Let’s look at the nine golden rules that will help save money during your construction or renovation project. Learn and know what attitudes to avoid, in order not to have unpleasant surprises with your budget during and after your undertaking.
We all seem to know that money does not grow on trees. Yes, we know, but often act, as if it did. To be able to get your dream home – either you are renovating one or building from ground zero – it is always good to plan well, evaluate the whole process, and be able to make decisions by cutting unnecessary expenses.
Follow the tips in this article to save money without losing on the quality of your project.
1. Question all the details of the project
Never be ashamed to question anything you do not understand in or about the project. A painting project, for example, can be full of miscalculations and sub-optimal decisions. But if you learn first and plan it well, you can save (or not spend) a lot.
2. Request multiple quotes and negotiate
Needless to say, one needs to plan well purchasing of materials. Request multiple quotes from different suppliers. Buy in bulk, so you can negotiate discounts and, possibly, payments in multiple installments or delayed payment for all or part of the shipment.
If you do not have space to store all the materials that you have purchased, just ask for partial delivery.
Comparing multiple quotes is also a good practice. Just looking at different proposals will give you a better understanding of what options exist. What is included in one quote, may be missing from another one. And you can then ask for matching conditions to be able to compare “apples with apples” and not “apples with oranges”.
If you are working with an architect, you can ask this professional to help you out or even carry selection and negotiation on your behalf.
3. Focus on selecting the right materials
Your goal is to choose the right materials, the right stuff. Not always the cheapest or the most expensive is the right one. Get to know, research, visit stores and ask professionals what you need to use. The material you purchase has to be suitable for what you are trying to accomplish.
A budget for marble or granite can come at half of the original price depending on the specific type of stone you choose. Do not be tempted to make fast decisions. Make sure the qualities of the chosen material match the result you want to have.
Materials such as flooring, tiles, light fixtures, doorknobs can greatly vary in price. There are often several models with different prices and finishes. Take time to understand what is available and expand your choices.
4. Think “Green”
In addition to the cost of construction, you should think about what you will spend later when you move in. Some materials may cost a little more but will save you money on energy and water bills. Efficient lights, with LED bulbs, and economical water faucets, or those with aerator tips (to spread the water stream and use less water) are investments that are worthwhile because they help reduce your bills in the future.
You can also search for used or recycled materials for your project. For example, in glass and mirror recycling shops you can find useful materials or equipment at deep discounts.
5. Know how to choose professional help
There are two basic rules for not making mistakes with hiring a service provider: check the references and have a conversation before hiring. A conversation is not to test the professionalism.
It is more of a conversation to see if you understand each other in order to go through a renovation project together. And this could take the next several months, so understanding is important. If there is no understanding before the project, imagine what will happen during the work!
If you choose to hire a contractor or professional to manage the work for you, this will require you to have regular meetings to learn about the progress of the work, to discuss the status and next steps.
If you are the one, who will be hiring professional help directly, remember to make a detailed plan together with them. Make sure you set goals and deadlines for each of the stages of work to be completed. You need to also plan when you will need to purchase each of the required materials and when they will be delivered. This is critical so that this does not delay the progress of the project and generate more expenses.
6. Do it yourself
In case you have the time and necessary skills (and you know which skills you have!), it may be worth an extra effort and do yourself some parts of the work. This may especially make sense if it means the difference between being able to pay for your project or having to cut things that you really wanted.
But watch out: understand well what you will do before you actually start doing it. For example, painting walls, which seems simple, requires a lot of preparation to do this right from the first try and spend less on materials.
Spend time to understand what needs to be done. And do not try to do something that would rather require skilled professional help. Your security and safety come first!
7. Do only what is necessary or plan in stages
In construction, more square footage equals more money. Think about the size of your project and ask yourself how much you really need to do. Watch out for “since I’m going to do this…, I also need to do that…”. Be rational in making decisions and do not get carried away by beautiful pictures or ideas if they are not within your plans or your budget. Be well aware of the size of the project and the costs will never escape from your control.
You need to build or remodel various rooms at the same time, but money is short? Plan in stages. What do you need first? What can you expect? Can you make the changes and not buy new furniture, for example? If you keep plans in place and costs under control, your dream house will gradually come out of your drawings.
8. Think about hiring an architect
The budget may be short, but hiring an architect or a project engineer is a smart way to be efficient with your costs. This is especially the case if the work you intend to perform can put your life or the structure of the building at risk. Certainly, make a call to an architect or a project engineer.
Otherwise, you may have more trouble than savings. Preventive measures are always better than hurrying to fix things when they have already gone the wrong way.
9. Use your annual bonus to fix small things
Cash in hand does not have to be synonymous with a gale. Close your eyes and review your priorities. Yes, Christmas shopping and vacation travel can be seductive.
Still, consider using your annual bonus (or part of it) on house improvements. Make your home greener, put some missing furniture or fixtures in, change the look of your rooms with simple painting (well done!). Or, perhaps, remodel your living room to be ready to receive friends and family. Tons of different ideas and you can make them happen!