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Home Renovations - Cutting Corners and Saving Money

By Edited Mar 20, 2016 0 0

Don't let your renovation project get away from you and out of hand.

If you have a budget, and are trying to renovate your own home or one you have just purchased, then try to find ways to save money.

One way I discovered, while trying to renovate our 37 year old home we just purchased, is to allow time for research.

My family were all excited to get started, and I had visions of sledge hammers! They had got friends to come and help, and before you know it, they are all their own bosses and taking down anything standing!

Decide who is project manager, usually it is the one spending the money, and make it clear to all paid and unpaid volunteers that you are in charge.

Before you start, come up with a game plan, don't let them go wild. Tell them there is a step by step process to this demolition.


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I rented a garbage skip and as soon as it was delivered, I got them started with taking out old carpets, then the old cabinets and fixtures. Some went a bit wild with the cabinets, but after getting them under control. it worked out well. Once the excitement of demolition wore off, they all calmed down. Now comes the rebuilding!

Depending on your purpose for the renovation, you can save some money in many areas. For example, as much as it may seem easier to rip down old drywall and put up new, try to just refinish the wall, unless it has to come down for insulation purposes.

We have one wall where someone had done a venetian plastering technique on the top half and then wallpaper on the bottom half of the hallway, and brightly painted the top part orange!. My son wanted to just rip the drywall out and start again, but it was in there quite tight and would have wrecked the ceiling which I liked. So, I did some research and found the best way to deal with this, was to just work with it. I took the wallpaper off the bottom half, then cleaned and primed the whole wall, and then painted it all one color and put a chair rail along the wall where the plaster effect ended. I painted the chair rail the same color as the walls, and it just all blended. I saved a few thousand dollars there, as the ceiling would have had to be redone as well, and this looks good. Almost like I planned it.

Faux Wall Coverings Can Save a Lot of Money

Floor Renewal Saves Money

Refinish when you can. Demolition may seem the easy way, but new drywall, mud and plastering can add up, and be time consuming. We had a lot of wallpaper to remove, but I purchased a steamer, got some help and we got it off. The budget could not handle replacing all the drywall in all the bedrooms.

I spent the money on the things that really mattered, such as the kitchen and bathrooms, electrical and plumbing, and did what I could to save on the rest. So each night, after surveying the house I would go home and get ideas off the internet and TV DIY shows, and see if anything would spark my imagination. The internet is a great place to start. Just google your problem and see what comes up. There is usually an alternative answer out there. So allow some time for this. Don't be doing this when you are dog tired, this research should be part of your renovation day!

We had one room with oak hardwood floors that were worn, but we purchased a do it yourself refinishing kit, that did not include sanding (after some research). It was a 3 step process, of removing the old finish, rinsing the wood, then varathing the wood. It looks great. It was 79.99 for the kit.

Stay Within your Budget

Sometimes you have to be ready to change gears in the middle of the renovation. A couple of rooms had floors that just could not be refinished without a lot of professional help. We decided to get carpet for these rooms, and that was half the price of getting them refinished.

At the end of each day, add up your receipts and see where you are at. See if you need to make any changes. I entered my receipts into a computer program so that I could keep track of any run away costs. This can easily happen when you are sending others out for supplies, quite often you end up with doubles. Make sure to keep any products that don't get used for returns. Make sure they go back promptly. There can be a lot of waste when these products get opened and not used.

It also depends on how many people you have involved in your renovation project. They can easily end up costing you money as they all have their own ideas. So, it is important right from the beginning to have a clear plan, and have someone in charge, and then you can watch the budget and enjoy your renovation, and tackle each problem as it happens with some research.



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