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The Cost to Renovate, Part 2 – How to Spend Less.

You have decided to renovate and have come to terms with the higher cost of living affecting the cost to renovate. So how can you save?

Saving dollars should never be the goal, because it only puts focus on money. The focus should be about getting the best value…and spending your renovation dollars wisely.

Homes require maintenance and upkeep, like everything else. Things become worn and run-down and updates, repairs and full renovations are part of home ownership. But in today’s economy, don’t stretch yourself thin. If what you have can last a few more years, allow yourself more time to save and prepare. That being said, waiting does mean that chances are pretty good that your reno cost will be higher. So, you’ll need to weigh your options before you jump in and start.

Once you decide that, yes you will renovate, here are a few tips to help with your bottom line;
1. Watch flyers and sales: If you have the means to stock-pile what you need over time and make purchases as they go on sale, do so. By the time you’re ready to start the renovation, you could have all the big ticket items on hand that you secured on-sale. This saves you time by making scheduling easier as you have everything already on hand and don’t have to scramble to get things that may be out-of-stock, backordered or special order. And you saved $ getting them on sale!
2. Plan! Preparing a design concept and preparing a plan, budget and timeline will help you stay on track so that you don’t over spend. If you are not prepared and have not researched the best options, you could end up in a situation where you have to settle for what is available at the time you need it. And in many cases, you end up paying top dollar.
3. DIY what you can: If you are not a handy person, but are physically able, consider doing parts of the reno yourself. This can include things like small repairs and painting. Watch YouTube how-to videos for small tasks that you are comfortable doing yourself. Save your labour $ for the big and heavy things, plus areas where a licensed trade is the best choice.
4. Face-lift and up-cycle where you can: A face lift is a good idea if what you are starting with is in great shape and is just looking dated. Working with a designer can help. Simply Design will often work with existing elements and breathe new life into them by changing a few things. For example: if you have kitchen cabinets that are spotless but are 10 years old and look tired; add new countertops, a coat of paint, new handles, a backsplash and some lighting, and suddenly, it looks like a new kitchen.
5. Package price: If you can manage to live in total chaos, consider tackling two updates as one project. You can get better yield out of materials and a workday, and maybe negotiate a better price from contractors due to the larger scale of the project.

In general, “saving money” will never happen. At the end of the day, you have decided to spend money on something that is needed for your home. It doesn’t matter if it is a necessity renovation due to break-down and deterioration such as windows and a new kitchen because the doors are falling off their hinges…or a luxury item like closet organizers or a fabulous master bathroom. It’s your home, and you deserve to have a home that meets your requirements.

Once you have your goals set and a plan in place, you’re on your way to renovating. Whether it is a basement renovation, kitchen update, improvement to your bathroom or maximizing your space with organizers and cabinetry, you will be adding equity to your home.

In the final part of this 3-part series, read about how to decide on a budget and where the best places to spend your renovation dollars are.