Popular projects are kitchen and bathroom remodelling, replacing windows and doors, repairing property damage, and adding rooms.
If you want to start your dream renovation, start by finding creative ways to work within your budget. One of the best ways to save is being flexible. It's not hard to find stores carrying discontinued, overstock or unneeded special-ordered items, and that can mean big savings for you.
Here are some more tips to help you save when renovating your home.
Buying lights, tile, taps and even appliances online can make sense, but don't let delivery costs eat up the savings.
The pros: You can save hundreds of dollars on an item by searching online for the best price using the model number, says Dan Fritschen, author of Remodel or Move? Make the Right Decision. Make sure to include shipping costs, he adds.
The cons: If you haven't seen the item in person, it may look different than its online photo. And if it's not what you want or is damaged, returns can be a hassle.
Ask for a Discount
Ask for a volume discount. Get more customers for the vendor, and use that to wrangle a lower price. When Ingram installed a new fence, she contacted interested neighbours. "By getting more business for the fence company, we were all able to get a discount," she says.
The pros: "If you are friendly and considerate, oftentimes you can get a small discount of up to 10 per cent," says Fritschen.
The cons: The worst the vendor can do is say "no."
Do it Yourself
If you have the time, and if you're even slightly handy, you might be able to complete some renovations yourself.
The pros: You'll learn something new and save a lot of money. Even if the contractor is doing the heavy lifting, you can do the preparation and finish work. When Ingram made a house addition, she waterproofed the foundation's cinder blocks, saving $3000 in labour costs. Was it time-consuming and tiring? Yes, but not difficult.
The cons: Some things are best left to experts. "Flooring, countertops, cabinets are all doable, but if you mess up, they are really expensive to fix," says Fritschen. You should also consider a professional for areas involving home safety or engineering, like electrical or foundation work.
Many stores will match your purchase if you show the same item is selling in your area for less, says Fritschen.
The pros: Businesses want to retain you as a customer. Let them know you prefer shopping at their store but that a rival has what you want for less, says Julia Scott, founder of BargainBabe.com. Some stores will not only price match - they'll knock off another 10 per cent if a local store offers an identical, in-stock item at a lower price.
The cons: Price-matching requires work and isn't always possible. "Here's a dirty little secret from price matching that we learned when renovating our kitchen," says Ingram. "Each store that sells the same kitchen cabinet brand calls them different things. So you can't do an apples-to-apples comparison." It's a little easier on appliances, however, because advertisements list the model number.
By Deborah Abrams Kaplan