Tips For Saving Money On Your Renovation

by Jennifer McMurrayOctober 29, 2018

Have you been dying to remodel your kitchen? Or your bathroom? You aren’t alone. In fact, Americans are expected to spend $340 billion in 2018 on home renovations. The average household will spend approximately $15,000 on a remodel project this year. And while creating a home you love can be priceless, it does, in fact, come with a price tag. Renovations can quickly escalate financially due to poor planning, unforeseen problems, and delays. However, there are ways to help save money on your next home renovation project! Before you ever pick up the sledgehammer or buy a can of paint, make sure you’re in the know about saving money!

Scope Out Clearance Deals

Did you know big box and local home improvement stores have clearance? New items that have been reduced in price for various reasons: change in packaging, special order return, or minor flaw. Sometimes the potential for savings can be huge with these clearance deals! From mixed paint to cabinets, each department has their own clearance section. Often, the clearance prices are half of the retail price! For example, I recently built a basement bar in a home renovation, and I stumbled on two custom order cabinets that retailed for $150 each. I paid $10 each. The cabinets were bulky and were taking up room on the sales floor, so they kept reducing the price until they sold. I saved $280 on the purchase of the cabinets that I quickly transformed into a basement bar area!

Big box stores aren’t the only ones with clearance deals! Many online retailers have a sales page with equally enticing deals! By shopping towards the end of the season, buyers can find discounted lawn mowers, exterior paint, planters, and more! If possible, time your purchases to align with seasonal closeouts to get the most bang for your buck.

modern kitchen with upscale appliances.

Buy Second Hand

Many serial home renovators, like myself, have leftover product after a project. To help recoup expenses, many people turn to the Facebook Marketplace, CraigsList, etc, to sell leftover tile, paint, appliances, etc. While buying used is certainly a “buyer beware” situation, there are certainly some great deals to be had. Whether it’s a homeowner ditching the builder-grade appliances for more custom ones or a home builder selling leftover flooring, these items have the potential to save you thousands on your home renovation!

The New York Times recently did an article about a young couple that furnished their kitchen with high-end appliances — all purchased second-hand. Rather than spending $1,400 on one particular appliance, the couple spent $50! By regularly scoping out online resale sites like Craig’sList and Facebook Marketplace, a homeowner can potentially save thousands!

Hire Workers in the Off-Season

Generally, spring and summer are the peak season for contractors and construction workers. They stay very busy during these months because there’s an intense demand to finish up projects before the colder months and upcoming holiday season. However, the demand for their work slacks off significantly during the colder months and off-season which means potential for homeowners wanting to renovate! Some contractors even have a reduced winter rate for work.

Unless a homeowner is facing a critical deadline, time flexibility can really help to reduce labor cost. Before hiring your contractor, ask if they have a reduced off-season rate. Another benefit of hiring during the off-season is that your contractor should have more time to focus on finishing up your project!

Do The Demo Yourself

Taking a sledgehammer to ugly tile or ripping off dated paneling can be a very satisfying project, but it can also save money! By doing most of the demo work yourself, you can save money on the labor costs. By communicating with your contractor prior to doing any work so that both parties understand how the space needs to be prepped for work, you can clearly identify projects that you can tackle yourself – rather than paying the contractor. It’s also important to ask how much money the contractor would charge if he or she did the demolition instead.

bathroom renovation concept. stylish white lavatory pan and wooden sitting, modern white ceramic tiles on wall. repairing and working in home.

If you’re dying for your Chip Gaines Demo Day moment and wanting to save money, a long weekend of ripping out carpet, busting out cabinets, and gutting a kitchen might just be right up your alley – and your bank account will thank you!

Spend Money To Make Money

Whether you spend the average $15,000 or more (or less!) on a home renovation, strategically choosing a design and reducing expenses can really help you in the long run. Certain home renovations, like a new steel front door, can bring a 91.3% return, a bathroom remodel can bring up to 70% in return, and even a new backyard patio can bring over 47% in return.
A bathroom remodeled with checkered tile.

So while you may be spending money to make money, it’s always helpful to spend as little as possible and make as much as possible!

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About The Author
Jennifer McMurray
Jennifer is an accidental house flipper turned Realtor and real estate investor. She is the voice behind the blog, Bachelorette Pad Flip. Over five years, Jennifer paid off $70,000 in student loan debt through real estate investing. She's passionate about the power of real estate. She's also passionate about southern cooking, good architecture, and thrift store treasure hunting. She calls Northwest Arkansas home with her cat Smokey, but she has a deep love affair with South Florida.