How to Renovate your Home on a Budget

The first home we buy is almost never our dream home, and they’re usually far from perfect. When first buying a house we often are limited to what we can afford, what banks and mortgage lenders will approve us for, and what is available in our area at the time. But being limited in options of your first home shouldn’t limit you to living in anything less than you deem perfect for you. We can get closer to our current home being more like the vision of our dream home through renovations.

However, if you’re a first-time homeowner, making mortgage payments, you likely don’t have large amounts of disposable income that you can allocate to a whole home renovation. You may not even have several thousand available for a smaller renovation. So how are we able to cut back the cost of a home renovation? Here are five tips and pieces of advice to help you save money on your home reno projects.

1: Find the Right Home Renovation Contractor


One of the best ways to save money on any kind of home remodel project is to choose the right home renovation contractor for the job. A company like Reborn Renovations from Calgary, to come in and manage things for you. Hiring the right contractor is one of the best ways to save money because the top contractors will be able to provide competitive rates. They have established trades and partnerships, access to cheaper material pricing than is available to you will at a storefront, and a streamlined and efficient renovation process to keep labour costs down. The top contractors are not interested in taking your money and running. They’re interested in their reputation, their online reviews, and your repeat business.

Plus, having an experienced team of trades complete the work leads to fewer mistakes than a DIY job, and mistakes in renovation cost more money, in the long run, to make it right. So hiring the right home renovation company is the first and best way to save some money on your job.

2: Work on one space at a time

You don’t have to take on a whole home renovation right off the bat. You are able to work on the home in increments and focus on the rooms you wish to renovate when you have the budget to work on those rooms. Going one room at a time also gives you the extra benefit of seeing the house’s true construction before you rip open the walls across the entire home. You may also find that taking it one room at a time lets you reevaluate what you want to do in the other areas of your home. Once you upgrade the master ensuite for example, you might find that you no longer need to do a major overhaul in the main-floor bathroom. A small powder room might suffice. Or you might find out that the aesthetic you really liked and wanted to apply to the whole home renovation is a bit too overwhelming if you were to add it to larger rooms, and is best used in moderation.

3: Instead of Replacing, Consider Refurbishing


Many aspects of a home don’t need to be removed and replaced in order to provide an entirely new aesthetic or appeal. A lot of things can be “freshened up” for a fraction of the cost of installing new.

Hardwood floors for example don’t need to be replaced with new laminate. You can sand down, and restain hardwood in a variety of different colours.

Kitchen cabinets don’t need to be removed and new cabinet boxes installed when the layout is suiting your current needs. Cabinet painting or cabinet refacing can change the entire look of your kitchen for dramatically less than brand new cabinets would cost you. A lot of those similar changes can be applied to stairs, railings, baseboards, and casings. Refurbishing instead of replacing is a great way to keep costs down significantly in a home renovation.

4: Use Cheaper Alternatives

It’s easy to get overly excited about your home renovation and compare it to the massive house remodels done on television, but those shows have huge budgets, where the rest of us have only a moderate budget we can allocate to renovations. In some cases, we may need to use cheaper alternatives to some of our initial choices.

Rare granite or marble countertops are nice. However, quartz or other man-made materials can look very similar at a fraction of the cost. Large format tile can be beautiful, but the larger the tile size, the more expensive the tile. What are a few more grout lines?

5: Tackle the Easy Stuff Yourself


You may not be the Mike Holmes or Bryan Baeumler of your city, Who’s going to gut and redo an entire house over the weekend, but there are still plenty of ways you can put in a little elbow grease to keep costs down on your renovation. For example, if you know a certain area of your home is going to need the drywall removed, consider donning your safety gloves and goggles and doing a bit of the demolition work yourself. Pros are likely to install the new drywall, but they don’t have to be the ones to do the painting. With a little patience and some practice that’s another easy way to keep the costs down. Even smaller things like doing the site protection and site clean up after the reno.

It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to bring your current home one or two steps closers to being your dream home. When planned properly, you hire a reputable renovation company, concessions on some materials are made, and you’re willing to put in a little sweat equity, then you can get a quality home renovation done for a fraction of the cost.

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