Ways to Cut Costs on Your House Remodel

Home renovation costs can add up quickly. Here are a handful of ways you can plan for a cheaper remodel.

House Exterior

Busting the budget is everyone’s biggest fear when it comes to home remodels. And with good reason.

Even if you follow the essential advice we’ve been doling out for years—build in a 20 percent cushion to cover the nasty surprises, get contractor references and check them, banish the words “while you’re at it” from your vocabulary—it’s hard not to end up shelling out more than you want to.

With some strategic thinking about design, materials, and timing, you can cut costs without cutting corners. Below, we’ll show you the ways, from the big to something as small as choosing a wall sconce over a recessed light.

But another universal truth about home improvement is that every little thing adds up. So another important consideration to start with is to decide whether or not to demolish the whole house and start from scratch.

Is it Cheaper to Remodel or Build a New House?

“Most clients don’t want to hear those words,” says Paul Irwin, design director with Landis Construction, in the Washington, D.C., area, “but it really needs to be considered on major remodels. “In one case, for example, plans for a 1,300-square-foot addition revealed that the house’s existing foundation wasn’t up to code and would have to be replaced—a $30,000 proposition.

After crunching the numbers, the owners concluded that it would cost as much to update the house, a former summer cottage, as it would to reproduce it new. “For a relatively small additional cost,” says the owner, “we get all the benefits of new construction while preserving the character and feel of our old house.”

  • Cost to remodel: $570,000
  • Cost to replicate: $588,000
  • Saved: For $18,000, the owners gained as much as $60,000 worth of new living space, plus improved safety and energy efficiency.

If you’ve weighed your options, and have decided it’s better to remodel your home, here are our tips.

1. Increase Efficiency, Not Size

Drawers for cabinet storage

If you can reorganize and equip your kitchen for maximum utility, you may not need to blow out the walls to gain square footage. Start by replacing space-hogging shelves with cabinet-height pullout drawers 8 inches wide, containing racks for canned goods and other items.

“You’re getting three or more horizontal planes where you might otherwise get only one,” says Louis Smith Jr., an architect with Meier Group, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

You could easily shell out a few thousand to outfit cabinets with upgrades like dividers, pull-out pot trays, and lazy Susans, but you’ll save many times that amount by skipping the addition you thought you needed.

  • Cost to expand kitchen by 200 square feet: $48,000 to $95,000
  • Cost of super-efficient, custom-designed cabinets: $35,000
  • Saved: Up to $60,000

2. Bring in Natural Light Without Adding Windows

Velux light tube in bathroom.

Before cutting a big hole in the side of your house and rearranging the framing, consider less invasive—and less expensive—ways of capturing light.

To brighten up a windowless bath or hallway, for instance, you can install a “light tube,” which slips between roof rafters and funnels sunshine down into the living space.

  • Cost to add a double-pane insulated window: $1,500
  • Cost for a light tube: $500
  • Saved: $1,000

3. Hit the Recycling Center

Various gold door knobs.

Do-it-yourselfers can reap big savings with recycled or lightly used fixtures and building materials. Habitat for Humanity operates about 400 ReStores nationwide, which offer salvaged materials at half off home-center prices.

One caveat: Many contractors won’t work with salvaged items, or homeowner-supplied materials in general, because they don’t want to assume the liability if something goes wrong.

That said, if you’re doing your own work, you can find anything from prehung doors to acrylic skylights to partial bundles of insulation. (To find a ReStore near you, visit habitat.org.)

  • Price of 4-by-5-foot insulated window in a home center: $600
  • Price at ReStore: $300
  • Saved: $300

4. Donate your Trash

Before you begin a remodeling job, invite the local Habitat for Humanity chapter to remove materials and fixtures for later resale. “About 85 percent of a house is reusable,” says B.J. Perkins, Habitat’s ReUse program manager, in Austin, Texas. “We can do a total takedown, or do a cherry-pick job and take the cabinets, the tub, the sink, and so on.”

You save space in the landfill, collect a charitable tax credit for the donation, and help a good cause. Visit Habitat to find an affiliate near you.

  • Cost to trash a suite of bathroom fixtures: $50 to $75
  • Cost to donate: Nothing, plus you get a tax deduction
  • Saved: Space in the landfill (and a little bit of your soul)

5. Do Your Own Demo

Knocking down your home down may not be as costly as rebuilding, you can still shave dollars by doing some of the demolition yourself—as long as you proceed with care.

“If a homeowner wants to demo a deck, well, I am sure they can handle that,” says Michael Winn, owner of Winn Design, in Virginia. “But when it comes to interior spaces, I would dissuade them from doing it unless they have done it before.”

The reason: A reckless wrecker might unwittingly take out a load-bearing wall or, worse still, plunge a reciprocating saw into live wiring or pressurized plumbing.

  • Cost to demo a 200-square-foot deck yourself: $450 (Dumpster rental and parking permit)
  • Cost for a pro: $1,000
  • Saved: $550

6. Consider Long-Term Costs, Not Just Short-Term Gains

If your addition calls for clapboard siding, for instance, you can save more in the long run by ponying up now for the preprimed and prepainted variety. It costs an extra 10 to 20 cents per foot, but “you’ll wind up paying for half as many paint jobs down the road,” says Paul Eldrenkamp, owner of Byggmeister, a design-build remodeling firm in Newton, Massachusetts.

The reason? Factory finishes are applied on dry wood under controlled conditions—no rain, no harsh sun. “I used prefinished claps on my house about ten years ago and the only flaw in the finish is the occasional mildew spot, easily washed off,” Eldrenkamp says. “The paint looks as if it’ll be good for another ten years, easily.”

