How to Keep Inflation From Ruining Your Home Improvement Plans

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Home improvement projects have become increasingly popular—but the same thing that’s driving their increased demand is also causing prices to rise. Not only do materials cost more now, appliances and labor do, too. You might still be able to squeak in that kitchen upgrade or home office retrofit, though, if you follow these tips.

Plan ahead

The most important part of beating inflation and saving yourself money is to plan ahead. Contractors are booked solid right now in most places and it can cost more to get someone who is readily available. Looking ahead at the calendar and scheduling your project around when the contractor you choose is available can save money and hassle in the long run. In addition, it gives you the time to do some other things that will make the project go more smoothly.

Get multiple bids

One thing that is always a good idea when you’re considering a renovation is to seek multiple bids for the work you need done. Take the time to compare prices, and be prepared to wait for the right contractor. Patience can save you money and also yield better results. When you’re comparing contractors, you also shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions. There might be money-saving ideas that you haven’t thought of, or there may be hidden costs. Reviewing both the quality, as well as the price of a contractor’s former work can give you a good indication of what to expect.

Do a price comparison

If your home improvement project requires appliances, make sure to do a price comparison. While cheaper brands have gotten a lot more expensive, higher-end brands haven’t risen as much in price. It’s a good idea to compare various options for price and quality because getting a more efficient, longer lasting appliance can save you money in the long term. You might be pleasantly surprised by what you can afford by shopping around.

Look out for sales

Another thing that can help cut costs is looking for sales on both materials and appliances. Big box stores will often have Black Friday sales, but it’s also a good idea to look for sales around Father’s Day and Labor Day at hardware stores. Using a price comparison app can be a good way to find sales on appliances, but for construction materials, you might have to shop around yourself a little more for a good deal.

Buy reclaimed materials

Getting a door or hardware second-hand from a resale outlet can save money on a project. Check out local reclaimed lumber and hardware outlets for deals on everything from lighting fixtures to cabinet hardware. It can sometimes be difficult to find enough of the matching items you need, but you might get lucky, so it never hurts to take a look. It’s a good way to save money, afford higher quality versions of the materials you buy, and help keep some treasures out of a landfill.

Do it yourself–but carefully

Doing some of the work yourself can sometimes save some money—but keep in mind that if the task is outside of your skill set, it can end up costing you more in the long run. In addition to possibly voiding a warranty on your HVAC, electrical, or flooring, you could potentially cause damage that will cost more to repair. However, doing things like disassembling your old cabinets and countertops or installing your own molding can save you money on a renovation.