Five Expert Tips to Reduce Remodeling Costs

You may have been stuck in your home during the pandemic. Here are some ideas for remodeling your space.

Perhaps you’re looking for a home office or a kitchen remodel. You could end up spending more than you budgeted, no matter how big or small your project. Due to a shortage of supply and a rise in demand, the price of building materials have risen during the pandemic. According to an analysis done by the National Association of Home Builders, Lumber prices are about twice as high today as they were in April 2020.

“What we are seeing right now is just havoc in the supply chains. Bridge City Contracting, Portland, Oregon, owner Elizabeth Gomez says that this has caused a lot shortages. The disruptions caused at the height of the pandemic by COVID-19 had a wide range of effects, including closing borders and shutting down manufacturing plants. These effects are still being felt today.

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1. Get Started with the Right Design

Gomez says that planning is the best way to save money. Many homeowners make the error of not considering the materials when planning their home improvement projects.

Gomez says that poor planning is one of the most common reasons people lose money on projects. She adds that it is important to step back and assess the project.

Before you begin demolition, make sure that the materials you require are available at your local supplier. You may find yourself stuck searching for materials or contractors, which could lead to you being forced to pay more due the expedited service fees.

To make your design more affordable, you can alter it before construction begins. It is possible to save a lot of money by preserving the original framework and structural elements of a room (known as the footprint).

Judy Transue, co-owner at CHC Design-Build Kansas, says, “If you expand your footprint and do an additional, you’re going be having all kinds of expenses.”

Keep your design simple. For example, a bathroom can be reduced in cost by leaving the plumbing intact and/or reducing the tile used.

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2. Repurpose and recycle

As children, we were taught to reduce, reuse and recycle. This principle can also be applied to home renovations.

At a huge discount, building centers offer products and materials in their second life. Check to see if Habitat ReStores are available in your area. These stores sell repurposed materials, including entire kitchens, at lower prices.

Gomez states that you can find unique pieces that not everyone will have. You may need to dig a little.

Transue suggests that you also consider keeping certain materials in your home. Transue suggests that you can refinish or expand a hardwood floor instead of replacing it.

3. Take a look at big-box discounts

Although they may not be able to source lumber, Costco is increasing the quality of the building materials it sells. This can help you save money on other aspects of your project, Gomez states.

For example, a Kohler sink and faucet set might be $300 at Costco, but it would cost three times as much at a plumbing shop. Gomez states that there is a lot to be gained.

This strategy is also applicable to appliances. Transue recommends floor models, scratch and-dent deals, and closeout sales as ways to save money.

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4. Don’t keep what you don’t need anymore

It is tempting to begin your home renovations with a hammer.

Before you do, make sure to ask yourself whether any of the materials has a resale price. Transue once watched a client carefully take down and resell a whole kitchen, including countertops and cabinets.

Selling old materials can be a way to make money, and offset the higher cost of new materials. Transue states that while your contractor won’t likely resell your materials, you still have the opportunity to make a profit on materials before any actual demolition or construction work starts.

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5. A professional remodeler is recommended

Experts warn that while it can be smart to design and execute a renovation yourself to save money, there may be hidden costs.

This is especially true for lumber: Contractors and professional remodelers have access to products that average consumers don’t.

Transue states that lumber prices are what they are. She adds, “If they work with a remodeler, they can get discounts at lumber yards.”

Transue recommended that you start with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, (NARI), to find and hire qualified professionals. Transue, a NARI Certified Remodeler, serves as the Kansas City Chair for the organization.

Gomez agrees with the fact that working with professionals has many benefits. A professional can help you understand your goals and recommend the best materials for your needs.

Keep in mind, however, that even with all your efforts, there might be supply shortages, delays or price rises. This is the reality of renovating during a pandemic.

Gomez states that it has created a difficult time for both industry professionals and people who want to do-it themselves.