These days it’s easier than ever to ensure quality with all the different material options for home renovations. As we always say, planning is key to maintaining your costs. But beware of cutting corners by using the cheapest quote – it will cost you in the long run.
Besides planning ahead, you can cut renovation costs without cutting quality by choosing newer, less-expensive materials, choosing local and durable materials, by reducing the size of your renovation, or by doing your renovation in stages, over time.
Here is what is most important to understand: Cutting the cost of materials doesn’t mean your renovation will be substantially less expensive. Labour costs account for about 60% of your renovation costs, so even reducing materials by 25% won’t mean a 25% reduction of over-all price, but rather a difference of about 10% for the entire project.
For a 60K project, that is still a $6,000 savings so it can be worth looking at all your options. But if you are hoping to cut a project budget by half, it is best to just wait until you can afford to do things the right way, using proper materials.
How to choose quality building materials that won’t break the bank
Choosing construction materials that are durable, efficient, and won’t break the bank is challenging if you aren’t familiar with building options. From hardwood to laminate to granite, choosing the right building materials is key to reducing home renovation costs without compromising quality.
Cheapest is rarely best. But you also don’t need to choose the most expensive materials to ensure your renovation is of a high standard. Here are the top four considerations when deciding on what building materials to use:
- Climate. Consider the climate and area of your home where you’re renovating. If you live in a more humid environment, avoid materials like tile that can get slippery or hardwood that works best with less moisture.
- Durability. Also, consider the durability of the material vs. how much use it will get on a day-to-day basis, as well as how much care will be needed to maintain it.
- Availability. It’s wise to choose materials that will be readily available, as they will likely be less expensive. Additionally, using locally available materials means you won’t need to pay for transport.
- Tastes & preferences. Find the balance in your budget of where you want to spend more to make a statement and cut costs everywhere else. For instance, you may splurge on quartz countertops but conserve money on new doors. Or you may decide to put hardwood in the living room but laminate in the kitchen.
Here’s how newer material choices compare to traditional high-end ones
Nowadays, there are plenty of quality materials available for floors, countertops, or other renovation materials that can be long-lasting without the investment of traditional high-end materials. For instance, vinyl tile is a high-end looking option that won’t break the bank. It’s a great alternative to natural stone or wood and is less expensive to buy and install.
If you are looking for something stately, instead of marble, you can opt for laminate or even quartz. Additionally, instead of hardwood floors, consider luxury vinyl plank because it’s a less expensive investment but more durable and looks great.
Flooring Comparison Chart
Countertop Comparison Chart
Refacing existing cabinets
When we talk about refacing, we are talking about the cabinet door or drawer front being resurfaced with a laminate or wood veneer replacement material while the cabinet box stays the same. You can also change face frames, cabinet side panels and mouldings so everything looks professional and uniform.
Many people encourage refinishing as an option, but by and large, that’s not something we do. Generally speaking, refurbishing old cabinets is not work the effort. If you put lipstick on a pig, you still have a pig; and while it’s important to be realistic about what you can and can’t afford, it’s even more important to ensure your renovation effort is based on quality. It’s better to wait until you can afford a proper renovation than go at it with cheap alternatives.
By refacing cabinets, you save approximately 40% of the cost of a full cabinet replacement, which converts to about $15,000 vs $25,000 including installation.
Focus on quality and efficiency, not scale
You don’t necessarily have to increase the size of your space to increase a room’s quality and efficiency. Small spaces can be efficient and budget friendly. If you have several small spaces that you want to renovate, consider doing one at a time and budgeting out the costs over time.
It may also be easier to renovate one room at a time, so you still have livable space in your home! Plus, if you run into problems or unexpected costs but are just working on one space at a time, it won’t halt your project or cause you to compromise other projects.
A lot of homeowners want to DIY home renovations because they expect them to be cheaper. This can be true if you really know what you’re doing. If you don’t, you will end up making costly mistakes that cost even more to fix than hiring a pro would have been.
It’s okay to shop around and get quotes before hiring professional help. We recommend checking for reviews, business accreditation, and certifications when hiring renovation contractors.
Bonus tip: Hire professional help in the off season.
March through November is extremely busy for home projects, so it can take longer to get your renovation completed, or you may have to go on a waitlist until other projects are finished. But, if you plan to do home renovations in the off season, usually from December through February, you will usually find more availability and shorter wait times.
At Lambert Brothers, our last job is always our best job. We can help you reduce home renovation costs without compromising quality. If you are looking for a quality home renovation that doesn’t ever cut corners, contact us for a free quote.