emodeling 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.
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