can make a big difference. Either way, they offer some
great ideas for ways to cut cost, not quality, on your next remodel project.
Tip # 1: Use Remnants
The term "remnants" can have a bad connotation. That's why they don't get much love. We probably all think of that one piece of carpet we have left over from our new carpet install seven years ago that sits in the
garage and we use to wipe our dirty feet on. You know the one. The one you were initially excited about because it was a "free rug." Don't deny it...But some of my best finds have come from "remnants" from my subcontractors and suppliers. Here's how I score them; Once I have a project, I spend a few minutes (ok, who am I kidding, hours) assessing the materials I need. Then I pinpoint where the highest cost will be in my materials list. For example, new counter tops = lots of cost in the actual counter top material. I know, rocket science, right?
Then the fun begins. I call around and see who has just the right amount of "remnant" material I am looking for. I have used this method for tile, light fixtures, flooring and paint. Don't be afraid to ask for exactly what you want
and negotiate a great price. Remember, the subcontractor or supplier already bought these remnants once, and anything they make on them is pure profit.
Accordingly, start your negotiations far below market
Tip # 2: Define The Job And
Ever had a friend or family member who bid out
a remodel project (perhaps even a small one) and were surprised by the wide range of prices and the higher cost than they expected? In my experience, this usually comes back to a single major flaw: they didn't adequately define the project for the bidders. I've also experienced this myself in bidding jobs. I can bid 5 jobs using the exact same methods and materials, and I will be the
lowest on one, the highest on one, and in the middle on 3. When I question why the results are so inconsistent, I find that it almost always yields a misunderstanding of the scope of work. Be sure to define the project scope to
all bidders in significant detail. Consider these questions and provide the answers to all the bidders.
* What exact material(s) do you want the contractor to use?
* What colors have you selected for these
* When do you want the project to start and finish?
* What products are you buying and what products is your contractor buying?
* What are the exact work hours and work days you will
* What insurance do you require of your
Answer these questions ahead of time and not only will you receive multiple very competitive bids, but your project will also go much smoother once you award the job.
Tip # 3: Reuse, Reuse, REUSE!
(This one is my favorite!)
Sometimes one small compromise on your remodel allows you to save thousands of dollars. Often time
this compromise involves reusing existing materials. Take cabinets for example, for many people, a kitchen remodel means new cabinets. And often times this is
the right call. On the other hand, I can't tell you how often I've seen perfectly good cabinets go to waste. Refinishing, painting or distressing existing cabinets can have thousand of dollars and produce a very strong,
contemporary remodel look.The same can be said for antique appliances, tile, mirrors, trim material, wood floors, plaster walls, etc. All of these items have
inherent benefit and quality. Do your best to reuse them and you'll save not only money, but help out the environment.
Tip # 4: Minimize Demolition
I'm a big fan of placing new materials over old whenever
doing so does not compromise the integrity of the material. It can save dozens of hours of demolition.
Tip # 5: Buy Online
I'm often surprised by the deals to be had online. I'm also surprised at how careful one has to be when doing so.
Thankfully, buying online has gotten much easier in the last few years, especially when it comes to getting accurate specifications on the products prior to purchase. Don't be afraid to review the pdf version of product specifications before purchasing. I've spent many hours researching products to ensure the exact right fit when installing fixtures, appliances and building
materials. Here is a list of my favorite items to buy online:
* Appliances - I saved approximately 40% by buying last year's models of quality appliances online. Keep in mind that delivery could be 3 to 4 weeks, so plan ahead.
* Cabinet Hardware - Be sure to check the dimensions of the fasteners.
* Stair Material - Trying to match a unique spindle
is no longer impossible.
* Tin Ceilings and Backsplashes - An endless number
of options, and they will even do shop drawings for you.
* Plumbing Fixtures - Once again, buying last year's model saves a ton.
So there you have it, my cost saving tips for you.
What are your cost saving tips?