Written By Kirill Lesnykh
There are many choices in the world of remodels. So...so many choices. As a homeowner, a key choice you’ll make is regarding the final cost. If you’re stuck with an estimate that is a little too high, here are several ways to bring the total cost down.
1. Reduce the scope of work
2. Use low-cost materials
3. Choose a reputable contractor
1. Reduce the scope of work
Here’s a general rule of thumb for remodeling and contracting. The final cost is all about the scope of work. The less work a contractor does, the less they will charge you.
As the homeowner, you can DIY just about anything. A quick Google search or YouTube video can provide a wealth of knowledge on just about anything. Based on our experience, here are several things you can DIY. These aren’t too difficult for most, and they can save you quite a bit of money!
Rather than paying your contractor to demolish and remove old material, give it a go and haul it to your local dump/recycling center. This alone can save you about $1000! You can always consult with your contractor on what exactly to demolish in order to be most efficient.
Most remodels require some painting work before and after installation. Painting isn’t incredibly challenging, but rather quite simple! If you decide you’re up to the task, you could save from $600-$1000!
Installing trim is a little more involved than painting. Nonetheless, it can be a great way to decrease the final cost. Painting your trim will most likely be the only challenging step. If you want to avoid the hassle of painting, buy PVC trim and use white caulk. PVC trim typically comes in a white color. In addition, it doesn’t need to be painted because it has no primer that can be scratched off. As a side note, be sure to use CA glue or Super Glue for the outside 45 degree angle cuts.
Light Electrical Work:
Electricians are generally expensive to hire out. If you (or perhaps a friend) can move an outlet or add a light, do it. Not hiring an electrician can significantly decrease your final cost.
Light Plumbing Work:
Similar to electrical work, plumbing will cost quite a bit. Installing a vanity or a pee trap under the sink on your own is very possible. Doing it yourself can cut down the final cost dramatically.
2. Use low-cost materials:
Choosing cheaper/discounted materials can really help bring your final cost down. Be sure to ask your contractor if they have any discounts at flooring and cabinet supply stores. Cheaper flooring and cabinets can save you a lot!
Oftentimes, you can find a cheaper flooring alternative at an overstock warehouse. If you’re in the Seattle area, stores such as Floor Dealz are a good example of this. There, you can find flooring for as low as $0.50/square foot! This is much lower than typical contractor pricing at a regular flooring store.
In regards to wallet-friendly cabinets, home-improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot will typically overcharge you for cabinets. Try browsing online for cheaper cabinets and getting them shipped to you. Contractors typically have connections and sources that also offer low prices. Be sure to ask your contractor if they can order cabinets on your behalf. This could save you about 10% on cabinets.
3. Choose a reputable contractor:
As with any industry, there are plenty of remodeling contractors to choose from. Some are a dream to work with. Others, a nightmare.
Some contractors offer excellent service, yet charge low prices because they are still starting out. This is the best case scenario, but these contractors are few and far between.
Most often, homeowners find large companies that guarantee perfect work and offer a warranty should anything go wrong. In addition, homeowners will often choose cheaper, less reputable contractors that offer no warranties.
We strongly urge you to do your due diligence when hiring. Don’t hire a contractor that seems dishonest, doesn’t explain what happens if something goes wrong, and won’t give you their license, bond and insurance information for you to check. Read reviews, ask for pictures of their previous work, check with the contractor’s previous clients, and find a reputable contractor for your dream remodel.
Admittedly, hiring a reputable contractor won’t necessarily decrease your upfront cost. However, it might save you thousands of dollars should you develop leaks or problems in the future.
Interested in a remodel? Let us know how we can help!