Ways to Reduce Remodeling Costs

Right At Home Daily: Making It Right: Planning and Budgeting
by Jim Sulski for Right At Home Daily

Remodeling isn't cheap. In fact, it always costs more than you think it will. But there are some simple ways to shave remodeling dollars on the materials you'll use and the labor to complete the project.

The best and probably simplest way to cut costs on a remodeling job is to gather multiple bids from contractors. Few homeowners actually collect more than one bid. Even if you don't choose the cheapest bid, the difference can be in the hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

There are other ways to cut corners. For example, with a renovation project, consider using -- or reusing -- the materials, appliances and fixtures already in your home. If it's in good shape, there's no reason that a bathroom sink couldn't be reused (same with a toilet or hot water heater). Or, consider moving an older kitchen sink to the new laundry room.

Woodwork can be reused, as can mechanicals such as piping and electrical fixtures.

Also, ask a contractor about materials they may have left over from previous jobs. Often, you can get those materials -- ranging from tile to plumbing fixtures to fencing to carpeting to shrubbery -- at a very low price. They've typically been paid for and are just cluttering up the contractor's storage area.

Another way to shave costs on materials -- ranging from drywall sheets to paint to lighting fixtures -- is to purchase them yourself. Contractors usually add a few dollars to compensate for the time involved to acquire materials. If you make the trip to the home improvement store, you can cut back on the cost. Stay away, however, from ordering complicated items such as cabinets or windows unless you're experienced and have detailed drawings from which to work.

Finally, ask everyone, including your contractor, for a discount. You'll be surprised how much some suppliers are willing to give just because you asked.

© Studio One Networks


Eliza53's picture


There are many ways to reduce remodeling costs and it is easier than you think. First of all, can you do it your self or with the help of a friend? Most of the remodeling jobs we feel are far too much to tackle and we banish the idea of even trying to get our hands dirty. But step back and think about what is involved with the project at hand. If you have never picked up a hammer or used a screw driver, well start now. You can at least tear down and take apart most of what you are going to remodel. That in itself will save money. Cleaning up the area after you have taken out a cabinet or what ever the project is about, can save time as well as money. Remeber that a contractor will charge you an hourly rate to tear down, clean up and construct/put in a new item. So if you do half the work then the project in question will only cost half the amount.

I know about cutting cost in remodeling. I was so determined to cut costs I took up plumbing, woodworking and capentry to keep up. So I am a woman. That makes no difference, a woman can read and do much more than she realizes. Besides, not only is it fun, it's a challenge. If you really think about it, remodeling is what clay is to a sculpture.

jennye's picture

I'm looking forward to taking a sledgehammer to my kitchen cabinets! LOL! We are doing a little remodeling now: turning my garage into living space. I decided to have the doors done by a contractor, but DH and I are going to do the floor and fixing the walls.

Then hopefully after the first of the year (God willing that we have a good crop this year and get it sold for a good price) we are gutting the kitchen, which is original 1960's harvest gold and brown and is just plain U-G-L-Y! I tried to talk DH into letting me paint the cabinets, but he is having none of that, wants the whole thing either left alone or all redone. Fine with me! LOL! But I figure we can tear out ourself and let the contractor do the rest.

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