6 Tips to Help Save on Your Home Remodel

Planning a home remodel can be tricky. Determining the budget for a home remodel takes time and can seem like a daunting task. We all have expectations of what we want our dream home to look like, but getting a handle on how much these dreams will cost will set you up for success.

It’s best to plan early and be realistic about your budget to puff off a home remodel project smoothly. During the 40 years we have been serving Columbia, we’ve learned a thing or two about projects that run smoothly – and also those that don’t. We’ve worked with clients who have had a wide range of budgets, and we’ll work with you to best achieve your home remodel dreams.

Bottom Line: Approach a home remodel as you would any other major financial decision.

Here is a list of budgeting tips to help you get started:

1. Find Your Purpose for Remodeling

A good question to ask yourself when determining your remodeling budget is “Why am I remodeling?”. You could be growing your family, looking to increase the value of your home, or just looking for a more appealing and functional home. Once you figure out why you are remodeling, you can better determine what parts of the home will need a full remodel and what types of materials and appliances you might want. Drop by local showrooms to get inspiration and get a sense of costs for different options.

2. Determine what you want to invest

How much money do you have in short-term savings? If you know that the project will exceed your savings, it’s best to consider financing. When this is the case, go back to your personal or family budget to determine how much money is left over to be applied to a home equity loan or refinanced mortgage payment.

When choosing your contractor, it’s best to have a ballpark idea of what your budget is so that we can work together to help make your dream project into a reality. Determining how much you can afford, how much you can take out monthly on a loan and an overall budget will allow the project to run smoothly.

3. Do your due diligence

A common misconception about finding a contractor is to get three bids and simply compare estimates with other contractors to find the best deal. If your objective is to get a quality job at a fair price, this tactic can often be very misleading.

If you’re concerned about getting a “good deal,” consider relying on a contractor that has an excellent reputation. Instead of simply inviting contractors to come by to look at your job, ask around first to see who has a good reputation in your area for doing a great job on projects similar to yours. Get recommendations from friends, relatives, neighbors and local lumberyards.

Take note of any job signs that you see in your area, and stop by the job site to have a look around. Talk to the homeowners to see what they have to say about their contractor.

4. Plan the project from beginning to end

It is very important before getting started on your home remodeling project to come up with a well-thought out project from beginning to end. You will save time and money if you think your plan through and get it right the first time. We had a client who once got a referral from their realtor for a screen porch build by a handyman. A year later, we received a call from them saying the porch was falling apart, and the original handyman would not come back. We ended up rebuilding the porch for them from scratch. Getting it right the first time around will help you stay on budget.

5. Consider alternate materials and designs

preferences. In many instances, older furniture can be repurposed or more affordable materials can be used in order to be more cost-efficient. Often times, the contractor has negotiated discounts for many of the different materials they use to help offset their markup. Sometimes the discount is enough to cover all of the markup.

6. Don’t use price as a determining factor

Never use price alone as a determining factor when planning your home remodel. Whenever you encounter a low price offer, some questions should immediately come to mind. Questions like: “Why is the price so low?” “What’s missing here?” and “Has the contractor figured enough into the cost to provide me with the level of service I expect?”

On the other hand, if you find a contractor that you feel really good about, but their price is more the you can afford or you simply do not want to invest as much as has been quoted, just explain this to the contractor. A professional contractor will welcome the opportunity to help you redesign your project or make whatever changes are necessary in order to better fit your budget. As long as your open to scaling back the project, re-examining your priorities or making other changes, this approach can be very helpful.

At Kliethermes Homes & Remodeling, we love all types of home renovations. It delights us to make the client’s dream a reality – whatever that dream may be. If you are thinking about how you could update your home, but don’t know where to start or how to budget the costs, contact us to learn more!

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