How to Save Money on Home Renovations

Thinking of doing some home renovations? Read on to discover the best places to splurge and save on the jobs you need done.

What’s Worth the Money:

1. Revamp exterior components – including the front door, windows, roof and siding – or replace an old brick facade on the front of your home.

2. Upgrade the electrical system to a minimum of 100 amps if you’re in an older home.

3. Add moulding to ceilings and floors in living- and dining-room areas.

What You Can Do Yourself:

1. Do low-skills jobs yourself. For instance, clean up the site after contractors leave each night.

2. Purchase building materials (e.g. tiles, paint, plumbing parts) yourself, rather than pay someone to pick them up.

3. Pay by the project, not the hour. Some professionals will stretch a job out just to pump you for money.

What to Watch Out For:

1. Overcharging for faucets and other kitchen hardware purchased at a discount and then marking them up – by up to 200 per cent – is a common contractor scam.

2. Contractors may recommend replacing air-conditioning systems, heating units and water tanks when all that’s needed is a new filter or for a line to be unclogged.

3. Be aware that contractors may do the minimal prep work before painting a house. Make sure upper areas have been properly scraped, sanded, patched and primed.

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