16 Ways to Save Money on a Remodel

May 22, 2017

Whether you’ve just bought a house or have been living in your house for a while, you’re probably itching to make some changes. No matter how extensive your remodeling plans are, though, you’ll want to keep costs down. Here are some tips for saving money during a remodel:

Keep plumbing and electricity hook ups in the same place. Moving pipes and wires, at least in the U.S., requires breaking into the walls, and that can get expensive.

Opt for pre-fabricated pieces over custom work. Since your items don’t have to be individually crafted for you, you can save thousands. Even if you hire someone to customize the pre-fabricated pieces (such as adding crown molding to the top of pre-made cabinets), you’ll save money.

Reuse existing items if possible. For example, you can save thousands by refinishing your current cabinets, even if you pay a professional to do it.

Taxes. If you don’t want to reuse existing items but they’re in good condition, sell them or donate them for a tax deduction.

Consider buying gently used items that are in good shape. You can search online classified ads for cabinets, furniture, and even appliances.

Discount shopping. Shop at discount stores or less expensive retailers like IKEA, local wholesale businesses, and online direct-to-customer stores.

Shop around and compare prices. You might find items of equivalent quality for significantly different prices. This includes getting multiple bids from contractors or other professionals, such as plumbers and cabinet makers. If you can pay cash for services and big ticket items, ask for a cash discount.

Do your research. Whether it’s flooring or countertops, you need to determine out what features are important to you and what materials will fit your needs and price points. Once you have that information, you should find out where you will find the best deal, whether it’s a big box store like Home Depot or a local warehouse that specializes in what you want.


Shop the clearance, floor, and scratch-and-dent models when it comes to appliances. Look for sales and coupons, especially around major holidays. However, read reviews for different models to make sure the one you are purchasing doesn’t have frequent or recurring issues. If you or someone you trust is good at evaluating used appliances, you could save even more by buying a used model.

Check for rebates from utility companies. You might get money back for installing more efficient toilets, energy efficient appliances, solar panels, and more.

Be flexible and look for cheaper options when shopping. For example, mis-tinted paint that was rejected by another customer or tile that was ordered for someone else that didn’t work out all can be sold to you at a steep discount. If you are only carpeting or tiling a small area, look for carpet and tile remnants.

Scale down. You can always save money by reducing the size of your overall project, or by limiting splurges. For example, consider putting expensive tile or stone in a smaller area.

Take up couponing. Sign up for email offers and coupons from Home Depot, Lowe’s and other stores that might have deals on items you need throughout your remodel.

Do as much of the work yourself as possible. Some activities require professional training and skill, but other activities are easy enough to DIY, such as laying tile or painting. Even if you prefer to hire professionals, you can save money by doing the work that requires no skill, such as assisting with demolition, hauling away trash at the end of each day, and purchasing and picking up parts.

Buy in bulk whenever possible. For example, if you are planning to remodel all of your bathrooms separately (so you’re not without a working toilet!) but don’t mind having the same floor in each bathroom, buy the flooring all at once for the lowest price per square foot.

Be lawful. Make sure you and/or your contractor comply with all building codes and any requirements in your Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions agreement as enforced by your Homeowner’s Association. Failure to comply with laws and regulations often result in expensive fixes that could have been avoided.

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