Improving our homes is something that most people aspire to. However, when it actually comes to having an extension built, laying underfloor heating or knocking through a wall, what stops us in many cases is cost. Like any other large outlay in life, certain sacrifices often have to be made if you want to transform your living space into the home of your dreams.
We know it can be hard to make a start when saving up for home improvements. This is why we have put together this list of five tips for saving the money that you need to begin your home renovation. Read on to find out how you can start cutting some corners today!
1. Work Out Your Budget
The place to start before you jump into any home improvement is a thorough examination of your finances and the budget for the work. It is important to be realistic here – know that many home improvement projects run over budget and make allowances for anything that may not go quite to plan.
To help you work out costs, it is important to get a number of quotes for the work from local contractors. Shopping around will also help you to find a trusted tradesman who can do the work for a price that will not bankrupt you.
2. DIY What You Can
If you have a few DIY skills yourself, or even if you are willing to learn, employing them in your project can potentially shave a fair chunk off the overall cost of the job. While there are some things that you are unlikely to be able to do to the standard you are after, such as plumbing or electrical work, there are probably many others that are relatively simple. After all, there is nothing like the sense of achievement gained by creating something yourself!
3. Visit a Reclamation Yard
What happens to all the building materials that get thrown out when people renovate their homes? While most of it goes to the landfill site, much of the more valuable stuff is taken to a reclamation yard to be sold at knockdown prices to builders and the public.
You would be surprised at the quality of some of the stuff that finds its way to many reclamation yards. You will find anything from paving stones and bricks to wooden doors and window frames that may be perfect for your project.
When setting out on a home improvement project, it is easy to get carried away and make your plans too ambitious. However, as a general rule, the grander your plans, the more costly the building work.
It is almost always a good idea to be realistic when putting together your home improvement plans. Try to check your impulses and scale back some elements that are not your highest priorities. Finding ways that you can simplify the job without sacrificing on the end result too much will be a load of both your credit card and your stress levels.
5. Reuse Materials You Already Have
Any building job creates a great deal of waste as the old building materials are jettisoned to make way for the new. But before you throw it in the skip, it is a good idea to check whether any of the materials can be incorporated into your design as making good use of it can save you a load of money compared to buying all your new materials for cost price.
6. Reduce Other Expenses
Lastly, when budgeting for future home improvement projects, it’s always a great idea to step back and take a look at the bigger picture when it comes to your monthly bills and expenses (utility bills, groceries, car insurance, car payments and more).
Most of the time these types of things are often overlooked but when you sit down and really take a closer look at your list of monthly expenses, you can sometimes spot opportunities where you can save money and in turn put that towards upcoming projects around the house.
One example would be to reduce the amount of money you pay to your electric company each month by simply installing a few power strips around the house. Once your power strips are in place and all of your electronics are plugged in, you’ll be able to cut the power to these appliances with a click of a button when they’re not in use, therefore saving you money in the long run.
Another way to slash your monthly expenses would be to hunt for a lower interest rate on your auto loan. Usually, this can be accomplished by applying for a credit union auto loan which will bring down your monthly payments and allow you to stock that money away for other home related expenses.
At the end of the day, if you apply some of the money saving tips above to your lifestyle, you’ll quickly realize that sometimes just taking a step back can be the solution to putting together the money needed to make improvements to your home.