Home renovations are one of the least fun things in the world. Your life is thrown into chaos and it's always more cash than you figured it would be. Now, we can't do anything about the disruptions they cause but we think we might be able to help you with the cost angle.
1) Try not to do a complete remodel. By that we mean, refurbish existing fixtures. Replace handles, stain the cabinetry, replace drawer handles, reface moldings. These sorts of things can give your kitchen a significantly improved look without the enormous pain and costs of redoing a kitchen. In fact, restaining cabinets can save you 50% in regards to buying new cabinetry!
2) Pick decent, mid-grade materials. Premium materials are a massive price jump over the middle grade ones and it's very difficult to get that money back in terms of a resale.
3) Roll up those sleeves and do prep work yourselves. Nothing crazy, but doing the light prep stuff ahead of time will save you significant dough for labour. A good example of this is removing and discarding old carpet, which isn't terribly difficult but can provide very worthwhile savings when it comes to receiving the bill for new carpeting.
4) A lot of guys think youtube "how to's" are all you need to do DIY stuff around the house. This is true to a degree (a very small degree) but know your limits. We've seen people mud and tape based on youtube videos and it looks like an ocean wave trapped in the wall. Some DIY stuff is great and we applaud it - painting is a great example of this. It's cheap to obtain supplies and not that hard to do properly. A backsplash is another example of a relatively easy project that can be done with a fine attention to detail. Beyond that, you start to risk shoddy results and you better believe that will devalue your house when the time comes to sell, not to mention you cringing every time you see it around the house.
5) Shop around for best and budget-friendly contractor. Meet with at least three of them to get their bids. And pay attention to small details, namely were they prompt and prepared for the appointment? A contractor who is late for the first appointment could be late for a lot of work days, and that just adds huge time to your project, time that you'll be charged for. Also get it all in writing. A cap on the hours would be a wise move as well. This will prevent him from continually prolonging the work for additional money. In an ideal world this wouldn't be a problem but unfortunately it's a sad reality for many unlucky people who hire the wrong person.
Follow these and you should be able to minimize the damage to your wallets. Good luck!
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