As much as you want to improve and beautify your old home, you are probably afraid that it will take too much of your time and money. Instead of delaying the remodel until you manage to save enough money (even if you save a million it will not seem like enough, trust us), you should improvise a bit in order to get your dream home at a reasonable price. You don’t have to be cheap or give up your original ideas; all you need is some strategic thinking about materials and design, and you can drastically cut costs.
There are alternatives for windows
If you have a very dark hallway and a windowless bathroom, you probably want to get a window so you can enjoy natural light. Before you decide to cut a huge hole through the wall of your house, consider installing a solar light tube instead. This skylight is actually a form of a window, but it’s slipped between roof rafters, so it brings the sunlight directly into your bathroom, hallway, or a living room. Not only will you save money on a brand new window, but you will be able to install the tube yourself with a help from a friend.
Timing is everything
Find a good, reliable contractor and ask them when their off-season falls. You will be able to save a significant amount of money if you have your contractors work in winter instead of working during summer. They don’t have much work at that time and they might even be willing to give you a discount. The time between January and April is usually the best time for most remodeling projects. Not only does the weather warm up, but people start receiving tax refunds as well. It is also the time when people usually prefer to stay with their families and ‘recover’ from expensive holidays.
Pool your projects
No matter how small a job you have in mind, skilled laborers will charge at least a minimum fee for coming over to your house. They value their time and you will have to cover their travel expenses. If you’re looking for ways to save money, try pooling your projects together. Draw up different lists for plumbers, electricians, roof restoration professionals and carpenters; ask a neighbor if they need any work done at that time. This way you can split the costs and you will be in a position to negotiate a better price for having multiple jobs done.
Consider a little DIY
By opting to do some parts of the job yourself, you can save plenty of money and even learn something in the process. Even if you’re not really handy, you can always clean up something, handle a little demo, or do some painting on your own. You can save hundreds of dollars if you tear up your old carpet and strip the old wallpapers yourself. You can have contractors install the new hardwood, but you can also paint the baseboards after the job’s done instead of hiring someone to do it for you. Changing light fixtures is not too complicated either and can be done in one afternoon, thus saving dozens of dollars.
You should know that big renovation and remodels (also known as ‘knock it all down and let’s start over’) do cost a fortune, but even then you can always save a few dollars. The best thing about saving money is that every little thing counts, and when plenty of little things add up you will be able to say that you’ve actually saved some money on your remodel.