In some ways a home renovation project is like any other project. You need to have clear goals. But “saving money” is a lousy goal for a home remodeling project. That doesn’t mean you should spend without regard for what things cost. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set a budget and look for the best possible deals. But your goal should be to create a comfortable, enjoyable environment where you and your guest like to be. You’re not going to accomplish that if your goal is to save money. By all means, exercise wisdom and discretion—but don’t lose sight of your real goal.
Here are four things to think about during the planning of your home renovation project that will help you realize that goal.
1. Start at the beginning. Some of the best places to spend money is on quality design, quality materials, and excellent execution. A well thought-out plan is crucial in order to achieve the result you want. Saving money on lower quality materials is generally a shortsighted solution. Purchasing quality materials pays big dividends in the long run because you’ll be happier with how things look—and they’ll last longer. And if your goal is value and comfort, quality workmanship is absolutely essential.
2. Settle for less. You should never settle for less quality, but you might consider cutting back on the number of different types of materials you use in your renovation. Variety may be the spice of life, but by limiting the scope of building materials somewhat can create a sense of cohesiveness to your home. Go for quality, but think about simple elegance. Coincidentally, you may even save some money by purchasing larger quantities of high quality materials.
3. One “Wow” is better than several “That’s nices”. There can be a temptation to try to do too much with a room addition. But the impact of a single stunning feature can outweigh the impact of several so-so improvements. In some ways the same principle is true for your entire house. Having one spectacular room or area that’s the focal point can be more impressive than having multiple rooms that vie for attention. This doesn’t mean you ignore the other areas, but you focus your “wow” factor a bit.
4. Opt for quality over quantity. This is related to number 3 above. You may want to consider reducing the overall scope of your project in order to do a really fantastic job on one area. That might mean postponing the remodeling your family room in order to focus your attention and efforts on the kitchen. Or, in the case of a bathroom remodel, you may want to emphasize the quality of the materials and features instead of focusing on just making it bigger.
Again, there’s nothing wrong with saving money. It just isn’t your primary goal. Keep your real goal in mind and you will be delighted with your remodeling when it’s done.