RJ Construction / How to Be More Budget-Smart When it Comes to Home Improvement

The main reason why people avoid making changes to their home is the negative impact it can have on their bank account. Home improvement can be expensive. However, there are cheaper alternatives to making your house the perfect space for you and your family.

Pay Cash

You should never be trapped spending money that you do not have, especially when it comes to making changes to parts of your home that are not necessarily broken. For this reason, it is much better if you opt for paying in cash for any improvements you decide to make. This helps you to be more aware of how much money you are spending and prevents you from getting stuck in debt with a lender who charges extra fees and high interest rates.  Some contractors even prefer cash because it is easier for them to deposit into the company’s bank account.  Cash leaves less of a trail, which keeps you and the business you are paying safer from theft.  

Get Multiple Quotes

When most people hear a good price or find a contractor that they like right off the bat, their instinct is to settle because it seems easier. In reality, the first option is very rarely the best, and it can even be a choice that can cost you more money in the long run. For this reason, you need to talk to multiple contractors and get different quotes before you can commit to anything. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, chances are that there is more than one general contractor that you can do business with. Especially if you are going in blind with no research or idea of how much things should cost, you need multiple quotes so that you can have a better ballpark idea of what they can do for you and how much you should pay.

Learn to Do it Yourself

Depending on the difficulty of your project and the skill level required, you might be able to forgo the hiring process and complete the project by yourself. In that case, you will only have to pay for the supplies you need for the home improvement and sometimes for the manual or guide that can teach you how to do it alone. However, the internet is a free source that has many how-to articles and videos that are available to anyone who knows how to use a search engine. For example, if you wanted to install a new toilet, take out the old carpeting, or repaint the outside paneling, you could save hundreds by taking on these projects by yourself.

Use Cheaper Materials

When it comes down to budgeting out specific costs of materials, you might be noticing that certain materials are very pricey. Oftentimes, you can replace these expensive materials with cheaper ones and still achieve a similar or the same desired look. For example, you can swap granite countertops for wooden ones or patios made from poured concrete instead of paved with brick or stones. Cost-conscious homeowners should use affordable options like concrete when hardscaping a patio area. If a couple of years later you find yourself still wanting the more expensive look, you are still able to upgrade guilt-free because you tested out your options first.

Buy Second Hand

Not many people think about buying furniture or small home décor items from a thrift store, but it is a great way to save a little bit of cash. Buying second-hand is also beneficial for the environment because you are giving a new life to something that would have ended up in the trash otherwise. You can search on social media community pages, yard sales, or traditional thrift stores to find unique and cheap additions to your home. In this case, you might not even have to sacrifice the quality of the item, if you do not mind that someone owned it before you did and used it.

Think Long Term

If your budget is more flexible currently and you want to save money in the future, you should consider long-term investments like solar energy that become self-sufficient after a couple of years of use. Solar panels may be pricey upfront, but will also immediately start generating their own power, saving you money on your power bill, and separating you from the power grid. You can also save money in the future by not compromising on the important improvements that may need to be repaired shortly afterward if done incorrectly.

Space Out Projects

You do not need to change everything in your home all at once. It is not only detrimental to your wallet. It’s also a great way to inconvenience yourself as you would be constantly avoiding the rooms that have turned into a construction zone. When you are juggling too many projects at once, you cannot put full effort into every single detail. However, if you draw out the complete vision of the home and break it into smaller parts, you will feel more satisfied as time goes on. Your home will also be more peaceful when every room is not filled with people hammering or drilling into pieces of wood.

Evaluate the Costs

At some point, if you want to continue to make large changes to your home, it would be beneficial for you to decide if the repairs and additions are worth it or if you should just move to a new home. After all the money-saving techniques, everything still adds up and you realize that it is difficult to change every little detail when you could just start from scratch.  In some cases, you can build a brand-new home somewhere the cost of living is cheap, like Texas, and still have your dream lived out, but at the fraction of the cost, you would spend changing your entire home.


Budgeting and saving money are vital skills that can greatly benefit anyone with time and patience. You need to have a goal of why you are saving money and what you will do with the money afterward. Once you follow these tips and tricks, you will impress your friends and soon they will be making excuses to come over.

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