How to Save Money on Home Improvement Projects

save money on home improvement

Are you interested in making some improvements to your home to make it more comfortable and attractive without breaking the bank? By doing some comparison shopping and creating a plan, you will be able to save money on your home improvement projects and still make your home look amazing.

Whether you are making minor updates or refinishing your entire house, there are ways to get the work done without spending a ton of money. Let's talk about some of the ways that you can complete your home improvement projects and still save money:

Start With a Plan

Begin by creating a plan that includes your priorities. List the rooms that you would like to work on and the changes that you would like to make. For example, are there rooms that could really use a nice paint job?

What about your flooring? Is it modern, or old and worn out? Consider updating to hardwood or even laminate. There are some beautiful laminate flooring products available for very low prices.

As well, you can find some beautiful new products for your counter tops that won't cost you as much as upgrading to granite.

Prioritize which items you would like to tackle first, as well as which items you will do yourself and which items you will hire a professional to do for you.

Do Lots of Research

laminate flooringDo your research! If you plan to use contractors than speak with several different ones and ask for quotes that include product and labor.

Ask each contractor for references as well.

Compare the contractor costs with how much each project would cost if you did the work yourself.

You can get great ideas and prices by walking through your local home improvement stores. Most home improvement stores will even let you take home free samples of the products that you are interested in so that you can color match and make decisions.

Shop When Products Are on Sale

Whenever possible, wait for products to go on sale. Many people want to do their own home improvement projects because they know they will save money and because they enjoy DIY work. If you decide to do the work yourself, make sure that you plan your projects based on when you can get the best sale price on the products that you need.

Many home improvement stores offer great sale prices at the beginning of the year. Check local store flyers in your newspaper or take a look online.

Start With Small Home Improvements

Start small. Are there ways that you can renovate certain parts of your house without having to redo the whole thing?

For example, in your kitchen, why not paint, clean up the cabinets, maybe update the cabinet door handles and change out the sink fixtures.

That along with a good clean up will probably make a world of difference.

Use Financing Carefully

If you are considering doing some major renovations to your home and need to finance your home improvement work, you have several different options to consider. Many home improvement stores offer their own credit cards now with an introductory offer of no payments for 12 months.

Other options include applying for a home equity loan or a personal loan from your bank.

Do some research on your options and compare the interest rates and terms and conditions.

Also, see if your city or town offers any rebates on specific home improvement projects, such as upgrading your water heater or replacing your roof or your windows.

Make Sure You Are Improving the Value of Your Home

While some renovations will definitely increase the overall value of your home, others will not. If you plan to sell in several years, consider doing some research on this before you begin your home improvement projects. Real Estate Agents should be able to tell you what areas of home improvement will give you the best return on your investment.

DIY Can Save You Money

Save money by doing your own renovations and repairs. Doing the work yourself can save you approximately 50% of what it will cost to hire a contractor.

Many home improvement stores offer DIY seminars on Saturday mornings that anyone can attend for free. For example, one week they teach how to drywall, the next week they teach how to paint like a pro, and so on.

Be Frugal, Not Cheap

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you look for ways to save money on home improvement projects is that cheaper isn’t always better. Hiring the cheapest contractor, or working on stuff on your own when you have no idea of what you are doing, can end up costing you a lot more money down the road, not to mention the migraine headaches.

Saving money is good, but take your time and make smart decisions so that you don’t become the star of the next Disaster DIY TV show.

While you can have a lot of fun picking out new colors and products for your home improvement projects, paying the bills probably aren't as much fun. By following the suggestions above you should be able to redo your home and still save lots of money.


    • Holly@ClubThrifty

      Holly@ClubThrifty 10/15/2012 10:22 a.m. #

      I agree with all of these! I knew we have saved a ton of money by doing home improvements ourselves. At the same time, it's important to call a professional for things that are beyond the scope of what we can do ourselves.

    • John S @ Frugal Rules

      John S @ Frugal Rules 10/15/2012 10:29 a.m. #

      Good post. I think research is key to make sure you're getting the best produt possible for your money and making sure it's right for you. I totally agree about being frugal and not cheap. You get what you pay for and if you have to replace the cheapest thing, or get bad results from the cheapest contractor then it really is not saving you money.

    • DC @ Young Adult Money

      DC @ Young Adult Money 10/15/2012 5:15 p.m. #

      This is GREAT timing for us! As we just closed on our house on Friday, we have been busy cleaning, painting, and installing new blinds. We have a LOT of ideas for remodels in the future, and want to DIY as much as possible because the opportunity cost is worth it at this point in our lives. Your last point is huge. I think sometimes spending money pays off. The last thing you want is a bunch of sunk costs from your home project because it ended up turning out wrong or being low-quality. Future home buyers will notice that and you will NOT recoop your expenses!

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 10/15/2012 5:33 p.m. #

      @DC - Congrats on your new home! You have a lot of work ahead of you, but it will be fun.

      Your last sentence really resonates with me. We always make sure that future buyers will appreciate anything we do to our home so that it is much easier to sell.

    • CF

      CF 10/15/2012 6:16 p.m. #

      If you're starting out, it might be worthwhile to hire a contractor who's willing to show you what he does in return for a helping hand as well. That's what we did when we replaced a ceiling fan in the bathroom for example.

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 10/15/2012 7:12 p.m. #

      @CF - That is an awesome idea. Then you can learn as you go.

    • femmefrugality

      femmefrugality 10/15/2012 8:16 p.m. #

      Amazing tips! I had no idea about the sales at the beginning of the year!

    • Kim@Eyesonthedollar

      Kim@Eyesonthedollar 10/15/2012 9:56 p.m. #

      We have used the Home Depot financing to our advantage on several occasions. Just have to remember to pay it off before the astronomical interest kicks in.

    • AverageJoe

      AverageJoe 10/16/2012 11:16 a.m. #

      Great advice on the Realtor. We had a Realtor friend walk through our rental property and give us tips. It was nice of her to do it and we found out that some of the projects we planned were a waste of funds.

    • Pauline

      Pauline 10/16/2012 3:22 p.m. #

      Great tips! Totally agree with frugal, not cheap, this is your house after all, and you spend half the day in there.

    • Janine

      Janine 10/21/2012 12:22 p.m. #

      My boyfriend and I are in the midst of home improvement projects, this weekend is the ceiling fan. We waited thill Canadian tire had a sale on them and we ended up paying half the price. We tackle one thing at a time and it seems to be working well! Thanks for the tips!

    • Tackling Our Debt

      Tackling Our Debt 10/21/2012 1:10 p.m. #

      @Janine - Good for you guys for finding it at 50% off. Canadian Tire and Home Depot are good for finding sales on home improvement stuff. We bought a new ceiling fan a few years ago at Home Depot on sale. The tough part was installing it. Hope you don't have any problems with that.

    • Savvy Scot

      Savvy Scot 11/19/2012 12:31 a.m. #

      Nice post... in the UK Home Improvement stores often have massive sales on over holiday weekends (up to 30% off all products)... I find it hard to justify buying something now unless there is a discount to be had!

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