How to Remodel Your Home: The Ultimate Guide

Remodeling your home doesn’t need to be hard. Although it will take time, and it will cost money, if you’ve done your homework, there are ways to make sure your home remodeling projects turns out a success. In this article we’ll explore how to go about remodeling your home. You have all the information at your finger tips, now it’s up to you. Read the whole article, or simply read parts of it. Here are all the topics we’ll cover in this article.

House Remodel Facts That Really Matter

Floor plan as well as remodeling tools on a wooden table
As you consider a home remodel, there are things that can make or break your project. Houses have to adapt to changing family needs as time goes on. Remodeling a house includes updating the visual appearance, and changing the layout to suit the needs of the family. These facts that can make your project successful are important things to know.

Typically a remodeling project that is more extensive needs careful management. Knowing facts and guidelines helps you to manage the project successfully.  Here are the facts to know about house remodeling to help you succeed.


Remodeling is costlier than building new: Remodeling a room costs more than building a room from scratch. When remodeling you have to demolish the existing room before you can even begin. This added labor increases the cost. Unless you are remodeling the entire home you can be stuck with costs to find specific materials to fit into what already exists. This can be costly if you are in an older home.

Make sure you have structural support: Going to an open concept floorplan is a great idea. If you are taking an older home and trying to go open concept you have to address structural support. When you remove a support wall you have to install a support beam. This may also mean you need to pour a footing under the home for an upright.

Permits and covenants are important: Remodeling can be as simple as repainting rooms, or as complicated as a complete gutting and rebuilding. For anything other than simple interior repainting you will need to check on getting permits and HOA agreements. City building permits determine what you can build. Home Owners Associations limit what your property can look like. Check with both before beginning your project.

Consult experts before starting: Before you begin working, during your planning stages, find experts to consult with. Architects and contractors can help you make the best decisions for your remodel. Looking at websites and magazines is good, but a professional can help you determine what will work specifically for your home.

Doing it yourself can be good, or bad: You can save a lot of money by doing your remodeling work yourself. General work that an unskilled laborer can do is usually within the skills of a dedicated homeowner. However, when you begin to work with plumbing, electrical, or HVAC you should call in a professional.

You can probably use a general contractor: If you are going to pursue a large-scale remodel you will likely mix do it yourself projects and several different contractors to get things done. The best way to handle this is to hire a general contractor. A general contractor handles deliveries, schedules inspections, manages sub-contractors.

You will retain some of the value you put in: Your home remodeling project shouldn’t be a money pit. Don’t expect to add the entire amount to your home’s value, though. On average, remodeling your entire home retains about 75% of the amount you invest into the project. This is an average of remodeling projects for an entire home. Different projects have different returns and should be balanced against each other.

Embrace energy efficiency: You can save as much as 30% by embracing energy efficiency in your remodeling project. Energy efficiency means looking at your home and as you do your projects selecting materials that reduce your energy use. This can be better windows, more insulation, or new energy star rated appliances. You may even qualify for tax incentives if you pursue this course on your project.

Be careful in the morning: You are more likely to get injured in the morning. Most work-related accidents happen between 8 in the morning and noon. So pay extra attention when you get up and start your projects.

Safety is important: I’m sure you have seen it a thousand times, someone who just wants to get things done and doesn’t worry about safety. When doing your own projects there is a tendency to skip on safety. Make sure you always wear the proper protective gear. Gloves and goggles are the minimum equipment you should always have on when doing a project.

  • Ladders are always safety hazards. Be sure to have the ladder stable on all legs. Try to have a spotter to steady the ladder. Avoid being on a ladder without that safety person.
  • Use caution with concrete nail guns. They are as dangerous as the name implies. Always be extra careful and make sure you don’t get hit by debris.
  • Electrical work should only be done by a professional. Even if you know your way around basic wiring, there is no way of knowing if the last homeowner did. Use extra precautions when knocking down walls to be sure you don’t come across hidden wiring.
  • Digging can be dangerous. If you are trenching or excavating anything over 5 feet deep you need to use precautions and do it carefully.

Baby boomers are important: Almost a quarter of all home renovations are pursued by people at or over the age of 65. If you are renovating your home for sale, keep this fact in mind. Adding in accessibility features and wider doorways can help your home appeal to them.

Spending Guide: Generally you shouldn’t overspend on rooms. As a general guide, you should spend the percentages listed below on each room. This is a percentage of the value your home pre-remodel.

  •  – 15%
  • Master Bathroom – 10%
  •  – 5%
  •  or Basement – 15%
  • Living Room, Dining Room,  – 3%
  • Patio or Deck – 5%

There will be problems: When you are pursuing a house remodel there will be problems. These problems can’t always be foreseen and may not even be known about when you start. As you open up walls you have the chance to find bad wiring, old plumbing, and structural issues. Add at least 10% of your budget to a contingency fund. The older your home, the more you should have set aside.

