Four ways to cut costs on your spring home improvement

It’s spring at last and what better time to get moving on the home improvements you’ve dreamed of during those dreary winter months. But with high renovation and remodeling costs, motivations can be quickly lost.

To ease those financial burdens, we’ve come up with a few areas of the home to focus on that will make visible change without spending a fortune.

Focus on the Aesthetic

One way to make a big splash on your home is to paint—whether it’s the bedroom that needs a new coat or the outside that needs a repainting. The cost to repaint the outside of the house is estimated to be less than $3,000 for just about any home, according to Dean Zibas a real estate appraiser based in San Clemente.

Another way to spruce up the house, is to to invest in the yard. The addition of flowers and trimmed trees can really add curb appeal and you likely won’t spend much more than your time.

Don’t Do a Complete Remodel

A common mistake many make is remodeling when it’s not necessary. Unless a room is at a real loss, there are ways to cut costs by refurbishing existing fixtures. For instance, staining cabinets or replacing old drawer handles and knobs can save you up to 50 percent more than if you buy a new set of cabinets, according to Angie’s List.

DIY

To cut costs even further, you can purchase the materials you need instead of putting that responsibility on your contractor. Buying flooring, lighting, and counter tops can save you a good chunk of change, according to Century 21 Scheetz real estate agent Chris Dossman in Indianapolis.

When selecting materials, there are typically alternate choices for those premium options. Angie’s List says that polyester and olefin can take the place of wool for carpeting choices and offer a 50 percent savings at the least!

Find a Good Contractor

Last but not least, find a contractor that is both reliable and who will give you a fair quote. It’s important to meet with at least three contractors and get in-person bids. This will give you a good idea of price ranges and give you a sense of their work ethic (i.e. if they arrive on time).

Especially when you’re paying someone for their time, punctuality should play a big role in your hiring. Contractors who run behind schedule will affect how long the project takes and will increase the number of labor hours you are paying. Try to get a cap on hours if at all possible.

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