Tips for Saving on Your DIY Home Remodel

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One of the biggest fears when it comes to doing your own home remodel project is blowing through the budget you set aside for your project. If this is your first home renovation project then the one thing you will need to come to understand it that the little things that occur during any DIY home remodel can and will add up very quickly and if you are not prepared it can catch you unawares and wreak havoc on your wallet and your sanity.

Make a Plan and Stick With It

The biggest pitfall in many DIY home remodel improvement projects is trying to do too much at once. If you are working with a limited budget then the best approach is to go one room at a time. If you have multiple projects you are trying to complete that can put a huge strain on your budget because then that means more money for supplies and more money to put aside for any issues that may come up during the process.

Bigger is Not Always Better

Try reorganizing rooms that seem small instead of increasing its size. You can maximize the space in your kitchen by removing shelves and replacing them with cabinet-height drawers, you can even install racks inside the drawers for storing canned goods. Lazy Susan’s, pot trays and racks and dividers are all solutions that can help you maximize space.

Skip the Windows, Natural Light is the Way to Go

Before cutting through walls to install larger windows or rearranging the windows that are currently installed, a less expensive way to capture natural light is to install sun pipes. Sun pipes are installed in the roof of the home between the rafters in the roof and will funnel light from the sun into various places in your house. These are great for hallways, window-less rooms, etc. and this can save you $1000 or more.

Hint– If you love the look of recessed lighting pay close attention to how many you plan on having installed the cost to cut the holes to place and insulate them can add up.

Used is the New, New

Visit the local recycling center for finding recycled or slightly used fixtures and materials. Check your local Habitat for Humanity Restore to see if they may have the materials and building supplies you are looking for. If you are hiring a contractor for your remodel you should note that many will not assume the responsibility if something goes wrong with salvaged materials or owner purchased materials for that matter.

DYOD – Do Your Own Demolition

Save some money on your remodel by doing your own demolition work. If it is not something you have experience with then you should not go through with it. For example, if you remove a load bearing wall it will reduce the stability of the house or worse collapse your roof altogether. Some of your local home improvement stores will even offer classes and workshops for you to become acquainted with DIY demolition work.

Go to Auction

Check your auction house listing for any building supply listings. Contractors or even some smaller home improvement store will put overstocked items up for auction because they may have had a building project fall through or are trying to make room for new material coming in. This is also a great way to find furnishings and other fixtures for your home remodel.

Visit Discount Building Supply

Visit your local discount building supply store to see what they have in stock. Most of the items found at these stores are odd and end items, overstock or even items that were simply cancelled for one reason or another.

Hint- If you have a contractor you have worked with in the past you may be able to can also tap into any resources they may be able to offer you. If you have a room that only requires a small amount of flooring then they may know where you can find odds-and-ends boards for your project at discount.

Upgrade Now, Save Later

When you are looking to upgrade your plumbing fixtures (sinks, toilets, tubs, etc.) take this time to remove the old pipes and plumbing with new ones. This will ensure that you save money in the long run and ensure you will not have to worry about having to repair old pipes. The same goes for when you are moving your doors and windows, if you use the current dimensions then you will not have to worry about trying price out for custom fit windows and doors.

Green Home Improvement Grants

As green technology and efficiency products continue to hit the market funding will be available through grants and tax incentives. Tax credits are available to cover 30 percent of the cost for green home improvements and a maximum of $1,500. The Department of Energy offers a number of programs designed to save you money on home improvement projects. Visit and get a list of available programs in your area.

Celeste Whitehead is an independent contractor, freelance writer and owner of the blog, Organic Mommy Today. When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children, you can find Celeste contributing to the CareOne Debt Relief Services blog, a community that provides debt consolidation and money-saving advice.