Quality materials last longer: Quality materials are more expensive up front, and take a larger hit on your budget. You might not be able to get as much as you want taking this route. However, the long-term costs will be lower and you won’t need to replace materials as often.

Contractors are busy: If you can get a contractor at the last minute it likely means that they aren’t someone you may want. The best contractors are booked months ahead of time. Keep this in mind and plan your remodel to your advantage.

You won’t get everything you want: One of the main facts about a home remodel is that you won’t get everything that you want. You will need to compromise and prioritize what you want out of your remodel.


How to Remodel a House in 5 Easy Steps

House seen from the outside
A whole house remodel is an extensive project. Tackling this size of a project without a lot of thought leads to months of extra work, and tens of thousands of extra dollars. As you think about it, it can seem a huge project that you could never accomplish. With a lot of planning, and keeping organized, you can tackle it. Learning how to remodel a house in 5 easy steps helps break this overwhelming task into manageable pieces.

Whether you are going to try to tackle it on your own or hire a contractor, there are some simple steps to help keep you organized. Your home remodel doesn’t have to be a disaster or a failure that costs more money. Follow these simple steps and you can save yourself time, headaches, and a drained bank account.

Step 1: Questions to Ask

The first step in any project is to ask yourself some questions. These questions will begin your planning process and help you determine what the project will consist of. The goal is to answer these questions honestly and completely. If you are a couple it is important that you don’t answer questions how you think your partner wants you to. When thinking about remodeling your home, begin by asking yourself the following questions

Why: What is the reason you want to remodel? The answer to this question directs you towards where you want your money to go. If your answer is that you are remodeling to fix issues in your home then your focus is going to be on repairs. However, if your home is in generally good condition, repair the things that need repair and focus on upgrades and improvements.

What: So, what do you actually want to do to your home? This is where you begin some basic research.

  • Make wish lists: You (and your partner if you are a couple) begin by making a wish list of all the things you really want in your remodeled home.
  • If you are part of a couple there will be compromises. Don’t let this stage become a fight, find common ground.
  • Research: Look through remodeling magazines, watch some home improvement shows. Look at sites like Pinterest for inspiration. Model homes and furniture stores can also get your creative side moving.

How Much: Now you have to decide how much money you have to work with. The amount of money you can put into your project will determine how much of your wish list gets done. This is the point at which you also talk to your bank and look at any accounts to see how much money you will be able to put together for your project.

Step 2: Make The Plan

Sketch it out: Most people are not professional architects. This means you shouldn’t just try to explain what you want verbally since you don’t have the right vocabulary. Take the time to make rough drawings of the changes you want to your home. This will help you plan and will help when you try to convey your wishes to other people.

  • If you are technically savvy there are several programs that will help you with home layouts. These let you print out your new layouts in an almost professional manner.

Determine what to contract: You won’t be able to do all the work yourself. Unless you are a general contractor you will have to hire people to do some parts of your work. Make a list of your projects, and separate them into ones you can do, and the ones you have to contract. Be honest with yourself about your time and your skill level though, it can cost more to fix than to just hire in the first place.

Finalize Budget: Once you have the total amount of money that you can use and your preliminary plan you can create a budget. This budget will detail in broad scope how much you are able to spend on each project.

Step 3: Final Decisions

Pick Contractor(s): Look for reputable contractors and select at least three to approach. Meet with each and get bids for the work that needs to be done. Make sure you get contracts that cover both what will be done, and what happens if it is not.

  • If you are using more than one contractor you should get a general contractor to coordinate everything. They will make sure everything is done according to the plan you decide on.
  • The cheapest contractor is not always the best choice. Balance the contractor’s bid against their reputations. Make sure to point out all of the work that you intend to do on your own so that it is not included in the bid itself.

Get Professional Plans: Hire an architect to do real drawings. Not only is this going to speed up the permitting process, but they may point out issues you didn’t think of. Professional architects will be able to tell you when your plan doesn’t fit your home.

Get Permits: Ensure that you apply for, and get approved, permits for all of the work that you intend to do. This can be done by yourself, or your contractors, but it must be done. Don’t begin any work unless you have an approved permit. Avoid the impulse to start on the work before it is approved.

Timeline: Make a timeline.  You’ll need to talk to your contractor(s) or general contractor who can tell you when they will do things.  This timeline will also tell you what parts have to come before others.

Seasonal Issues: Depending on where you live, there will be parts of the year that you should not plan to work. The rainy season, the dead of winter, these are bad times to do your project. Look at your timeline and make sure your work will fit into the best time of the year to work.

Step 4: The Remodeling Process


  • Before doing any work purchase all of the necessary supplies. Doing your buying up front makes sure you are not delayed waiting on.
  • If you can, wait for all of your supplies to be delivered. This ensures you won’t have to sit waiting on deliveries.
  • Demolition:
  • The first step in your remodeling process is demolition. This is often something homeowners can accomplish on their own. However, if you have large scale demolition involving exterior walls and large portions of your home it may be better left to a contractor.
  • If you are doing demolition on your own don’t forget the waste container rental. Your debris has to go somewhere.
  • Know if you have , mold, or and take the appropriate precautions for any toxic material.

