If you’re like most homeowners who are thinking about starting a home remodeling project, chances are that the biggest concern you have is sticking to your budget. Renovations are notoriously expensive, and you can easily go over your price range if you don’t have a lot of experience with home improvement costs. Whether you want to install small updates in the bathroom or put in a new kitchen from scratch, following the three money-saving tips below can help you finish your dream remodel at a price you can afford.

Price Out Your Project

It’s a lot tougher to stay within your budget if you don’t know the average costs for labor and materials in your area. Before you even get started, define how much you can afford to spend on your project and do some comparison shopping. While final prices change depending on individual needs, you can get a general idea of what you can expect to spend on everything you need to buy. When you’re done, break your project down into a step-by-step plan with attached price estimates. Having everything on paper will make it easier for you to decide where to cut your costs if you’re over your budget.

Can you afford to remodel?

Have Emergency Funds

Renovations that involve structural or plumbing work often uncover damages that need to be repaired before the project can move along. If you don’t leave any room in your budget for unexpected emergencies, you can end up stalling the entire project until you can make up the lost revenue. Professionals who deal with construction lien suggest having emergency funds because if the project goes longer than you expected, you want your contractor and workers to continue working. They won’t continue working if they aren’t being paid, so having a little “buffer money” will help you avoid having the issue of your workers leaving a job undone because they aren’t being paid.

Know When to Splurge and When to Save

With access to online stores and discount outlets, saving money on supplies has never been easier. The general rule to remember is to choose the best option when it comes to structure and home safety while saving money on aesthetics. For example, imitation marble and laminate flooring can look just as good as real stone and wood at a fraction of their cost. On the other hand, you want to hire the best contractors to do your electrical work to avoid dangerous and potentially expensive repairs in the future.

It’s common for homeowners who save money on materials to end up overpaying their contractors. If your project involves contract work, always sign a written agreement before the work begins. Besides asking for a price estimate your contractors can commit to, write out a strict schedule to keep your project on track and discourage delays.

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