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Major Renovation Money Savers

Renovations If you're not prepared, home remodelling can wipe out your retirement, and put your plans for a trip around the world on hold for the next decade. Fortunately, a few simple tips can add up to big savings on your home improvement projects.

#5 Roofing Redos

New Roof

A new roof can be a time-consuming and costly investment, so remember the following when you're putting a lid on things:

Tip: 1 Do Your Homework - All contractors are not created equal. Before hiring one based on the lowest quote, find out all you can about them. Make sure they are fully-licensed, and find out if they have received complaints in the past. Avoiding poor workmanship from the get-go means you won't have to replace everything again in five years.

Tip: 2 Get the good stuff- Selecting energy-efficient materials with long life expectancy (30 years vs. 15) can lower energy costs, qualify you for tax breaks, and let you forget about roofing for the next few decades.

Tip 3: It's good to be a little "off" - Avoiding peak seasons (predictably-pleasant weather equals super-busy contractors) can save you a bundle of cash. Depending on where you live, re-roofing in late fall, early spring, and late winter when contractors have free time on their hands can give you room to haggle over prices. Most contractors would rather work for less during the off season than not work at all, and this translates into big savings for you.

#4 Avoid Bathroom Blues:

Contemporary Bathroom

Want to renovate your bathroom without paying a king's ransom? A few simple tips can help you regain the throne room without dipping into the royal treasury.

Tip 1: Size matters- Avoid changing bathroom size unless you absolutely have to, doing so can more than double the cost of your remodel.

Tip 2: The "sin" of vanity - French writer George Sand said, "Vanity is the quicksand of reason" and when it comes to bathrooms, custom-made vanities are just waiting to suck up your renovation dollars. Save by purchasing quality, ready-to-assemble vanities. If you are handy, save even more by putting them together yourself.

Tip 3: Cure bathroom woes with new hardware - Step back and take a good look at your bathroom. Do you really need to replace everything, or could a chic new look be as simple as swapping out old hardware for new attractive replacements? Never underestimate the power of things like new towel bars, toilet seats, and other fixtures to give new life to an old bathroom.

#3 Cost-Effective Kitchens:

Classic Kitchen

An updated kitchen is a surefire way to increase the value of your home. Consider the following money-saving suggestions:

Tip 1: Put on a new face- Cabinet re-facing can give your kitchen a new look, without the cost of tearing out old fixtures and rebuilding or replacing them.

Tip 2: Tile Style- Single granite slabs can cost a bundle, but you can still get fabulous countertops without forking over a fortune. Granite tiles give you the gleam of granite without having to empty your bank account. They are easy to install, so doing it yourself can save you even more.

Tip 3: Take things for granite- Like the look of granite but want to skip the cost? Many laminate choices cleverly mimic the look (but not the cost) of granite.

#2 Beat Basement Blues:

Basement Renovation

Ready for a basement you can actually use? A few simple tips can save you money while giving you the extra room you need to live large.

Tip 1: Waterproof - A remodel will have been for naught if water or dampness invades your new space. Be sure to repair cracks, and see that your foundation is watertight. Spray or roll-on waterproof membranes and wall sealing products such as Xypex are highly effective moisture blockers, and will help you avoid the need for costly basement de-watering later.

Tip 2: Go tankless - Imagine an endless supply of hot water without the need for a space-hogging tank that might leave you cold in the middle of your morning shower. Tankless water heaters kill two birds with one stone. Choose natural gas and propane-fueled versions over electrical models and save even more.

Tip 3: Keep an "open" mind - Supplies like studs, drywall, and new doors can really add up, so keeping your basement as one open and inviting room can mean substantial savings.

#1 New Additions:

New Addition

If you're feeling a cramped, a good addition can increase your living space without the need to relocate. Follow these tips and get more space for less:

Tip 1: Build within your means - You know how much you can afford to spend, so set a budget and follow it like a new religion. Be sure to include a 20% buffer to cover unexpected costs.

Tip 2: Purchase your own materials: Dust off your haggling skills, and you may be able to grab some super deals on building materials at home warehouses. A little legwork can save you lots of money, because it takes the responsibility out of the hands of your contractor.

Tip 3: Keep your eyes peeled: Projects that don't finish in time can cost you more than you bargained for. Keep an eye on ongoing work to keep your contractor on time and on budget. While some contractors may be uncomfortable having you looking over their shoulder, remember that it's your home, and time is money.

Posted by: Sam Malone
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