Work outside in:

  • Make sure you tackle the exterior structure of your home first. This is especially important in areas where weather is a concern.
  • Foundations go first to give you a base to work from.
  • Walls go up next to outline your structure, remember to put on the exterior cladding only.
  • Roofing goes up to keep the weather out.
  • Interior framing is done before anything else to be sure that the electrical and plumbing can be done correctly.


  • Plumbing should be done first as it is the most unchangeable installation.
  • HVAC is best done second, vent routing can be changed but once it is done it is expensive to redo.
  • Electrical is usually done last. Wiring can be moved easily and ran to avoid the other items inside of a wall.
  • Place insulation in any exterior walls, and in the walls of any rooms inside that you want to insulate.
  • Drywall gets put on last. Always ensure all your required inspections for plumbing and electrical are completed before doing this.


  • Any replacement windows should wait until your walls are drywalled and your structural components are completed.

Painting, Molding & Flooring:

  •  first to avoid dripping paint and scuffing up any brand new flooring.
  • If there is still work to be done on the home make sure to cover your flooring to avoid it getting scuffed.

Install Cabinets and Appliances:

  • Run your flooring under cabinets and appliances. It may seem like a waste at first, but it will allow you to move things later.
  • Cabinets are put into place before you put in your appliances. Be sure to double and triple check measurements.

Exterior work:

  • When the interior of the home completed it is time to do all the exterior work.
  • Place gutters, put on your siding choice. In general work from top down in most exterior projects. Treat your grass as a type of flooring. Do all of the heavy work before you replace the turf.
  • Waiting until you are done with all of your interior work saves you the expense of changing siding for a new window.

Finishing Touches:

  • Final details are put into place to give your home the finished look you were hoping for.
  • Backsplashes, lights, outlet covers, fixtures and other small touches are all completed.

Step 5: Inspect the Final Product

Once the final tile is set into place, and the last fixture is done your work is not done. Your final step is to inspect the finished work. Walk through the property and look over everything that was worked on. Compare the work that was completed to what you contracted to be done to be sure you got what you paid for. Don’t forget to look at what you did yourself.

  • Make sure to detail any work that is not done in compliance with the contract. Take pictures to have proof of how the work was completed.
  • If there are mistakes that need to be corrected submit them to your contractor in writing.

Things to Keep in Mind:

Do your part: If you have signed on to do work, then you have to do that work on time the same as a contractor would. When you take a weekend off to do something else, the entire project gets delayed. This increases costs and can throw an entire remodel off track.

Keep an eye on the project: As the project progresses, check what has been accomplished at the end of every day. This doesn’t mean be a nuisance, you can wait until the workers are gone for the day to do your walkthrough.

  • Look for anything that doesn’t work in a real world setting. Sometimes what looks good on paper doesn’t work in real life. Address these as soon as possible to coordinate a change as cheaply as possible.
  • If you see anything wrong make a note of it, take pictures of it, and contact the contractor before any additional work is done. It can cost a lot more to tear open a wall to fix a problem you forgot to tell your contractor about.

Stay out of the way: One of the main ways you can help the progress of your remodel is to stay out of the way of your contractors. If possible give the whole home over to the project and stay someplace else. This can often be outside what your budget allows. If you have to remain in the home do your best to stay out of your contractor’s way.

  • It is great to be personable, but remember every minute your contractor spends talking to you is a minute you are paying them not to work.
  • Keep your areas clutter-free to make sure the work can progress on schedule. If your contractor has to spend time each day cleaning up your mess then he isn’t spending that time moving the project forward.

How to Remodel a Small House: The Best Tips

Small house
So you have a smaller home and are worried there is nothing you can do to make it look better. Your renovation ideas all include huge master bathrooms and grand entrances. Your small home can still be a great project, though. In fact, you have some benefits working with a smaller home that makes it a great opportunity. Deciding how to remodel a small house can be a test of your creative skills.

Is your house considered a small house? Most of the time a home that is 2000 square feet or less is considered a “small” home. The good part of having a small home is that it is normally less expensive. For a basic renovation of your small home that doesn’t involve structural changes or major upgrades, you can expect to spend around $20,000. Once you start moving walls and adding luxury elements that price can go up dramatically.

The main thing to remember is to maximize your space. In a larger home, you can ignore dead spaces, and have a little more leeway when making decisions. In a smaller home, you need to take a look at the whole home and make the choice that works for overall space.  When making decisions on individual rooms you need to keep the whole home in mind.

The Best Tips Ever

If your room seems to lack some detail then add some detail with crown molding. To add the illusion of more height for a smaller room you can use crown molding. By drawing the eye up to the ceiling you can give a room the illusion of more height.

