Home renovation projects can bust your budget in the blink of an eye. Check out the methods I use to save major $$$ when we take on renovations!
Start With A Quick Budget
What is a ‘quick budget’? It is the budget for your project with line items that are easily accessible and can be acquired with a ‘quick’ trip to the store. We start by pricing all our materials at Home Depot (the closest home improvement store to our house). You use this price as the number to beat.
Once you have everything you need to purchase listed out by quantity & price it is time to get creative!
Save vs Splurge
Figure out which items you really care about & which items don’t really matter to you. Do you REALLY care about what kind of curtains you have or do you do just want white curtains? Curtains alone can range from $20 to $2000. There is no need to allocate a huge chunk of your budget if you aren’t passionate about that item. Save your money for the items you dream of and get something simple or on sale for the other stuff. When I am searching for an item and I see something I like I ask myself “Do I like it? Yes. Do I like it $$$ worth?”
Shop on Google
You can waste time bopping all over the internet checking prices on Wayfair, Lowes, Amazon, Overstock, etc, OR you can simply google the item you need to purchase and click the shopping tap at the top of the page. I have gotten some KILLER deals from sites I had no idea existed on the EXACT same product. For some reason, IKEA products don’t show up using this method so be sure to pop over to their site for more options. As always when buying online be sure to read reviews on not only the product you are purchasing but the seller you are making the purchase from!
Things we ALWAYS buy online vs in-store
- Light fixtures
If You Need A Contractor
I always start by asking friends, family & neighbors for suggestions. After that, I ask my area ‘Informed’ groups on Facebook. I live in West Michigan, so we have at least half a dozen within 30 miles. The people in these groups will help you uncover the small businesses, the mom & pop shops, and the freelancers. These kinds of businesses usually don’t have a ton of money to put towards marketing so you may have never heard of them, but that often means you will get a better quote (but always make sure they are licensed & insured). While we are on the topic of quotes: always get at least 3 quotes. Depending on the industry, your area & the project we have had quotes for the same project range from THOUSANDS of dollars. It is an investment in time, but you won’t regret it.
Items like curtains, art & throw pillows can really eat into your budget. These items are so easy to DIY and not worth the investment. You can find hundreds of youtube videos on everything from making a canopy for your bed to a custom plant stand. If there is an item you want that you can’t stomach the price tag, figure out how to make it on your own. Back before we were married my husband & I couldn’t afford patio furniture so we got a bunch of free pallets, disassembled them & built benches for around our firepit. We used them for years until it was in the budget to get something nicer.
I. LOVE. A. DEAL. I can’t tell you how many items we have found at vintage stores, retro expos, flea markets or Habitat Restores. If you have the time (and patience) to dig and think outside the box you can add some character to your project with a unique piece. Anyone can go to a box store and get a generic print of a forest, but I love finding one of a kind pieces. I also love snagging a good price off Facebook marketplace and craigslist. We got a killer deal (no pun intended) off craigslist on enough pavers to do our entire front landscaping. The cost to buy them new just wasn’t worth the investment for us, so buying them used & having to load them ourselves was a no brainer.
Getting innovative & creative during home renovations makes any project an adventure. We love the stories that come with our projects as well as the unique people & places we come across along the way.
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