Saving Money on Home Renovations

by Kristina on April 26, 2012 · 1 comment

It’s Springtime DINKS and that means very soon many of us will become overwhelmed with the need to buy a new home, upgrade our current home, or redecorate a room in our home.  Spring Fever is starting and it’s time for new beginnings.

Today’s post is inspired by many hours of watching the TV show Flip This House on A&E TV as well as recent post that I found on TD Bank about how to save money on our home renovations.

If you are selling your house:

A finished basement adds value.  Very often a basement may be unused space or space that we only use as storage, but we should definitely consider finishing our basement (at least to a bare minimum) if we are going to sell our home. A finished basement can add anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 of value to our home.

The kitchen is the main selling point.  People love a nice kitchen. When selling a home it’s important to make sure that the kitchen makes a good first impression.  Nice cabinets, durable countertops, and eco friendly appliances are all great kitchen additions and upgrades. The master bedroom is also a main selling point for buyers; the master bedroom should be clean and well kept. We also have to think about curb appeal when selling our home.  If your house looks great from the street then potential buyers will want to come in, take a closer look, and hopefully make an offer to purchase.

Walk through with clients. This allows us to point out the strong aspects of the home and tell potential buyers about upgrades or renovations that have been done.  If potential buyers walk through our home alone they may not always see the added value in our home.

If you are renovating your home:

Try to prepare as much as you can yourself.  Cleaning and clearing out spaces our self before the construction crew comes in can save us a lot of money. We can also try doing some minor demolition ourselves to save money.  If we decide to hire a contractor instead of completing the renovations our self we can get the project started and add the finishing touches (such as paint) ourselves.

Choose your colours before the work starts. Having all of our paint colours, furnishing colours and wood colours ready to go can save us a lot of time.  We want to shop around to find the perfect match, but if we wait until the last minute our options may be limited. We can research ideas from home magazines and furnishing catalogues, we don’t necessarily need to hire a decorator.

Buy the materials yourself. Contractors can increase the prices for materials as well as the cost to transport the materials. We can save a lot of money if we consult with our contractor but buy the materials our selves.

If you are hiring a contractor:

Get 3 Quotes. Shopping around for a contractor can save us a lot of time and it also ensures that we are getting a good deal for the quality of work. If we are willing to get 3 different quotes for car insurance then we should also be willing to do so for our home renovations.

Interview and Ask For References. Technically hiring a contractor is a job interview, so treat it like one. Ask the contractor to come to your home have a look around and then provide a quote for the work to be done. You can ask them for previous employer and job site references.

Start Early. Last minute prices can be inflated and there is no need for that. Contractors name their own price for the required work and if they know that clients are in a time crunch they may be inclined to increase their prices.

Photo by USACE

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