  • Cost of unfinished siding for a 10-by-40-foot addition, plus two paint jobs: $5,000
  • Cost for pre-finished claps and one coat of paint at installation: $3,750
  • Saved: $1,250

7. Tap Your Contractor’s Sources

When it comes to things like flooring, ask your subcontractor if he has odds-and-ends stock left over from other jobs. While renovating a Civil War-era bed-and-breakfast in New Jersey some years back, contractor Bill Asdal needed wood flooring.

He made a few phone calls and came up with hundreds of square feet of hardwood, in various lengths and widths, that otherwise would have gone into the trash on other job sites. Just by planing it to uniform thickness, then sanding and refinishing it, he saved his client almost $9,000 in materials costs.

  • Cost of new flooring: $19,200
  • Cost to use someone else’s discards: $10,500
  • Saved: $8,700

8. Consult an Architect

Planning home finances

Depending on the scale of your project, you might not need a full-on architectural commission, which involves extensive meetings, multiple job-site visits, and several sets of construction drawings, to the tune of about 8 percent of a project’s construction budget. You might be able to tap an architect’s design savvy by having him undertake a one-time design consultation.

For example, for a $400 flat fee, Baton Rouge architect Kevin Harris will meet with a homeowner, examine the problem, and sketch out a few solutions that could be as simple as opening up a partition wall or moving a door. The homeowner can then give the sketch to a builder or take it to a drafting service, which will charge about $1 to $1.50 a square foot to crank out formal construction drawings.

  • Architect’s fee to design a 300-square-foot home office: $2,250
  • Fee for design consultation only and plans: $580
  • Saved: $1,670

9. Partner With a Contractor

Though the practice is controversial among the trades, some contractors will offer consulting and mentoring services to skilled do-it-yourselfers on an hourly basis.

Chicago-area builder Ted Welch charges $150 per hour for such coaching, with a two-hour minimum commitment. “The most satisfied clients tend to be those who have good manual dexterity, who realize that skills need to be practiced in order to be perfected, and who are willing to risk making a few mistakes and then learn from them,” he says.

  • Cost to drywall one room: $1,000
  • Cost with DIY consultation: $300 (2 hours of coaching), plus materials
  • Saved: $700

10. Make Sweat Equity Count

Unless you’ve got loads of time (and expertise) to spend on your project, the best way to add sweat equity is upfront, by handling your own demolition, or at the back end, by doing some of the finished work yourself.

“If you want to save money, dig in and start helping out,” says Tom Silva. “You can insulate, you can paint, you can sand.” Or better still, he says, help with cleanup every day. “Instead of paying someone to pick up sawdust off the floor, put your money into the time it takes to trim the window properly,” he advises.

  • Cost for construction crew to handle cleanup: $200 per day
  • Cost to do it yourself: $0
  • Saved: About 3 to 5 percent of the overall job cost

11. Do Your Own Schlepping

If you’re doing your own project, slash your materials-delivery fees by picking up goods yourself. No pickup truck? For about $400, you can purchase a nearly new single-axle utility trailer online, which you can tow behind your SUV. Get one just big enough to carry 4-by-8 sheet goods flat. Use it for a half-dozen trips, and it’s paid for itself. Find trailers for sale near you via eBay Motors, or try your local classifieds.

  • Cost of 10 deliveries: $750
  • Cost to buy a used trailer: $400
  • Saved: $350, plus you get to keep (or sell) the trailer

12. Don’t Overspend on Wall Prep

If your walls are in such rough shape that it would take a painting contractor days of filling and sanding to make them ready for the roller, consider using materials such as Texturglas, from Deerfield Beach, Florida—based company Roos International.

A breathable, nontoxic wall covering made of fine glass filaments, Texturglas has a similar look and feel to the fiberglass matting used in auto-body work. It’s available in a variety of surface patterns, takes paint readily, and is designed to be installed right on top of existing surfaces, adding strength while covering up dings.

  • Cost to patch and paint a 15-by-20-foot room with heavily damaged walls: $1,525
  • Cost to install Texturglas: $1,050
  • Saved: $475

13. Consider Look-Alikes

Some imitations just make sense: Lumber giant Weyerhaeuser sells a fast-growing natural eucalyptus hybrid under the brand name Lyptus. Sustainably harvested in plantations in Brazil, the clear-grained hardwood looks and feels remarkably like mahogany. It’s sold as toungue-and-groove flooring and in planks and sheets for cabinetry and millwork.

  • Cost of 100 board feet of mohogany: $808
  • Cost of same quantity Lyptus: $395
  • Saved: $413

14. Wait Until Contractors Want Your Business

Don’t schedule your reno in the height of summer or between September, when the kids go back to school, and Christmas. “That’s premium time,” explains Lisa Stacholy, owner of LKS Architects, in Atlanta, Georgia. Suppliers tend to be busier, labor scarcer, and deliveries slower. One Virginia-based contractor offers discounts of between 4.5 and 5.5 percent (depending on the overall budget) on projects during his downtime, right after the new year.

  • Cost of a major bathroom remodel in peak season: $25,000
  • Cost in January: $23,625
  • Saved: $1,375

15. Skip the Foundation

If local code allows, you may be able to support a small addition on posts and beams, as you would a deck, explains contractor Dennis Gavin, of Gavin Design-Build, in Media, Pennsylvania.