Another way to trick the eye to make a room seem taller is to hang curtains near the ceiling. By putting your curtains up near the ceiling you make the windows seem larger. This pulls the entire visual aspect of the room up and can take a room that looks “squat” and give it a much more stately appearance.

As you think of design elements for small houses you should pick elements that aren’t “heavy”. Large bases and thick stands should be avoided. Use pedestal sinks and similar linear elements to maximize space. A smaller home means use smaller elements to not make any room feel overwhelmed by the furniture you pick.

If your home is on the very small side consider pocket doors. The main benefit of a pocket door is that you can use the dead space that a regular door requires. Regaining this space can give you that extra bit of space that makes a room go from cramped to cozy.

Nothing will kill a small space more than stuff all over. To make your home look as roomy as possible you need to declutter. Having your rooms overflowing with things eats up floor space and visual space. In a large home this may be less noticeable, in a small house, it is vital to keep your belongings organized and neat looking.

If you have too much stuff you can either add storage in the shed or you can add a storage shed outside. Adding a storage shed outside gives you the chance to use more of the interior space for living. Taking a storage closet or area out can give you some precious square feet in a smaller room. A good storage shed is weatherproof and allows you to safely move clothes and other items out of your home and into your shed.

Another way  to make the best use of your space is to use storage areas wisely. You have to be creative and find spaces that you can fit storage space into that doesn’t eat up valuable floor space. This can be making creative use of the space under stairs, above doors, or recessed cabinets. Take a look around your small house and you can likely find a lot of areas that can be refitted to let you create storage areas. Utilize dead spaces between studs for niches

Utilize dead spaces between studs for niches to give your space some shelving that doesn’t reduce the size of your room. This is a great option for those wall spaces that don’t have any plumbing, electrical, or HVAC inside of them. Be sure to check this before pursuing this type of project so you don’t have a costly accident.

Bring cabinetry to the ceiling to use the full height of a room. In this school of thought, the taller cabinets make the room seem taller and larger.  The flip side of this coin is the thought that if you keep some open space above your cabinets it makes your room look larger by giving you some longer sight lines.  When trying to make this decision take a look at your space and select the option that works for your home.

One of the often unused places for storage is above the toilet. Use the space above the toilet for storage by putting a cabinet or a shelf in the space above it. Leave yourself enough space to get the lid of the reservoir off, or you will regret your choice. Nothing is worse than having to undo an entire setup just to get into the reservoir. This space can be great for some shelves or a cabinet.

As you begin your remodel take a look at rooms for how they are used, and how often. In a small house remodel you have to maximize efficiency and purpose. In a large home you can have rooms that you have “for show”, in a small room you don’t have the luxury. Examine how you use rooms and see if you can repurpose a room to address what you think you are missing.

One of the best ways to make a small house remodel work is to go open concept. By removing walls you open sight lines that make every room seem larger. This allows you to enhance the overall look by tying rooms together with flooring and colors. Embracing an open concept is one of the best decisions you can make when deciding to do a remodel on a small house.

An easy way to tie rooms together is to use a single type of flooring throughout the home. This removes a sense of separation and compartmentalization that can make individual rooms seem smaller than they may be. This can be done less expensively in a small house, and is done easily with both laminates and hardwoods.

Reduce furniture in your small house to gain more space. When you have a smaller home you don’t have the room for massive sectionals, and king size beds. Think minimal furniture, have what you need and use, and only what you need and use. Take out some of your extra furniture and make yourself some room.

Use large windows to bring in more space. Large windows give you the appearance of a larger space since you take advantage of that open area. This is a great idea because you gain some apparent space with only a window. This might not be the most amazing idea if right outside your window is the side of the house next door. Keep in mind what you are opening up your room to see.

Space in the kitchen of a small house is at a premium. If you need an eat-in kitchen use wall mounted nook seating. This pushes the table as far against the wall as possible and that saves space. A wall mounted nook takes up a corner usually, leaving you more space for utility areas for the stove, oven and other appliances.

Most owners and buyers want an ensuite bathroom for the master suite. This can be difficult in a smaller house. However, if you consider using a pocket or barn door the master bathroom can also still be space that adds to the master suite. A barn door is extremely stylish, and allows privacy when you are using the bathroom, and can be slid open to give more visual space to the room.

In small rooms and homes, there is sometimes the tendency to just add a bunch of mirrored walls to make rooms look larger. This is usually a bad idea, add mirrors judiciously. There are some spaces where a well-placed mirror adds some depth to a room and should be used. Just make sure you aren’t adding mirrors everywhere thinking it will help. It usually won’t help at all if you go overboard.

Reclaim dead space around your home. Places like underneath stairs, and above high ceiling stairwells can be repurposed. Take a look around your home and see where you have things placed, and see if they would be better in other areas. Not every room is configured the best for the use it is put to.

If your small house remodel can include it, finish your basement. Even if you can’t add the necessary windows and access to turn it into a bedroom, it can still add a lot of square feet to your home. The basement is the easiest space to add to your home. It is usually just a little bit of extra effort to bring it up to being livable.

