Thinking of renovating this year? Here are some great tips and practical advice on how to save money when renovating!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of LightStream, an online lending division of SunTrust Bank. The opinions and text are all mine.
I am passionate about making beautiful spaces in the home and love to inspire others to do the same. Tackling home renovations can be messy, expensive, and daunting, but the end results are always worth the effort! Over the course of our marriage, Matt and I have fixed up three homes together and learned a lot along the way. Before the year is through, we have a few spaces in our current home we hope to renovate. Perhaps you too are planning a home renovation this year and wondering how to make it more affordable. Let’s explore current home renovation trends and helpful tips on how to save money when renovating!
Current Trends in Home Renovation: What areas of the home do you want to renovate and how do you plan to pay for it?
LightStream, a popular online consumer lender, recently conducted their 2018 home improvement trends survey and the results were interesting! This year, homeowners plan to spend $5000 or more on home renovations. So what is everyone remodeling this year? The survey revealed that renovations on outdoor spaces, bathrooms, and kitchens top the list. As a DIY enthusiast I’m happy to see that sixty-five percent of homeowners stated they’ll do at least some of the work themselves, and 35 percent say they’ll tackle their projects entirely on their own. How about you? What areas of the home do you want to renovate this year? Is a kitchen, bath, or outdoor remodel at the top of your list? If so, have you given any thought on how to best pay for the renovations? Check out the infographic below to see how your plans for home improvement spending compare to others. To see the entire survey results, click here!
Tips on How to Save Money When Renovating: What can you do to get the most for your dollar?
Money Saving Tip 1: Establish a budget and stick to it, leaving a cushion for unexpected expenses.
When we were renovating our master bathroom in our city home, I wanted to stay true to my design plan, but I also didn’t want to go over budget. I had to make some difficult decisions on things to cut. Know going into your remodel that you will need to stay fluid in your design plan and make changes as glitches and expenses arise. Be sure to allow a buffer in your budget for unexpected expenses! If and when the unexpected expense pops up, you’ll be prepared to handle it.
Money Saving Tip 2: Consult with multiple contractors and gain several estimates for your project.
Whether you plan to DIY a renovation or hire the job out, it makes sense to consult the experts and obtain multiple estimates on your project before beginning. Gathering estimates gives you a clearer picture of how to prioritize your budget and what areas you might be able to do yourself. Not all contractors are the same and prices vary widely so obtaining multiple estimates may help you save money. Keep in mind that the lowest bidder may not necessarily be the best fit for the job! Ask a lot of questions, check references, look at pictures of prior work, and go with your gut before signing a contract! Here are some great questions to ask when interviewing your contractor:
- How many projects similar to mine have you completed in the last year?
- Does my project require a permit?
- May I have a list of references?
- Will you be using subcontractors on this project?
- What types of insurance do you carry?
Money Saving Tip 3: If hiring out, make sure to have detailed, written contracts with licensed professionals.
Be sure to check your contractor’s credentials and references before signing any paperwork. Your state may not require a licensed professional to have a contract for your project, but it’s a smart idea to ask for one anyways. The contract should include the who, what, where, when, and cost of your project. It should also include information on how job clean-up, payment, and changes in orders will be handled. A good contract will protect you financially if something goes wrong and help you keep on budget.
Money Saving Tip 4: As is reasonable and feasible, do the work yourself.
Completing a renovation yourself can save you a bundle as long as you don’t get in over your head! Take advantage of free online resources such as blogger and DIY video tutorials to learn what kinds of projects are feasible for the beginning DIY’er. Just remember that doing a project yourself will typically require much more time and patience than hiring a team, but the money saved and satisfaction of completing a project yourself is often worth it!
Money Saving Tip 5: Carefully consider financing options, since there is no one-size-fits-all solution and choose the best one for your project!
Matt and I always attempt to be patient and wait until we can use cash or savings to pay for our home improvement projects, but sometimes you need to finance your projects today. Here are some financing option to consider:
- Credit cards are popular options for smaller projects that can be paid off in a short period of time but can get very expensive for larger purchases that may take longer to repay.
- Home equity line of credit (HELOC) allows you to borrow against the equity you’ve got in your home. A HELOC may be an option if you’ve lived in your home for a while or it’s increased in value since you bought it.
- Fixed-rate home improvement loan is another great option available to you if you have good credit.
- For people with good credit, LightStream offers home improvement loans at fixed, low rates and with no fees.
- The application process is really quick. In fact, customers often have up to $100,000 deposited directly into their bank account as soon as the day they apply (when all conditions are met.)
- LightStream also recently extended its home improvement financing terms to provide more flexibility for people who are planning major renovations and want to finance their projects over a longer timeline.
Visit LightStream.com to discover whether a low, fixed rate unsecured loan may become a financial solution to pay for your renovation.
Found this article helpful? Please share this post and save it for later by pinning it to Pinterest! LightStream is a national online lending division of SunTrust Bank, providing loans for practically any purpose. Financing is available in all 50 states (people need not have a SunTrust account in order to apply). And, they plant a tree with every loan — more than 1,500 acres and counting!