Summer provides long daylight hours and great weather — making it the perfect time to renovate your home. Make your dollar go further in your summer project using these money-saving renovation tips from industry experts.
1. Choose Contractors Carefully
A good contractor can make or break your renovation. Shawn Breyer, of Georgia Foreclosures, warns homeowners to carefully hammer out contract details before letting a contractor start work.
“We didn't have a good scope of work on the bathroom renovations. When the contractor needed materials for the job, they would call us and make us go pick up materials for them after we got off work,” Breyer recounts of a renovation project in a rental property.
The contractor also started multiple projects on other houses, only sending teams to Breyer’s home when they were available. This drew the project out by several months.
Breyer’s advice to save yourself time and money is to get the Scope of Work in writing with the contractor. Your contract specifies what is expected of your contractor, such as obtaining permits or cleaning up after the job is completed.
2. Use the Outdoors to Expand Your Living Space
Summertime can leave you itching to get outdoors, so it’s a perfect time to expand your outdoor living areas. Not only are you getting fresh air but renovating your outdoor space can make your home feel larger.
Lindsay Hansen of LDH Consulting shares some outdoor renovation tips from Arizona designer and realtor James Judge.
“You can turn a boring covered patio into a desirable destination with curtain sheers, outdoor lighting, and paper lanterns,” Hansen relays. Curtain sheers are an inexpensive way to add privacy and shade to a patio or deck with a cozy feel. Paper lanterns provide visual appeal and additional lighting at an affordable price.
Consider building a game area for outdoor spaces that are unusable for entertaining or relaxing. Hansen and Judge suggest turning an ugly side yard, for example, into a bocce ball or horseshoes court.
3. Set Your Budget
Creating a budget should be a top priority for anyone who wants to stop spending. A budget becomes even more important when you’re renovating your home.
Timo Wilson, CEO of Asap Credit Solutions, recommends you, “Create a budget and stick to it. Plan carefully what you want to renovate, start planning, and allot a specific budget to it.”
Sticking to your budget, Wilson explains, helps you avoid buying unnecessary things during renovations. It can be far too easy to get carried away with spending while you’re shopping for renovation materials at a home improvement or home goods store.
According to Wilson, you can help control spending by paying for renovations in cash instead of on credit. Try placing the amount of cash you’ll need into an envelope and challenge yourself to spend only that cash on the project.
4. Reuse Materials
Wilson also explains that reusing old building materials can help you stretch your budget further. If you have materials in good condition, why not try finding a use for them in your current project?
You should also save any unused materials from your current project. As Wilson mentions, these unused materials can be used for future projects. One major advantage of saving unused materials is the ability to match future projects with items in your current home. For example, if you plan to redo a bathroom at some point, you might want to use the same tile you’ve used in your other bathrooms. Having tiles on hand could help you avoid a price increase or the chance of them being out of stock later on.
Mira Rakicevic, co-founder of ComfyLiving, echoes Wilson’s thoughts.
“Before deciding to buy all the building materials, equipment, or furniture, try to find some that have already been used. You can also purchase used stuff and save a lot of money,” Rakicevic explains. Reusing or recycling materials also has the added benefit of a low environmental impact.
5. Declutter with a Garage Sale
You need to clean up your renovation space before you can get started, and there’s no better way to do that than to host a garage sale.
As Rakicevic says, “Summer is ideal for garage sales. Not only will having a garage sale help you declutter your home as a preparation step for renovations, but it will also get you some money back, which you can reinvest later.”
You can put the money you earn from selling old, unwanted items back into your renovation project.
6. Go Eco-Friendly
Sadie Newman shares several tips on behalf of Atlanta House Buyers on how you can save money by using eco-friendly supplies.
Replacing old bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs during your renovation can help you reduce energy bills, according to Newman. LEDs generally use about 70-80% less power than older bulb types. They’re not limited to interior uses, either. String lights and lanterns with LEDs can illuminate your patio while helping reduce your energy use.
Another way Newman encourages homeowners to save money during summer home upgrades is to install smart sprinklers. A smart sprinkler system waters your lawn with precision. They’ll use weather data and programmed lawn information to water your lawn adequately, limiting water waste.
Since your air conditioner is probably one of your most important appliances during a summertime renovation project, Newman suggests making sure it’s in good condition. Changing your air filter is an excellent way to make your air conditioning unit run more efficiently.
7. Wait for Sales
You can potentially save a lot of money on your renovation project simply by waiting for the right price. Most building materials, appliances, and home furnishings go on sale throughout the year. As you plan for a renovation, start stocking up on material and supplies when you see reduced prices on items you need.
You could also try asking local businesses if they have any current specials or deals on summer renovation projects. Your local hardware store, for example, might run a sale on outdoor hardware for summer projects.
Sarah Pearlstein, on behalf of Compton Plumbing Services, says asking local businesses about ongoing sales or discounts can help you save money on your renovation. Pearlstein also encourages homeowners to check online for coupons.
8. Ask for Help
Hiring a contractor for every aspect of your renovation could blow up your budget. You might not have time, however, to spend several days painting a fence or furniture by yourself. Try enlisting the help of friends or family members to get the job done sooner.
Rakicevic suggests using the time to catch up with friends, saying, “Some tasks might extend through a few weekends, but you’ll also have an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family and have asome good time, while simultaneously saving money.”
Make the Most of Your Renovation Budget
Use these tips from home renovation and budgeting experts to help you plan and complete your next summer project on time and on budget.