Unless you happen to be made of money, the single, most limiting factor on how you improve your home is likely to be how much you can afford to spend. Because of this, there is some serious benefit to be had from keeping the cost of your home improvement projects as low as possible.
Should you be interested in doing so, here are five simple ways to get your home all spruced up, for less.
Consider Cheaper Alternatives
The easiest way to cut down on the cost of a particular home improvement project is to consider cheaper alternatives. If you are remodelling a bathroom for example, do you really need that antique bath?
A word of warning however, cheaper alternatives should not be considered when it comes to materials. When you opt for cheaper materials, you usually end up paying for your choice in the long term.
Get Multiple Quotes
If you’re going to be hiring contractors, multiple quotes is very much a requirement if you want to keep your costs down. I usually aim to get at least three. When getting multiple quotes, there are two important things to keep in mind.
The first is that no quote is final. Usually if you tell a contractor about a lower quote that you have received elsewhere, there is a little bit of wiggle room.
The second thing to remember is that differences of fifty percent are not normal. If you find a contractor prepared to work for significantly less than others, you should ask yourself why. Significantly lower quotes generally mean that corners are going to get cut.
Time Your Projects
Another way to get a contractors help for less is to time your projects to when contractors are usually short of work. Finding out when this time is can be tricky because it depends upon both the climate and your location. If you know anybody in the business, ask them when they are usually the least busy.
If you are willing to put up with the headaches, the end of year holidays are usually the best time to hire a contractor in this regard. It’s also worth noting that contractors not only charge less during slow periods, they also tend to complete projects much faster.
Plan Your Projects
The planning stages are crucial if you want to keep your costs down. This is because there are few aspects of home improvement more expensive than a change of heart. Never hire a contractor until you know, without any doubts, exactly what you want done.
The importance of planning also applies when you are doing the job yourself. Though you might not have to pay for a change order, you may still have to undo something that you have already done. And at times, this can be a very expensive activity.
Don’t Outsource Everything
If you are completely clueless when it comes to DIY then hiring a contractor to take care of absolutely everything makes sense. But don’t think that just because you need to hire a contractor to handle one part of a project that you need to hire one to take on the whole thing.
Serious amounts of cash can be saved if you only hire a contractor to take care of the more complex aspects of a project. For example, if you are getting your bathroom remodelled, you are likely to need some help with the plumbing and the electrics. But do you really need help with the painting and tiling?