It goes without saying that everybody enjoys a more comfortable home. However, a limited budget or no budget at all is the common reason to prevent you from making this big home improvement project you have always dreamed of come true. Does it have to always be that way? No, it doesn't. A home improvement project does not necessarily have to break the bank and make you spend a little fortune. All it takes is good planning and knowing your priorities for you to enjoy a more comfortable and improved home that won't cost months and months worth of salary. Here are some great tips to help you consider and plan an affordable yet successful home improvement project.
Plan and Get Quotes Well In Advance
The best way to approach every home improvement project is by planning well ahead of time. Allowing yourself enough time to consider the project and all aspects of it, researching the industry and market, getting a lot of bid and quotes, will definitely help you get familiar with all service, material, and products prices right now, what is the best you can get for your money, what you want to prioritise with your project, who to work with, and how to ensure good budgeting and stick to your plan. In addition, there are these periods of the year when some contractors are extra busy and it is impossible to squeeze your project into their schedule or if they do, that may mean they will be in a rush and not provide you with the quality of service you are expecting.
Therefore, planning ahead will not only help you fog good budgeting, but it will also open a window of opportunities for you to choose the contractors to work with and not settle on service providers who are not your first choice. Most contractors also plan months ahead and they won't be willing to disrupt their schedules or if they do, they will ask for a higher price of service. Therefore, make sure to plan ahead to be able to get more competitive bids during the slow seasons for contractors. Depending on your home improvement project, the slow seasons will be:
- Roofing services - cold and rainy months
- Indoor renovations - winter, rainy months
- Heating - later summer, the beginning of autumn
- Air conditioning services - later winter, early spring
- Chimney cleaning - spring, summer, and winter
- Project design and architectural projects - fall and winter
Prioritise Energy-Saving Features
One thing you want to put on top of your priority list and you should prepare yourself for spending a bigger portion of your budget while trying to fit in or cut other costs are energy-saving features. Now, if you are wondering does it worth it to spend some extra money on these, the answer is yes, it does. It does worth it because energy-saving features provide you with the opportunity of return on investment in the long-term. Energy prices are constantly rising and energy-saving features are always a good way to save yourself a lot of money in future.
Therefore, energy efficiency upgrades are always something you want to at least consider for your home improvement project. Energy-saving features include things like higher-efficiency windows and double glazing, improved insulation, guaranteed air sealing, higher-efficiency heating, cooling, and other appliances, and more.
Hire Designer for the Initial Sketch
Now, you know that you cannot do everything and anything yourself, right? Even if you want to save the extra money and you are an experienced and handy DIY-er, you simply cannot do everything on your own or at least not while achieving the best results possible.
Therefore, make sure to add some help from professionals here and there and don't cut on the important costs. If you are on a limited budget, just make sure you are paying for the services that really worth it and that is really essential for the project and its success. You cannot build an extension of your home or remodel an entire room without the help of a professional designer unless you are not one yourself.
A professional design will help you a lot during the initial planning stage and provide you with all the guidelines on what you need to do next in order to achieve the results you are going for. Most architects and designers will walk you through the initial planning process for a fee, so make sure to include that in your project.
DIY Parts of the Project
Now, while some parts of the project are certainly better left in the reliable hands of experienced and knowledgeable professionals, other parts of the project can be totally DIY-ed and this will save you a significant amount of money for sure. Reduce costs by considering what you can do by yourself in order to avoid paying for professional services. Some labour-intensive jobs are pretty challenging, however, they do not require extra experience or knowledge and you can totally take part in steps such as demolition, moving materials, digging, cleaning up, sanding trim, painting, and more.
Plan Ahead If You Cannot Afford It Now
Just because you cannot afford it at the moment, does not mean you are not allowed to plan it for the near future, right? You don't have to do it all at once, making everything in smaller steps will also help you achieve the results you are going for, it will simply take a bit more time until everything happens. Some things and projects you can consider when you are working step-by-step include:
- Electrical service with the capacity for a future addition
- In-the-wall wiring for electronics you may consider adding in future
- Rough plumbing for additions you may consider adding in future
- Wiring for lighting fixtures you may consider adding in future
- Rough framing for doors and windows you may consider adding in future
- French doors you may consider opening to decks in the future