  • 220-square-foot addition with poured foundation: $40,000
  • Same-size addition on posts and beams: $35,000
  • Saved: $5,000

16. Don’t Move the Kitchen Sink

Kitchen with green cabinets and a farm sink.

Or the toilet, if you can avoid it. “That often becomes the biggest part of the plumbing-price increase,” says Richard Trethewey, This Old House plumbing and heating expert. If your new layout requires that you move the toilet, use the opportunity to upgrade the pipes at the same time. “That will save you money in the long run,” says Richard.

  • Cost to move toilet more than 3 feet: $500-$1,000
  • Cost to leave in existing location: $0
  • Saved: Up to $1,000

17. Plan with Stock Sizes in Mind

“Ask yourself, ‘Why am I building something 10 feet wide if plywood comes in 4-foot-wide sheets?'” says Lisa Stacholy, of LKS Architects, in Atlanta. The same applies to stock windows and doors: Use manufacturers’ off-the-shelf dimensions from the outset and you will save the premiums of custom fabrication.

  • Cost of custom doors: $1,500-$2,500
  • Cost of standard doors: $500-$800
  • Saved: Up to $2,000

18. Buy Building Supplies at Auction

Brian Peppel, a homeowner in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, attends one building-supply auction each month in nearby Lancaster County. His recent finds include two pallets of concrete block for $10 and a solid-wood prehung exterior door for $65.

“Their inventory is everything under the sun, a lot of scratch-and-dent, misordered custom items, or new overstock supplies,” reports Peppel. He once watched the auctioneer’s gavel fall on a large, custom-made triangular window with an original retail value that he pegs at several thousand dollars. The winning bid? $1.

  • Cost of solid-cherry wall cabinet at a home center: $300
  • Cost at building-supply auction: $10
  • Saved: $290

19. Make Decisions Early

Start prowling the aisles at the hardware store or home center way before the wrecking crew shows up. Get a good feeling for what you want in fixtures and appliances and what they cost.

If you aren’t absolutely specific upfront about what you want, you’ll have to rely on your contractor’s estimate, called an allowance, and his notion of what is acceptable may be quite different from yours. “Ninety-eight percent of the time, allowances are too low,” says Tom Silva. For instance, you may have had a glass-tile backsplash in mind, but your contractor’s bid was for ceramic.

  • Cost to plan ahead: $0
  • Cost of change orders midstream: The difference in the item price, but also time lost to project delays and communications glitches
  • Saved: Up to thousands

9 Creative home renovation tips for a family with a tight budget

9

Home renovation is a popular hobby for homeowners.

Remodeling can help increase the value of a home while also providing a newer, more pleasant aesthetic to an aging home. This makes it more appealing to continue living in an older home.

In an attempt to save money, here are nine creative home renovation tips for a tight budget.

1. Update any room with a fresh coat of paint

One of the most tried and true budget home renovations is a fresh coat of paint. This is an easy way to help to transform the feeling and ambiance of any room in the house without spending a fortune on extra furniture or add-ons. Paint is fairly inexpensive and is simple to apply. This ensures that money isn’t wasted hiring professionals to conduct renovations. A different color paint can help change any room without breaking the bank.

2. Install crown molding

Crown molding isn’t the most intuitive home renovation idea as not many homes utilize this design. Crown molding is essentially angled trim that lines where the ceiling and walls meet. This is a great way to add value to a home and increase the overall aesthetic appeal. The process is relatively simple and only requires some carefully cut angles and the patience of installation. There are also non-wood, crown molding options that are even more affordable.

3. Refinish kitchen cabinets

The kitchen is a popular area in the house to renovate. However, new cabinets and appliances can be quite expensive. Fortunately, there is another, more affordable remodeling trick. By sanding down the cabinets and applying a new finish, homeowners can achieve the look and feel of a completely new set without the purchase.

4. Install a stair runner

Stairs can be another costly renovation. However, adding a cheap stair runner can help give the space a different feel without a complete remodel. These runners can be purchased in a variety of designs to match any color of paint or atmosphere of the home. Homeowners should be able to find the right size for their homes quite easily.

5. Rearrange your furniture

While furniture contributes a lot to the overall feel of a room, it also tends to cost a lot of money. Most of the time, a tight budget won’t allow for the purchase of a new couch or dresser. For this reason, it is important to utilize the power of rearrangement. A room can feel completely different even with the same furniture when it has been moved around to different spots. You can do this with furniture from other rooms as well. This essentially costs nothing, yet can bring the feel of a complete remodel.

6. Replace cheaper household accessories

When considering a remodel, our attention typically turns towards the bigger ticket items. However, even swapping out smaller household accessories can help to shake things up. For example, pillows are littered throughout most homes on couches, beds, and chairs. Changing the smaller accessories throughout your home is a great way to renovate with a tight budget.

7. Hang up homemade art or photos

Many homeowners scratch their heads when considering what to do with a large area of empty wall. Instead of investing in expensive mirrors or other accessories, consider hanging some of your own work. This could come in the form of a personal painting or photograph. It’s a great way to make your rooms feel more personalized while also saving money in the long run.

8. Add minimalist storage ideas

Storage is an issue in most households. Not only do you have too many things to store, but storing them in a nice way is important as well. This is when investing in some minimalistic storage is a good idea. Small cubby holes and hanging racks are a few great ideas to make storing clothing and other smaller things a breeze. These storage devices can be added to closets and empty spaces throughout the house.

9. Install some new lighting

Lighting is another factor that contributes a lot to the ambiance of a room. Lucky for you, lighting is also a very affordable factor to change. You can opt for a brighter or dimmer setting depending on how you want the room to feel.

