San Diego Home Remodel
Anyone who has ever tackled a home project likely knows how expensive it gets. Materials quickly rack up costs, but other factors will blow a project budget out of the water. It’s no different when it comes to remodeling your home. Homeowners spend excessive amounts of cash correcting mistakes due to poor planning and indecisiveness. After several years of working with San Diego residents on their home remodels, we have learned a thing or two about helping our clients through this process.
You might be surprised at some of the ways you can save money when it comes to remodeling a home. While it’s tempting to walk the aisles of big-box stores and hire crew after crew to perform simple tasks, you should know there is a better way. Below you will find our best tips in planning your San Diego home remodel.
Before we jump into all of our tips, it’s worth noting this bit too. Work with a licensed contractor to realize the full remodel costs before setting your mind on it. You may find that the cost to remodel is near or above the cost to rebuild the home. A professional can guide you, depending on how significant your remodel will be.
1. Add Light Regardless of Windows
Natural sunlight has a way of opening up a space and creating value. If you have dark regions within your home, you might naturally think the only solution is cutting a hole in the side of your house for a new window. While this seems like the only obvious solution, it’s also a costly one.
Before you start messing with brick or stucco siding or cutting into the studs of your home, you may want to consider strategic options such as mirrors, can lighting, or light tubes. You may also consider flooring options that have high light refraction, such as epoxy flooring.
2. Size Doesn’t Always Win
An increase in square footage is always going to cost you more money. Rather than knocking down walls or adding additions to your home, you may be able to solve the size issue with efficiency. Here are a couple of examples.
In the kitchen, replace base cabinets with drawers to maximize vertical storage. There is so much unused space in base cabinets due to the vertical area not being used even with shelving. It can be tough to get on your knees and get to the back of a cabinet, which will only get harder as you get older. Drawers have much better access and will increase the value of your kitchen.
You can also opt to utilize furniture for dual purposes. It’s not uncommon to see murphy beds with desks that pull down from underneath them when the bed is up. Purchase furniture that can double as beds, such as pull-out couches and convertible chairs. When you have more company than a guest room allows, these pieces of furniture will maximize the efficiency of your home.
Where applicable, use floor-to-ceiling bookshelves for storage. In small homes, storage is often a problem. Add bookshelves to showcase memorabilia and create visual verticle space.
Finally, in San Diego, we are lucky enough with great weather to expand our living spaces outside. If you have the porch or backyard to move into, consider indoor-outdoor living to maximize living space.
3. Hunt Out Hardware
You will be amazed at how quickly hardware will add up in your home. Everything from lighting fixtures, to faucets, to drawer pulls, and doorknobs. Take the time to hunt down hardware that may otherwise bust your budget.
Some of the best resources are the Habitat ReStores which often stock formerly used hardware from construction sites or home demos. You can also utilize yard and estate sales that often sell these things after their own remodels. Finally, don’t forget to check out online spaces like Facebook Marketplace. You will be surprised at the savings that you gain while putting in a little detective work.
4. Cancel the Demo Team
You can save money by choosing to do any demolition work on your own. With the exception of a few demo projects, most homeowners can tackle this and rent a dumpster far cheaper than hiring a team to do the work and haul it all away.
If you’ve never done demo work previously, you’ll want to do a little homework to ensure you don’t damage anything while it’s on the way out of your home. Remember, there are plenty of wires and pipes within your walls that are important to the function of your home. The last thing you need is your Sawzall to lose power because you’ve cut the mainline into your home. Or worse yet, hitting a water pipe with the threat of sinking your first floor.
5. Use a Professional Contractor
Most homeowners will choose to work with a contractor when they’re undergoing a major renovation project. The advantages of doing this go far beyond the right tools, or the lack of having them yourself. Contractors have experience and expertise in both planning and execution of a project. Homeowners need these resources to maximize their budgets. Most mistakes with home projects and remodels are often due to a lack of poor planning. Using a qualified contractor will eliminate those costs and will keep you from paying for mistakes later.
You should feel comfortable interviewing various contractors to ensure they tick off all the right boxes. You also want to understand their personality so you feel comfortable working with them. We would be happy to discuss your project with you so don’t be shy; reach out to us today.
Average Remodel Costs:
6. Access Contractor Resources
One of the best benefits of working with a contractor will be the use of their resources. Contractors get valuable discounts on various materials, and you will want to tap into those savings as much as possible. A good sit-down meeting with your contractor will allow you to understand the full spectrum of resources. Use this information to budget your remodel and let them help you through that process. They will share resources that you didn’t even know you needed.
You can get discounts on everything from appliance packages, flooring, tile, cabinetry, labor, and so much more. Just take a stroll through a big box store and start adding up the cost of the things you will need to do a project. Give the contractor the same list and see what they come up with. The difference should be notable.
7. Do Your Own Errands
There are significant costs that come with running materials to and from your home. This includes your demolition work, but also things like deliveries. Every time you turn around, another truck delivery person will be asking you for money.
Consider running your own errands when it comes to obtaining your materials and meeting with material representatives. You can also purchase a trailer for larger items that tend to cost more money to deliver. For a couple of hundred dollars, you’ll save potentially thousands. You can also sell the trailer after you’re done with it.
8. Copycat Luxury Materials
Luxury finishes almost always break your budget. To keep yourself out of the poor house, your best bet is to find similar products that can emulate the luxury look. No one wants to sacrifice what they actually want in a remodel, but some finishes just don’t make sense when there are good imitations. Here are a few ideas.
Swap out luxury hardwood floors for hardwood tiles. You have likely seen some of the new hardwood tiles on the market, and they often come at a better price tag than wood flooring.
Swap out marble countertops for epoxy marble countertops. We know that luxury stone finishes are desirable. However, they also come with a high price tag. You may consider doing an epoxy coating made to look like marble and has serious longevity and durability.
Swap out upper cabinets for floating shelves. You may have noticed on Pinterest that floating shelves are a hot trend. It’s no secret that cabinetry gets quite expensive. Work with your contractor to find storage, but also utilize floating shelves to save you money.
9. Don’t Touch The Plumbing
Two of the most remodeled spaces in a home are kitchens and bathrooms. Homeowners often tackle these spaces because they add so much value to the overall property. When doing a home remodel, you’ll want to work with the existing plumbing so it doesn’t rack up your costs.
Plumbing money pits are moving your kitchen sink and your toilet. The cost of moving these items will depend on your particular layout, but a simple move of your toilet, even a few feet, could rack up anywhere between $1000 and $2,000. Try to work with your existing plumbed locations to keep your budget on track.