Last updated on May 30th, 2020 at 02:42 pm
Don’t believe what you see on design shows; home renovations don’t have to cost tens of thousands of dollars. There are dozens of ways to save money on home renovations, and today, I am going to share with you the top ten ways.
My husband and I spent five years renovating three homes, two of them we purchased for under $15,000. We bought our own home for just under $10,000; you can see a few pictures of what it looks like here.
The name for this blog grew out of our slow renovations, and during inching forward, we learned a lot about how to renovate frugally.
10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Renovations
(Links in this post are affiliate links. I will be compensated when you make a purchase by clicking those links. See my disclosure page for more information)
1. Use Your Creative Thinking
The floors in one home were hardwood but in horrible shape and too thin to withstand a deep sanding. I decided to use porch and patio paint to paint them all a dark color.
For interior painting tips, read this post: 10 Interior Painting Tips From A Person Who Has Painted Several Homes.
One home we bought was missing half its stairs and railings. My husband came up with the idea to save the remaining spindles and stairs and mix them in with new. We then hired a carpenter to do the job of blending old and new together. I painted all the stairs black and the railings white so that you could not tell which ones were old and which were new.
I often refer to creative thinking as out of the box thinking —read how I encourage my brain to switch on its creativity.
2. Buy Unfinished
Unfinished oak cabinets are one of the least expensive options for kitchens. You can paint or stain them in thousands of ways with just a bit of research and a few afternoons of labor.
3. Do It Yourself
A large percentage of the costs of home renovations is in the labor. My husband and I taught ourselves how to do a lot of things through books, YouTube videos, and how-to sites.
4. Use What You Have
We overbought tile for one project, so we used it in the next. I bought way too much paint for the first home, so we used it up in the next house.
5. Search Yard Sales
I have found bathroom cabinets, tile, hardware, and mirrors for next to nothing at yard sales. You can also try Craigslist, Freecycle, or Facebook Market Place if they are active in your area.
6. Wait Until You Can Pay Cash
Currently, we are renovating our bathroom. The toilet and shower got done, but then we ran out of money. We are making do by washing our hands in the nearby kitchen sink until we have the cash in hand to pay for the sink and its base and countertop.
7. Don’t Buy it all at Big Box Stores
We priced out flooring at a big box store and suffered anxiety from the price tags. Then we remembered a Lumber Liquidators ad we had seen and drove to the closest city with one to check it out. The prices were much lower than any other source of flooring. We floored one entire small home for under $1000 and a larger home for under $2000.
Another place to look for items needed in renovations for lower prices is Amazon. We found the clawfoot tub faucet we wanted for much less than anywhere else.
8. Purchase Discount Gift Cards if online shopping check to see if you can get cashback.
Discount Gift Cards are available for saving of up to 8% for both Lowes and Home Depot. 8% may not seem like much, but when you are doing a whole home renovation, 8% can quickly add up to hundreds of dollars saved. One site we use frequently is Cardpool. Another discount gift card service to try is MyGiftCardsPlus, which is available for members of Swagbucks and MyPoints.
9. If shopping online check if you can get cashback or a promo code
If you are buying items for renovations online, you might also want to check for available cashback from sites such as:
Rakuten: Make sure to download their browser tool, which makes it easy to start earning cashback at all qualifying websites. Rakuten does have a $5 cash out threshold, and it does only give out payments each quarter, but it is well worth using. I have received as much as $15 in cash back from one order. Go here to sign-up for Rakuten.
Mr. Rebates: Mr. Rebates doesn’t seem to get mentioned by many other bloggers, and I am not sure why, as it is a great program. The simplest way to use Mr. Rebates is to download the browser tool so that it will alert you if Mr. Rebates offers a cashback to the website you are about to buy something from. You do need to have a balance of $10 to be able to cash out, but once you do, you can cash out at any time. Go here to sign up for Mr.Rebates.
Before checking out for online purchase use this tool to see if there is a promo code you can use to save more money:
Honey: Honey has saved me so much money! On average, it saves me $10 for each website that it can find me a promo code for. And the best part is that it is instant savings–I don’t have to wait for cashback with Honey (unless you use the Honey Points cash back area, which I don’t tend to). Honey has a browser app too, which makes applying a promo code a breeze; in fact, at a lot of sites, Honey can enter the promo code for you with just one click. Go here to sign up for Honey.
10. Shop Clearance
Even hardware stores have clearance sales. Items we often find are light fixtures and faucets. We have found that hardware stores change their displays twice a year, once in fall and once in spring, and those are the best times to look for clearance.
For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.
More Posts To Help You Save Money On Your Household Projects
- 10 Ways Thrifty People Decorate Their Homes For Less Money
- 10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Landscaping
- 10 Ways Thrifty People Fill Their Flower Gardens For Less