Colour is another option when it comes to changing the lighting in a room. Small colour accents can help give a room a cooler or warmer feel depending on the shade.

Wrap up

7 Biggest Home Renovation Mistakes to Avoid

Renovating your home can be a great way to stay satisfied without having to spend money on moving. However, remodeling can cost money that a lot of homeowners simply don’t have. These nine creative home renovation tips will help you accomplish these goals on a budget.

4 Things to Consider When Renovating an Old House

4 Things to Consider When Renovating an Old House

How Reed and Delphine Krakoff turned Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s childhood summer home into a contemporary retreat with period-appropriate details

By Jennifer Fernandez

Photography by Ivan TerestchenkoApril 7, 2016

This image may contain Flooring Floor Hardwood Wood Interior Design Indoors and Staircase

When designers Reed and Delphine Krakoff purchased a circa-1917 Arts and Crafts residence on a historic 11-acre estate in East Hampton, New York—it was the childhood summer home of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis—the Manhattan-based couple chose to preserve its many period details instead of giving it a strictly contemporary overhaul. “I think we enjoy the process of bringing a house back to what it was more than the end product itself,” Delphine says. “We were very disciplined about getting rid of whatever wasn’t house-appropriate and bringing in things that were.” It’s a delicate balance that requires a sense of discovery, a discerning eye, and an inexhaustible spirit in the face of unexpected developments. Here are four things you should consider when renovating an old home.

Lay the groundwork. Before even thinking about doing anything aesthetically, have an inspector check the existing systems and structures. It’s easier to repair electrical work and plumbing—as the Krakoffs did when they updated their home’s antiquated pipes—as well as roofing and windows before you’ve added wallpaper and paint.

Image may contain Furniture Chair Living Room Indoors Room Table Coffee Table Couch and Rug
In Reed and Delphine Krakoff’s living room, a Queen Anne highboy and wing chairs, all from Bernard and S. Dean Levy, are grouped with a custom-made sofa.

Dig deeper. The living room was clad in an ornate Louis XVI–style boiserie, but the pair discovered a drawing of the room from the early 20th century and learned about the grid-pattern millwork that had originally been there. So they cut a hole into the paneling and found the preserved oak beneath it. The design element now figures prominently in the space.

Embrace patina. “One of the best moments was when Martha Stewart walked through the finished house and asked if we’d done anything,” Reed says. “That was the highest compliment.” A significant contributor to that effect: the Krakoff’s decision to use plaster with metal lath for walls in lieu of Sheetrock.

Decorate with new old things. The couple replaced damaged floorboards with reclaimed 200-year-old oak to retain “that old creaky feeling,” Delphine says. In the dining room, a midcentury Samuel Marx table sits beneath a pair of 1910 Tiffany pendant lamps. “What’s interesting to us is the mix,” she says. “We wanted the house to seem as if it had been furnished over time.”

10 Tips to Renovate your House Beautifully yet Economically

10 Tips to Renovate your House Beautifully yet Economically

You are renovating because you want your house to look more beautiful and feel more comfortable. Consider your home renovation plan as a business plan or as your special project you are starting from scratch.

If you hire an architecture he plan for you, but if you want to save money the first step is to take charge of the project and do it to yourself. In this article, we are sharing some DIY ideas on how to renovate your house on budget?

The key to renovating your house on budget yet beautifully is primarily to plan the entire process effectively. The following sections will demonstrate how you can divide your entire renovation plans into sub-plans, according to the space you have and renovate your home effectively. If you are looking to find out top 10 ways to renovate your house beautifully yet economically then read below: 

Divide and Conquer

As mentioned earlier effective planning is the key to effective renovation. If you are renovating yourself then you need to focus on both the bigger picture and the smaller parts. You might have heard the phrase “whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, you can apply the same strategy to your home renovation project and devise a renovation plan for each area in your house. If you hire an architect for renovation, he will assess your requirements and then renovate accordingly. In this case since you’re in charge, you will brainstorm your requirements, write your end goal for each space in the house and decide the overall goal, and then move on to:

Budgeting

Since you want to renovate your house economically it is important for you to decide the total expenditure requirements/limit. It is important to remember in budgeting that you cannot overestimate your budget, keep your budget underestimated and then move on to researching for things you need.

Research

You will be surprised at the number of options you have once you start your research. The beautiful lamp that you liked at a high end store can be purchased at a lower price from elsewhere as well. So, when renovating your house on budget please remember that if you research to find the furniture you like, paint you want or the decorations you would like in your house, you are likely to find most of the supplies at an inexpensive price. Take advantage of online shopping, thrift stores and second hand furniture shops and see how far you will go. For step by step instructions on how you can decorate your house beautifully yet economically please read below:

Doors Create the First Impression

The first impression of your house is your door. If you are unable to change the door completely and if your existing door is in a good condition then you should repaint your door. Your doors could also affect the lighting of your room, and you could benefit from this great technique interior designed Amy Lau uses, “When dealing with a dark room, whatever color is used on the walls, I paint the ceiling, trim, and doors the same color but 50 percent lighter. Too much of one shade can overpower a space.” So, when renovating on a budget if you are repainting your door try to use different shades according to the concentration of light in your house to optimize the lighting of your house the way you want to.

Paint Affects Lighting

As mentioned earlier painting affects lighting and when renovating your house you might opt for a new paint. In that case if you are already on a budget purchasing different colored pallets might seem counterintuitive. If you are on a tight budget then opt for a black and white palette, it will give your house a modern sophisticated look and you will have the guarantee that you can never go wrong with white or black.

