Career Advice - A Community Blog

Erik Larson writes about the job market, resume improvement, and career advice

How To Update Your House On A Budget

Written by Erik Larson, Community Blogger | Jan 8, 2018 12:03 PM
As wonderful as the finished product of a remodeling project can be, a significant amount of planning and budgeting must be done before you can enjoy the end result. Specifically, you should begin your effort by determining how much cash or financing that you have access to. This will directly affect the significance of your efforts. However, you may be able to stretch your renovation budget substantially if you approach this project intelligently. These are some of the top steps that you can take to save money on your home renovation. 

Create a Smart Design Plan
Your renovation plans can play a major role in the cost of your project. Plans that include adding onto the foundation or changing the structure of your roof can dramatically increase the cost of your project. You may need or want more square footage, but adding onto the home may not be the only way to accomplish this. For example, you could finish out the attic or basement to add more square footage in a cost-effective way. 

Avoid Moving Major Fixtures
The more major fixtures that you relocate, the greater the cost may be. For example, if you move your shower to a new area of the bathroom, the plumber will need to run new pipes to the area. If you relocate your fridge to a new area in the kitchen, electrical wiring will need to be relocated. These and similar steps can increase the services necessary to complete the project, and these services can add hundreds or even thousands of dollars to the overall cost of the project.

Only Replace Necessary Items
You may be thinking about overhauling your entire space, but this may not be necessary. For example, you may not have to take down the bathroom mirror in order to update the look. You could build a frame around the mirror with trim pieces. You may also be able to keep the toilet in place to save additional funds. These are only a few of the many ways that you can reuse some of the materials currently in your home to save money.

Choose Affordable Building Materials
For the items that do need to be replaced, remember to comparison shop to find the most affordable materials available. You may be able to give your home a unique, personalized look by choosing repurposed or vintage items that you obtain at a discounted rate. Clearance items and discontinued items may also be affordable options to consider. Another idea is to choose materials that mimic the look you are trying to achieve. For example, rather than install real wood slats, you can install tile that looks like wood. 

Compare Contractor Rates
Labor can be a tremendous aspect of your renovation budget, and you have considerable control over this aspect of your project. Comparing rates for a general contractor is a smart idea, but do not stop there. For each subcontractor that is needed for the project, ensure that your contractor gets at least three to four quotes. You can also try to do as much work as possible on your own, such as the demolition project. 

Saving money on a renovation or updating project is critical, and it can help you to get more out of the effort. Each of these ideas can save you money in different ways. If you are preparing to get started on a renovation project at home, pay attention to each of these valuable tips.
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