How to Save on Remodeling

How to Save on Remodelling
Written by Irina Vasilescu

If you think that remodeling is an unnecessary expense indulged in by those who have nothing better to do with their money, think again. Although it can be a quite pricey undertaking, the investments that you will make when remodeling will eventually pay off. In the following sections, we will take a look at the reasons why it pays to consider remodeling your house, and how you can save money in the process.

What Are the Benefits of Remodeling a House?

First, take a look at the list of benefits that you will enjoy as a homeowner when remodeling a room, some parts or the entire house:

As a homeowner, remodeling gives you a fresh perspective on how the interior is decorated.

If you have been living in the same house for several years and you do not see yourself moving in the near future, you might be tired of looking at the same wall color. Your bedroom might look outdated, or the bathroom tiles may have years of stain on the grout. These are simply caused by age, which all parts of a house become subject to. Once you consider remodeling, it will give you a fresh perspective on how the interior is decorated. You’ll feel as if you are walking into a new living room or bedroom, and give you a new leash in your domestic life.

Remodeling can increase the resale value of your home.

The average American family moves at least once in a lifetime due to job changes, domestic reasons or simply to have a fresh start. If the reason for considering a move is not urgent, you may want to go through a home remodeling project first. This especially works in a down market. While the contractor is finishing work on your home’s interiors, you can wait for the local real estate prices to get settled again.

Once you do decide to sell your house, the economy would be more stable and you would not have to lose as much money because of the increase in value that remodeling gives your home. For instance, if you decided to replace your tired linoleum floors with hardwood, that is an excellent way to increase the value of your home should you decide to resell in the future.

It can be a less expensive option than building a new home.

If you’re an elderly couple whose kids already moved out, you might consider selling your big house and moving into a smaller one. But if you like your existing neighborhood, remodeling might be a less expensive option than building a new home or moving into a smaller one.

It allows you to make adjustments with certain rooms in your house based on your ever-changing needs.

Another benefit of remodeling is that it allows you to make adjustments with room assignments based on your changing needs as a family. When your kids are still young, the extra room can be converted into a nursery. Once they grow into kids and teenagers, you can remodel the rooms to fit their age. After the kids go off to college, you can turn their unused bedrooms into a study, a library or a work area. The possibilities of how you can remodel certain rooms in the house are practically endless, and can be fitted to your needs as a family.

Planning a Home Remodeling? Here’s How to Save Money

Now that you already have an idea about the benefits of remodeling, how can you save money in the process? Here are a few tips:

Before remodeling, consider the resale value or the average recovery.

Aesthetics is the number one reason why most homeowners are willing to spend on the costs involved with remodeling. You will not just enjoy the convenience of living in an updated home, but you can also rest assured that your investment will eventually pay off. This is where the average recovery percentage comes in. A magazine entitled

A magazine entitled Realtor publishes an annual report on ‘cost versus value’ for home remodeling projects. It lists down the payback that homeowners can expect when investing in home remodeling, and the percentages are based on the cost of construction and time for the project to be finished. Here’s an example chart:

Home Remodelling Project% of Average Recovery
Addition of Garage60 to 70%
Attic Bedroom Remodeling65 to 75%
Basement Remodeling65 to 75%
Bathroom Remodelling70 to 78%
Major Kitchen Remodeling70 to78%
Minor Kitchen Remodeling75 to 83%
Siding Replacement75 to 83%
Two-Storey Addition65 to 74%
Window Replacement75 to 80%
Wooden Deck Addition80 to 85%

Let’s say that you decided to add a wooden deck in your house. Should you decide to sell your home in the future, your investment for the wooden deck will be returned by as much as 85%. The cost of the home remodeling project can be recouped, so you can enjoy its aesthetics while you are still living in the house. However, it is good to take note that there are some home improvement projects that will not increase its resale value. This includes adding a new façade to the exterior, putting in a swimming pool or converting the attic into a home office.

Look for deals, then start remodeling.

If you’re okay with how the rest of your house looks but you would like to start a remodeling project, how do you start? Practicality is the number one thing that you should consider, so look for great deals first. When you walk into your local hardware store, are there kitchen countertops, island installation or windows on sale? If yes, then you may want to begin a partial kitchen remodeling project. If it is the kitchen that you are remodeling, make sure to not move plumbing or electrical fixtures because they will instantly double the cost of the project.

