One of the great side affects of having a small renovation budget is that you are forced to get creative and find ways to make it stretch. In all honesty, if we had had more money to spare, we probably would have wasted a lot more of it. Thus far, here are the best 6 ways to save at least $1,000 on your renovation that we have found thus far.
1. Don’t rent a dumpster!
Rather than renting a dumpster, take advantage of your neighborhoods bulky trash pickup. There’s usually a limit on the amount of trash so you might need to find ways to cut down on your trash by using Craigslist (see number 2).
2. Use Craigslist
One Man’s Junk is another man’s treasure. Try listing things like kitchen cabinets, doors, any aluminum (from old windows if you are upgrading), and window blinds on craigslist.
Read about how we got our entire kitchen demoed and removed for free by using Craigslist! We were also able to sell our window blinds and make a few dollars there!
3. Shop Habitat for Humanity
habitat for Humanity receives brand new extra materials as well as used but still good materials. Every habitat, even in the same city, will have different items in stock so it’s worth checking all of them and it’s worth going back every few weeks.
So far we have saved at least $500 by shopping at habitat. We purchased our baseboards, stain for an outdoor swing ($3 instead of $14 at Home Depot for the exact same product), painting supplies (brushes, drop clothes, scrapers, etc.), and our front door from habitat.
4. Use a Glass Panel Instead of a Full Door in the Shower
Hopefully you have considered re-using your old shower or bath door but a lot of times, like for us, that just doesn’t work out. When it doesn’t, consider going for a frameless panel instead of a full enclosure with a door. We found doing the panel cost less than both framed and frameless shower doors and gave us the sharp, clean look we were going for. Plus, should we want the door too down the road, it can be added since we opted to keep the panel corners square and not rounded. Another thing, make sure you ask about standard vs. special order sizes. A one inch difference in panel height made a $200 difference on the price of the panel we ordered. If I hadn’t asked, I would have been sold the taller panel for an extra $200 and an inch just isn’t worth that!
5. Forgo the transition strips in your wood floors
Make sure you talk to your flooring installer about whether or not you REALLY need transition strips (like T-moldings). Transition strips are used between different types of flooring like tile and wood. A lot if times the floors can be butted up right next to each other without using a transition strip. Aesthetically it can look even better than using the strips and can save you hundreds of dollars. Transitions are usually MUCH more expensive than your flooring, easily being around the $10/LF price range.
6. Use coupons at Lowe’s and Home Depot
Whether it’s tile, landscaping, or picture hanging supplies, it seems like every move to a new home includes endless trips to Home Depot and Lowe’s. One way to save lots of money on these trips is to use the coupons each provide to new home owners. When you sign up to forward your mail online, you will be sent a bunch of great coupons including ones for Lowe’s and Home Depot. Since the coupons were one time use, we racked our brains and purchased everything we could possibly purchase at that time until we maxed out the savings limits.
Savings: 10% usually