Thrifty Remodeling?

It’s Matt,

So we have been posting on our remodel of our house. There are so many things to do. Now don’t get me wrong, the house is livable. Many people would be fine with it how it was. BUT it is just not what we wanted. So we have been investing in our home since we bought it. For those who just bought a property and want to increase its resale value, there are rehab loans you can apply for to fund your renovations or home upgrades.

We recently got a comment about how to be thrifty when remodeling. That is a really difficult thing to do. Most remodeling jobs such as a bath remodel consist of labor, labor, labor. I would bet to say over 75% of the cost would be strictly labor cost. So how do you do a remodel job but still be thrifty…. DIY. Do It Yourself! However, before doing any major remodeling projects in your home, be sure to check your foundation first. If you see any cracks, that may not be a good sign so consult a residential foundation repair expert at once to determine if a repair is needed. You may also want to include in your renovation a load bearing wall repositioning idea for a home with sturdy load-bearing walls can withstand potential weather and environmental damage.

Granted you can go to thrift shops, yard sales, and auctions. You can also make things yourself. Like in our other house I made the cabinets from scratch. They were not those snap together things in a box. I planed down raw lumber into cabinet doors, and built the entire thing myself. I make sure I always have the right tools and materials at home such hammer, saw, screws and Flat washers, screwdriver, etc. I laid the tile, and because I had significant electrical training, I also did all the electrical stuff including the installation of new circuit breakers. However, if you’re not so handy with electrical work and need to repair your breaker box, it’s best if you hire a residential electrical contractor.

For your concrete needs, you may consider hiring a construction company that specializes in creating concrete mix using a concrete pump primer equipment. If you need custom metal finishes for your remodeling project, there are metal fabrication companies that you can work with. Alternatively, you may offer welding jobs to local welders in your area to help you construct metal or steel frames and finishes. If roofing work is included in your remodeling project, it’s advisable to hire a roof repair service contractor instead of risking your safety for a DIY repair. You may also need to work on a dairy brick repair project if you have a dairy brick wall or flooring in your kitchen.

See our other house below:


Now if you are a bit design idea deficient, then the best thing might be to find groups of items in a home improvement store. When I do a project, it seems like I make 3-4 trips per day. Luckily we live down the street from one. Now yes these stores may cost more, but if you are in need of ideas, or need to buy things already planned out for you then this is also where you can go to.

Another thing to consider when remodeling your home is the construction cleanup. This is why getting dumpster rentals is important. These can help in collecting construction debris and other trash.

Now back to the 75% of the cost of a normal remodel. The labor in remodeling is what will empty your wallet. Ever since I was little, I was always trying to find ways to do things by myself, and also the most efficient way. Paying some one else to do something for me is NOT efficient. Granted they could do it faster, but if I can learn to do it then to me that is better cost efficiency. Furthermore, it wouldn’t make sense to purchase construction equipment for your remodeling project. Chances are you’re only going to use them once. You could save a lot of cash if you just rent construction equipment. 

Part of being Thrifty, is to learn to do things your self! This is one thing that as a guy I can help with this blog. I think some  people are scared to try some thing new. Maybe they are afraid that they might screw things up, or maybe they think they wont be able to learn something that at first seems to be so complex.

To do a project yourself, just like couponing, start small. Try building a bird house before you build a cabinet! Try to wire a lamp (they have cool kits) before you wire all new lights in your ceiling. Try tiling a bathroom in the back of the house before you tear out your kitchen every one sees.

Don’t be scared, don’t feel like it will never stick in your thick skull. You can, and you should! The sense of accomplishment, and pride in your self are something you will never forget. So start your search for the project you want to do. Look on the web, read about it. Browse the hardware warehouses. Plan it out in your head and on paper, and help your self to be a Thrifty Home re-modeler, or fixer upper.