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How to Remodel Your Dream Home on a Budget

A home remodel can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but you can take smart steps to complete the job on a budget. Consider the following tips from our Guides Home Team to maximize savings while creating the home you’ve always wanted.

Steps to a Budget Remodel

Planning a remodel on a budget is all about setting a clear plan and staying organized. Follow the steps below to get started.

Step 1: Plan

Start by figuring out your budget for the remodel. Determine your project’s scope and what supplies you’ll need, as well as which parts you’ll do yourself versus which ones you’ll need to hire a professional to do.

Establish a Budget

Review your bank account and decide how much you can comfortably spend on your remodel. If needed, make a plan to save for the next few months before starting the project.

List Your Must-have Items

Once you have a budget, you can make wise choices about each component of your remodel. Research the costs of each component you want to change. For a bathroom remodel, this might include the wall paint, a new or upgraded vanity, new or updated flooring, and a new bathtub.

If you value one change over another — say, a luxury bathtub is a higher priority than new flooring — you can allot your budget accordingly and choose a higher grade bathtub and less expensive tile.

It’s also important to account for surprise costs. If you’re swapping out the sink but discover a plumbing issue, you may need to spend more than initially planned to correct the problem. As you add up the costs of your must-haves and nice-to-haves, reserve a portion of your budget for unexpected expenses.

Decide on DIY vs. Professionals

Weigh the pros and cons of hiring a professional versus completing tasks yourself. Some tasks — such as painting the kitchen cabinets — may be well within your abilities, but rewiring electricity or changing plumbing is likely better left to the professionals.

DIY can save on labor costs (as long as you have your own time to invest in the project), but you can also make costly mistakes if you tackle more complex projects that typically require expert training. A flood in the downstairs living room from a DIY plumbing error is going to be more costly than hiring a plumber to do the job in the first place.

Step 2: Find Deals and Alternatives

A remodel doesn’t require you to replace everything in the room, and you don’t need to purchase all new or full-price appliances and supplies. Looking for deals and alternatives to replace items can help you save.

Shop for appliance deals by looking at a warehouse or asking retailers for a discount on floor models.

Shop Directly From the Warehouse

Instead of buying appliances and cabinets from a retail store, you can often go directly to a warehouse. You can also ask to look at any returned or damaged items; you may not care about a small cosmetic defect if it means a reduced price. Another option is to ask a retail salesperson if they have any floor display items for sale; you can often score a discount on the stove or refrigerator that was on display.

Don’t Replace All Your Appliances

One of the most expensive parts of a remodel can be new appliances. Instead of replacing your appliances, consider investing in a home warranty that will cover the appliances you already have.

Look for Secondhand or Lightly Used Materials

Furniture can be a great option to find secondhand if you’re working on a DIY remodel. For example, you may be able to refinish ugly cabinets for a lot less than it would take to purchase them new. Other people in your area may also be selling supplies or tools you need at a low price if they’ve completed a similar project or are moving. You can check out garage sales, Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Nextdoor and similar options to find deals.

Step 3: Organize Your Space

A remodeling project can lead to some chaos in your home. Planning ahead will keep your life a little more organized during the project and help you avoid losing supplies. Additionally, you can donate or sell unused supplies and the appliances or fixtures you’re removing.

Sell or Donate Materials

Trash removal for appliances and large fixtures can come with a pickup fee, depending on your location. If you sell or donate old working appliances or items such as cabinets, you can usually request that the purchaser pick them up to save on the cost of disposal. For example, Habitat for Humanity typically picks up large donations at no cost.

Establish a Debris Disposal Solution

Depending on the size of your remodel, renting a dumpster may be more cost-effective than frequent trips to the city dump. You’ll also save on potential fines from leaving items for curbside pickup that aren’t allowed. Dumpsters often rent at a flat rate with removal included in the quoted price.

Set Up Temporary Spaces

If you’re remodeling your kitchen and won’t have access to your stove and refrigerator for a few weeks (or longer), set up a temporary space elsewhere in your home. As long as you have refrigeration and a microwave, you can still make some food at home instead of eating out or ordering takeout every night while your kitchen is unusable.

Source: MarketWatch

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