Small Rooms don’t have to Look Small

If you are renovating to make a small house look bigger than an inexpensive and beautiful way of achieving that goal is to use mirrors. It’s an inexpensive technique but it’s used by one of the most famous architects of his time, Sir John Soane, who used mirrors in the breakfast room of his London house.

Kitchens and Storage

If you are decorating/renovating your house then you are probably trying to de-clutter and maximize your storage as well. Utilizing your kitchen to its maximum capacity can help you minimize your storage problems. In order to do this on a low budget you can either DIY kitchen cabinets or storages from recycled material at your house, or take advantage of thrift shops in your area.

No one knows your kitchen space better than you do and your storage needs building DIY storage kitchen cabinets will not only help you save money and reuse old materials at your house but it will also ensure that you’re building exactly what you need. If you already have cabinets which are enough for storage then you don’t need to replace them you can just repaint them to make your kitchen look as good as new.

Light Comes through the Windows

According to Marc Appleton, “half the experience of living indoors is seeing the outdoors” So when remodeling your house install large windows. However, you might not have the budget to change your windows in that case play around with paint and paint your windows a shade lighter than the rest of the room to maximize the light coming through the windows.

Bathroom Renovation

You would be surprised at the number of inexpensive yet quality products you can purchase to renovate your bathroom. If you are looking to install new toilet fixture you can check our Toto Toilet, and if you are not planning to install any new items, you can fix up your existing toilet by changing the paint, changing cabinet paints and by fixing the pressure of shower etc.

Floor Renovation

 If you are on a budget then floor renovation might seem expensive, and if you cannot find a flooring installation under your budget then you should invest in renovating everything else according to your floor design.

The key to renovating or redecorating your house beautifully yet inexpensively is to devise a goal for yourself, and paint an entire picture of what you want and then step by step renovate each part of your house like mentioned above.

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Start a Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodels | Pro.com

For those about to attempt a kitchen renovation—or really any renovation—the “Kitchen Renovation 101: What You Need to Know” panel at our 2016 Architectural Digest Design Show was the place to be. Moderator George Oliphant of NBC’s George to the Rescue spoke to three kitchen design professionals, including Mike Daddio, principal at Design Development NYC, about how to create the kitchen of your dreams. Daddio shared ten questions that will make your life—and your contractor’s life—easier, and we’ve got them all here. “If you have these questions answered before you call the contractor, than we’ll be able to have a much more productive, streamlined conversation,” he says.

1. What is your objective?
“Are you planning to sell your apartment in three years? Are you intending to spruce up for that sale? Or are you looking to have all the bells and whistles?”

2. How long do you plan to live in the home?
“If you’re going to be living there for one or two years, you probably want to consider a different type of renovation, something that’s maybe not as costly or something that’s more timeless and traditional in the aesthetic that’s chosen by your design team,” says Daddio. “If you’re going to be living there a little bit longer, then naturally you’ll be spending a bit more and designing something that you really love.”

3. Do you have children?
“If so, where are you going to store everything? Are you going to have a kitchen with a magnetic board; do you hang your children’s artworks?” Resilient, easy-to-clean materials, whether wood or stone, are also ideal for kid-friendly kitchens.

4. Do you have allergies and health issues to consider?
If someone in your family suffers from asthma or other breathing issues, let your contractor know. “Things that are important to stay away from if you do have any of those concerns are high-gloss lacquers and urea and phenol formaldehydes, which are used in the adhesives of most plywoods.”

5. Will you be living in your home during the renovation?
“It adds to the lead time and the construction duration, so that’s something that’s very important to know. It also adds to the level of protection and cleanliness that needs to be maintained in the renovation.”

6. What is your budget?
“This question has to be something that’s first answered for yourself, so you understand what amount of money you want to spend, but it’s important to be honest with the people on your design team, and your contractors, about what that number is.” Once you have a number, add a 10 to 20 percent contingency.

7. What have people in similar homes accomplished, and what have been their limitations?
“What I always encourage on first meetings, in New York City especially, is that you invite your building’s superintendent,” says Daddio. “Getting to the answer of ‘Can we do it?’ sooner rather than later is very, very helpful in the process.” Research local zoning laws, landmark preservation rules, and yard setbacks, too.

8. Can you remove that wall to open up the kitchen?
“It’s very easy to ask the building’s superintendent or other people within the apartment that may have completed renovations. It’s also great to schedule walkthroughs with those people to see what they’ve done.”

9. What’s behind those walls?
“Are there utility risers that limit the amount of wall that can be removed safely?”

10. When can we get started?
“I always say that a well-planned project is a well-executed project,” says Daddio. “Take the time with the architecture and design team to properly plan everything that you’re doing. Source your long-lead materials and purchase them in advance.”

Kitchen Remodeling Contractor NJ | Capnovate Construction

10 Tips to Renovate your House Beautifully yet Economically NEXT ARTICLE link

10 Tips to Renovate your House Beautifully yet Economically

You are renovating because you want your house to look more beautiful and feel more comfortable. Consider your home renovation plan as a business plan or as your special project you are starting from scratch.

If you hire an architecture he plan for you, but if you want to save money the first step is to take charge of the project and do it to yourself. In this article we are sharing some DIY ideas on, how to renovate your house on budget?

