5 money-saving tips for do-it-yourself home renovations
As an educator, you’ve most likely mastered the art of ‘do-it-yourself’ classroom décor and that whole ‘reduce’, ‘reuse’, ‘recycle’ thing—you practically invented it.
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After all, that supply budget needs to last an entire school year. Maybe two. So when it comes to home renovations, you’re already perfectly positioned to do-it-yourself—and on a tight budget.
Unlike school supplies however, most of the materials you’ll need to tackle home improvements cannot be found at the dollar store. But that’s okay, because there are other ways to be economical and still be just as effective in creating an updated space without having to spend outside of your pay grid.
Here are 5 do-it-yourself home renovation money-savers to help you do just that:
#1: Plan and prioritize your budget.
Rome wasn’t built in a day—and most likely your home reno project won’t be either. So don’t bite off more than you can chew, or pay for. The best way to have a realistic expectation of what projects you can take on is to create a renovation plan and prioritize it in order of time and cost. Will you be tackling renos in the summer or over the course of the school year? Timing is relevant because the battle between supply and demand is constant. Just as holiday decorations are a steal of a deal the day after that holiday is over, the price of home improvement materials fluctuates depending on the time of year, as well as the demand for that particular item. Planning your project well in advance will give you time to accrue materials when they are at their cheapest. Sticking to that plan will keep you focused on only the materials you need to prevent you from going over budget.
Use our Big Purchase Calculator to figure out a timeline to kick off your home renovation project.
#2: Shop for materials during ‘sale cycles’.
Just as your students will score good grades by doing their homework—you’ll score great prices on home renovation materials if you’re willing to do yours. Generally products go on sale in cycles. Weekends, long weekends, holidays. These are all times to keep an eye out for flyers and online sales. It also doesn’t hurt to stop in and talk to sales associates to see when is the best time to buy certain items.
#3: Redo, reuse, recycle.
One person’s junk can be your renovation treasure. So start scouring through yard sales, classified ads, and even your own home for items you can reuse or repurpose. Kitchens and bathrooms are two of the most expensive improvements where costs can be cut down dramatically simply by repainting cabinetry and adding new fixtures. Plus, using salvaged materials will not only save you a ton of money, but can add character and a one-of-a-kind sense of design to your remodeling project.
#4: Shop around for imperfections.
Being perfect is overrated and expensive. Especially when it comes to home reno projects. Shopping around for items that have a few scuffs ‘here’ and some minor scratches ‘there’ can add up to really big savings. Some stores even hold ‘scratch and dent’ events to sell off damaged inventory. Plus, don’t be afraid to ask sales associates if/when they plan on selling/replacing floor models—which can be another way to save on new products or appliances, versus paying full price on those same products still in the box.
#5: Do your own grunt work.
While you can get contractors and stores to deliver materials and hire companies for junk removal after your home renovation is done, you’ll typically be paying a premium for these services. Doing your own carryout and clean up is another way to cut costs—and get in a good workout to boot.