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Get the most for your renovation dollars

  • Set priorities. Cost-wise, renovations begin with defining clearly what you want to accomplish to ensure that you are covering all the important requirements. The whole household should be involved in the planning process what is really needed and what would be "nice to have"? How will your needs change over the years? Discuss your ideas in detail with your builder, who can offer sound advice on costs and approaches.
  • Look closely at what you already have. HIA builders can help you discover the hidden assets of your home. For instance, homeowners sometimes assume that they need extra floor space when maybe all that is needed is more effectively designed space. By rearranging interior walls, eliminating separations and installing larger windows, the builder can often create the sense of spaciousness and light that you want. Look under existing carpeting and sheet flooring old hardwood is often of high quality and can be refurbished. If your old trim and doors are in good shape, they can be refurbished rather than replaced. Likewise, you may be able to resurface your kitchen cupboards instead of installing new ones, or perhaps you can "recycle" hardware such as knobs and handles.
  • Do the work in stages to suit your budget. Phasing the work allows you to achieve the results that you really want without undue financial pressure. Your professional builder can help develop a master plan with proper sequencing of tasks, timelines and expected costs.
  • Product substitution can extend your budget. You don';t want to compromise on the overall quality of your renovation. However, where performance is not affected, you can consider using less expensive alternatives. Your builder can advise you on how to get the best value for your money.
  • Consider capital versus operating costs. Water-conserving fixtures will save a considerable amount of money over time in areas with water metering. Likewise, energy-efficient lighting, high-efficiency heating systems and electronic thermostats mean long-term savings. HIA builders are up-to-date on the latest technologies and can provide you with the information you need to make wise decisions for the long term.
  • Do some of the work yourself. If you have the skills and the time, you can stretch your renovation dollars by taking on some of the work yourself. Generally, builders recommend that you leave structural and mechanical renovations to the professionals, but many homeowners can competently do their own painting, landscaping or other finishing jobs. Talk to your builder about the effect of do-it-yourself work on scheduling and the builders warranty, keeping in mind that you should try not to interfere in the way the builder intends to manage the project.

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