Tips On How To Save Money And Space While Renovating Your House

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Updated: Apr 25, 2024 by

creative young couple renovating their homeWhen it comes to home renovations, generally, there are two types of people: those who can’t wait to embark on the adventure of giving their home sweet home a makeover and those who dread the idea of going through this messy and sometimes nerve-wracking process.


But when your outdated popcorn ceiling starts to crumble and break off, or your wallpaper starts peeling, you have no choice but to start a home remodeling project. If you do so, it’s an excellent time to create a more open and inviting home by giving the illusion of more space. To obtain this effect, I’m not suggesting that you should get rid of some of your possessions, but instead, use the space efficiently. Whether you live in a small studio apartment or a spacious villa, you can breathe new life into your home by starting a remodeling project. But how to save money on home renovations?


Yes, I know. A renovation project can be expensive, and your budget could quickly go out of your hands if you're not careful enough. According to some studies, 34% of homeowners couldn’t stick to their budget when renovating, mainly because the materials and services needed were pricier than expected. It’s no wonder, considering the price of 82.5% of construction materials has experienced a significant increase since 2020, more precisely, with an average of 19%, according to a report from construction cost data tracking company Gordian.    


This article aims to give you valuable tips on how to save money on home renovations while enhancing the space. So, keep reading to discover how you can transform your space without breaking the bank.


Best ways to save money on home renovations

smiling happy family togetherRenovation realities are hard to deal with, especially when it comes to budgeting. But if you do your research, compare prices, and plan ahead, you could actually save money. Consider your renovation project an investment. Besides the fact that you will be able to enjoy a more functional and aesthetic space, if you plan to sell your property in the future, its resale value will grow. Still, most of us don’t want to overspend, so here are some money-saving tips when renovating a house. 


1. Create a budget

Before you start your remodeling project, an essential step is to create a detailed budget. It should include the material prices and labor, but you should also save money for unexpected expenses. These expenses might consist of nights at a hotel (if you won’t be able to live in your house) or food orders if you won’t be able to use the kitchen. A good rule of thumb is to set aside approximately 10% to 15% of the budget for unexpected expenses. 


To create a detailed and accurate budget, you should thoroughly research. Compare prices, check contractors' reviews, and make a clear list of the things you want to change. This will help you avoid unexpected expenses along the way. 


2. Obtain the necessary permits

How to save money on home renovations? A vital step is verifying with your county or city to learn if you need any permits before remodeling. People sometimes forget about the building permits, but it’s a mistake that can ultimately cost you a fortune. If you do your renovations without obtaining the required building permits, a building inspector could force you to start over, costing you money, time, and materials. 


If you’re wondering where to obtain building permits, knowing that the local government issues them is helpful. States don’t issue building permits, although they have the power as gatekeepers of many projects. 


3. Reuse materials

one woman painting renovateThe excitement of home remodeling might make you do unnecessary purchases, costing you big bucks that you could save instead. Look at what you already have and see if there is furniture you could restore or reuse for different purposes. Unless something is really damaged, reusing that item might help you save some money. 


For instance, instead of buying new cabinets in the kitchen, if they are still in good condition, you could repaint the doors and change the handles so that you will give the kitchen a fresh look without spending too much money. A fresh coat of paint can do wonders in different areas of your home, and it’s a project that you can do by yourself. So, you will pay just for the materials, not the labor. 


4. Do it yourself

Talking about things that you could do by yourself, have you considered DIY? It is one of the most effective ways to save money while renovating and will also give you a sense of accomplishment. Now, you may think, “ I don’t have any DIY skills.” But with so many DIY home improvement ideas online and a little determination, you will find projects you can complete yourself. 


I’m not suggesting you start replacing the hardwood floor yourself or start lying tiles; I wouldn’t be comfortable doing those things either. Instead, you could start with small steps, like doing some prep work before the contractors arrive. Remember, you pay them by the hour, no matter how challenging their task is. For example, you can prepare the surfaces (like skim-coating walls and removing mastic from the floor). 


If you’re a skilled DIYer willing to do most of the work yourself, remember there are tasks you can’t complete without a license, like doing the electrical work or moving utility lines. 


5. Balance high and low-end materials

new kitchen designThe main purpose of this article is to give you tips on how to save money on home renovations, but we don’t encourage you to skimp on the quality of materials used. What you can do instead is to balance high- and low-end materials. Use high-end materials in the areas that need durability and are related to the house's structure so that the result will be long-term. Or, for example, don’t overspend on fancy appliances and install cheap Formica countertops. 


