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5 Ways to Save on Your Home Renovation Project

September 23, 2022 By: Great Midwest Bank

Many homeowners take the renovation plunge at some point. Some people buy fixer-uppers and immediately get to work on making updates. Others may decide later on to finally tackle a few nice-to-have features — making their home dreams a reality.

Renovating your living space is exciting, but there are lots of considerations along the way. It’s much more than just determining what you want the end result to be. We’ll explore one of the big questions: How do you execute your vision in a cost-friendly way — without cutting corners?

Form a Budget… and Stick to It!

First thing’s first: establish how much you want to spend on this project and keep true to the budget. It’s easy to get swept up in the fun of the project and forget to closely plan and track how much money you’re actually putting into it.

Account for both materials and labor. Map all those costs and adjust your plans as needed to balance out the budget. It’s also smart to factor in some funds for unexpected expenses. For example, the project could take longer than estimated or hidden problems might be uncovered once the project is underway. A common rule of thumb is to reserve at least 10% of your budget for flexible expenses.

When planning your budget, you’ll need to evaluate your must-haves and nice-to-haves to determine priorities. Perhaps the cost of the new cabinets you had your eye on doesn’t leave much room for updating your flooring. You may find you need to get creative to stretch your budget. That brings us to…


Considering a major remodel? Then you’ll probably need home renovation financing!


Reuse and Refinish

Now is the perfect time to be opportunistic! You can save money and reduce waste by purchasing materials from other people in the community. If you manage to score leftover materials from others’ projects for cheap — or free — that may open up opportunities to invest more in other parts of your renovation.

Another way to save cash on renovations is to keep an open mind and see the diamond in the rough. Instead of replacing your flooring, maybe you opt to refinish the hardwood floors you find under your old laminate floors.

And let’s talk cabinets…

The most expensive part of a kitchen remodel tends to be the cabinets. If you don’t love your current cabinets, think about working with them rather than replacing them. Maybe a fresh coat of paint and new hardware is just what your cabinets need to look new and modern. Or perhaps you swap in updated cabinet doors but keep the shelving structures as-is.

If you do want to replace your cabinets, think about buying them used. Purchasing cabinets second-hand versus new can save you lots of money and transform a room in a big way. You’ll just want to be sure you’re getting everything you need to fit your space — measure, measure, measure! Double-check with your handy-person to ensure it will work, as well.

[Try these small remodeling tips to bring new life to your space on a budget.]

Shop Around

When planning a renovation project, it’s tempting to just go to one supply store or the first available contractor and proceed on your way. To get the most for your dollar, resist that temptation!

Once you have a good handle on your renovation visions, get lots of quotes from different contractors. Ask friends and family for recommendations, too. When you find a professional you can trust with your project and budget, you will save a lot of money and headaches.

Similarly, look around to scope out the best deals for materials. You’d be surprised how varied costs can be when it comes to things like tiles, cabinets and counters. Doing your homework will help you get more for less!

Mix up your materials, too. You might choose to go with inexpensive, simple tile for most of your bathroom tiling but adding a splash of a more unique, expensive tile as an accent can really elevate your space.

Balance DIY vs Contracted Work

Every home renovation project is different. The more complicated the project, the more skills, time investment, and cost it will require to complete. Consider what your renovation entails and think about work you could do yourself — and with skilled friends — versus hiring a contractor. If you’re handy or crafty, you may be able to save money by doing all or part of the renovation work yourself.

A combination approach can be effective as well. If you’re going for a major renovation that involves plumbing, electrical, or gutting an entire room, consider going with a professional for those phases of the project. Perhaps you can take care of DIYing other details, like installing hardware, refinishing and repainting.

Overall it’s important to remember that you’ll need to have a good handle on how to properly tackle any work you decide to take on yourself. Having someone redo a failed kitchen backsplash experiment will cost more than if you had hired a professional in the first place!

[Home Renovation Projects: DIY or Call In An Expert?]

Consider Keeping the Same Layout

Renovations that involve full layout changes will inherently cost more to execute. It’s not as simple as moving a few things around.

Let’s say you want to move your kitchen sink and dishwasher to the other side of the room, your oven to where the sink was, and knock down a wall to open up the space. Changes like this will require significant plumbing, electrical and structural work — adding several thousand dollars to the project. If you want to go this route, weigh the costs versus the reward and decide if it’s worth it.

Step back and consider working with the current “bones” of the room. If the layout of the room isn’t ideal, it may be helpful to consult with a designer on functional improvements that can be made to your space. Perhaps replacing the L-shaped counter in your kitchen with a kitchen island is the perfect solution for creating more space without moving the oven.

Time to renovate?

Ready to take your home to the next level with a renovation? Work with a local Great Midwest Bank loan officer for your renovation financing needs. Visit a branch near you, chat with a neighborhood loan officer over the phone, or visit our site to apply for a loan. You’ll experience a state of Bankquility™ when we work with you to find a loan product that suits your unique project. We look forward to hearing from you!

Posted in  Home Renovation Loans