Personal Finance

6 Ways to Save Money on Home Improvements This Summer

Expertise: Landlording & Rental Properties, Personal Finance, Real Estate News & Commentary
32 Articles Written
Asian girl paiting wooden shelf by roller outdoors

Summer is here, and the warm weather means it’s the perfect time to start on those home improvements you’ve been putting off during the cold winter months. Of course, if you’ve had the idea of taking advantage of the more temperate weather, so has everyone else—which can make home improvements an expensive proposition.

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Here are some tips and tricks to help you save money on your remodeling projects this summer. They are well worth the effort.

How to Save Money on Home Improvements This Summer

1. Get Multiple Bids From Different Contractors

If you take no other advice from this article, file this one away for future reference. Don't choose the first contractor that crosses your path if you're trying to save money on your home improvements. Take the time to get bids from multiple contractors before you decide who you're going to work with. Start by writing out a detailed description of your remodeling project, including the overall goals, your budget, and your timeline. [1]

Outline where you can be flexible and where you have to stick to the details. If you have to have it done by a certain date but are flexible on your budget, let potential contractors know. Once you've collected your bids, you can decide who to contract for the final job based on who can offer you the best value for your money.

2. Go Cosmetic

You don’t have to knock down walls or tear down cabinets to remodel your home. If you want to give your house a facelift, consider cosmetic improvements. Simply adding a coat of paint can help improve the look of your residence, increasing its value. A gallon of paint will usually cost you around $25, and you can change the entire look of a room in a relatively short period of time.

This is also a home improvement project that you can do yourself, which can save you a lot of money in the long run.

3. Write a Budget and Stick to It

There’s no way around it—home improvements are expensive, and you can end up spending a lot more money than you planned if you don’t set a budget and stick to it. Find a detailed budget worksheet and fill out your needs, income, and the amount of money you have available to spend on the project. [2] If you don’t have the funds on hand, consider a loan or a credit card with zero APR so you can break the cost up into payments.

4. Choose Projects That Make the Most Sense

Home improvement projects have a season, just like everything else. Some projects are best kept for the cooler winter or fall months. Summertime is the best time to buy new windows if you’re planning on swapping out your old single-pane windows for more energy-efficient alternatives. [3]

If you live in an area that gets a lot of cold weather, summer is also the perfect time to have your furnace or central heating system inspected and maintained. You won’t be using it for a few more months, but once the temperature starts to drop, everyone will be calling their local HVAC technicians. Make sure you get ahead of the rush.

Related: 4 Things to Consider When Buying a New Central Air Unit for a Rental

5. Pay in Cash if Possible

While we did mention the possibility of using a loan or zero APR credit card, the best option is to pay for all your remodeling projects in cash. This will end up saving you money on interest in the long run. The longer it takes for you to pay off the project, the more you'll end up paying over time as the interest accumulates.

If you don’t want to worry about paying interest but don’t have the cash on hand, consider holding off on your remodeling project and starting a home improvement fund.

budget

6. Buy Your Own Supplies

If you have the option, consider purchasing your own supplies for your remodeling project. [4] You’ll need to talk to your contractor to ensure you’re buying the right materials, but it can save you money. You’ll be able to get exactly what you need without worrying about paying for any contractor markup. Plus, if you end up with leftover materials, you can repurpose them for another project or take them back to the store you purchased them from for a refund.

Not every contractor will allow you to buy your own materials, but by shopping around and getting multiple bids, you may have better luck finding one who does.

Related: 5 Entirely Avoidable Reasons Contractors Fail (& How YOU Can Prevent Them!)

Enjoy Your New Home Improvements

If home improvements are on the schedule this summer, these steps can help you save money while still giving you a finished product you’ll enjoy for years to come. You don’t have to break the bank to remodel the house if you’re smart about your finances and your choices. All it takes is a little bit of homework.

Sources:

  1. https://www.renovateamerica.com/blog/how-to-get-a-bid-from-a-contractor
  2. https://www.fortbraggfcu.org/loan-calculators
  3. https://moneyandmarkets.com/best-times-invest-home-improvements-real-estate/
  4. https://www.angieslist.com/articles/should-i-buy-construction-materials-my-home-remodel.htm

Do you have any other tips to offer those looking into doing summertime remodels? 

If so, share them in a comment below!

Anum Yoon is the founder and editor of the millennial money blog, Current on Currency.
    Terry Lowe
    Replied about 1 year ago
    Thank you! Good tips. We do most of our remodeling ourselves. Just the basics, not moving walls etc. One place we really save money is painting. On a recent project I decided to get a bid on painting. The bid was $5000.! We spent $400. on paint and supplies, and 2 full days of painting. Savings was $4600. That’s more than 2 months of rent. When I do get bids, I always ask how many people will be on the job, and how many days to complete. That way, with some simple math, I can figure out how much they are charging per hour. I did learn a lesson this last week... I bought light fixtures from Amazon. I really thought I had saved quite a bit of money. My husband installed the lights and I know he had “murder” on his mind🙄. It took hours longer than it should have. I got what I paid for. I won’t do that again.
    Jeffrey Bower
    Replied about 1 year ago
    I like this post. Some projects can be done by the non-handy person. I recommend going this route if it's possible, like painting a room yourself.