You should opt for quality materials in the areas you frequently use and less expensive materials in the areas you use less. For instance, when you get to the finishing touches and need to add accessories, you can find nice ones at affordable prices. Also, a good way to save money would be to take advantage of the sale period. Significant purchases are better bought at specific times of the year; examples include American holidays for appliances, Black Friday for electronics and power tools, and the end of summer for lawn care and outdoor furniture. Evaluate the ideal time to buy, and don't allow your impatience to prevent you from snagging a fantastic bargain. 


How to save space while renovating your house?

When renovating a house, everyone tries to maximize the available space. Whether you live in a small studio apartment or a spacious villa, maximizing the living space will make all the difference in terms of functionality, comfort, and looks. Here are some pro tips to help you maximize your space when renovating:


1. Think vertical 

One of the most efficient ways to create more space is to utilize the vertical dimension of your walls. You can opt for wall-mounted shelves, hooks, and racks to store some of your belongings and clear up floor space. 


To give your home a stylish and trendy look, you can hang mirrors, artwork, and some greenery on your walls. This will give the space personality and won’t take up the floor space. Just remember not to go overboard with accessories; sometimes less is more, and when it comes to interior design, minimalism will hardly go out of style soon. 


2. Multi-purpose furniture

stylish interior sleeper sofaAnother great idea is to invest in furniture that can be used in multiple ways. For instance, you can get an ottoman that can store more blankets and pillows, a coffee table that can be raised to serve as a dining table, or a sofa bed that can be used as a guest bed. Because it eliminates the need for separate components, multifunctional furniture can help you save money and space.


3. Let there be light

The color and lighting in your rooms significantly influence how we perceive the space. If you want your space to seem bigger and more open, opt for natural light (if possible) and sheer colors. Light colors, like white, beige, and grey, reflect light and make your space more open and airy. 


Let in as much light as possible. Use sheer curtains or blinds so that the light will invade your house. The psychology of light and color plays a significant role in interior design, so use it wisely. 


4. Start decluttering

One of the best ways to create more space when renovating your house is to get rid of the things you no longer need or are in bad condition. Decluttering will help free up space, boost mood, and simplify life. You should start by classifying your belongings into categories: donate, sell, or throw away. If you find things you want to keep, store them in labeled boxes and put them away.  You can store them in closets or under the bed so they won’t be in your way.  


5. Consider working with a pro

If you don’t have any idea how to maximize your living space, consider hiring a professional interior designer. They can give you valuable tips and guidance on how to make the most out of your space. A designer will help you plan the layout, select the proper furniture and accessories, and come up with excellent ideas for creative storage solutions. In addition to saving you money, a designer can ensure that the remodeling project fulfills your requirements and expectations. 


Is it cheaper to renovate or build a new house?

structure wood farmin constructionIf the condition of your house is terrible, you might wonder whether it is worth renovating it or building a new home instead. Before deciding, several aspects should be considered. First, it’s the money issue. 


According to a survey by the National Association of Home Builders, the average cost to build a new single-family home (including the cost of land) is $644,750, which is much higher than the US average for buying a house ($395,100). 


The average cost of building a house is around $150 per square foot, but this is for a standard home, which is nothing fancy, in case you already have the land. If you want to create a custom home, expect the prices to increase by $350 per square foot or more. The typical price range for various house sizes is shown here.

                Square Feet 

                   Cost to build













On the other hand, completing a home renovation will cost around $100 per square foot, which is much cheaper than building a new one. If money is your only consideration when deciding between renovating a house or building a new one, then you should definitely choose the renovation. Also, there’s the time-frame factor. Usually, it will take longer to complete building a new house than a renovation. 


Author’s conclusion

In wrapping things up, we hope that you find this information useful. Home renovations can be pretty costly, but following these tips can save some serious money. And don’t think of home renovation as a burden. It’s the perfect opportunity to start fresh and give your humble abode a new look. Besides increasing your home value, you will boost your mood, knowing that you live in a neat and stylish environment. Plus, in most cases, remodeling your home is cheaper than building a new one from scratch and will take less time to complete. So, if you’re starting your home renovation project, I wish you the best of luck, and may your home sweet home transform into the home of your dreams.

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