By Dan Fritschen

Contractor installing hardwood floor

Photo by Olgar Fallas

A common question for most homeowners is how to manage the cost of their remodel.  Here 3 tips that I think can really help control remodeling costs.

  • Manage who will do the work so they come in on budget.  If you hire a general contractor, or do all the work yourself or something in between labor is often the biggest single remodeling cost.  So manage the bid, the project and your expectations.  If you specify all the details in your request for quote and in the contract their is really no reason that the project is not 100% on budget.  To achieve this you need to specify the work to be done, walls moved, etc. and the materials to be used and any installation specifications.  This includes the type of molding, light fixtures, switches – everything.  Specify it and get a good quote from a contractor or do it yourself  and your project will likely come in on budget.
  • Be aware that the design can drive the costs in a dramatic way.  making a window 2 inches wider is much more expensive than making it 2 inches taller.  There are many examples like this…moving a light switch..moving a plumbing hook up, the list goes on and on.  So make sure you talk with someone knowledgeable about construction costs to ensure you make informed decisions about your remodeling costs.
  • The materials you select.  Light fixtures can cost $10 or $100 each.  Faucets $30 or $300..the list goes on and on and each of the decisions you make drives the cost of the remodel.  So choose carefully and dont give up!  Be flexible on what you select and spend time looking for materials that meet your needs and are on sale to save a bundle on your remodeling costs.