Many people have seen the show Property Brothers – buy an old house in horrible condition, renovate it and voila! Your dream home. Most people, however, have no idea what it actually takes to renovate a home – the time, the energy and of course, the money. You may renovate a bathroom and discover mold within the walls, or want to take a wall down in the living area but come to realize it's a support beam. The more problems you run into, the more money it’s going to cost you. From roofing contractors to new travertine floors, everything comes at a price. Here are some tips on how to save money when renovating an old home:
Have a plan Prioritize in order or importance. With each item, determine if it’s a “want” or a “need” and rank accordingly, with “needs” being met before “wants.” Guestimate a budget for each task, and if you go over it, be willing to either cut back on the next task or wait longer to tackle it so you can save the money. Having a plan and sticking to your budget is the best way to prevent yourself from going overboard.
Don’t get carried away It’s easy to have the mentality of “while I’m at it, I may as well…” when it comes to home renovations. Expanding your kitchen? “While I’m at it, I may as well…” upgrade to stainless steel appliances and spring for the beautiful granite countertops, right? Wrong. This is how people wind up spending thousands of dollars more than they planned. Be disciplined with your plan and your budge and resist temptation.
Comparison shop Shopping online is a great way to save money, but read the fine print on return policies before charging your credit card. Know whether you can return it if it doesn’t meet your needs. If you choose to shop locally instead of online, look for the best deals and be willing to ask stores if they offer a discount for buying multiple expensive items.
DIY If electrical and plumbing aren’t your strong suit, budget in the cost of hiring a professional. For smaller tasks, such as painting, minor drywall repair and installing fans and blinds, how to do them yourself. There are plenty of tutorials online to help guide you. Since every nickel counts when it comes to remodeling, taking on small tasks yourself is a great way to save.
Take your time Make your list of what needs to be accomplished and plan the budget accordingly, and at your own pace. Renovating a home doesn’t need to be a race. In fact, it can be rather fulfilling to tackle projects here and there instead of all at once. This allows you to save money and still enjoy your life while renovating.
View your home renovation as a fun project to tackle. Make it a game to see how much you can save on various projects and keep track of it. As you work through the renovation, you’ll be surprised at how possible it is to save money with a little research and know-how.
About the Author: Sarah Brooks is a freelance writer covering topics on small businesses, personal finances and roofing contractors. She lives in Arizona with her family.