We all want our homes to look beautiful, but sometimes an expensive renovation isn’t in the budget—and that’s ok! It doesn’t mean you have to settle for ugly countertops and lumpy carpets forever; instead, there are lots of cheap ways to update your home without breaking the bank. Here are six tips for doing home renovations and repairs on a budget that can help you spend less while still getting the results you’re after!
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1) Create a Budget Before You Start
The remodel itself may be cheap or expensive, but either way, it will cost more than you initially planned. Instead of getting caught off guard by a high remodel bill, create a budget before you start any work. Think about how much you’re willing to spend on each area of your home (think bathrooms, kitchen and family room) and stick to that amount.
2) Do the Repairs Yourself
Hiring out home renovations can be costly. You may find that in order to keep costs down, you need to do most or all of it yourself. No matter what your skill level is, there are a number of DIY options available that will save you money and improve your home on your own time table.
3) Put Aside Money Each Month
Personal finance and budgeting guru Dave Ramsey recommends that people start an emergency fund. This is usually $1,000 you always have put aside for emergency repairs, like the kitchen sink clogging up or the furnace going out.
If you have even bigger repairs in mind, like some big renovations, start putting away a specific amount each month to pay for those. For example, if you need $5,000 to renovate the bathroom, you could put $200 to $500 a month aside each month for that purpose. If you do that, you’ll pay for your repairs and renovations in cash ahead of time, ensuring that you don’t go over budget.
4) Avoid Custom Cabinetry and Fittings
Unless you have a ton of money to spend, custom cabinetry and fittings are not in your best interest. Custom-made cabinets and fittings are beautiful and durable, but they’re also expensive. Instead, try purchasing ready-made cabinets that still fit into your budget.
5) Buy Materials at Auction or From a Second-Hand Store
You don’t need to go out and buy brand new materials to start a renovation. Buying second-hand is a great way to save money; you can get some of those supplies you’ve been needing without going through retail markup. Your local auction house or ReStore, the store associated with Habitat for Humanity have most, if not all the things you need to do your remodel on the cheap, according to This Old House.
6) Hire a Pro If You Need To
DIY-ing your home repairs is a great way to save money, but if you get stuck or need to fix something quickly, you might want to consider hiring a professional. You’ll be better off looking for expert help when it comes to things like replacing broken appliances or fixing major structural issues, like a crack in the foundation. You’ll save more on those jobs in the long run if you hire someone who’s trained in that specialty.
Last Thoughts on Saving Money on Your Remodel
Hiring a contractor or a home repair person is one way to get more bang for your buck on a home remodel, but expect to pay a bit more when going that route. However, if you’re looking to save money, you could take on some of these tasks yourself or look into finding contractors who will work with your budget.