32 Common sense ways to save money on your garage remodel
Your garage remodeling project is almost always an expensive endeavor. Take the time to find ways to save money on your garage remodel. Every garage remodel is a unique project. The costs can be something that easily overwhelm your idea. Your garage remodeling project can benefit from some basic ways to save money. There are cost savings that can be found in almost every aspect of your project.
The following 32 ideas will help you to keep your costs down. Remember that low cost doesn’t always mean cheap. By using these thought provoking ways, you can have both.
Ways to save money on your garage remodel
- Make a plan: The number one way of saving money is to have a good plan in place before you start. Your plan must be complete. This means planning for material and labor. Your plan needs to address every aspect of your remodeling project. Plunging into a remodeling project before you know what you are trying to accomplish leads to cost overruns and delays.
- Buy at Auction: A good place to look for materials is at auctions. Local building auctions are where contractors try to sell off their excess materials from previous jobs.
- Determine needs vs wants: There is always a difference between what you WANT in your garage, and what you NEED. While you may want a high end entertainment complex, do you need it? Before you begin your project sit down and make a list of needs, and wants. By creating a prioritized list you keep yourself from overspending. Once you have your needs addressed, throw in a few wants.
- Never move the plumbing: In a garage remodel it’s often tempting to put in a bathroom. If you can locate this bathroom without moving or having to install plumbing, you can save money. Moving plumbing, or locating plumbing away from existing pipes is an expensive proposition. An easy way to save money is to just avoid it.
- Don’t touch the slab: Closely related to not moving the plumbing is to not touch the concrete slab. Any work on the concrete slab can cost thousands of dollars in repair and fixes.
- Build in the off season: All contractors have seasons where they are busier, and seasons when it is harder to find work. Contractors can sometimes offer a savings of around 5% if you get your work done in their off season. For most contractors this is the period right after the beginning of the year.
- Select Imitations: There are a lot of look-alike products on the market. These offer the look of luxury without the luxury price tag. Modern materials do a great job of being almost indistinguishable from the real materials they replace.
- Do work yourself: Each hour you do work yourself and each project you complete on your own is money you have saved. Even a general laborer costs over 10 dollars per hour.
- Don’t use canister lights: The difference between the cost of a recessed light and normal light can be as much as $100 per light. Limit your use of recessed lighting to save thousands.
- Ask for sources: Another place that you can find some savings is to ask your contractor where he gets his supplies. Your contractor knows the local area stores way more than you probably ever will.
- Demo it yourself: Along with doing work yourself you can also do the demolition yourself. This is usually well within the abilities of almost all home owners. So save some money by picking up a sledge hammer and taking out what needs to go.
- Get a tax break: Donations can get you money back at a later time. Try to keep your materials in good order so that they can be donated. This also applies to your remnants. Round everything up and donate it all to charity at the end of the project, or along the way.
- Window Issues: Windows can be expensive propositions. In a garage remodel you can save money by adding windows in where you build your new wall. By working the new window into the new wall you save money on cutting through your existing walls to make them large enough to comply with codes.
- Use what you have: Look for savings by using what you already have around the house. This can include furniture as well as leftovers from other projects. Sometimes there is paint, or flooring that can be used in your garage remodel.
- Buy unfinished articles: If you have some do it yourself skills buy your furniture and other materials unfinished. Do the final finishing yourself. Staining and painting can all be done on unfinished materials as you put them in.
- Search yard sales: A little thought of place to look for materials and furniture is from yard sales. When people complete their projects there are usually left overs. Professionals have auctions, regular people sell their items at a yard sale.
- Pay in cash: Paying up front in cash can result in discounts from some contractors. When you have a firm bid from a contractor ask them if there is a discount for paying up front in cash.
- Find sales: Do the legwork to find your materials and furniture on sale. This works great if you are taking the time to plan your remodel. Wait until a holiday and then purchase your materials.
- Join the club: Getting a discount card from big box retailers is often well worth the hassle. Also there are often discounts when opening up a new account at a store.
- Buy clearance items: If you can be a bit open to different styles or brands think about clearance items. Be flexible and buy materials when they come up on clearance.
- Pay a professional designer: It might seem strange to advise you to spend money on a designer. However, they can save you money by keeping your project reasonable. They are able to tell you what to choose and what to avoid. A professional designer can also guide you to the most economical choices.
- Do your own prep work: Just as most home owners can do demo work, a lot of prep work is within the reach of most homewoners. Gathering the right materials and having them ready for your contractor can keep you below your budget.
- Buy remnants: Remnants are often the way to go. These small amounts can be useful for a garage remodel as less square feet may be involved in a garage remodel. The legwork involved often pays off with deep discounts.
- Waste not want not: Don’t underestimate the things your family and friends may have left over from their projects. Paint and flooring is often left over from projects. Keep an open mind and these may be able to address some of what you need for your own project.
- Buy gently used: Everyone wants things they buy to be perfect, which is an understandable goal. Buying gently used, or returned, materials can save you a significant amount. Try out the clearance aisle, and look in the back of the store for refurbished items.
- Avoid bells and whistles: Save money by avoiding the extras. Where crown molding and solid wood doors are great ideas, they are expenses you can avoid. Keep your remodel basic and save. It can be beautiful, while still being cost effective.
- Have a garage sale: Add some padding to your budget by selling off the things you need to get rid of. You likely won’t get thousands of dollars from what is in your garage. Every dollar could be one that is needed to add a bit of “oomph” to your remodel.
- Get a trailer: If you have a truck, or an SUV, consider buying a trailer. Putting a couple of hundred dollars into a trailer can save you thousands in transportation costs. Having a trailer allows you to both pick up materials, and take away debris. These tasks can costs thousands through a large project.
- Contractors can save money: If you are not the most capable home owner when it comes to remodeling get a contractor. Trying to do things that you are beyond your skills can be more expensive when you have to pay to repair the inevitable mistakes. A good contractor does things right the first time and in the right way.
- Get multiple quotes: Don’t just take the first contractor that comes your way. Get multiple bids, usually at least 3, for your project. This ensures that you get the best price on the work you need done.
- Conscript family and friends: Family and friends are a very useful resource. Using them for simple projects like painting, cleaning, demolition or preparation is cost friendly.
- Ask your local Realtor®: When you begin making your plan, consult a local real estate agent. These professionals are able to take a look at your plans and tell you how it compares to other houses. This will help you focus your garage remodel on the things that are most cost effective.