It’s possible to do a home remodeling project on a budget. You can even save money on future energy costs with the right design.
Use Imitation Materials: Hardwood floors and granite countertops are pricey, but you can get imitations – such as laminate floors – that are so close to the real thing most people can’t tell.
Freshen up the Exterior: After you remodel, invest in new shutters, a new coat of paint, a new front door or some landscaping. This can yield big dividends for a small price.
Re-use Space: Instead of a big home addition, maybe you can get what you want by re-using a room for a new purpose or by taking down some walls to create one large area. For instance, you can combine two small rooms to make one big one, or you can take out the wall between the kitchen and dining room to open up the space.
Do It Yourself: Figure out which parts of the job really require professionals. You might not be up to installing plumbing pipes, but you can add insulation or paint walls.
Do Your Own Demolition: Demolition doesn’t require the same skills as construction. You need to take precautions, however, especially if you’re taking out an interior wall.
Avoid Moving Plumbing: You can save on the plumber’s charges.
Don’t Make Changes: Once you’ve started the home remodeling project, try not to change your mind. Those will be costly decisions.
Shop Around: Get bids from several contractors. Look around for materials – and don’t forget to try the Internet.
Be Energy Efficient: While you’re remodeling, take advantage of the opportunity to add insulation to existing walls and attics. Any windows you add should be energy efficient. Installing windows and skylights will bring in natural light and save on electricity costs.
Install New HVAC: Evaluate your heating and air conditioning needs. You may need new HVAC equipment for your additional space, or you may want to take this opportunity to get a more energy efficient furnace or air conditioner. For a lot of savings, consider solar panels or a geothermal heat pump.