For those with an eye for interior design and a passion for DIY projects, flipping a home can be an excellent way to generate some income quickly. With the right contacts and the ability to handle some of the work, you can significantly reduce costs. However, a lack of planning and a few unforeseen problems can lead to expenses getting out of hand. Many home improvement projects run over budget as owners fail to recognize the scale of the work.
Budgeting for a construction project is one of the most crucial steps. It allows you to plan ahead and determine what exactly you can afford. Unfortunately, things don’t always go to plan with renovations, so you should add 10 to 20 percent of wiggle room to ensure an added cost of a broken pipe doesn’t derail the project.
There are several effective ways to cut renovation costs for a house flip. From approaching certain tasks DIY style, such as learning how to replace blinds, to shopping around for the best value appliances and materials, it’s important to be strategic. If your budget is tight, consider the following cost-saving measures to keep expenses to a minimum.
- Plan with Construction Professionals
Every little expense adds up when tackling a renovation. Careful planning is an effective way to map out the project and create a proper timeline and budget. If there is structural work of any kind, such as electrical work, decking or roof installation, planning is crucial as it is likely to be the most expensive part of the renovation.
For any major renovation, hire an architect to manage the project. While construction professionals tend to charge a hefty fee for their services, they can often find ways to save you money, leading to a more cost-effective renovation. For example, an architect may be able to improve the spatial design of the property, opening up a certain area without adjusting the square footage. Door positioning and internal walls can greatly improve the layout of a room without carrying out major structural work.
When considering an engineer or architect, it’s important to research those who have experience with similar types of projects. Ensure you know precisely what services are included in their offer. While some architects include multiple revisions to designs in their fee, others charge extra for each change.
Experienced architects and project managers may also have access to a network of building professionals to help with the project.
- Get Multiple Quotes
For each step of the renovation, ensure you get multiple quotes. Although there is no set number of quotes you should get, three quotes per task is a good guideline. You might be surprised by the disparity between builders and service providers.
When collecting quotes, make sure you’re comparing similar work. Read the details of each quotation carefully to determine what exactly is included. If anything looks suspicious, don’t hesitate to ask questions.
Quotations can be used as leverage to negotiate improved pricing. Discuss different prices with builders before making a decision. Remember, prices may change depending on the season, so consider the timing of your project. During a quiet period, builders may be willing to offer reduced rates, saving you money.
- Buy from Auctions
Auctions are some of the best places to find bargains when it comes to renovations and remodels. A common misconception is that auctions are only useful for buying second-hand furniture, antiques or vehicles. However, auctions are a very popular purchasing option for builders for building supplies.
Slightly damaged building items, goods that were misordered and overstocked building supplies are often sold at massively discounted rates. This is because suppliers may not have the storage space or may need to recoup cash to offset them—research building supply auctions in your area and look at these resources as avenues for cost savings.
Ex-display units are another great option for reducing costs. You can find half-priced appliances, affordable blinds and other discounted household items because they’ve spent some time being displayed on shop floors.
- Budget and Track Spending
One of the best ways to avoid a budget blowout is to set a strict budget and monitor your spending carefully. Weigh up costs and value when making decisions. While an extra $10,000 may give you a dream kitchen, will that truly elevate the value of the house when you sell it? Invest in materials, items and styles that help when the time comes to sell.
Communicate your project goals with your builder and ensure they are aware of what you can afford. Prioritize the most important renovations, so any compromises to the project concern less critical aspects.
Keep track of all spending by logging receipts in a spreadsheet or using an expense tracking app like YNAB or Wally, and check in regularly to make sure everything is on track. If it seems you’re going over budget, make adjustments to the plan to manage overspending.
- Know Your DIY Limits
When trying to cut costs, it’s essential to beware of your DIY limits. Don’t attempt to do everything yourself, especially when it comes to fast and cheap fixes. Taking on too much responsibility can be disastrous to your budget and the house. In some instances, DIY work can cause more damage than whatever potential savings you were set to make and may require intervention from a building professional.
Choose minor and manageable DIY projects and allocate trickier tasks to your builder or qualified tradespeople. For example, you may be able to install new blinds by yourself, but you might not be able to tile an entire bathroom.
Work with Existing Fixtures
Impatience and overcomplicating the process lead to common pitfalls for home renovations. Rushing projects, taking on too much responsibility and investing in the wrong areas can turn your house flip into a flop.
Don’t make things too complicated by trying to change every aspect of the home. Work with the existing fixtures and concentrate on cost-effective ways to increase the selling price of the property. From realizing your DIY limitations to planning the entire project with a professional, taking simple strategic measures can cut down costs significantly.