The key to renovating your house on budget yet beautifully is primarily to plan the entire process effectively. The following sections will demonstrate how you can divide your entire renovation plans into sub-plans, according to the space you have and renovate your home effectively. If you are looking to find out top 10 ways to renovate your house beautifully yet economically then read below: 

Divide and Conquer

As mentioned earlier effective planning is the key to effective renovation. If you are renovating yourself then you need to focus on both the bigger picture and the smaller parts. You might have heard the phrase “whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, you can apply the same strategy to your home renovation project and devise a renovation plan for each area in your house. If you hire an architect for renovation, he will assess your requirements and then renovate accordingly. In this case since you’re in charge, you will brainstorm your requirements, write your end goal for each space in the house and decide the overall goal, and then move on to:

Budgeting

Since you want to renovate your house economically it is important for you to decide the total expenditure requirements/limit. It is important to remember in budgeting that you cannot overestimate your budget, keep your budget underestimated and then move on to researching for things you need.

Research

You will be surprised at the number of options you have once you start your research. The beautiful lamp that you liked at a high end store can be purchased at a lower price from elsewhere as well. So, when renovating your house on budget please remember that if you research to find the furniture you like, paint you want or the decorations you would like in your house, you are likely to find most of the supplies at an inexpensive price. Take advantage of online shopping, thrift stores and second hand furniture shops and see how far you will go. For step by step instructions on how you can decorate your house beautifully yet economically please read below:

Doors Create the First Impression

The first impression of your house is your door. If you are unable to change the door completely and if your existing door is in a good condition then you should repaint your door. Your doors could also affect the lighting of your room, and you could benefit from this great technique interior designed Amy Lau uses, “When dealing with a dark room, whatever color is used on the walls, I paint the ceiling, trim, and doors the same color but 50 percent lighter. Too much of one shade can overpower a space.” So, when renovating on a budget if you are repainting your door try to use different shades according to the concentration of light in your house to optimize the lighting of your house the way you want to.

Paint Affects Lighting

As mentioned earlier painting affects lighting and when renovating your house you might opt for a new paint. In that case if you are already on a budget purchasing different colored pallets might seem counterintuitive. If you are on a tight budget then opt for a black and white palette, it will give your house a modern sophisticated look and you will have the guarantee that you can never go wrong with white or black.

Small Rooms don’t have to Look Small

If you are renovating to make a small house look bigger than an inexpensive and beautiful way of achieving that goal is to use mirrors. It’s an inexpensive technique but it’s used by one of the most famous architects of his time, Sir John Soane, who used mirrors in the breakfast room of his London house.

Kitchens and Storage

If you are decorating/renovating your house then you are probably trying to de-clutter and maximize your storage as well. Utilizing your kitchen to its maximum capacity can help you minimize your storage problems. In order to do this on a low budget you can either DIY kitchen cabinets or storages from recycled material at your house, or take advantage of thrift shops in your area.

No one knows your kitchen space better than you do and your storage needs building DIY storage kitchen cabinets will not only help you save money and reuse old materials at your house but it will also ensure that you’re building exactly what you need. If you already have cabinets which are enough for storage then you don’t need to replace them you can just repaint them to make your kitchen look as good as new.

Light Comes through the Windows

According to Marc Appleton, “half the experience of living indoors is seeing the outdoors” So when remodeling your house install large windows. However, you might not have the budget to change your windows in that case play around with paint and paint your windows a shade lighter than the rest of the room to maximize the light coming through the windows.

Bathroom Renovation

You would be surprised at the number of inexpensive yet quality products you can purchase to renovate your bathroom. If you are looking to install new toilet fixture you can check our Toto Toilet, and if you are not planning to install any new items, you can fix up your existing toilet by changing the paint, changing cabinet paints and by fixing the pressure of shower etc.

Floor Renovation

 If you are on a budget then floor renovation might seem expensive, and if you cannot find a flooring installation under your budget then you should invest in renovating everything else according to your floor design.

The key to renovating or redecorating your house beautifully yet inexpensively is to devise a goal for yourself, and paint an entire picture of what you want and then step by step renovate each part of your house like mentioned above.

6 Tips for Installing Carpet Yourself

Installer Using Carpet Stretcher on New Bedroom Floor
 BanksPhotos/E+/Getty Images

Professional installation by an experienced crew is now so inexpensive and quick that it’s hard to justify doing this work yourself. Carpeting is now often sold with installation costs included since so few consumers want to go through the headache of DIY installation.

The Truth About “Free” Installation

It is true that carpeting that is advertised as “free installation” is not really free, since the cost is actually slightly inflated to cover the labor of the team who will come to install it. You can, therefore, save some money by specifying that you want to buy carpeting without installation labor. But by the time you buy or rent the specialty tools, padding, seaming tape, and other supplies necessary, the extra $1 to $1.50 per-square-foot cost for pro installation starts to seem like a bargain. If you’ve ever gone through the headache of trying to install carpeting yourself, you are unlikely to want to go through the ordeal again. Many installation teams will move furniture, remove and dispose of old carpet, install padding and new carpet, and move the furniture back in place—all within a few hours.

Still, there may be instances where your budget is so tight that saving on installation costs is critical. Or perhaps you are carpeting many rooms at the same time, or have many irregular shapes or stairways that mean your cost savings will be more substantial if you install the carpeting yourself. If so, here are six tips to make DIY carpet installation go more smoothly.

Rent Special Tools

Some DIYers make the mistake of thinking that they can install carpeting just by cutting pieces with an ordinary utility knife and rolling out the pieces over the floor. This is a disaster waiting to happen. While carpet installation will require many standard home-shop tools—such as a hammer, utility stapler, tin-snips, chalk-line, and utility knife—there will be several carpet-specific tools you will need in order to do the work correctly. These tools, available for lease at tool rental centers and home centers, include a seam iron, power-stretcher, and knee kicker. These are expensive tools and it is much more economical to rent these tools rather than buy them unless you expect to install carpeting often.

