotes of at least two certified plumbers and electricians to check for rusty and leaky pipes, and possible frayed wiring. Compare scope of work pricing and materials and choose the contractor that provides the best value, backed by a good reputation.
Paint can transform any bathroom from old and dingy to fabulous with just a few bucks a pop! Seriously, if you have less than $200 allotted for bathroom improvement, then paint is definitely what you need to buy. Paint covers age-old wall stains and dramatically changes the mood of any room. One word of advice is that you must use with quality paints (ones that cost around $15-$25 per gallon). You can actually save more with these varieties because this allows you to skip primer and also gives you walls that are more fade and chip resistant compared to much cheaper versions. Go bold with vibrant hues, or invite zen in with neutral tones. Whatever you choose, you can make a statement that lasts for years to come if you use quality paints.
Change Cabinetry Hardware
You can do a lot of impact by changing cabinetry hardware such as pulls, knobs, and handles. There is a huge array of available hardware in a variety of styles, shapes, colors, and materials offered. Choose one that complements the rest of your bathroom theme. Of all the materials, the most popular and most recommended is the stainless steel. While ceramics are also advisable, they tend to wear prematurely compared to stainless steel so if you plan to keep postpone another bathroom remodeling initiative for another 5 years, then stainless steel is your best bet since it is durable, easy to clean, and rust-proof, which is a common problem dealt with in the bathroom due to its wet nature.
People oftentimes have the misconception that remodeling means dealing with new items or furniture. This should not be the case. Old items can recycled, repaired, and made to work again like new; they can also be transformed to suit your theme. With a little touch of paint or finish, you can ‘handcraft’ a new decor to fit your bathroom style. The ideas are limitless so choose to your heart’s desire.
It is never advisable to overspend, compromising money that should be allocated for more important things your family needs. However, you should never take your home improvement concerns for granted as well, otherwise, you might be faced with bigger problems if these get neglected. As a homeowner, it is your duty to make sure that your family is comfortable and safe within their own homes – and by this, we mean that you need to pay attention to safety, sanitation, and comfort in the bathroom and anywhere else inside the house, factoring in home improvement initiatives once in a while to ensure that these goals are met. You can do this without depleting your budget or sacrificing quality. It only takes careful planning, budgeting, and hard work. With all these combined, you can save as much as 50% on your entire project. Start with these 8 we have mentioned and we assure you that you’ll do just fine and more importantly, within budget.
About the Author
Marie Christine Sing-Umali is a blogger and home improvement enthusiast working for Kitchen Cabinet Kings, a leading online distributor of discount bathroom and kitchen cabinets nationwide. If you’re looking for high quality birch, maple, bamboo, and oak kitchen cabinets, you can find quality RTA cabinets at Kitchen Cabinet Kings for cheap. Claim your free kitchen design service, discounts and know more about financing options by visiting their website.