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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

5 Tips from Contractors to Save Money on Remodeling Your Home

Written by Posted On Saturday, 19 November 2016 20:04


Every remodeling project has three essential aspects: schedule, scope, and budget. The schedule refers to the period it will take you to finish the project. The budget is the amount of money you are willing to spend to make that project, happen. And, the scope is what you need to do, to complete the project as planned.


Out of these three points, the scope is the one, that is most likely to get out of hand. For example, let’s imagine that you got new windows for your home to improve its curb appeal. Before you know it, you need new curtains to dress up the room, new outdoor lights, and so on. As important as it is to hire a home alarm & automation company you can trust, the scope will eat your budget and get you stressed out if you let it run wild.


So, what can you do to keep home remodel costs from spiraling out of control? Here are five tips from contractors.


1.   Shop Around for a Professional Contractor


According to a new survey fromConsumer Report, the home construction industry is highly populated by unskilled and inexperienced contractors who are willing to use a variety of shady practices to get their hands, on people’s cash. For instance, 35% of builders that were surveyed, said that they had seen contractors getting jobs with low bids and then jacking up the price with “unexpected problems.”


It’s important to put a lot of attention and patience into the process of selecting a contractor to avoid problems. Don’t settle for the first builder you meet. And, most importantly, follow these tips before making a decision.


●       Check Their Credentials


While credentials aren’t always a guarantee of quality, they are a sign that the contractor is serious about his business.


●       Ask for References


Contact past homeowners and find out if they were satisfied with the job. Ask them if they would work with that contractor again.


●       Make Sure You’re Compatible


It might seem like an unimportant issue, but it can turn into a costly problem if there’s no design compatibility between you and your contractor.


●       Get Everything in Writing


Make sure you have a written contract that specifies the full scope of the work, including schedule and material cost.


2.   Source Materials Whenever Possible


In most cases, your contractor can get great deals on bulk items. But, there are some situations in which it’s better to look for materials on your own.


Although this is a great way to save money, you need to be very careful. Some materials can be reused, but there are some items that are more efficient when they are new. For example, it might seem like a good idea to buy second-hand insulation, but a new one will be more energy-efficient, will last longer, and will help you save money.


3.   Repurpose Everything You Can


Home remodeling creates a lot of material waste. Unfortunately, most people don’t know that they can use most of these materials than throwing them in garbage. According to experienced contractors, one of the best ways to save money on your home remodeling project is to get creative and start repurposing everything you can.


4.   Plan for the Unknown


There’s no such thing as a perfect project plan. As much as you are trying to think everything ahead, something always happens that will derail your entire schedule. The tapestry gets delayed, and you have to settle for the most expensive option. You start repairing the roof only to see a damaged attic and the remnants of rodent. Now you have to insulate the attic and hire an exterminator, even though you were only planning to fix the roof.


Plan for the unknown by including an emergency budget in your plan. Make it between 5% and 20% of the overall project cost, depending on how old your home is.


5.   Be Very Specific about What You Want


Have you ever gotten different estimates for the same job? You might think that the dissimilarities are due to unscrupulous contractors, but chances are, it happened because you weren’t specific about what you wanted.


Let the contractor know the materials you want to use, your schedule, and budget. The more specific you get, the easier it will be for the contractor to come up with an accurate budget.


When you plan your home remodel with these five tips in mind, you’ll be more likely to finish the project on time, on budget, and with the results you wanted.






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