10 Ways to Nail Savings on Your Remodeling Project

Cooking up a major remodeling project, but hoping to get a good price on it? Well, slowing down and taking the time to plan out your renovation can make a huge difference to how deeply you need to dip into your wallet.

Some projects — especially expensive ones — might not give you any return on your investment. You might want to consider whether going forward with such a project is even worth it.

If you do move ahead, read on for creative tips to bring that price down to earth.

1. Save on materials

ThamKC / Shutterstock.com

There are many ways to save on materials for your project. For example, you can recycle and reuse building materials. Habitat for Humanity has hundreds of Habitat ReStores that sell new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances at a fraction of their retail prices.

Other tips include:

  • Find free or cheap materials online through sites like eBay, Craigslist and Freecycle, or in person at flea markets or building-supply auctions operated by state governments.
  • Ask your contractor for odds-and-ends left over from other jobs.

2. Look for deals on pivotal pieces

StudioDin / Shutterstock.com

Keep an eye out for specials on big-ticket items that you need, things like countertops, kitchen island installation or new windows. Once you buy the deal, plan the rest of your remodel around it.

3. Stick with standard sizes

Seregam / Shutterstock.com

Semi-custom pieces can cost twice the price of stock pieces. Custom will set you back even more. Just understand that you’ll sacrifice some options in size, color, finish and accents — such as crown molding — to get the less expensive stock pieces.

4. Consider good imitations

Patryk Kosmider / Shutterstock.com

Buying things like laminate wood planks that resemble hardwood floors can save you a bundle.

5. Maximize space before trying to enlarge it

Fahmida Islam / Shutterstock.com

Sometimes, the existing space you have can work just fine if you are creative. For example, instead of a full-kitchen remodel, you may be able to save thousands by replacing lower cabinet shelves with pullout drawers containing pot trays, lazy Susans or racks for canned goods and other items, says This Old House.

6. Don’t move plumbing

Lisa F. Young / Shutterstock.com

Relocating a toilet just 3 feet can cost you up to $1,000, says This Old House. Relocating the kitchen sink can set you back as much as $2,000.

7. Plan what you’ll spend, and then some

Have a nice day Photo / Shutterstock.com

Make a budget, but build in a 10% to 20% margin of error for whatever may go wrong.

8. Use elbow grease to save on labor costs

Inked Pixels / Shutterstock.com

Sometimes projects are best left to professionals. But paying someone to do interior painting and trim work can cost a small fortune. If you can handle basic tools such as a paint brush, ladder, miter saw and a coping saw, you can save a bundle on labor. If you can’t, consider volunteering at Habitat for Humanity or other groups that would give you free training while you help a good cause.

If you do hire a contractor, ask about doing your own demolition or cleanup. Also ask if you can order supplies yourself. Contractors who order on their own often add markups for themselves on the materials they order for your job.

9. Time your project

LilKar / Shutterstock.com

You’ll often pay a contractor more in summer — the busy season — than in winter months, when work usually slows and they may discount their services.

10. Save on stress and cost with a schedule

Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock.com

Sticking to a timetable may also help avoid cost overruns by eliminating inefficient use of any labor you may hire, or having subcontractors show up to perform work that’s not ready for them to tackle.

For additional tips for stretching your remodeling dollars, check out “36 Home Upgrades That Cost Less Than $100.”

Do you have ingenious ways of making affordable home improvements? Share them in comments or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
These 13 States Tax Social Security Income
These 13 States Tax Social Security Income

Uncle Sam is not the only one looking for a piece of your retirement income. Is your state on this list?

3 Good Things About Recessions
3 Good Things About Recessions

We don’t wish difficulty on anyone, but there can be an upside to a down cycle.

Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them
Don’t Toss These 7 Household Items — Sell Them

Here’s how to earn cash as you give new life to these unwanted items.

10 Ways to Nail Savings on Your Remodeling Project
10 Ways to Nail Savings on Your Remodeling Project

Here’s how to save on your next remodeling project with discounted materials and more tips and tricks.

8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress
8 Products to Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Current events have you feeling anxious? These Amazon products can take the edge off.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect
Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect

Your third coronavirus payment will be the biggest yet — and possibly even bigger than you realize.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles
The 16 Cars Most Likely to Last 200,000 Miles

One automaker takes half the spots on a list of the longest-lasting vehicles.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.