We all want to get the biggest bang for our buck, especially when it comes to home improvement. While it might be tempting to hire the cheapest contractor you can find, that can and often does backfire. There are many other ways to cut project costs. Following are some useful tips that can help you save money without sacrificing reliability and quality of workmanship.
1. Shop carefully for materials. You can save a lot of money shopping sales and comparing materials at different suppliers. For example, if you’re installing hardwood floors, you may be able to save several thousand dollars on materials by choosing flooring that runs $10/square foot vs. $14 that is just as good.
Habitat for Humanity’s Home Improvement Outlet Stores can be a valuable resource. They are open to the public and offer deep discounts on a wide variety of home furnishings including appliances, doors, windows, flooring, countertops, plumbing fixtures, and much more. At the same time your purchases help finance low-income housing for qualified Habitat families. Two nearby locations:
The Habitat Store Snohomish County
Everett, WA 98201
The Habitat Stores King County
21 S. Nevada St.
Seattle, WA 98134
13500 Bel Red Rd.
Bellevue, WA 98005
Additional bargain shopping opportunities:
3223 6th Ave S
Seattle, WA 98134
1440 NW 52nd St
Seattle, WA 98107
2. Consider doing projects in the off season. Most contractors start getting busy in the spring and slow down during late fall and winter during the holidays and colder winter months. If you plan your project when their schedules are open you won’t be competing with other homeowners who may have bigger budgets or bigger jobs.
3. Consider doing your project in stages. If you’ve found a reliable contractor but his bid is too high and there’s no room for negotiation, consider doing the project in stages. A good contractor will recognize that gaining a customer for a smaller job with prospects for future work is worthwhile.
4. Talk to References. Before hiring any contractor, ask to speak with other homeowners who hired the contractor for a similar project. Ask them about their experience and where they felt they could have saved a few dollars.
5. Consider doing prep work yourself where you can. For example, if you plan to have the exterior of your house painted, you can save money by clearing the area around the house yourself and power washing just prior to when painting is scheduled to begin.
6. Reconsider your plans. Review the details of your project with your contractor and ask if there are any design elements in your home that can stay and be incorporated into the job rather than replaced. For example, perhaps you can save money (and not compromise too much on design) if you paint and reuse doors rather than purchase new ones.
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