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How To Renovate Your Home While Keeping Your Piggy Bank Full

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This Guest Post is by Kacey Mya Bradley

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In 2012, there was an estimated 284 billion dollars spent on renovations in the United States alone. One thing that is having a big impact on the home improvement market is consumer demand for products that are environmentally friendly and leave less of a carbon footprint.

However, home upgrades and repairs can be expensive. The average cost of even a minor kitchen remodel is around $19,226, but a kitchen remodel is one of the top areas that will pay you back when selling a home.

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If you’re on a budget like most people, then figuring out how to renovate your home without breaking the bank is a top priority. The following budget-conscious ideas will help you get the most bang for your buck.

Reface Instead of Replace

If you are replacing a kitchen or bathroom, look into refacing cabinets rather than replacing them. Refacing costs about half of replacing. If you’re brave and don’t mind some elbow grease, you can purchase kits at your local home improvement store and reface your cabinets yourself.

Get Multiple Quotes

When hiring a contractor, get at least three to five quotes. While it isn’t always smart to go with the cheapest quote, you will likely find one that is middle of the road. You can also negotiate a bit if you have more than one quote in hand.


Install Lights Instead of Windows

Installing a new window can run as much as $1500.00, if it needs to be framed in as well. Instead, consider installing a light tube or other lighting for only a few hundred dollars. It will brighten up your home at a far cheaper cost.

Stay Within Budget

When working with a contractor, it is important to stick to the initial plan and not make any major changes. It is tempting to add on that beautiful marble counter top the contractor suggests. However, making changes can result in big charges at the end of the job.

Go Green

Making your home more energy efficient not only saves you money over time, but helps you reduce your carbon footprint. For example, if you switch from an electric clothes dryer to a propane one, you can drastically reduce the cost spent on electricity every month.

Buy Secondhand

Habitat for Humanity has resale stores in nearly every major city called ReStores. These stores have everything from tiles, to appliances, to cabinets and furniture. These items are a fraction of the cost of purchasing new. While you are limited to what they have in stock, if you’re willing to compromise on colors and styles, you can find just about anything for home improvement, including doors and windows.

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Sweat Equity

Do some of the work yourself to cut down on costs. Can you pull out flooring and do some of the demolition? If so, the contractor may knock some of the cost off of your renovation. Willing to paint? That can save you hundreds more. Talk to your contractor about your budget. He likely has more ideas for ways you can bring the cost down.

Pick Items Up

Instead of paying a delivery fee, pick items up yourself. Don’t own a truck? Do you have a friend or family member who does? Although the cost of one delivery might be minor, over the cost of the renovations, saving on multiple delivery fees can really add up to hundreds in savings.

Pick the Right Time of Year

Typically, contractor work slows down during the winter months. Try to schedule your renovations when contractors typically don’t have a lot of work and they may be more willing to negotiate on the price. Even if you’re gotten a quote before, go ahead and ask if they can come down on the price any. Even a 10% savings can result in thousands off the cost of a home renovation.

Use Stock Sizes and Materials

Builder’s stock sizes are more common than custom sizes. If you can configure a kitchen to take stock size cabinets, you’ll save a fortune than if items have to be custom cut and built. Instead, go with a custom size and add specialty hardware, for example, to give them a unique look. The same goes for doors and windows. Builder’s stock sizes are going to run less than custom sizing.

By using just a few tips to keep costs down, you will keep your renovation costs within your budget. The last thing you want to do is drain your emergency fund because the costs were racked up higher than you expected. Keep the project the same, communicate with contractors, and save money where you can. Before you know it, you’ll have a beautiful home and an equally attractive bank account.


Kacey Mya Bradley is a lifestyle blogger for “The Drifter Collective.” Throughout her life, she has found excitement in the world around her. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations, cultures, and styles, while communicating these endeavors through her passion for writing and expression. Her love for the world around her is portrayed through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.
The Drifter Collective: An eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us.
Twitter: @kacey_mya


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