Part 2: How To Save Money on Home Renovation Costs

In Part 1 [click here to read] we discussed typical reasons that renovations can cost more than new construction. The good news is there several methods and measures to save money on home renovation costs.

Initial Considerations

Got Time?

Phasing a project is a solution for big renovation dreams with inadequate funds. Each project must weigh the benefits and drawbacks.



There are benefits and drawbacks to this approach and you need to weigh them. If short term finances are what is holding you back-phasing a project may be a great approach. Overall costs would most likely be hirer..much like interest on a loan vs. paying 100% right now.

Got Help?

You may want to hire  an architect for the entire project. If you’re budget is small and you feel you can not afford to spend too much money on design service fees, consider a 1 time consultation. We have worked on a variety of projects and offered our advice at different levels of completion. For several hundred dollars, an architect can visit your home, look at your space and needs and offer advice as well as a small sketches to get your project started. This may be especially beneficial if you are not sure how to adjust. (value of architect at small scale)

Design Considerations

Avoid Eliminating Structural Elements

If you have an interior wall that supports upper floors and/or your roof-it will save you some money to keep this in place if possible. The reason for this is because it will cost money to support that floor or structure above while the original support is being removed. Then-you’ll have to pay again for a header, or horizontal spanning member, to support for the future. It’s by no means impossible-but it does add cost.

Finish Unfinished Space Before Adding New Space

If you have an unfinished attic or basement, consider renovating this space before adding new construction. Any elements already in place, such as walls, floors, roof, wiring, plumbing will be materials and labor you don’t have to pay for.

Keep Plumbing Fixtures in Relatively the Same Location

Sometimes a renovation is more of a facelift than anything else. If you’re happy with your spatial arrangement but would just prefer an update-good news! You won’t spend nearly as much as those that require relocation of plumbing fixtures. When you have to relocate plumbing fixtures or add new plumbing fixtures, this means you have to get inside walls or under floors. Any considerations for keeping plumbing where it is a step in a cost-savings direction.

Material Considerations

Unit Sizes

Create your project to best utilize materials in the proper increment. For example: plywood comes in 4’x8′ dimensions..can you renovate on a 4′ grid? We had a client who wanted to build a deck. All sizes were designed to 8′, 10′ or 12′ lengths depending on the material. This meant minimal material waste and also helps the labor go a little faster.

Salvaged Materials are Hip

Be it cost savings, environmental responsibility or an aesthetic preference-any renovation makes a good case for salvaged materials.  In Asheville, you can visit the Habitat ReStore. Another online resource is the US Green Building Council.

Savvy Shopping

There are lots of DIY articles and blogs out there that delve into this subject matter. Here are a few we like:




Note: The modern piggy bank on the featured image is designed by Andrey Zubrilov. Find out more about it here.

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