Dual purpose rooms can help your small house remodel accomplish a lot more. Instead of having separate rooms for guests and an office, you can make a single room dual purpose and accomplish both tasks. Use a murphy bed, or a built in bed of some sort to be able to turn your office into a guest room with ease.

Use light colors in your designs to gain the best visual impact. Light colors make spaces seem larger and this is something that you need to take advantage of in smaller homes. Dark colors will often make a room seem closed of and dismal. This is alright if the rooms actual size balances that depth. In your small house, you can’t afford to use really dark colors.

Leave closet doors off to make a room seem larger. When you put this tip with a good closet organizer you take a room that might feel small and instead it becomes a visual centerpoint. A closet with a great organizer can be a focal point for the room and draw the eye, making it seem much larger than it is.

The last tip that applies to a small house remodel is to expand where you can. The best way to make your small house seem larger is to actually make it larger. If you have a large yard and a small home then expand out. If you don’t have much yard to work with consider adding another story to your home. Either way you go you end up turning your small home into a larger one.


How to Remodel a House On A Budget: 50 Surefire Tips

Piggy bank next to a calculator
Remodeling your house is a huge task. Often finding out how to remodel a house on a budget comes with a huge bill, but it doesn’t always have to be this way. When you make smart choices and do some research you can shave thousands off of your budget. There is not just one way to remodel a house on a budget, there are many. While not every suggestion will work for every home, being smart and using the ones that do will keep some extra money in your wallet.

If you have an unlimited budget you can disregard these suggestions. Most of us don’t have an unlimited budget though so we need to get the most impact for every dollar. Budget remodeling requires stretching each dollar allows you to do more in your home. Every dollar you save with one of these suggestions is a dollar that can be put to upgrading or repairing something else in your home.

