House Renovation Costs You Can Cut — and a Few You Can’t

Renovating your home can be exciting — and daunting. When preparing your home for a renovation, take the time to think about each step of the process, from your budget to the design and material selection, workmanship and timeline.

A thoughtful and well-done renovation can add significant value and enjoyment to a home. Conversely, a poorly planned or sloppy renovation will end up costing you without adding financial value to the property.

[Read: 25 Affordable Home Organization Ideas]

Here are six parts of your home that deserve either more or less of your budget when planning a renovation:

— Don’t skimp: priority rooms and areas.

— Don’t skimp: fundamental features of the home.

— Don’t skimp: quality contractor and craftsmanship.

— Save: manufactured stone vs. natural stone.

— Save: unique style choices.

— Save: hard-wired tech upgrades.

Don’t Skimp: Priority Rooms and Areas

Unless you have an unlimited budget, you should establish your priorities. There are almost always rooms or areas of the home that need more attention and financial resources than others. Focus first on renovating the rooms where you spend the most time or that will bring the most joy.

If you plan to renovate in phases, give those areas or rooms your full attention in order of priority, rather than trying to do small things here and there in each one. Ultimately, it will be more rewarding to have the entire area or room fully completed. And when you have more money saved, you’ll be ready to move on to the next area of focus.

Don’t Skimp: Fundamental Features of the Home

When you fall in love with a home, there’s always a reason. It’s normal to get wrapped up in plans to improve the overall property, but in doing so, you may do more harm than good and detract from its fundamental “bones” — the layout, finishes, qualities or characteristics.

As an example, if an apartment or house already has limited closet space, don’t reconfigure the layout in a way that will further impede the potential for storage. Or, if a home has a beautiful flow of existing space, don’t interrupt it by carving out a bunch of smaller rooms that will cause you to lose the graciousness of the space. Don’t forget the reasons why you fell in love with the property in the first place, and make sure your renovation only improves on those qualities.

Don’t Skimp: Quality Contractor and Craftsmanship

Skimping on quality materials and not hiring a high-end contractor will only cost you more in the long run. If you invest in top-of-the-line fixtures, finishes and materials, and hire a top-notch and recommended contractor, your renovation will stand the test of time. No one wants to deal with having to re-do sloppy work or fix things that have started to fall apart shortly after putting valuable time and money into a project.

[READ: Kitchen Remodel Costs to Consider.]

Save: Manufactured Stone vs. Natural Stone

If you’re working on a tight budget and know that you’re the type of person who is set on having stone countertops, save yourself a few dollars by using a manufactured synthetic stone rather than marble. These are less expensive and far more durable, which will ultimately prevent the need for replacement in the short term.

Save: Unique Style Choices

Always keep the potential for resale in the back of your mind when you’re making decisions about a home improvement, even if you intend to hold the property for many years to come. When a renovation is too specific in either decor or layout and is designed to only suit your specific needs, you may run into problems when you decide to sell.

The pool of potential buyers will be significantly reduced if your home’s interiors are too heavily decorated or remodeled to a very particular taste. People need to be able to envision themselves living in the space and making it their own, which can be difficult to see through styles that feel stuffy.

Save: Hard-Wired Tech Upgrades

While having a smart home can make certain daily tasks easier, it’s not always a necessity that most homeowners should prioritize. In fact, some people can be easily overwhelmed by smart home systems if they aren’t tech-savvy themselves. If it’s the only way to control the lights, you might have an issue when you go to resell your home.

Moreover, technology becomes outdated so quickly because the latest and greatest innovation will be introduced to the market shortly after you invest time and money in a smart home system. For example, don’t waste your resources on hard-wiring for in-wall speakers. Sonos speakers work equally as well, and if they break, they are much easier to replace. You’ll also be able to take your favorite pieces of equipment with you when you move.

However, certain things are worth splurging on, such as hidden wiring for TVs and hooking up the AC system to a centrally controlled smart thermostat like Google Nest, which can also be controlled by a smartphone.

[See: The Best Free Interior Design Apps.]

Whether you’re updating your new home to live in now or remodeling it before selling to turn a higher profit, keep these tips in mind and you’ll not only save yourself some money but a few headaches as well.

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House Renovation Costs You Can Cut — and a Few You Can’t originally appeared on

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