By Mike Baird
You just purchased your first fixer-upper and you can’t wait to get started, but you don’t have the budget to pay for everything that you need or want to. Sound familiar? I’ve found that this is a common occurrence among new real estate investors who tend to believe they need to pay for brand new, high-quality materials and pay professionals to do all the work. The good news is you don’t have to spend a fortune on your remodel. There are plenty of ways to save money when remodeling, but you don’t have to cut corners or do subpar work either!
Whether you are brand new to real estate investing or you consider yourself a remodeling superstar with loads of experience, these are tips that can easily be applied to any remodel.
Buy Cheap Imitations or Knock-Offs
When you buy new materials for your remodel, consider purchasing imitations or knock-offs. For example: instead of buying the expensive solid oak hardwood flooring, look for the engineered oak flooring. The imitation wood flooring tends to be a lot cheaper and the difference between the two is not even noticeable.
Find Leftover Materials
Oftentimes contractors have quite a bit of extra material leftover from past jobs they have worked on. These materials may not be useful for additional jobs, which means contractors might be willing to negotiate a steep discount for you to take the materials off their hands.
Don’t Remodel Everything
Your biggest savings are perhaps right under your nose, although it might not be obvious. Instead of going out and buying everything brand new for your remodel, consider repurposing things such as the kitchen cabinets. A can of paint and sandpaper can do wonders to fix up old cabinets, baseboards or even light fixtures.
Don’t Be Afraid of the “Mistake” Paint
If you want to buy the high-quality paint that doesn’t require several coats, then you’ll have to fork out the money for it. Unless of course you aren’t afraid of purchasing paint that was initially a “mistake”, either because the paint store created the wrong color or used the wrong base paint. Buying the “mistake” paint will save you a lot of money, plus you’ll be able to find the high-quality paint for a lot cheaper.
Avoid Moving Current Plumbing or Electrical Work
When possible, leave the sink, toilet, etc. in the same place and plan your remodel around their existing locations. Plumbing work in general is expensive, but if you decide to move the plumbing it can cost almost double. Moving or adding outlets is also costly, so I recommend avoiding any unnecessary electrical additions as well.
Do The Easy Work Yourself
If you aren’t afraid of DIY and getting dirty, doing your own work can save you a lot of money. Although, I don’t recommend DIYing the plumbing or electrical work, unless of course you are a certified professional. Doing so could end up costing you more time and money in the long-run than if you just hire someone to do it for you. Stick with the jobs you know you can do, but save the complicated work for someone who is confident about what they are doing.
Use the Same Materials for Each Remodel
When you find materials that you like and that are also inexpensive, stick with those same materials for each of your flips. More often than not, you will have leftover materials from one of your remodels that can be used in the next one. Save money and avoid wasting the materials that you already have by using the same paint, cabinet knobs and other fixtures in each of your houses.
Remodeling doesn’t have to be expensive. Save money on the simple things, so you can spend the money on the more costly projects.