How to Remodel a House On A Budget: 50 Surefire Tips For Success

  1. Optimize Spaces: Instead of expanding your rooms and incurring the costs take a look at how it is organized. Often a space isn’t actually “too small” it is just organized badly. Try moving furniture, or removing some, to gain you the room you need without the cost of removing walls.
  2. Buy at recycling centers: A great idea, if you are doing some work yourself, is to . Houses for Humanity has a line of ReStores® that sell housing supplies gathered from homes being torn down. The downside to this idea is that if you are contracting a project out the builders may not use these supplies. Most contractors won’t incorporate used supplies, or will not agree to a warranty on work that includes them.
  3. Demolish on your own: Breaking stuff is fairly easy. Make sure to be careful to check for plumbing and electrical, but most people can tear things apart. Doing your own demolition can save hundreds of dollars in your budget. Don’t forget to rent a dumpster for what you are pulling out.
  4. Use Contractor’s Sources: You might be able to get a bit of a deal if you ask your contractor where they buy their supplies. Even if you do some of the work yourself asking your contractor to source the materials might save you some money. Depending on how your contractor works you may be able to look at receipts and see where they purchased materials from without having to ask.
  5. Avoid Recessed Lighting: Every recessed light you use costs you almost double what a standard ceiling mounted light costs. Stay with normal lights to be able to save some on your budget and add more lights overall. Normal lights can often light a larger area as well.
  6. Consult An Architect: Save yourself money by consulting with an architect during your planning stage. It is a small cost up front that can save you having to fix problems later. An architect can help you come up with a good plan that takes advantage of your home’s unique features.
  7. Do it Yourself: One of the main ways to save money is to do as much of the work as you can on your own. Be realistic though, the thought that you can do something is not always the reality. It will cost more for a contractor to do repair work than it would for them to do it right the first time. If you are intent on doing it yourself, make sure you know how before you begin.
  8. Pick Up The Supplies: An easy way to save some money on your budget is to offer to transport materials for your contractor. If you have a truck this is a great way to shave some dollars off of the contractor’s bill. If you don’t have a truck consider the cost of a truck rental compared to what your contractor will bill for the same transportation.
  9. Use Imitation Materials: You may have a marble dream, but a linoleum budget. Use high budget materials only where they matter most. There are many imitation materials that are high quality but have a low impact on your budget. Luxury Vinyl Tile can mimic stone or wood at a lower cost.
  10. Start Over: There is sometimes just not enough money in the world to fix a home properly. Know when to stop turning your home into a money pit. Be honest with yourself, and listen to your contractor. There are cases when it would be cheaper to tear down the house and rebuild completely.
  11. Install light tubes:  Instead of new windows consider putting in light tubes. This option fits between the rafters and joists and saves you the costs of structural changes to your home. Light tubes can brighten up a room in the same way as a new window or skylight but at about half the cost.
  12. Off Season Success: When the weather is good a contractor is more in demand. If you are doing a remodel that can fit into the off season you may be able to get a better price. Check the seasonal rates of contractors and be flexible enough to fit your remodel into when they need work the most.
  13. Avoid Shifting Foundations: Plan to work with your existing foundations.  Doing foundation work is expensive and time-consuming involving heavy equipment and concrete deliveries.
  14. Don’t Move Plumbing: Moving your existing plumbing is an expensive proposition. Save money by leaving plumbing where it is, and adding additional plumbing near your current lines. Moving a plumbing vent stack or drain line is going to be a large expense.
  15. Plan With Sizes in Mind: When you make decisions consider the size of your materials to get the most use out of them. If you can use dimensions that fit into the material widths and lengths you can reduce waste and save some money. The money is saved when you are able to reduce waste from having to over purchase just to be able to finish a project.
  16. Buy At Auction: Check your local papers and notices for auctions. You can pick up unique items at estate auctions that you can’t find in stores. You may also be able to find auctions where building supplies are sold and save yourself money on bulk materials.
  17. Make Decisions Early: Waiting to make big decisions until the middle of your project can be catastrophic for your budget. A whole house remodel is a bunch of interconnected projects that impact each other. If you haven’t made decisions at the beginning you risk requiring a different project to be changed in response.
  18. Avoid “We Could Also”: Once you have a plan do your best to not keep adding more to it. There is usually a tendency to see a little extra in a budget and think you could also put something else in. Until your remodel is completely done, you don’t know when that little extra will be a life-saving amount later on.
  19. Use Paint: A way to save some money in your budget is to  instead of wallpaper or other more expensive wall coverings. With some time and effort you can create a unique look. There are stencils and guides to turning a simple paint job into a feature wall that shows style and complements your home.
  20. Donate for tax credits: Your used items can often get you some money when you do your taxes. When you take old cabinets, sinks, or other pieces out of your home do it carefully. You can donate these to the Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity and get some money back at tax time. Be sure to get the proper paperwork to verify your largesse.
  21. Stair Runners: Use a stair runner instead of carpeting the whole stairwell. This has the added benefit of letting you change your look without having to recarpet the whole stairway. A stair runner is a great place to make use of remnant carpet, which is available at a lower price.
  22. Repurpose Old Fixtures: Take those old light fixtures and instead of replacing them fix them up. With a wire brush, and some enamel paint an old fixture can look brand new. This effort can save you a hundred dollars per lamp fixture.
  23. Renew Flooring With Paint or Stain: Your flooring can be a large part of your budget. If you are working with concrete you should consider painting the floor instead of spending your budget on carpet or hardwood.
  24. Repaint Cabinetry: With a little bit of elbow grease and some sweat you can save money by keeping your current cabinets. If the cabinets in your home are structurally sound they can be stripped down and repainted. Doing this can save you thousands of dollars.
  25. Use Vinyl Flooring: Marble or hardwood is not always the best answer. Modern  to these costly options. Luxury vinyl tiles or even high-quality sheet vinyl can give your floors a designer look for a budget price.
  26. Change Handles: An easy way to update cabinetry that looks alright is to replace the handles and visible hardware. This gives your cabinets an updated look without having to buy a whole new set of cabinetry which can cost you thousands.
  27. Paint Exposed Basement Ceilings: Instead of using your budget on basement ceilings consider just painting the entire area black. This saves the cost of installing either a drop ceiling or a full drywall ceiling.
