Tips for a Successful and Cost-Efficient Home Renovation

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Renovations are expensive and time-consuming. The major reasons for sky-rocketing expenses are a lack of planning, a lack of involvement in the on-going processes, and a lack of awareness about cost-efficient tricks of the trade.

Renovations are often carried out to change the look and feel of the house, to increase functionality or to accommodate a growing family. They are recommended if it is to tap into the unused potential of your house or if you need to unlock more space. Renovations or remodeling carried out to satisfy aesthetic whims and fancies can end up being quite costly.

There are a few things you need to keep in mind while setting out on an extensive remodeling exercise. Renovating your house involves a lot of work. There are a million things you need to consider including the timing of the renovation, your choice of contractors, tradesmen and interior decorators, the design, the materials, the furniture and most importantly, the budget. Overspending and budget blowouts often result from constant changes in design and plan by overexcited home owners.

If you keep the following tips in mind, a properly planned and executed home renovation is feasible.

Consider the Value Addition

Many home renovation specialists recommend expensive facelifts and remodeling to help you sell your house faster. Home owners justify overspending because it ultimately transforms into value addition for the house. But this is rarely ever true.

A renovated living room or kitchen will help you recover only two-thirds of your cost in case of an eventual resale. A wrong choice of design or a poorly executed remodeling project will bring you no return on investment. It may even bring down the value of your house.

Another factor to consider is the suitability of the renovation project. An expensive $20,000-sink may go unappreciated in the kitchen of a one-bedroom condo. Similarly, low-cost interior remodeling will look out of place in a high-end apartment and will in no way add value or bring a better resale value. You need to put in proper thought and foresight while planning your interiors. Take professional help if required.

Overtly personalized interiors, bright colors and ornate furniture rarely make a house appealing to new buyers.

Shop around for Bargains

Try to drive a good bargain when shopping for building materials. Flooring, tiles, interior fixtures and other sanitary fittings should be shopped around for. Your tradesmen can give you handy tips on where to find a good deal.

Prepare yourself well in advance to spot the sensible buys. If you plan to get a renovation done, keep your eyes open for discounts and freebies. Many shops and stores offer specials on countertops, kitchen appliances and furniture. Bide your time and strike when the time is right.

Save Dollars Wherever Possible

Opt for cheap building materials whenever possible. But do not compromise on quality. eBay and Craigslist are favorite hunting grounds for people like you.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore is another smart option as are local auctions. It is possible to source cheap building materials, curios, furniture and home appliances from here.

Always go for standard or stock sizes when shopping for materials. Standardization can bring down costs like nothing else. Customized kitchen cabinets, plywood panels and wardrobes cost several times more than the standard ones bought off-shelf.

Buying doors, windows and storage solutions in standard dimensions can cut down costs considerably. Hard-to-detect imitations also help bring down interior remodeling expenses. You can go for synthetic wooden flooring instead of the original.

Ensure you redo your home interiors in a cost-efficient manner. Energy-efficient appliances lower your power bills. Double-paned windows are a green investment and pay for themselves in the long run.

While saving on your pennies, do make sure your purchases don't make your interiors cheap or tacky.

Find the Right Contractor

Contractors can make or mar your home renovation project. Don't try to find a contractor during peak seasons, like the pre-Christmas period. They typically quote higher prices and you may not get the person of your choice.

Try to look out for professionals during the off season. Get bids from different contractors. This help you contrast and compare prices and will also better equip you to negotiate and bargain.

The cost alone should not determine your choice of contractor. It is important you verify his credentials, check out past projects, take references and explore his understanding of your requirements. It is important to share a good working relationship with your contractor.

Be Involved in Your Renovation

When you hand over your project to the contractor, realize that it does not abdicate you of subsequent responsibilities. You should never be a passive observer. A high-priced contractor does not give you the freedom to disengage from the process. The moment you take your eyes off, expect things to go wrong. There are umpteen decisions to be made and your opinions and inputs are vital. Blaming the contractor for mistakes and wrong execution does not in any way minimize the additional expenses incurred for remedial measures. So be proactive and stay on top of all developments.

Ignore Trends and Don't Tinker with Plumbing

The latest and newest is always expensive. Furnishings and wall paints in the latest colors will always cost more than the standard and basic variants. Acquiring the latest gadgets for the kitchen will cost you a bomb.

The Kohler Purist Hatbox toilet will increase your bathroom remodeling budget by a few thousand. Don't be blinded by the lovely pictures in interior glossies and stick to your budget. But the thumb rule still remains- do not compromise on quality.

Plumbing can prove to be an expensive headache if you don't plan, budget and execute well. Moving your drain lines will be costly. You'll need to cover up cosmetic damages, find a new route and install new lines. The layout of your basins, pipes and drainage outlets will also need to be changed.

If you are making the changes for quality or functional reasons, employ a qualified and experienced plumber and monitor costs. Use only quality sanitary tubing fittings.

Plan for the Unexpected

All plans and budgets will have to deal with unexpected snags, delays and overages. Always leave room in your budget for unplanned expenditure. This will help you wiggle out of difficult situations. Never borrow to meet unexpected expenses. The interest rates are criminally high and will affect your finances adversely in the long run.


Remodeling helps refresh and renew your home. Plan and prepare yourself well. You can definitely pull off a hassle-free renovation by sticking to your budget and never losing sight of your priorities.

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