Goleta, CA (PRWEB) April 24, 2008
Any home improvement project presents some challenges; a common one is the budget — specifically, balancing the remodeling budget without compromising the results. Information and good planning are key elements to make the most of your money, says Bargain Network Home, a home buying and listing service that helps members find the houses and condominiums they want at bargain prices.
Bargain Network advises consumers to measure the feasibility of home improvement projects before undertaking them. Being realistic about what can be done and how much money it will require are the first steps to take before buying any paint or making phone calls to contractors. Along with these two steps, Bargain Network offers some helpful tips on how to renovate the home without breaking the bank:
1. Plan everything. Set priorities, and decide what you need to do and how you plan on doing it. Ask yourself what’s critical and what can be added to your wish list. The budget and the structure of the house should be the main variables to consider when deciding the changes. If you need to hire a contractor, ask for at least three detailed estimates; study them to see what the differences are and how you can work out a better deal by combining some ideas from all three. Once you have decided what to do, stick to your plan. Alterations often entail additional charges.
2. Shop around. To save money, you have to know what things costs. Doing research is the only way to know it firsthand, so make trips to different home improvement stores, and don’t forget to explore online. Be on the lookout for materials that are on sale, such as tile or wood flooring, due to overstocking or other reasons.
3. Measure the scale of the improvements. Altering a roofline or moving load-bearing walls are big projects that require an even bigger budget. Determine whether major structural changes are absolutely necessary or if you can work within the existing exterior walls and roof. Reduce the cost of plumbing labor and materials on bathrooms and kitchens with layouts that allow them to share major vents, drains and supply pipes. Figure out the best way to cut costs on the little things, and consult interior design sites to find out about easy and inexpensive ways to change the look of the house (new paint, different lighting, etc.).
4. Get the right financing. Do the math to figure out the best option, so you don’t end up paying more money in interest down the road. Mortgage refinancing or home equity loans are valid –and usually inexpensive– ways to get the money for improvements, but both present different interest and tax implications that have to be considered. When doing the math, factor in your plan after remodeling. If your goal is to sell, stretch the value of your future dollars by choosing improvements that offer a strong return on your investment.
5. Do it yourself? Be realistic about what you can really do well and what you think you can do. Labor can account for half or more of a major project’s cost, so you can save money if you can actually do it yourself, but if it’s not going to be a job well done, the cost could be even larger. Remember that your time has a value too, so weigh all of these factors before making a final decision.
In addition to finding helpful ways to save money on home improvements, members visit Bargain.com to access great deals on homes. For the best price information, real estate property listings and reports, and help with applying for loans, think Bargain Network.
About Bargain Network
Bargain Network is a unique membership service that provides consumers with best price information on significant purchases such as homes, vehicles and consumer products. Because Bargain is a membership service, it does not accept any advertising, or compensation from merchants, so consumers are guaranteed unbiased, impartial and complete pricing information. After a free trial membership members pay a low monthly fee to enjoy the benefits of Bargain Network. To learn more about Bargain Network, go to BargainNetwork.com.