  28. Stain concrete: Similar to the idea of painting your concrete floor is the option. Staining and sealing the concrete saves the cost of floor covering. There are many different stains and colors available, and when combined with stencils stained concrete can be an upscale look.
  29. Buy mis-tints and make special blends: An interesting option for buying paint is to look at leftover paint. Usually leftover paint is found at stores that sell recycled building supplies. If you are flexible in your color scheme you can mix the leftovers and come up with one color.  Make sure to paint a sample on an extra board. Paint stores can use this to match the color in the future.
  30. Purchase Clearance Materials: Be flexible in your design choices and buy what is on clearance. You may not get the exact shade or style you had dreamed of but you will save some money in the process.
  31. Get the Floor Model: The floor model at the local supply store or home remodeling outlet is often available for a steep discount. You can save as much as 25% if you ask to purchase the model everyone has been looking at. This is especially true if the only remaining option is the floor model.
  32. Refurbished Is Good: Check out the refurbished items at your local supply store. These are usually items that have been returned to the store, the company fixes whatever was wrong and resells them at a steep discount. Sometimes as much as half off of the original price. Most still retain the warranty as well so you have minimal risk by purchasing them.
  33. Use The Classifieds: Another great place to look for building supplies is your local classifieds. Many homeowners will try to sell off the surplus materials from their own renovation projects. By looking into the classifieds and being flexible you may be able to get materials at a steep discount. Always look materials over before you load them up or pay for them though.
  34. Search For Sales: When looking for supplies, from flooring to furniture, always look to see if you can find it on sale. Taking the time to research and look for a sale pays off in the end. Often there is someplace that has what you are looking for on sale. Stores wont look for you though, so take a few hours a day and look through places for things you need. Check the circulars in your local paper, as well as the internet for sales outside the local area.
  35. Use Engineered Versions: While it is always best to use true hardwood flooring, or siding, there are other options. Engineered hardwood flooring or siding can be a more economical option. Engineered hardwood is composed of a core of wood fiber, with a veneer of actual hardwood for the appearance.
  36. Buy carpet remnants: Carpet remnants are a great option if you have small spaces that need carpeting, and if you can be flexible. Carpet remnants are the pieces that remain when a roll of carpet gets near the end. Because the selection and color are limited you can purchase remnants at a steep discount.
  37. Repurpose What You Have: Save some money by not tossing everything out and starting over. If you have old fixtures that can be refinished and repurposed you can spend far less than you would on brand new items. Be creative and find things that can serve a new purpose, old fireplace brick can be reused in ornamental areas.
  38. Get Competitive Bids: When you do decide to contract parts of your remodel out, take the time to find more than one contractor. The general guideline is to find three contractors and compare their bids. This doesn’t mean that you should grab the lowest priced contractor though. Balance value and reputation to determine who will do the best job. Cheap is not always better!
  39. Find Holiday Pricing: Stores often offer discounts around holidays. Be flexible and purchase materials when they go on sale. This does require you to be flexible and put some effort into looking around for what you want. You may have to change a style or color choice to take advantage of a holiday sale, but the discount you get can make it worth it.
  40. Use Relatives and Family Friends: One of the best resources you can tap into is your network of relatives and friends. This is very true if you have any relatives or friends that are contractors, plumbers, or electricians. While they may not be willing or able to do the work for free you can get a lower rate. For general labor family and friends can be free workers, the only cost is probably you helping them out in return.
  41. Take Your Time: One way to save money is to take your time and do your renovation piece by piece. By allowing your renovation to happen over a longer period of time you can take advantage of sales, holidays, seasonal pricing, and other opportunities that come about. You do have to be willing to live in a home that is piecemeal for awhile though.
  42. Embrace Open Shelves: An innovative way to save some money is to embrace open shelves. This saves you the cost of cabinet doors when remodeling your cabinets. You do have to accept that you will need to keep your plates and other cabinet items neat and orderly or risk having your kitchen look like a disaster.
  43. Look at the long term: Don’t get caught in the trap of buying the cheapest version to try to stretch your budget. Look at the replacement and lifetime cost of your options. Saving a hundred dollars, only to have the time and expense of replacing something in half the time isn’t a wise choice.
  44. Refurbish the Floor: Instead of tearing out your existing flooring see if it is something that you can refurbish. Hardwood can be sanded and stained, as can many forms of engineered hardwood. Carpets can be cleaned to almost new condition and last years longer.
  45. Paint old brick: Instead of tearing out old brick and replacing it with another material consider just painting it. Painting the brick can save you the cost and expense of both demolition and the cost of a new material. Paint gives you the flexibility to choose a color that fits in with your intended style.
  46. Avoid Specialty Light Fixtures: When making your design choices you can easily throw a lot of money into specialty lighting fixtures. While you never want to have bare bulbs hanging from strings, you normally don’t need a crystal chandelier either. Stick to good looking, but more budget-friendly lighting fixtures. It might seem like only saving 50 dollars or 100 dollars per fixture, but if you are buying 10 of them that is 1000 dollars saved.
  47. Skip The Gourmet Appliances: The amount of people who actually need a gourmet stove and oven is minuscule. Honestly, ask yourself if you are a gourmet cook. You can be a good cook, and not need a gourmet cooktop. Purchase the oven and stovetop that will compliment your cooking abilities. That doesn’t mean buy a hotplate if you only eat out, put at least a standard stove and oven in.
  48. Peel And Stick Flooring: Instead of costly paints, stains, or floor coverings consider peel and stick floor covering. This can be put into place over vinyl laminate flooring as well. Peel and stick flooring gives a visual upgrade to a surface, with the added benefit that it is easily replaced when styles change.
  49. Use Carpet Tiles:  Carpet tiles can be a great option, especially for basements and places where kids play. Carpet squares are cheaper than full carpet options. Tiles have the added benefit of being easily replaced if they are stained. This makes carpet tile a great idea for kids play spaces.
  50. Swap Fixtures, Not Basins: Don’t replace the entire sink unless you have a sink that is some pastel color from an earlier decade. If your sink is still in good repair swap out the fixtures to get a new look. This can completely change the style of your sink, at about half of the cost.

