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Don't Break the Bank: Reno-Saving Strategies

Are you itching to renovate your home but anxious to save money wherever possible? The good news is there are ways to keep costs in check. But you must begin planning and shopping long before demo day. Keep reading for money-saving secrets from two local businesses in the know.

Fireplace Before


Fireplace After


Work with the bones of your home.
It’s tempting to jump all in and do a gut job on your home when remodeling, but choosing a full renovation means forking out more money. Tearing a space down to the studs and rebuilding costs considerably more than working with your existing space, for multiple reasons. Not only does it mean more labor and materials, but it may require more professional services. So, avoid structural changes if you don’t want to rack up additional fees. Instead, find ways to update your space that work within its original bones. Designing Dreams Flooring & Remodeling ( recently helped a client stay within budget using this strategy. When updating their living space, the company “kept the integrity of the original fireplace structure but designed a new beautiful fireplace that enhanced their living space; this helped cut many unnecessary expenses,” says Angela Ungureanu, interior designer at Designing Dreams.

Shop early & shop around.
The key to getting the best deals on materials is shopping early. “Ordering in advance gives you extra time to find the best deals and ensures your products arrive on time,” says Daniil Sandulyak, owner of Premier Building Supply ( Many supplies have large lead times, meaning it can take weeks to receive an order. The average lead time for windows and doors, for example, is two to four weeks. Failing to shop early can mean having to place expedited orders—something you want to avoid. “Expediting orders often costs more and causes project delays,” says Sandulyak.

Ordering in advance gives you extra time to find the best deals...


Instead of buying from the first big-box retailer you walk into, shop around to find the best prices. Many stores will price match, so knowing the going rate at multiple retailers is in your best interest. Even better, buy from smaller local suppliers. Remember, a good deal can be about more than the price of the products; you want to consider costs other than the sticker price, such as shipping and delivery. Local suppliers offer the advantage of a personalized approach so you can secure better terms. Additionally, “attend home shows or expos where vendors may offer exclusive discounts on building materials,” says Sandulyak.

Another secret to saving on supplies? Buying in bulk. “Building material suppliers, especially small or locally owned, are willing to work on price if a customer buys a bulk of products,” says Sandulyak. Just ask your supplier about a “large order discount,” he says.

Be flexible.
Before beginning a remodel, know what you’re willing to shell out for and what you’re willing to compromise on, advises Sandulyak. Ask yourself, “What is most important to me in this remodel: finishes, features, materials, etc.?” Then, consider ranking them by priority. Getting clear on what your non-negotiables are and what isn’t will help you shop smart.

Instead of buying top-of-the-line for an item on the “willing to compromise on” list, consider alternative materials, says Sandulyak. He suggests vinyl windows instead of wood, or fiberglass or LVP floors over hardwood, for example. “LVP styles have come a long way,” seconds Melinda Araj, designer at Designing Dreams. “Some have the texture of wood and come in a variety of colors to enhance your design.”

When it comes to dimensions, you want to stay within standard sizes.


In the kitchen, consider compromising on countertops. “Still want to stay on trend but don’t have a big budget? Choose quartz over quartzite,” says Araj, "Quartzite is a natural stone, while quartz is made of stone, pigments, and resins. Both are beautiful, but quartz is slightly less expensive.”
If you need to stretch your budget, the items low on your priority list are great places to get creative. For example, you can create a custom-looking vanity without spending on custom craftsmen. “Purchase a stock vanity (or use the one you have) and make it one-of-a-kind by adding unique details like new hardware and an upgraded faucet,” suggests Araj. Designing Dreams employed this creative tactic in their client’s bathroom by replacing the existing vanity’s mirrored doors with caning to make it on-trend.

One area you don’t want to get creative in is custom sizes on materials like windows, doors, trim, and more. When it comes to dimensions, you want to stay within standard sizes, say Sandulyak. “Opt for standard-sized materials to avoid custom fabrication costs; standard sizes are often more budget-friendly,” he says. Plus, they’re more readily available, which means a quicker turnaround for your project. That’s a win-win! 

by Nelly Kislyanka