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Saving Money on Home Renovations

Blog by Patricia Houlihan - Personal Real Estate Corporation | July 17th, 2013

Purchasing real estate is a major financial investment and can often be the biggest decision you make in your life. For some Vancouver residents, purchasing a new home involves massive renovations or tearing down an old existing building and replacing it with a more modern one.  However, for many new homeowners the option of rebuilding/renovating seems impossible. But fear no more! Here are a few tips to help save you money and get that renovation you have been dreaming about. (Note: if you are renovating to sell, rather than for your own enjoyment, please contact me first. I have often had clients do renos at significant cost which did not increase the saleability or value of their home).


Whether you choose to hire a professional or do a renovation on your own, you can dramatically reduce costs by using recycled building materials.  Stores like ‘ReStores’ (run by Habitat For Humanity) are building supply stores that sell second-hand building materials. Often these items are sold for 50-80% less than the original retail price.


Another option for saving money with home improvements is by doing it yourself. Internet websites such as YouTube, are a great sources of information and provide excellent suggestions for do-it-yourself projects.  But be careful….taking on more than you can do could end up costing you more. Despite knowing that I cannot do anything reno-oriented, I once tried to paint a small bathroom in one of my investment properties….a nightmare and I had to hire someone to redo it!


Completing major priority projects at the same time is another way to significantly save money long-term.  For example, many older homes in Vancouver need plumbing to be updated. If you plan on reorganizing the floor plan of your newly purchased home, upgrade your home’s plumbing at the same time.  Instead of paying for two home improvement projects, you will pay for one—saving significant money on labour!


It is also important to keep in mind that home renovation projects don’t always need to be expensive.  Small improvements such as painting a room, replacing cabinetry or updating old furniture, are perfect ways to update a space! Interior magazines such as House and Home and Architectural Digest, or TV shows like CityLine, are also great sources for interior design tips.


If you are considering buying a home in Vancouver, speak to a Vancouver REALTOR® such as myself. I would be happy to provide information on how to save money on home renovations. …and sometimes more importantly, I can let you know whether it makes sense to do the renovation at all!