The Savvy Homeowner’s Guide to Remodeling an Old House on a Budget

While the average cost to buy a home differs depending on what state you live in, the average cost is $218,000. Of course, once you buy the house, there are always extra expenses to think about. 

Especially if you’re remodeling an old house on a budget. Renovating an old house is more expensive because you often have to replace expensive items such as the roof, floors, and electrical wiring. 

And renovating rooms such as the kitchen or bathroom also cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, if you’re looking to learn how to remodel a house on a budget, it can be done. 

And we want to help. Keep reading to learn how to renovate a house. 

Things to Consider When Remodeling an Old House on a Budget

Before you begin your project, you have to know where to start. Planning everything out ahead of time will help you stick to your budget and succeed in your goals.

Start by determining what your end goal is. Maybe this is your forever home where you plan to start and raise a family. Perhaps remodeling is a hobby and you plan to flip the house once it’s finished. 

Plan Your Budget

Do your homework so you have a good idea of how much everything will cost. You may find you can save money by investing in cheaper upgrades rather than doing a complete remodel with top-of-the-line appliances. 

And don’t forget to factor in incidental costs such as eating out while your kitchen is being renovated or needing to spend a night or two in a hotel while your electrical and plumbing get worked on. 

Know Your Limits

DIY is great but if you can’t even hammer in a nail successfully, you should work with the experts. It’s not worth the savings if you end up exposing yourself to lead or asbestos. 

Also, work with experts who have experience renovating older homes. Older homes have specific quirks that need to be addressed properly. 

Invest in Fixes with Long-Term Value

When you’re trying to figure out which areas to budget the most money to, always consider the ROI (return on investment). It’s not worth it to spend money on wall-to-wall carpeting because most modern homebuyers don’t like carpeting. 

Instead, it makes more sense to invest in new wood floors which will easily pay for itself. And sometimes you will find that simply resurfacing items like cabinets, floors, and appliances are budget friendly while appearing high-end. 

Consider Energy Efficient and Sustainable Renovations

Remodeled new houses can also enjoy the benefits of energy efficient products and sustainable practices. Best of all, you can claim Residential Energy Efficiency Property Credits for wind, solar, fuel-cell, and geothermal equipment in your primary home. 

You’ll not only save money on your monthly utility bills but investing in sustainable renovations will also add value to your home. 

Check out sustainably harvested woods. Some of them look and feel remarkably like the real deal but they’re much less expensive. 

Save Money by Using Recycled Materials

One person’s trash is your ticket to saving money and adding unique details to your home. Try checking out Habitat for Humanity ReStore where they sell surplus building materials donated by contractors. 

You can also find gently used furniture and appliances through them. And don’t forget to ask your contractor if they know where to find recycled materials. 

You can also donate your old items to Habitat for Humanity. 

Reorganize for Efficiency

It’s always important to think about merging form with function. Just because something looks great, it doesn’t always mean it works efficiently. 

Look for ways in your kitchen and bathroom where you can reorganize and equip both rooms for maximum utility. You may be able to avoid blowing out walls to gain extra space. 

Replacing old shelving with new cabinet-height pullout drawers complete with racks for storing items can save you a lot of money and increase your storage space. 

How to Save Money on a Bathroom Remodel

Bathrooms are usually one of the more expensive rooms to renovate. You can save a lot of money just by keeping the pipes exactly where they are. 

You can also save money by framing the existing mirror rather than investing in a new one. And rather than replacing the entire toilet, consider replacing only the lid and seat. 

You can also use different materials other than tiles such as wood panels, board, and batten. 

How to Save Money Remodeling the Kitchen

Kitchen cabinets are often the biggest expense in a kitchen remodel. You can save money by having then repainted, only changing the cabinet doors or by choosing ready-to-assemble cabinets. 

Another way to save big is to keep your appliances and plumbing where they are. The less you have to move things around, the more you’ll save. 

Open shelves also save money. You can save even more by using salvaged wood or painted planks you can find at your local hardware store. 

How to Save Money on Countertops

Countertops can also end up costing a lot. But you have choices such as recycled products, stone, tile, and concrete. 

You can also mix and match materials. If you love the look of granite but can’t afford to outfit your whole kitchen, consider only using granite for the outside perimeter and using another material for the rest of the kitchen. 

Remodel Your Home in Stages

You don’t necessarily have to do the remodel all at once. If you’re on a budget, start with the projects that need immediate attention.

Then, as you save money you can continue along with your project.

Hire the Contractor During Their Off-Season

Contractors have a busy season. It usually starts in summer and lasts through the holidays. 

During that time, suppliers, deliveries, and labor are all slower and more in demand. If you wait until after the new year, you may even find contractors offering discounts.

Consider Starting from Scratch

If you find that your home isn’t up to code, it may cost you more to fix than the house is worth. If that’s the case, it may make more sense to knock the entire house down and start from scratch. 

A new home will also have the added benefits of new construction while still adhering to the character and feel of the original home. 

Work with Us

If you’re remodeling an old house on a budget, we’d love to work with you. We’re in the business of helping you build the home of your dreams. 

And we’re a full-service company. Click here to learn how we can help

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