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40 Ingenious Ways To Save Money On Your Basement Remodel

Save Money On Your Basement Remodel
Every basement remodeling project has the problem of cost control. It is not cheap to remodel any part of your home. Your basement remodel project can run in the tens of thousands of dollars. Basements have a lot of additional issues that can drive costs up that are unique to that space. Moisture issues, lack of windows, and other aspects can make your basement remodel more expensive than you anticipated.

Before you read our tips about ways to save money on your basement remodel there is a question you must answer. What is your goal for your basement? This question is one of the best ways to save money. By knowing what it is you are trying accomplish you are able to focus your efforts. Plunging into a remodel without a clear vision is a recipe for disaster. Create a complete detailed vision for your basement before buying anything.

Ways to Save

  1. Do extensive research and find out exactly what the costs are going to be for the materials, labor, and construction of your new basement.
  2. Planning extensively is one of the best ways to ensure that you keep your costs down.
  3. Build what you will use most to avoid spending money on things that will not be useful in your home. If you aren’t going to need or use some aspect you are paying for in your remodel it is just wasting money.
  4. Avoid the “We could also” impulse. Often as a remodel progresses you can think of more things that would be great to do. These last minute additions can drive the price up by not being part of your initial plan.
  5. Save yourself money down the road by fixing moisture issues when you remodel. While it may be cheaper to just skip this step, it will cost more down the road to ignore issues.
  6. Never forget permits are necessary in order to do construction. Failing to get both permits, and the proper inspections, can mean work delays. The worst case is that by failing to get the proper permits you may need to open walls for inspections, or remove work.
  7. Avoiding putting in plumbing is one of the main ways to save money on a basement remodeling project. A bathroom can add 10 to 20 thousand dollars to your remodel.
  8. Properly insulating your basement saves money through lower heating and air conditioning costs.
  9. Don’t make it a living space, this avoids permit requirements for egress windows and ceiling heights.
  10. Keep the basement space open as open as possible. Embracing an open concept means you need fewer walls. Each wall that you avoid can reduce your costs by as much as $1000.
  11. Use standard sizes to take advantage of cost savings, it also reduces waste if you plan correctly.
  12. Don’t do the whole basement and only remodel a portion of your basement. Leaving a large portion of your basement unfinished saves you money on project costs.
  13. Use less expensive materials instead of the luxury versions. Not every remodel needs rare hardwood floors and marble countertops.
  14. Doing your own demolition saves around 100 dollars an hour. So break down the walls and tear up your floors on your own. Be careful of existing electrical and plumbing though.
  15. Remember long term costs as you make decisions. Even though you can save money by making quick choices on materials and finishes look at the lifetime costs.
  16. Ask your contractors or any local contractors if you can buy their leftover materials. If you are only in need of a small amount of some material you can realize great savings this way.
  17. Don’t use recessed lights, each one costs around 100 dollars. Wall sconces may be less trendy, but they are also much less expensive.
  18. Do work yourself to save the most money. Each part of the project that you are able to complete on your own saves hundreds if not thousands of dollars on your project.
  19. Running your own errands is a simple thing that any homeowner can do, no matter their level of ability.
  20. Use imitation materials to get the look of luxury without the luxury price tag.
  21. Locate any new plumbing near existing plumbing to save yourself the cost of rerouting drain pipes and vent stacks.
  22. Buy materials at auction to get some great bargains. Check out local construction auctions and estate auctions which may have useful material.
  23. Increase spacing of studs from 24 instead of 16. This saves on the cost of 2×4’s and is usually within code as long as a wall is not load bearing.
  24. Use as few doors as possible, each door may add around $500 to your total.
  25. Stain the existing concrete floor to avoid the cost of adding a subfloor. Using the existing concrete also saves on padding and carpeting
  26. Rent tools instead of buying them, you will need various specialized tools if you are doing it yourself. Unless you have more than one basement you may never use that tool again. Check out your local building supply store to see if you can rent things by the day.
  27. Get multiple bids to ensure you pay the lowest contract costs. Always try to get three bids for any project, task, or material, if possible.
  28. Ask contractors where you can find savings, they are likely way more in tune with the local market than you may be.
  29. Choose to work off-season in order to get some savings. Contractors may be as much as 5% to 10% cheaper in their off season. With a basement remodel you may be able to take advantage of when contractors are traditionally more likely to not be working.
  30. Ask for discounts, this might seem a silly suggestion, but it can often lead to some savings. If you are a veteran, or a civil servant, this can often be a hidden way to save. A lot of businesses may offer a discount that they don’t advertise openly.
  31. Keep any electrical wiring where it is instead of moving any around. An electrician can cost you over $80 an hour, and may cost more in permit fees.
  32. Go with a painted ceiling and save thousands on installing a drop ceiling. Painting the existing joists, ducts, and wires one color creates an interesting ceiling inexpensively. This is a great way that a home owner can do themselves.
  33. Wrap the posts instead of moving them by building boxes around them to turn them into pillars. Keeping the supports in place saves the cost of labor to remove them, as well as the cost of the new span. Moving supports usually also means you need an architect to draw new plans for a permit.
  34. Go industrial and keep I-beams exposed.
  35. Putting in a fabric ceiling can save a lot of money. This can be done fairly easily, the fabric can be left as is, or varnished and painted.
  36. Leave ducting where it is, each move will cost you.
  37. Recycle materials left over from other projects in the home. This has the added benefit of keeping the same style throughout your home.
  38. Buy materials at a Houses for Humanity ReStore or other store that sells recycled materials.
  39. Purchase remnants. Both carpet and paint remnants can save you a lot of money. Matching these later may be an issue though so be sure you get as much as possible.
  40. Conscript friends and family as helpers. If you have the people you can ask for help each one can save you money you would be paying a general laborer. If you have relatives that are actual contractors or professionals this is even more of a cost saving.