Work with a budget.

You would not like to spend any more than you have to on home remodeling, so decide on a budget and stick to it. Just make sure that you have enough wiggle room for unexpected costs so you won’t have to resort to swiping plastic and have your account interests just so that you can finish the home remodeling project.

Know where to source cheap material, buy and haul it yourself.

The best sources of cheap material for home remodeling projects are clearance sales, discontinued items, classified ads, home improvement stores, online stores, consignment shops, flea markets and home depots. Purchase and haul the material yourself to save money on delivery costs. If you are buying a lot of materials, you can always ask for discounts from buying the items in bulk.

Do the brunt of the work.

If you’re handy with a hammer, if you have some electrical experience or if you simply want to save on the contractor hiring an assistant to bring things to him while he’s working, do the work yourself. This will save you a lot on labor costs, not to mention the fact that putting in some work on remodeling your house will give you a great sense of accomplishment.

Re-purpose instead of replacing.

If you have furniture which simply need to be re-upholstered or a classic chandelier that simply needs a spray of paint to bring it back to life, this is called repurposing. Instead of spending a lot of money replacing items inside your house during the remodeling project, you can repurpose what you already have.

There are actually ways that you can repurpose almost every item inside your house – starting from cabinets to baseboards or even knickknacks like picture frames. Visually inspect which items can simply do with a coat of paint and without spending that much on new materials, your home will look brand new in no time at all.

Resist the temptation to go with interior decorating trends.

You may have watched a show on a lifestyle channel about how brass fittings are the hottest trend in interior decorating. This may look good on other houses which have contemporary designs, but what if your interior looks entirely different? Brass furnishings, no matter how trendy, will definitely look out of place. The lesson here is to work with the materials that you already have instead of wasting money on interior decorating trends which merely come and go.

Give yourself plenty of time to finish the home remodeling project.

Finally, give yourself plenty of time to finish the project. If you are not planning to move out of the house in the near future, anyway, why should you rush? Save up enough cash to pay for one room remodeling project at a time. Carefully plan what you are going to do with each individual room. Break down big tasks into smaller ones. Do a thorough research on which stores offer the lowest prices so you won’t have to pay any more than you have to on materials.

By following these tips, you can save a lot of money on home remodeling costs.

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.


  • Another great article! Watching remodel shows on HGTV has taught me two things: everyone will exceed their budget and it always takes longer than expected. With those possibilities in mind it is important to follow a lot of your tips. I have saved by doing most everything myself and not letting my imagination run away from reality. It helps that my husband is realistic and can talk me down from crazy (and expensive) ideas.

  • I love watching TV shows where people remodel on a budget! A fantastic point to make when sourcing cheap things is to look at websites like Gumtree and Craigslist. There are people giving away all sorts of things, from cabinets, to bath tubs, sinks, shelving, plumbing things, building materials….you name it you can probably find it free or at a HUGE discount. Never underestimate the power of second hand, I actually found someone giving away their whole house! Only catch was you had to pay to transport it to your own land ($1800 for a 3 bedroom house though!).

    Another fantastic idea is to look into ideas on Pinterest and googling ways to make cheap furniture and items look expensive, or to make classy decoration with cheap dollar shop type stuff. I found a really amazing article with some great tips and ideas on improving Ikea furniture:

    Budgets are no fun but if you can do much of the labour yourself, and source your materials well then you will be a lot better off.

  • This is a great article. Remodeling a home can be so very expensive – even if you just want to make some minor cosmetic changes, it can really set you back financially unless it is something you have been saving for.

  • The data that’s in the article are really interesting. I mean if you add it all up and check it out it can be expensive but you can make minor changes on a certain periods of times till you can pay it fully little by little.

  • Wow!!!!! great things are written in this article. This tells us how renovation is important and how to save money in renovation. Also, I think we should call a professional renovation company as they are very much experienced in this work, have more knowledge then us, work in our budget and have new and reative ideas.

  • Hi Irina,

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful post!!

    Home remodeling is quite expensive but your post give me tips through which I can save good amount of money. My friend suggested me to hire home remodeling contractor for my project but I like your idea of hiring an assistant 🙂


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