Whether you’re building a home from scratch or planning a remodel, doing home improvement or construction work can get costly very quickly. It’s unsurprising, then, that homeowners are always looking for ways to save money and cut down on their budget. However, there are many aspects of a construction budget that should never be compromised, and too often homeowners settle for shoddy work because of a savings opportunity. How can you cut back on your cost without compromising quality or, more importantly, safety? Our home experts have some suggestions for where you can save money.
Get Professional Advice
It may seem counter intuitive to hire a professional to manage your construction project, because that also costs money, but the fact is that a good contractor or interior designer will be able to find savings in your budget that you never could. Plus, they know where all the big industry hook-ups are, and how to get the things on your shopping list at sometimes deeply discounted prices. Interior designer Jennifer Scully explains:
“Interior designers not only provide professional advice, …[but] they can also, depending upon the designer, provide incredible discounts on items for the home. At times, clients have called me when it’s “too late” and they’ve already purchased kitchen cabinetry, flooring, tile and other permanent fixtures. If they had hired me to shop with them, they could have saved thousands and in many cases, tens of thousands, which leaves a nice budget for furniture, window treatments and accessories.”
Having a professional on your side during the planning and sourcing project can save you a lot of money, especially if you’re doing a large-scale project that is going to require a lot of replacement furniture and other potentially expensive new items.
Have you ever heard of dumpster diving? It may not be a great idea in most circumstances, but according to expert designer Pablo Solomon,
“Many materials–brick, stone, lumber, etc. can be salvaged or bought from salvage companies and are often better than what is available new or as new synthetics. Frankly, many building materials, cabinets, architectural details, etc. are just thrown away or hauled to a dump when demolition or remodeling projects are being done. Always ask first, but often contractors are glad to let you haul stuff off.”
There is a lot of quality material going to waste at construction and demolition sites all across your city, even at this very moment. It might take a little bit of leg work and negotiation, but if you’re willing to roll your sleeves up and maybe make some phone calls, you can get high quality material for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase new.
Work With What You Already Have
In an ideal world, your remodel would be able to conform to whatever your vision of it is, without costing too much more. The fact is, though, that changing the layout of an already existing house can add a lot more to your budget than you realize. Experts Gillece Services elaborates:
“With a bathroom or kitchen remodeling project…sticking with the existing layout is one way to reduce costs where changes may not be 100% necessary. Moving the location of a sink or a toilet requires a great deal of plumbing work, and prices will reflect that. The same goes for lighting or the need for extensive electrical work.”
Look at the blueprint for your remodel. Are you moving a lot of plumbing or electrical work around unnecessarily? Sticking with the pipes and wires that you already have in place allows you to save money while still having plenty of budget to make those aesthetic changes you had your heart set on.
Remember: Time is Money
With any construction or remodeling project, you are going to have to hire professionals, to ensure that your work is done correctly, safely, and in a way that will last. But your budget isn’t endless, and you can’t afford to pay these highly trained professionals just to stand around. TE Certified Electricians have some suggestions for eliminating this problem:
“…the biggest place to save is in labor and labor related cost. This is especially true when it comes to skilled labor like plumbers, electricians, designers, consultants, carpenters, etc. … Find out what questions the trades will ask you so don’t have to make decisions on the fly and what questions you have so you can get them answered now. By far, the worse time waster is indecision. There is nothing worse than paying skilled people to stand around waiting on a small decision, but I see it all the time.”
There are a wealth of resources at your fingertips, now that we live in the digital age. Do a little research and find out what kinds of questions the professionals are going to need to ask, and have the answers ready for them. Why pay the hourly rate of a highly skilled professional so that they can get the measurements they need, when you can do it yourself for free?
Of course, with all this talk about saving money, it’s important to remember where not to skimp. Here, the key issue is safety. It’s okay to look for a bargain on aesthetics, but when it comes to questions of safety, you should never look for a cut-rate plan. Experts Grandview Builders said it best:
“If there is one area where we recommend buyers do not cut corners, it is building the structure of the home. Even with smaller budgets, it is important to invest in quality roofing and structural materials. By avoiding constant and costly repairs, this investment will undoubtedly pay off in the long run. For security purposes, it is also important to invest in top notch doors, windows and other structural aspects that are meant to provide security. “
Saving money isn’t worth it if it means putting you or your family in danger. Think carefully, plan ahead, and when in doubt, ask advice from a professional.