Five Cost-Saving Tips for Your Next Home Improvement Project


Home improvement projects can be a great investment in your property, but they often come with surprise costs.

Keep the price tag of your renovation or addition down by using these quick tips.

Get Your Neighbors and Friends Involved

Don’t keep your home improvement project a secret! Share your project goals on social media and reach out to friends and neighbors who may have experience with home improvement. An extra set of helping hands could cut down on labor costs, and recommendations for local contractors could help make sure the job is done right the first time.

The more you share your progress, the more helpful recommendations and tips you may get from your network.

Stick to a Cash Diet

When you set your budget, take out the money in cash. If you can’t take out the money in cash before your project is over, you may want to reconsider your budget.

Getting loans or putting your expenses on a credit card will only cost you more money down the line. And with surprise costs typically popping up during renovation projects, you don’t want to start digging yourself into a credit hole before you start.

Buy Secondhand Materials

Check out the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for materials that you can score for cheap.

Don’t have one nearby? Lumber yards, mills, or similar businesses may also be able to help you get materials for cheap – just pop in and ask if they have “dump” days where they leave out leftover wood that you can take off their hands.

Keep a lookout for other opportunities around you where you can pick up secondhand materials and save as well.

Sell Used Materials or Furniture

Return the favor by selling or donating materials once you’re finished with your project. If you buy furniture to match a new room, sell your old furniture online.

Local ReStores or charities will gladly take your old materials (half-used paint cans, leftover wood, etc.) off your hands and save you the trouble of getting a dumpster or storing your stuff.

Save Money on a Surveyor – Get a Site Plan Online

Site plans (also known as “plot plans”) may be required in order to get a permit. Property owners can hire surveyors or architects to conduct site plans, but this may put them back $1000 or more.

Third-party services, such as MySitePlan, can create site plans online through public records and GPS satellite imagery for as little as $89. Even better? They’re usually much faster as well!

The plans are accepted by jurisdictions across the United States for any project that doesn’t require a seal or certification. You can check with your city to see the requirements and possibly save yourself hundreds of dollars.

Bottom line? Think outside the box. Don’t be afraid of newer options made possible by technology, and scour your personal network. If you do, home improvement projects can be both fun and affordable.

BioMegan Okonsky is a freelance copywriter and yoga teacher from Philadelphia, PA. In the past, she has written for a variety of publications, including Green Blizzard, Blush Vancouver, and Peaceful Dumpling. Learn more about Megan on her website,

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