1. Increase Efficiency, Not Size
If you can reorganize and outfit your kitchen for maximum utility, you probably won’t need to blow up the walls to gain square footage. Begin by replacing the space-consuming shelves with 8-inch-wide cabinet-height pull-out drawers that contain shelves for canned food and other items. You’re going to get three or more levels, or you’d probably only get one,” said architect Louis Smith Jr. of the Meier Group in Ann Arbor, Michigan.You can easily spend thousands of dollars on upgrades like dividers, pull-out pots and pans, and lazy susans for your cabinets, but you’ll save many times over by skipping the additions you think you need.
2. Bring in Natural Light Without Adding Windows
Before cutting a big hole in the side of your house and rearranging the frame, consider less invasive and less expensive ways to capture light. For example, to illuminate a windowless bathroom or hallway, you can install a “light tube” that slides between the roof rafters and leaks sunlight into the living space.
3. Hit the Recycling Center
Do-it-yourselfers can save a lot of money by recycling or lightly used fixtures and building materials. Habitat for Humanity operates about 400 ReStores across the country, and they offer recycled materials at half the price of home centers.
One caveat: Many contractors generally don’t use salvaged items or homeowner-supplied materials because they don’t want to be held responsible if something goes wrong.
That said, if you’re doing your own work, you can find anything from hanging doors to acrylic skylights to bundles of partial insulation. To find a home remodeling service near you, visit https://remodeling24hours.com/
4. Donate your trash
Before you begin your remodeling work, invite your local Habitat for Humanity chapter to remove materials and fixtures for future resale. “About 85 percent of the house is reusable,” said B.J. Perkins, ReUse program manager at Habitat in Austin, Texas. “We can tear it down completely, or pick and choose and take away cabinets, tubs, sinks, etc.”You can save space in landfills, collect charitable tax credits for donations, and help a good cause. Visit Habitat to find a branch near you.
5. Do your own demo
Demolishing your home may not be as expensive as rebuilding, and you can still save money by doing some demolition yourself – as long as you do it carefully.
“If a homeowner wants to demonstrate a deck, I’m sure they can handle it,” said Michael Winn, owner of Winn Design in Virginia. “But when it comes to interior spaces, I would discourage them from doing it unless they have done it before.”
6. Consider long-term costs, not just short-term benefits
For example, if your addition requires clapboard siding, you can save even more in the long run by buying the pre-primed and pre-painted varieties now. Paul Eldrenkamp, owner of Byggmeister, a design-build remodeling firm in Newton, Mass., said it costs 10 to 20 cents more per foot, but “you end up paying half as much for the paint job.”