Home improvement projects can range from the basic to the very elaborate. The more elaborate it is, the more expensive it gets. One of the hardest things for many homeowners is tailoring a project to the budget on hand. This is true whether you are doing the project yourself or hiring a contractor to do it. It is easy to dream about what you would like your new kitchen to look like, but when you start to price out materials, you go into sticker shock. However, all is not lost. You can still have your dream kitchen if you know how to plan properly. Here are some tips that can walk you through your thought process.
If you have a project in mind, start making out a detailed list of the supplies that you need. Include everything, down to the boxes of nails. Identify the quantity, linear feet or square footage of materials if applicable, as well as the description of each. Include the tools that you need to use as well. The more detailed your description, the better you will be able to compare prices as you price out your supplies. When you have your supplies list completed, look around in your garage. See if you already have some of the supplies on your list. If you do, write down how much you have down next to the item, and how much remaining you will need to purchase. Then, set aside an area in your garage where you can store your materials. Set these apart so you know that they are already spoken for on a particular project.
Find out which vendors sell supplies and equipment at a discount. Check with the big-box home centers first, because their prices are usually very competitive. See if the have a price match policy. You can also check online for Internet merchants who sell home improvement supplies. However, pay attention to the shipping charges. Sometimes an Internet merchant will offer free shipping if the total purchase is over a certain amount. If the product prices are good, you may want to calculate how much you have to get to reach the free-shipping threshold.
There are places that sell supplies and equipment that are second-hand or over-runs. Sometimes contractors have left-over supplies that they cannot use, and they would sell those to a discount supply place. The merchant, in turn, can sell the materials to the public at a discount price. The stock is usually only limited to what is on hand, so be sure that you can get enough of what you need if you go this route.
If you need a special tool for your project and you anticipate not to use it that frequently, you should consider renting the tool. This makes more sense financially. Why invest in a tool that may cost a couple of hundred dollars when you will only be using it once?
These are just starting points for you to consider if you are on a tight budget. There are other ways if you look hard enough. Do not let cost discourage you from improving your home. With some ingenuity, you can make your improvements without breaking the bank.