The main thing to keep in mind is that the best way to save money is to be flexible. Being flexible allows you to take advantage of everything on this list. Sticking to one option and not being open to small changes in style or color means you will pass up on savings. To save the most be open to all of these different options and grab the savings that appear as you go through your remodel.


12 Ways to Save on Your Remodel

Home improvement tools laid out on a table
Remodeling a house costs a lot. And if you are not careful, you may spend way more than you have intended. Thus, it is important to plan properly so that you can save on your renovation.

There are ways to save on your remodel without making the renovation too hard on you and everyone involved. Knowing the right ways to save will also enable you to avoid sacrificing things on your house renovation. After all, there’s no point in saving money and not getting the results that you’re looking for.

Ways to Save on a House Remodel

Listed below are 12 ways to save money when you’re remodeling. These tips will not only help you save money but make your revamp easier. Best of all, they’re very easy to do:

  • Plan everything ahead.

Before you even remove a single nail from your house, plan the whole remodeling project. Know what you want from your house and find out how you can achieve them.

If you want your house to have better lighting, determine how you can introduce natural light without building a lot of big windows or installing too much lighting fixtures.

Ask an architect or contractor if you need to. They may cost a bit but they will tell also be able to give you a lot of good tips. They’re professionals for a reason.

  • Don’t just break down walls.

If you want a roomier kitchen, you don’t have to break down walls to do so. Learn how you can re-arrange your appliances and furniture to better accommodate your stuff. You can take down some cabinets or drawers that are not being used or build ones to keep things out of the way when you don’t use them.

Breaking down a wall and building a new one can be expensive so try to minimize the amount of walls that you need to tear down. Remember, there’s no going back when you break down walls. Sure, you can replace the walls, but that’s going to be expensive so make sure of your decision.

  • Keep stock sizes in mind.

When building something, it is advisable to keep stock sizes of materials in mind. If plywood sheets are 4 feet wide, you might want to build something that is about 4 feet wide. This way, you can use the whole sheet instead of buying two sheets then cutting the other one in half because you decided to build a 6 foot cabinet than could be 4 feet wide instead.

  • Use existing plumbing location.

When renovating your bathrooms and kitchen, use existing plumbing if possible. Since plumbing costs a lot, you may want to let your toilet bowl, shower and sink stay in the same spot. You can add some nice touches to them by decorating them with various items or re-arranging other furniture and appliances.

  • Bring in the natural light.

This is a great energy-saving move. Using light tubes will enable you to illuminate your house naturally without installing new windows, which would cost you a lot.

  • Restore not replace.

One of the most eco-friendly ways is to recycle. Instead of throwing away stuff that you don’t need, find a way on how you can use them again. If you have cabinets that you won’t need anymore, you can turn them into flower beds by taking them down and turning them into color plant pots that you can place on your windows or yard.

  • Use synthetic substitutes.

Instead of using wood on your sidings, walls or balusters, you can use synthetic ones that look like genuine wood. Using vinyl or fiber-cement construction materials can save you money because they don’t rot and are fire-resistant and insect resistant. They will last a very long time and they’re also maintenance-free, saving you a lot of money in the future.

  • Keep insulation in mind.

Putting insulation on walls will not only save you money on heating but will also make your house almost soundproof. This will make your home more comfortable especially if you are fond of quiet relaxing afternoons or evenings after a long day’s work. This will pay for itself several times over.

  • Splurge on fixtures.

You should not forget about prioritizing your comfort and needs. Splurge on fixtures that you use on a daily basis like light switches, faucets, door knobs and locks. They will not only make your house look more expensive but will also enable you to save on repairs and replacements in the future.

  • Use the power of paint.

The color of your house has a great impact on how it looks. Thus, use the power of color to improve the look of your house to avoid making drastic changes that are not really needed. You can even have fun thinking of fun colors to use in your home.

If your house needs to look bigger and brighter, use yellow paint. Pastel colors look cute on nurseries while kids’ rooms are often painted with bright colors to fuel kids’ imagination. Your kitchen can have red accents to make people in your kitchen feel hungry while your bedroom can be blue or creamy white to make you feel more relaxed and sleepy.

  • Do the tearing down on your own.

This may take a while and a lot of effort but if you want to save money on contractors, you can tear down walls that you know you need or want to replace.

Of course, it is best to keep your plan in mind so that you won’t demolish walls or parts of your house that are not originally meant to be torn down.

  • Hire professional help.

If you want someone to guide you through the whole process and do things for you that can save you a lot of money, you should hire a contractor. They will ensure that your plans are applied and come up with suggestions you might not have thought of yourself.

Make sure to talk with your chosen contractor about the plan that you have so that you both can plan ahead. This will give you both the chance to choose alternative options that can make you save money and make the renovation quicker and smoother.

Hiring an architect is also not a bad idea if you are inclined on making plans for renovation. An experienced architect will give you suggestions that can make your house look better without spending a lot of money.

When remodeling, it is best to plan your every action. This will not only make the process quicker but will also enable you to calculate the expenses that you need to pay for. Nonetheless, learn to be flexible so that you can change plans if ever there are things that you want to do in your house that is not practical or applicable.

Don’t get too attached to an idea so much that you cannot change your mind even if there are cheaper alternatives that will not greatly affect how your house will look. Talk with professionals and your family and friends for advice so that you can make an informed decision before continuing the project.

House remodel ideas that increase home value.

We’ve covered the home improvement projects with the best ROI’s in this article. If you are still hungry for information, visit this page to find extensive guides on remodeling for all the different rooms in your home.

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