Learn How to Use a Carpet Stretcher

While it is possible to install carpeting without a stretcher, the results will look terrible, with wrinkles and lumps quickly forming. Two types of stretchers are essential to a good carpet installation: a long power stretcher that will brace against the walls to stretch the carpeting taut across the entire room, and a knee kicker that will help you push the edges into corners and over the tack strips around the perimeter of the room. Proper stretching is 90 percent of good carpet installation, and if you’re not prepared to learn this skill, it’s best to hire pros.

Install Tack Strips With a Gap Between the Wall

Tack strips are strips of wood with sharp-pointed tacks. They are attached to the subfloor around the perimeter of the room to provide the anchor point for the edges of the carpeting to be gripped. For novice DIYers, the temptation is to shove the carpet tack strips (sometimes called “tackless strips”) all the way against the wall or baseboard. Don’t do this. You will need the extra space in order to tuck the edges of the carpet over the strips. The gap between the tack strips should be just a hair less than the thickness of the carpeting so that the tucked portion remains tightly wedged in place.

For Patterned Carpet, Buy an Extra 5 Percent

You will experience more waste with patterned carpet than with non-patterned carpet since cutting and seaming pieces requires you to match the pattern. Most experts recommend adding 5 percent overage for waste on a non-patterned carpet, and you should add another 5 percent, for a total of 10 percent overage, for patterned carpeting. The larger the pattern, the more waste you will have.

Do Not Attach Padding Over the Tack Strips

This is a standard rule of carpet installation: Do not lay the padding over the tackless strips. Keep the padding within the inner perimeter formed by the strips. Padding should touch the edge of the tackless strips but should not overlap them. If the padding overlaps, then you’ll have a fat lump around the edge of your carpet—not very attractive. It is also a good idea to make sure your padding is of very good quality. Even cheap carpeting will perform much better if the underlying padding is of good quality, such as high-density memory foam.

Consider Carpet Pile Direction When Seaming

Obviously, if your carpet has a pattern, seaming two pieces requires careful attention to matching the pattern between adjoining pieces. But even for non-patterned carpeting, you can detect the direction of the carpet’s pile by looking at it from different directions in strong light. Keep carpet pile consistent from piece to piece. Even professional installation teams have been known to get this wrong.

Carpet Installation Company

Welcome to The Carpet Guys!

The Carpet Guys provide a convenient, no-pressure approach to in-home direct flooring sales.  Here are some of the benefits we provide if you want to refloor your home:

  • Next-day installation on many in-stock products
  • We bring the showroom to your home with Shop-at-Home convenience
  • Financing plus other amazing specials
  • We will move your furniture
  • Free upgraded 8lb pad with carpet purchase
  • Eco-friendly products from an environmentally responsible company
  • American-made products from top brands like Mohawk, Shaw, Dreamweaver, and more
  • Free, professional appointment with a Design Consultant
  • Locally owned and operated
  • Resources and education through several avenues
  • Top installers across all categories: hardwood, vinyl, laminate, and carpet
  • Real people to take your calls seven days a week
  • We have appointments available seven days a week and evenings
  • So much more!

The Carpet Guys offer straightforward, same-day pricing that is all-inclusive not only to give you the flooring of your dreams but floors that last for years to come. We are so confident in our expertise that we are one of the only flooring companies in the nation that offers a Lifetime Flooring Installation Warranty to our customers.

Our Customers Tell It Best

Beth BucklandPlymouth, Mi – 05/28/20Great service. Friendly staff. Reasonable prices.Esther Petzold-WesselmannOakland, Mi – 05/27/20Amazing results love our new carpet! Definitely will use them again for other rooms read more carpet reviews 

Our Leadership

Joe Zago, Founder of The Carpet Guys

Joe Zago – PresidentJoseph Zago – President
Joe Zago started out as a salesman for several big-name companies like Kirby, Sears, and Art Van Furniture. Before starting his own business, he spent multiple years in sales with companies including Kirby, Chrysler, Jeep, Art Van Furniture, and Sears. He found his passion working as a salesman for Empire Today. In 2007, Joe left Empire to work in the basement waterproofing industry. Finding out that this was not his favorite thing to do, he moved back into the flooring industry with Express Flooring in Arizona. Upon his return to Michigan, The Carpet Guys were founded and established.

All you need to know about Water Heater Repair

Sometimes water heater may fail due to a number of reasons. Water heater malfunctioning is evidence when the heater tank makes some strange gurgling or pinging sounds, fails to heat the water or when you see water puddling or dripping near the heater. If you see any of these sign you heater, it is time to repair the heater. 

Inviting a professional Plumber in Bel Air Maryland can mean waiting for days without hot water and parting with good amount of money. Consequently, you can troubleshoot and solve the Water Heater Repair yourself. 

Common Hot Water-Heater Problems:

If an electric hot water heater takes longer to heat water than before or does not heat the water, there is high chances that the heating elements is malfunctioning. If you the heater element and find out to be working well then cutoff switch or the thermostats is likely to be the cause of the problem. Replacing the heating element is easy and the parts are available at affordable prices.

Testing the elements:

Switch off the power and remove the cover to check the heating element and the thermostats. Use a non-contact voltage detector to touch the electrical connection to make sure that the power is off. Check the tester to make sure that it is working well by placing the tip in a powered outlet. If the tester produce a beeping sound or light up, the it is working well.

