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Effectively Cut Renovation Costs without Cutting Quality!

As you probably know, it’s easy to lower the costs of a renovation. Just hire an inexpensive, fly-by-night contractor — and hope for the best! Chances are, you won’t want to take that risk. So how do you ensure you get quality work while keeping your budget in check?

Here are some tips!

Research & Outsource: While you can certainly save money doing much of the grunt work yourself, it is recommended that you outsource to a professional tradesman or contractor for larger and more ambitious projects. Outsourcing your renos to a reliable contractor guarantees you excellent quality on the finished product and could potentially prevent any costly DIY mishaps from occurring down the line. But how to choose the right contractor? Well, you should have a solid renovation plan that outlines all your expectations and vision to get the most accurate expense quote. Here’s where you’ll have to do some research in order to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck! Be sure to get estimates from at least three contractors. Often prices can vary widely, even among contractors with similar reputations and experience so always ask questions if you have them. Secondly, reputation is key. Be wary of prices that seem too good to be true, as this won’t always equate to the best man for the job. Before finalizing any contracts, be sure to ensure you are working with a regarded and reputable contractor by checking for reviews, asking friends and family for recommendations, and using your best judgment. You will be working closely with your contractor to bring your dream to life, so make sure that they are reliable, affordable and will have your best interest in mind. The last thing you want to deal with is having to hire a whole new contractor to fix someone else’s botch job.

Negotiate for Better Deals: This may sound intimidating but remember that there’s no harm in inquiring with a builder about what your options are, and where there is potential to save. If your quote is higher than you anticipated, ask your contractor if there are ways the job can be done more cost effectively. Sometimes a contractor is willing to lower the price for concessions, such as quick payments, slight design adjustments or more time to complete the job. Specify your expectations and hopefully together you both can come to a reasonable agreement that pleases both parties.

Utilize your Contractor’s Resources & Shop Around for Materials: In some cases, your contractor may have leftover stock from other jobs that could suit your reno needs. Ask him if this is the case, and how these materials and resources could be put toward your current job to lower cost. You’d be surprised what you could save on tiling and flooring with just recycled resources from a previous job. Contractors also often have access to wholesale prices, so take advantage where you can. Keep in mind however, you might be able to find a bathtub and vanity at a lower cost or at least avoid any markup the contractor may charge by shopping around yourself. DIY folks can save a ton of costs on lightly used and recycled fixtures and building materials. You’ll likely have to install these on your own, as most contractors don’t work with used materials due to liability and legal matters. However, if you’re willing to perform the work yourself, you can definitely save tremendously and might even snag some great finds at auction, online, used hardware stores or recycling centers.

Narrow the Project Focus: This simply means evaluating where you can perform the labor yourself (safely and efficiently) and leaving the bigger jobs to your contractor. For example, you wouldn’t tackle the plumbing or electrical with no experience. That’s just a disaster waiting to happen! However you could cut costs by painting your home yourself rather than paying the contractor to do this rather uncomplicated task. Smaller, trivial jobs can add up on your contractor’s bill, so if you can DIY most of these tasks, you’ll narrow down your costs greatly!

Don’t Rearrange Plumbing: Moving the position of any plumbing fixtures, whether it be sinks, toilets or tubs, can significantly increase the price of plumbing work for your reno. Avoid doing this if possible and simply try to design your perfect space around the already established layout of the room.

Stick to Simple Renos & Using Lookalikes. Sometimes a renovation doesn’t require you to tear apart the entire space and outfit your home with brand-new fixtures in every room. If you plan on maintaining the layout of a room, keep the body of your fixtures the same and simply replace the visible aesthetic components, such as doors and handles, sink, taps, knobs, and surrounding counter-tops rather than starting from scratch. This will freshen up the look, without completely breaking the bank. Also, consider using imitation options for flooring, tiling and counter tops that will ultimately pull off the same look as the real stuff. With some research you can find some great affordable imitation options, when compared against their pricey counterparts, without having to sacrifice quality either.

Schedule the Renovation During a Low-Demand Season. This one’s pretty straight forward when you consider supply and demand. For example, deck contractors charge more in the spring than the fall. If more people want their decks done in the spring, then costs of materials and labor will be inflated. An easy way to shave off your costs, is simply renovating in the off season, when contractors are more likely to work for cheaper due to the lack of demand for their services. Contractors are actively seeking business around this time and you’ll definitely SAVE! SAVE! SAVE!

There you have it, some easy tips on how you can save a ton of money during your home renovations! Keep in mind that spending a little more for a skilled and reputable contractor can save you money in the long run. The renovation will have fewer, if any, “issues” (that may require an expensive fix) and will last longer, so don’t skimp where it counts. I’m wishing you an exciting and safe renovation project, and remember, if you have any more questions be sure to contact me today!



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