Home improvement projects can be expensive. While the size and complexity of a project will affect how expensive the project is, homeowners can expect to shell out a pretty penny when they renovate or remodel areas of their home.
According to HomeAdvisor, an online resource for homeowners looking to connect with home improvement, maintenance and repair professionals, the average bathroom remodeling project costs $9,348, while the average home addition costs slightly less than $41,000. But renovation-minded homeowners need not reconsider their commitment to remodeling, as there are various ways to cut the costs associated with home improvement projects.
One such way is for homeowners to pitch in and do some of the work themselves. Calculating labor costs can be difficult, as such costs can vary greatly depending on the project, the contractor and the amount of hired help that contractor intends to employ. However, some estimates suggest labor will account for anywhere from 25 to 50% of the overall cost of the project. So it’s no surprise that homeowners can save themselves substantial amounts of money by doing some of the work themselves.
Homeowners who intend to do some of the labor themselves should discuss this plan with contractors during the vetting process. Before hiring a contractor, make sure homeowners’ expected labor contributions are clearly defined in the contract.
While it’s best to leave the most complicated parts of a project to the professionals, homeowners can pitch in during the following phases.
- Demolition: Demolition involves more than picking up a sledgehammer and swinging away. Some demolition projects are best left to the pros. For example, any projects that involve exposure to hazardous materials are risky and therefore best left to experienced laborers. However, many homeowners are capable of safely and effectively pulling cabinets from walls, removing flooring or knocking down drywall. Homeowners unsure of how to approach demolition tasks can ask their contractors to demonstrate the proper technique so the demolition is done right and on time.
- Salvage: Removing debris and items that will no longer be needed once the renovation is complete is another way homeowners can pitch in. Homeowners remodeling their kitchens may be replacing their existing stoves and refrigerators and hoping to donate these items. In such instances, driving the items to the donation site or arranging for them to be picked up rather than taken off the premises by the contractor or his employees can cut labor costs, as it allows laborers to keep working toward the end goal rather than requiring them to leave the work site to drop unwanted items off.
- Cleanup: Homeowners also can save costs by cleaning up after the contractors at the end of each workday. Speak with the contractor about cleaning up the site each day, asking him or her what can be discarded and what must remain on-site.
Home improvements are costly. But homeowners who are capable of pitching in can greatly reduce the overall cost of their next renovation project.