Now it is time to test the heater. Start with testing wires leading to the water-heater. If the wires are cover by a metal conduit, uncover it by removing the insulation and holding the tester just above the high-temperature cutoff switch. Remember to test both wires. 

Testing burned-out element:

Burned-out element can be tested using continuity tester, which is available in the market for about $7. The tester basically includes light bulb, battery and two wires. Touching the wires to a continuous-circuit should light up the light. You can also find a water heater tester that is designed specifically for testing the water heaters. If you have a volt-ohm meter and know how to use it, you can use it instead of a tester.

The element for testing is normally hidden under two metal cover, plastic covers and insulation. Remove all these to allow you test the burn-out element. Start with the continuity test to find check whether the element is not working. Electricity does not pass throughout a burned-out element. To do that, you may have to disconnect the connection from the terminal screws and connect alligator clip to the terminals while touching the other terminal. In case the tester light up, then the circuit is complete but if the light does not then it mean that the element is not working properly.

Testing short circuiting:

Short circuiting can also result in malfunctioning. To test short circuiting, clip the alligator clip on either of the element screws ad touch the tester probe on the mounting bracket. Do this for both element screws while checking if the tester lights up. Tester light-up show a short circuit.

Replacing an element:

First drain the water and ensure that the socket is off before unscrewing the malfunctioning element.. You can use a long study screwdriver to unscrew the bad element. You may need to loosen the bad element using a cold chisel and a ball peen hummer. 

Once you have successfully removed the bad element, you have to install a working heat element in place. Put the working element in place and tighten it using a wrench before reconnecting the wires. Close the valves before filling the tank with water before you switch the circuit breaker. 

What would I do if find the element is good?

If the test reveal that the heating element is working properly, then it is very likely that the thermostat is faulty. Testing a thermostat is a little bit complicated we recommend just replacing the whole thermostat. You can replace the thermostat while the tank is filled with water but make sure that the power is still off. The thermostat is normally held in place with a metal clip, so all you need is to install the newly acquired thermostat and transfer wires to the right terminals.

Benefits of hiring a carpet installation company

Entrepreneurs and carpet installation companies have one thing in common: they are always on the lookout for cost savings so as not to blow up budgets. In this context, in the attempt to maintain a quality carpet installation with the right company by spending a little less, many see outsourcing as the best of alternatives.

The decision to hire a carpet installation company services to customers is a very important step. This is because, regardless of the services that a manager decides to outsource, from the installation of carpet to the maintenance, the competence and professionalism of the chosen service provider are what will decide whether the result will be satisfactory or not.

Benefits of hiring a carpet installation company services. Anyway, in addition to the immediate reflection on expenses, an outsourced carpet installation company can bring a number of benefits: the contracting company will be able to enjoy security, cleanliness, and comfort with solutions tailored to their need. And it is about these advantages that we will speak today.

The Benefits of Hiring a carpet installation Company

1 – Focus on core business activity

If you are the owner or company of business to install carpets, your primary focus is likely to be on developing, optimizing, and creating sales strategies for your product or service in order to maximize profits. So dealing with minor issues such as carpet installation is not always extremely productive. Incidentally, hiring and maintaining an internal team can be time-consuming and generate demands that are difficult to manage.

In other words, carpet installation by specialized companies allows a boss or manager to focus on their goals and reduce time spent in areas outside their specialty.

The carpet installation company will hire and train the employees, so business owners and managers need not to worry about this. The company will also handle all the issues that involve organizing work schedules, ensuring that the missing workers are always replaced so that your company does no harm.

2 – The cost-benefit is worth it

The carpet installation services can have a significant impact on the expenses of a company for several reasons. First, there is an optimization in the technique and quality with which the services are made since with well-trained teams, usually, do much more in less time.

So there is also an economy in the price of the products and equipment used in the installation since these expenses are in the hands of the outsourced ones. By buying in large quantities, these companies get great prices on equipment, supplies and products, and spend a much lower amount on monthly fees.

Finally, there is also the reduction of costs associated with the payroll: expenses with recruitment, sorting, contracting, training and management of employees; in addition to the HR service in managing benefits, medical care, and so on.

3 – The quality of services improves significantly

Carpet installation services with an experienced company in the market will bring much more enjoyable results in the industry for your company as well as for the customers. This is because the company will use the most advanced and effective methods to get the job done correctly.

Since these firms’ expertise is precisely to provide facilities services, they have an extraordinary level of training that is almost impossible to achieve in the case of an in-house team.

It is important to point out once again that installation companies focused on conservation and quality offer specialized training for their employees. Thus, these employees become familiar with the latest equipment and products on the market available to offer the best service.

The professionals have experiences in dealing with issues with a number of important points in maintaining a professional environment, safely and seriously. It’s as if they were experts at creating an organized, healthy and clean environment for their customers and employees.

4 – You have flexibility

Another great advantage is that buyers allow your company to easily adjust the number of employees according to the demand for services offered by the company premises as well as the types of services that will run. This flexibility allows business owners or administrative managers to have greater control over the operational costs of each activity. Thus, it is also possible to adjust the hiring of the service according to the company’s need at the time.

5 – The processes are simplified

Finally, it is worth remembering that when outsourcing carpet installation services to a team of professionals, you simplify your work routine, and the processes created so that your company always maintained.

With someone taking care of carpet installation responsibilities, you have all the time you need to focus on other tasks with a clear conscience that your home will be clean and organized.