The Cost Of Home Renovating On The Cheap
Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 11:51AM
Heather B

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Home design and renovation is an expensive task. There’s no point trying to sugar coat and pretend it isn’t: it costs money. As yet, humanity has yet to evolve the ability to envision something, snap our fingers and poof! It appears in front of our eyes like magic. (Come to think of it - we should really get on that…)

You know when you embark on a home improvement project that it’s going to cost you. It’s going to cost you financially, as you wave goodbye to hard-earned dollars in the worthy pursuit of a pleasurable home. It’s also going to cost you in terms of time and potentially in terms of your peace and quiet - there’s also no sugar coating that the process is pretty stressful.

Whether you’re improving a new house you just moved into or adapting your same old abode, you acknowledge the cost and then… you fight back. The first time you glance at the price of materials, you recoil from the figure that is far higher than you were anticipating.

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Still, you’re modern. You know you can use that new-fangled computer box thing to hunt down some quick fixes and cheaper options. You might even be tempted to DIY things - after all, it seems everyone online is doing it, so why should you be any different? You can save yourself a fortune!

Or… maybe not.

1. Cutting Cost Means Cutting Quality

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While the above is not always a hard and fast rule, in many cases, it will apply. Say you’re looking for new kitchen countertops. You might be tempted to try and make them yourself or to go for a cheap option, figuring that you can cope with the difference in quality in exchange for the lower cost.

And sure, you might be able to - but it’s a big chance for a big ticket purchase. If you find you can’t cope with the lower quality, then you’re going to find yourself in the hole for a lot more than the original price you ran away from. If the original countertops you liked were $1000 and you bought a budget version for $500 and you then decide you hate them, then you’re going to wind up paying $1500 in total.

For items that are frequently used - hardwood floorings, countertops, bathroom cabinets - then it’s best to spend more… but only have to spend once. It’s with smaller items that are less frequently used - such as shelves, decor, wall art - that you can cut the costs.

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2. Think Health

Health considerations might not be at the top of your list when renovating, but it’s another area that you can’t afford to ignore.

When an item looks identical to another but has a much lower price tag, your first question should be: “why?”

There are non-nefarious reasons why it might be lower, of course - but there are also some unpleasant side effects. For example, they might have used chemicals that other, more ethical, companies would avoid due to known health issues. Mattresses are a great example of this; some of the fire-proof chemicals used by cheaper options are known to be hazardous. So always do your research and don’t be afraid to query a manufacturer to find out why they’re cheaper - genuine retailers should be willing to explain.


Article originally appeared on MySweetSavings - Fast and Frugal Savings Advice for the Mother that Knows Best! (
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