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Contractor Tips: Get the Remodel You Want for Less

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Who doesn’t want to get the job done while reducing costs as much as possible? A valid question for either contractors or homeowners. Sadly, this is sometimes achieved by cutting corners, resulting in poor craftsmanship, unhappy customers, or for contractors, tarnished reputations.. Even so, there are many ways to get the job done right while still finding creative ways to reduce costs as much as possible. Below, are a few suggestions to do just that:

For homeowners, consider planning your projects during the off-season, which is usually the winter. You’ll most likely be able to hire a contractor at a discounted rate since work is generally less abundant. If you already have a contractor in mind, ask when work is usually slow and see if it’s possible to postpone your project until that time, at a discount.
When planning, be as thorough as possible. The more time you spend finishing the plans, the more likely you will be able to foresee possible savings or potential expenses.
While planning, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, work towards increasing the efficiency of the space you have, rather than knocking out walls to just increase the space.
Don’t pass up the opportunity to use salvage materials where possible. In doing so, it’s possible to shoehorn a few features that you could otherwise not be able to include in the budget. Bear in mind, not all contractors are comfortable using recycled materials, since they don’t want to be liable if there is a problem in the future. But if both contractor and the homeowner agree, savings can be substantial.
Once again, with kitchens and bathrooms, try to avoid the need to move plumbing fixtures such as the kitchen sink or toilet. Just by that decision alone, you could save a lot of time, money and plumbing costs from rerouting and or upgrading the pipes beneath.
Try to work as much as possible with what you have. You’d be amazed how much more efficient and attractive existing kitchen cabinets can be with re-faced doors and the thoughtful use of inserts or modifications.
If your design involves tearing out and starting new, then plan your rebuild to work with stock sizes. This concept also applies to rough construction (4 x 8 plywood, for example), cabinets, doors, and windows. Using excess plywood to fill a space (13 foot wide space, rather than 12 feet) would just be wasteful and costly. Likewise, custom cabinets, doors and windows can quickly eat away at anyone’s budget.
As long as it’s within the homeowner’s skill set and the contractor agrees, costs can be greatly reduced by allowing the homeowner to pitch in. While this may not necessarily mean the building and finish work, it could mean some simple demolition and cleanup, after hours. This of course will take some coordination with the contractor, because the last thing you want to do is slow them down. Also, if the homeowner has the means or skill, they can offer their services to help in other ways such as scraping, painting or even pickup and delivery of materials.

As implied with most of these suggestions, when the homeowner and contractor are able to work together, it is entirely possible to complete the remodeling job both properly and affordably.

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