A recent survey from the National Association of Home Builders found increased activity in kitchen and bathroom remodeling, window and door replacement, property damage repair, and room addition projects. Most of the homeowner project managers devised creative ways to work within limited budgets. One way is by the flexibility of design. Many stores carry discontinued, overstocked, or surplus items which can bring big savings, 50 percent on patio pavers, for example, purchased at a store in the process of closing. “The choice may be limited,” the purchaser said, “but the price was more important.”
There are other ways to save when renovating a home…
Shopping for faucets, lights, tile, and even for appliances online can be economical, but don’t let shipping and handling costs consume the savings. Using a model number to search online for an item at the best price can save hundreds of dollars, but a purchaser who cannot see an item in person may have difficulty determining its actual condition, and returns can be difficult when items turn out to be damaged or not what’s wanted. Buy online far in advance, and first find out about the vendor’s customer service return policy.
Ask for a Discount
When buying a lot, ask for a volume discount. Offer to refer friends and relatives as customers for the vendor, and use that favor to request a lower price in return. Friendliness and consideration can be worth a small discount. When hiring a contractor, an offer to pay cash could induce a discount.
Shop Where Taxes Are Low
Towns, counties, and states have varied sales taxes. A low sales tax locale can save hundreds. In New Jersey, for example, 37 towns qualify as urban enterprise zones where businesses can sell goods at half the seven-percent statewide sales tax rate. If an online vendor has no physical presence in a state, its residents do not pay sales tax on what they buy from the vendor. New York is the sole exception to this rule.
Georgia, Maryland, Missouri, and Texas offer Energy Star sales tax weekend holidays once a year. For specifics, refer to the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency. Even where there is no official sales tax holiday, some merchants offer holiday or weekend promotions when they don’t charge it.
Do It Yourself
Those who have the time and are even slightly handy might be able to do some of it themselves. If they can, they learn something new and save a lot of money. Even if a contractor does most of it, they can do the preparatory and wrap-up work. One do-it-yourselfer doing a home addition waterproofed the foundation cinder blocks and saved $3,000 in contractor labor. The work was time-consuming and tiring but not unduly difficult. She saved more by sanding and painting the walls herself after the contractor had completed the addition through the drywall stage.
Some jobs need experts. Flooring, cabinets, and countertops are all doable but expensive to fix if not done right. In most cases, professionals should handle electrical or foundational jobs involving safety or engineering. Home Depot offers in-store workshops, and Lowe’s posts online guides. Libraries loan do-it-yourself books, and TV home improvement programs are often helpful.
Many chain and local stores will match competitor prices if shown the same item selling for less elsewhere. Businesses want to retain customers. If they know that a rival has what customers want for less, they may match the price. Home Depot not only has matched the price but also beat it by taking off another 10 percent for an identical, in-store item at a lower price. Inquiring customers need proof of the lower price, and the item can’t be a floor model or subject to a special rebate or discount. A photograph is a good proof as is an advertisement.