fall home renovationsMany homeowners underestimate the costs of general maintenance and repairs. But the fact is, the average homeowner will spend between 1% and 4% of a home’s value on maintenance and repairs annually, costs which tend to increase as the house ages. For a $200,000 home, that’s at least $10,000 in repairs every five years. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to save money during the renovation and maintenance process, both by cutting initial costs as well as investing in future savings based on sustainability. With that goal in mind, here are a few ways you can save money with your fall home renovations.

Think Ahead

Before you make any final decisions about the specifics of your renovation, think ahead to what you imagine doing in the next five to 10 years. If you think you’ll be moving anytime soon, you’ll definitely want to take this into consideration, as even seemingly small decisions can impact a home’s selling price.

For example, Zillow’s 2017 Paint Colors Analysis found that homes with blue bathrooms sold for $5,400 more than expected. While it’s true that you should ultimately make decisions based on your budget and personal stylistic preferences, taking popular trends into consideration is a wise idea that can pay off via ROI.

Hire a Contractor Mentor and DIY

Here’s a new idea, although it’s still questionable in some trades — many contractors now offer their services on an hourly basis. But instead of doing the project themselves, they’ll mentor those who are interested in DIY renovations.

This possibility can save you money in two ways: first, you won’t have to pay the contractor as much as you would if they were doing the entire job themselves. Plus, you can potentially save on future renovations if you learn the skills yourself during the mentoring process. For example, if you need to drywall a room, the typical cost is around $1,000. But if a contractor charges $150 an hour, you may pay just $300 plus the cost of materials with the DIY contractor mentoring process. Keep in mind that this option is typically ideal for those who are already somewhat familiar with the renovation process as opposed to being total beginners.

Don’t Neglect Sustainability

Finally, it should come as no surprise that recycling efforts are expanding around the country, and attempting to salvage older or unneeded materials can help cut costs on almost any type of renovation. For example, today, more than one-third of new paper is made with recycled fiber, so if you’re considering new wallpaper for a bedroom or bathroom, it’s easy to find a recycled paper that keeps the environment in mind. Aside from that, it’s also worth considering investing in a larger scale sustainable project, like installing a more efficient HVAC system. For smaller budgets, even investing in something like window tints can save you up to 40% on your utility bill when the hot season comes back around. Look at it this way: even if you can’t save money during the initial investment, don’t neglect the potential savings that often accompany sustainable upgrades. Chances are, you’ll be able to find something.

Combine High End and Low End Materials

Finally, you shouldn’t feel as though every material needs to be of the finest quality in order to be financially viable. Depending on your renovation type and size, there’s likely to be an opportunity to combine higher and lower end materials and find the right middle ground.

“Get the most bang for your buck by spending more on statement items, such as quartz countertops or a statement stove, but reserve funds in other less impactful areas. This is a balance you’ll have to figure out yourself, since it varies so much depending on your project and style inclinations…The key is to find balance, not extremes,” writes Mandi Johnson on A Beautiful Mess.

Ultimately, there are countless ways to save on renovation costs this season — you just have to get creative.

Do you have any other money-saving home renovation ideas? Share them in the comments!

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