Saving money when remodeling is often one of the biggest wishes you will have. Nobody can say remodeling is cheap, but you can definitely make it cost less, look good, and have the work done correctly. Below are 5 tips from GKing Construction on how you can save big when remodeling your home.
Tip #1 – Buy materials yourself
Buying materials yourself is a great way to save money when remodeling your home, even if you can’t find them cheaper than your contractor. Why? Because your contractor will mark up materials on his estimate. Yes, its true! Contractors often take the entire bid price and mark it up 10 to 15% or more. By having them exclude materials from the bid you can save quite a lot of money from the get go. Just make sure to purchase the right materials. Talk to your contractor and ask what he needs to complete the project. Your contractor should be able to provide a generic list before starting the project and a detailed list once it has began.
Tip #2 – Shop Online
You can often find materials for your project such as faucets, towel bar sets, shower enclosures, and many many more items a lot cheaper than in your local big box retailer. By saving with online purchases coupled with having the material markup removed from the bid, you can save quite a lot of money. Amazon is a great place to find cheap fixtures for your home at a discount. By shopping online you can save a lot of money when remodeling your home and you can find a lot of cool items you wont see in your local big box retailer.
Tip #3 – Plan, Plan, Plan
Before you consider starting any project make sure you know exactly what you want. If you need help with planning, make it clear to your contractor beforehand and only let the project begin when you both fully understand what you want and how it should look. Make sure you have all of the materials you plan to use on site and ready to be installed to avoid delays. By planning ahead it will ensure you have a clear plan to be executed by your hired help efficiently. If your contractor knows that the job will run smoothly, knows you are workable and easy to please you will get a better price and your contractor wont feel the need to add as big of a cushion for ‘unknowns’. Contractors will increase the cost for picky, rude, or indecisive customers. Another big way to save money remodeling your home.
Tip #4 – Compare bids and review carefully
As you will read a lot, get estimates from at least 3 different contractors. The key is to let it be known that you are seeking multiple bids, this way the contractors know its a competitive bid. By having a contractor submit a competitive bid you will almost always get a lower price. Another benefit of having multiple bids is you can see the style each contractor uses and see if any contractor missed anything in the bid. By having multiple bids you will also have multiple contractors visit your potential project and go over it in person, which can help in the overall planning. After you receive bids you can choose which contractor you are most comfortable hiring that offers the most value for your money. Notice I did not say to pick the lowest bid to save? Sometimes that can be a very costly mistake! While going with the lowest bid isn’t necessarily a bad thing (especially if its only slightly less than next highest bid) a bid significantly lower than others can also indicate that the contractor may have missed something while bidding. To make up for this he can use a change order to increase the cost of the job above the other contractors initial bids and cost you more money than you initially thought.
Tip #5 – Use a General Contractor
This may not seem the most obvious tip, but we are often called into projects where a homeowner has pieced together a project on their own. Most of the time this is after many problems and headaches during the course of the project. The homeowner has finally had enough and wants to have someone to come in and ‘just get it finished’ or ‘just get it done correctly’. Sadly, these scenario’s sometimes cost the homeowner double or triple what the project should have. By hiring a general contractor such as GKing Construction you don’t have to worry about finding a reliable and professional tile installer, a countertop fabricator, plumber, carpenter, drywaller, painter, etc. That is handled for you and your contractor will have already used his employees and sub contractors on many projects – meaning the people chosen to complete your project will be high quality. Installation will be done correctly and you will save on wasted time and materials in the long run, meanwhile having a higher quality finished product. Not only that, but if something bad does happen while your contractor is completing your project your contractor will have a contractors bond, workers compensation, and will optionally (but most likely) carry general liability insurance. You can check for a license and workers compensation insurance at the CSLB website. To check for a General liability policy ask your contractor for his insurance certificate and call the insurance company to validate the policy.