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How to Update Your Home Without Going Over Budget

Posted: March 08, 2018 at 12:00 AM by Anna Jotham

We’ve all been there. After a couple of hours binge watching home improvement shows, you feel inspired, invincible and ready to update your nest. But then you survey your palace…and suddenly that trendy hipster vibe you were going for, or that 80s quirkiness or that 70s wood paneling and shag carpet look really shabby, not to mention expensive to update. And—worse yet—you don’t have anyone named Chip or Joanna on speed dial.
The prospect of updating your home can make even the flushest among us feel the chill of sticker shock. But updating your home is an important responsibility of ownership, and not one to be ignored. So how can you update your home without going over budget? (HINT: you’re going to be busy!) Here are a few helpful tips. 

Get down and dirty with demo

By doing your own demo, you can save a stack of cash. But it’s important to be selective in the demolition you do, according to This Old House, “21 Ways to Save On Your Remodel.” Interior walls get super tricky for many reasons—they could be load-bearing, or you could destroy wiring and plumbing. But if you’re tearing out a deck or something similar, the article says, you got this. 

Build sweat equity

Homeowners who pitch in on a project, whether it’s cleanup every day or finishing work, can save about three to five percent of the job cost. So rally the household troops, grab some work gloves and start sweating, to save.

Start hauling 

Updating your home often requires several trips to the home improvement store, not to mention several loads of home improvement goodies to be delivered. Rather than paying for deliveries at a cost of $50 per drop, haul it yourself. If you’re anticipating several deliveries, the savings add up quickly. You can rent a trailer if needed, borrow a truck from a friend or buy a cheap, used trailer online and still come out ahead.

Wait it out until the slow season

Supply and demand holds true, even in the construction business. If you have a job for a contractor, wait until they’re looking for work in the off season. Experts say you can save about five percent on the project cost just by scheduling your project during contractor down time. 

Remember: paint is a good, cheap fix

Don’t replace…repaint! And get ready to save tons of cash. Paint is a cheap fix for so many things according to, “How To Fix Up Your Home On A Budget,” from dated drawer pulls to aged light fixtures and even appliances. Just be sure to use the right paint for the job; for example, you wouldn’t use latex on an appliance, you would use appliance spray paint. Do your prep, take necessary safety measures, and repaint your world. 

Focus on what really matters

What do you really want or need done to your home? Make a list of the improvements that are most important, and plan out your project in detail, according to, “Ways to Prevent Going Over-Budget on a Remodel.” Then, stick to that plan. Remember, every change adds dollars to the overall project cost.

Update your home without downgrading your savings

Sticking to your budget is vital when updating your home. And even though some repairs and remodels can add value to your house, overdone remodels can cancel out any equity you’d hoped to achieve. By using these tips, you can help keep costs down and maintain control of that bottom line. Happy updating!

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