I am an avid DIYer and a writer for a home-improvement magazine. I am
looking for homeowner "case studies" for an upcoming article I am
researching about creative ways to save on a remodeling project.
Basically, I'm curious what strategies you've used to bring down the
cost of your reno. As an example, I eliminated materials-delivery fees
by investing in a small utility trailer that I used for years to haul
sheet goods, insulation, a prehung door, etc, etc. I'm sure there are
many other smart money-saving ideas out there that don't compromise
safety or quality/reliability over the short and long term. Would love
to hear your story. Thanks,
Save? Save? Well I call Home Depot "Home Deplete Your Bank Account" if
that gives you an idea.
Every project I start winds up costing a whole lot more than I thought it
would... (Although I like to do things right or not at all...)
I haven't arranged this in my neighborhood yet (and intend to), but a
friend has a neighborhood men's group of about 5-6 guys who go to each
other's houses to do some project for 2 hours. My friend recently put
up sheetrock and insulation in his garage. So that saves on labor,
maybe on tool rental (use each others tools), but increase the beer and
Hi Kip1, that's perfect, that's exactly the kind of thing I had in
mind. The whole spirit of "barn-raising" brought into the drywall age.
I've done my share of drywall and though initial efforts were, uh, less
than perfect, I did get the hang of it, and my most recent job looks
pretty good. Now I have a full set of mudding tools to loan and
experience to share, ditto for sweating copper (I can handle a broken
pipe just fine now - it isnt brain surgery if you proceed carefully).
There's something deeply satisfying and practical about
self-sufficiency, and also knowing when its time to call in the pros.
On the other hand, Banty, yeah, I've had some friends over to help
paint trim and they made a mess of it. So maybe there's an element of
finding like-minded, frankly talented people, and building the "reno
co-op" out of them.
As for the trailer, over four years or so I made 20-30 trips for things
like mulch for the garden (free at the local dump), drywall sheets,
plywood for replacement sub-flooring, bales of insulation, demo stuff
to the dump, fuel wood from the national forest, etc etc. It paid for
itself quite quickly.
Other ideas out there?
The only way I have saved to redo my home is simply by using the
Internet to answer basic questions on how to do stuff. Its made me
more informed about job prior to me tackling them.
I did consider going to a few police DUI/Seizure auctions to get a
pickup or a large van. Ultimately my wife and I had a son, so I went
out and bought a "Dual Purpose" vehicle (Honda Odyssey minivan)
Didnt save me too much money, but it saved my the fustration of pull my
son in and out of a cramped up car seat in the back of the car. Home
improvement centers like Home Depot or Lowes offer their trucks for
$20.00 for 90 minutes. You get your stuff, unload it and return it.
Real nice for those messy loads.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.