Archive for September, 2013

How to save Money on Bathroom Remodeling

bathroom addition

Master bathroom addition

So you want to do a bathroom remodel and don’t want to take out a second mortgage or dip into your children’s college fund?  That’s understandable so here are some tips to help you with your bathroom remodel.

Choose a realistic budget

When you begin to plan your bathroom remodel, pick out the large items in the kitchen that will absorb a large portion of your budget.  These can be anything like faucets, sinks, countertops, flooring.  By itemizing the big ticket items, you can assign prices to the needed features.  More importantly, it will keep you from straying outside of your affordability.  That’s easy to do on any remodeling project.

Save up money in advance

Use the money you saved up to make your purchases.  Living in New Jersey is associated with going to the shore as often as you can so saving money may mean taking fewer trips to the beach.  This means paying with good old green cash!  We are all tempted to put everything on our credit cards to get a small percentage back or get reward miles.  This works on everyday purchases…..but not so well on a bathroom remodel.  Before you know it, your credit card bill will be so large that you may have difficulty paying it off in full and getting interest charged on a balance you have to carry.  Saving up money may take a little while longer than you planned, especially when un-foreseen expenses arise.

Be prepared to get dirty

This means diving in and begin doing things by yourself.  Things like removing the toilet, sink, and faucets can easily be done by a DIYer  Don’t worry if you haven’t done these before.  There is always help on the internet on how to do these things.  Regardless of the task, it’s always easy to “undo” something than to “do” it.  You aren’t out of the woods yet.  You can put these things back in the bathroom so pay attention to what you are doing.  Better yet, jot down some notes as you are tearing fixtures out.  You will be happy you did later on.

Get creative and thrifty

If you don’t want to shell out big bucks for a manufactured assembly line vanity, make one yourself.  It sounds intimidating but if you take inventory of your skill level working with wood… you should be able to create one within your skill set.  Use an old piece of furniture as a vanity.  Small dressers are popular.  This has become stylish and will be one of a kind.  Go to your Habitat for Humanity store and see what they have to offer.  You just might find some good deals.

Go to Craigslist and look for items. Most localities have Thrift stores. You would be surprised what you can find there.  Consider re-glazing your tub with a porcelain finish as opposed to replacing it.  These are just a few ideas.  You can springboard from them in many directions all in the name of saving money.

Decide where to splurge and where to save

What are your priorities / end goals with this remodel? Are there specific problems you are trying to fix? A leaking toilet? Mildewy sheetrock? Are the bath, toilet and sink okay but the hardware and accessories are out of date?  If your toilet and sink work just fine, consider reusing them UNLESS OF COURSE they are that god awful sea foam green or pink color of the 1950’s.

Pick a tile for your floor that is reasonably priced.  The spectrum of tiles is huge and so goes the price too.  Find something that you can live with and is affordable.

Add 5% to 10% for cost over runs

This may not sound like a cost saving tip but it is.  If you build some padding into your budget it will ease the pain of overruns.  If in fact you’ve done such a thrifty job that you have money left, consider this a bonus for completing the job.

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How To Save Money On Kitchen Remodeling

Kitchen Remodeled

Remodeled Kitchen

With some strategic thinking about design, materials, and timing, you can cut costs without cutting corners.  A universal truth about renovations is that every little thing adds up. So save a little here, save a little there, and pretty soon you’re talking about lots of money .

Read the tips listed below to help you save money when doing kitchen remodeling.

Increase efficiency, not size.

If you can reorganize and equip your kitchen for maximum utility, you may not need to blow out the walls to gain square footage. Start by replacing space–hogging shelves with cabinet–height pullout drawers 8 inches wide, containing racks for canned goods and other items. You could easily shell out a few thousand to outfit cabinets with upgrades like dividers, pull–out pot trays, and lazy Susans…. but you’ll save many times that amount by skipping the addition you thought you needed.

Bring in natural light without adding windows.

Before cutting a big hole in the side of your house and rearranging the framing, consider less invasive—and less expensive—ways of capturing light.

Do your own demo

Knocking down may not be as costly as rebuilding, but you can still shave dollars by doing some of the demolition yourself—as long as you proceed with care.  When it comes to interior spaces, most professionals would dissuade folks from doing it unless they have done it before. The reason: a reckless wrecker might unwittingly take out a load–bearing wall or, worse still, plunge a reciprocating saw into live wiring or pressurized plumbing.

Limit recessed light fixtures

The more recessed lights you put in, the more it’s going to cost. In addition to the fixtures, it takes additional labor to cut all the holes and insulate them properly. A wall– or ceiling–mounted light can also deliver more wattage, which means you may be able to get away with fewer fixtures.  Be honest with yourself.  If you add 12 recessed lights, do you really think you need that many?

Do your own pick-ups

If you’re doing your own project, slash your materials–delivery fees by picking up goods yourself. No pickup truck?  You can rent a utility trailer, which you can tow behind your SUV. Get one just big enough to carry 4–by–8 sheet goods flat. Use it for a half–dozen trips, and it’s paid for itself.

Don’t move the kitchen sink

Don’t move the sink if you can avoid it. That often becomes the biggest part of the plumbing–price increase. If your new layout requires that you move the sink, use the opportunity to upgrade the pipes at the same time, that will save you money in the long run.

Plan with stock sizes in mind

Ask yourself, “Why am I building something 10 feet wide if plywood comes in 4–foot–wide sheets”. The same applies to stock windows and doors: Use manufacturers’ off–the–shelf dimensions from the outset and you will save the premiums of custom fabrication.

Make decisions early

Start browsing the aisles at the hardware store or home center way before the wrecking starts. Get a good feeling for what you want in fixtures and appliances and what they cost.  It will cut down on impulse buying.  If you aren’t absolutely specific up front about what you want, look through magazines or go to kitchen builder showrooms.


The best way to save in this area is to use your existing appliances. Purchasing floor models that are on clearance is a good idea too.  Floor models may have a scratch or two, but the savings can be significant.

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