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Tips To Keep Down the Cost of Home Remodeling

Nearly all home remodeling is done on a budget. The size of this budget will vary from case to case and on the circumstances under which the remodeling is being done. If it is purely a cosmetic one, then the budget will typically be whatever can be conveniently spent. If it is one that involves essential repairs or modifications to the home, then the money will have to be found, even if it means making sacrifices on other aspects of life.

But whatever be the reason and the budget, there is no need to waste money and a little planning and thoughtful evaluation of the need and reasons for the changes you plan to make can help to cut costs. The National Association of the Remodeling Industry likens planning a remodel to buying a car. You see an ad for a car you like at a price you can afford. But if you allow the dealer to tempt you with add-ons and optional extras you don’t need, the price can skyrocket. Being able to differentiate the essentials from the optional extras is the basis of keeping remodeling expenses under control.

What You Need To Do

Ø  Use only a professional remodeling contractor who is a member of an industry association, has the right credentials and experience and is able to provide references. His advice can often save you money.

Ø  Hire a contractor who is familiar with your local building codes – modifying work that is not code complaint can be expensive.

Ø  Have a detailed contract that defines the scope and cost of the work to be done.

Ø  Spend time planning what you want to do and the materials and fittings that will be used. Collect the material and fittings costs and build these into your budget so you know exactly where you stand in terms of overall cost. Now cut down, if need be, to bring the costs within your budget. Always keep a margin of about 20% for last minute additions and cost escalations.

Ø  Looking at product options can be a major way of keeping remodeling costs down. Often the look that you want can be achieved by using a less expensive product.

Ø  Also, when planning your remodel, keep in mind that some design features are very labor intensive and these can increase costs significantly. Ask the contractor for the cost breakup of the major design aspects or ask him for a list of the most time consuming design features you have planned. You could achieve a major saving but dropping one to two.

Ø  Do not be carried away with trends and fads, or be overly influenced by what friends and neighbors have done to their home. Collect ideas and concepts from everywhere, but never forget that this is your home and it must work for your family. With that objective in mind focus on the essentials and only if there is money left should you plan for the options.

Ø  Often a cost saving can be achieved by doing the remodeling in stages so that the cash flow can be controlled. Discuss with the contractor the options of doing only certain parts of the house at a time, waiting a few months and then going on to the next stage of the project. This will ease the pressure on the family finances, but increase the disturbance to normal family life as the total completion time could be a year or even more.
Ø  Often one of the objectives of remodeling is to make a cramped space feel larger. Increasing the size of a room will do this, but it is expensive. A cheaper option, if only a larger look is wanted and not more real space, then use colors, décor and design features to create the illusion of space.


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