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Stretch your remodeling budget


There are many reasons to remodel your home, especially your kitchen or bathroom, as these are the hub of the home, but the biggest reason people do not upgrade these rooms is because it can be very expensive.

How can you make the most of your money while not sacrificing design or quality?


Here are our tips for stretching your remodeling budget:

Tip 1: Make a Plan & Know Your Budget

Think before you leap. It sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people rush into projects with their eyes on the finished product and ignore peripheral considerations. Start by consulting a reference guide. Write down your family’s present and future needs and analyze them carefully. Think through the spaces you’re envisioning: Are they economical? Perhaps you could combine spaces or, in the future, work out schedules for a new room’s use instead of adding yet another room.

Also, have an informed financial plan in place before the work begins, advises Julie Watt, regional renovation sales manager with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Bloomington, Minnesota. Financing your mortgage and renovation simultaneously spreads improvement costs throughout the term of your loan. In addition, the interest on your renovation costs is part of your first mortgage and is tax-deductible. “Avoid ‘ad hoc’ financing,” she says. Otherwise, “you might end up securing a credit card with a home improvement store or tapping into your savings,” neither of which is tax-deductible.

Tip 2: Make An Appointment at The Bath & Kitchen Showplace

Our professional consultants can help guide you through the entire remodeling process from A to Z and assist you in picking out the right bath and kitchen fixtures, hardware, accessories and more that will complement your design without breaking the bank.

Tip 3: Expect the Unexpected

Build a 10- to 20-percent contingency into your budget because you’ll inevitably run into unforeseen costs. You’ll tear into a wall and find pipes you didn’t know were there. You’ll unearth asbestos tiles that need to be disposed of properly. Or you’ll find rotting structural elements that need to be replaced. With a financial buffer in place, these unexpected setbacks will be less likely to send you running for the antacid tablets. -

Tip 4: Be Willing to Compromise

Wish lists are exactly that; don’t let yours strong-arm you into spending more than you have. If your budget can’t accommodate granite surfaces everywhere, aim for a similar look with a slate backsplash and composite countertops. “Mixing materials saves money,” says Daniel M. Gallant, principal of Gallant Designs in Bellingham, Washington. “For example, put hardwood floors in some rooms, and less-expensive coverings such as tile or vinyl in others.”

Tip 5: Roll Up Your Sleeves

If you can pitch in without getting in your remodeler’s way, do it. Pick up a paintbrush, pull up that dreadful old carpet, or lay down the tile for your new kitchen backsplash. If you have the time and the knowledge, you even could be your own general contractor. “During the construction phase, one of the biggest ways you can save money is to clean the site daily,” says Stan Stuurmans of Triple S Construction, Inc., in Lynden, Washington. This should be negotiated up front. “I like to keep my job site clean, so I often do the cleanup, but the client ends up paying for my time — they pay me to clean up every day,” Stuurmans says. “So grab the wet/dry vac and a broom!”