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Remodeling Your Home? Use These Tips to Save Money

There’s something romantic, rewarding, and even downright inspiring about bringing an outdated house into the 21st century—but ask anyone who’s been there and done it, and they’ll tell you the remodel process will test your patience, your budget, and perhaps even your sanity.

“It’s a journey into the land of unknowns,” warns Mike McGrew, a former treasurer for the National Association of Realtors® and CEO of McGrew Real Estate in Lawrence, KS. “You just don’t know what’s inside that wall and how much more it might cost to remove, say, that sewer line until you get in there.”

That’s not to say that renovating a home can’t pay off big-time, especially in the long run. And luckily, there are ways to cut costs during the process. Let’s check some of them out.

1. Be armed with info about competing contractors

Selecting a trustworthy contractor can make a world of difference in the timeline of a home remodel, which will ultimately save you money. Of course, you’ll want to ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations and follow up with references. But you might still be concerned that your budget isn’t quite as generous as the one deployed by your next-door frenemies, the Bickles. (Darn you, Bickles!) Do you have enough cash to make your dream renovation happen?

Here’s a little-known secret: Name-drop competitors and the prices they’ve quoted. More than likely, the contractor you’re meeting with will be willing to strike a deal to win your business.

Once you narrow down your options, you should get at least three written estimates to compare costs and timelines, and verify applicable trade license, bonding, and insurance status. And here’s a helpful tip: Insist on a payment schedule tied to project progress and keep at least 10% back until the job is completed to your satisfaction.

Now, if you have some basic DIY knowledge (or a kind friend willing to pitch in), you can save by skipping the contractor. But make sure you know what you’re getting into—there are some home improvement projects you simply shouldn’t DIY.

1. Be armed with info about competing contractors

Selecting a trustworthy contractor can make a world of difference in the timeline of a home remodel, which will ultimately save you money. Of course, you’ll want to ask friends and acquaintances for recommendations and follow up with references. But you might still be concerned that your budget isn’t quite as generous as the one deployed by your next-door frenemies, the Bickles. (Darn you, Bickles!) Do you have enough cash to make your dream renovation happen?

Here’s a little-known secret: Name-drop competitors and the prices they’ve quoted. More than likely, the contractor you’re meeting with will be willing to strike a deal to win your business.

Once you narrow down your options, you should get at least three written estimates to compare costs and timelines, and verify applicable trade license, bonding, and insurance status. And here’s a helpful tip: Insist on a payment schedule tied to project progress and keep at least 10% back until the job is completed to your satisfaction.

Now, if you have some basic DIY knowledge (or a kind friend willing to pitch in), you can save by skipping the contractor. But make sure you know what you’re getting into—there are some home improvement projects you simply shouldn’t DIY.

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