10 Home Renovation Tips that Will Save You Big Bucks!

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Simple home renovation tips that will help you and your wallet.

Home Renovation

Dig into these tips before renovating your home.

Read our home renovation tips before starting your next home project. Big or small, these simple tips could save you from going over budget.

1. Starting home renovations before you’ve gotten to know your space is one of the biggest mistakes homeowners make. 

kitchen under renovation with plastic on counters

Wanting to make a space your own is exciting and it’s common for DIYers to want to jump into things right away. However, Architecture Digest agrees living in your space before committing to any big changes is one of the single best home renovation tips someone could follow. Waiting on big renovations allows you to get to know your space better. Learning the flow of a space, how you utilize storage vs. the storage you need, and even where the sun hits are just a few things you’ll want to pay attention to when planning a big project.

Hiring a contractor for your upcoming project? House Beautiful shared helpful questions you should be asking your contractors during an interview.

Hip Tip: Don’t make these same house-building mistakes we did! And be sure to head over to read Architecture Digest’s remodeling tips before you get started.

2. Underestimating your home renovation costs could backfire. 

gutted interior of home renovation project

Spending the least amount of money on a home renovation project is appealing to all homeowners, but being practical about your expenses is one of the most crucial home renovation tips. Architectural Digest recommends adding about 20% of your budget to your total costs so you have realistic expectations. Plus, you’ll be better prepared for unexpected things that may arise during your project.

In the best-case scenario, you stay under your original budget and have plenty of money left over. Worst case, you have enough to cover your unexpected costs. Consider cutting back on your project or budget overall if you can’t afford to overestimate your total costs.

3. Use your existing cabinetry when possible. 

close up of green kitchen cabinets with gold hardware

Kitchen and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms in your home to renovate so using existing cabinetry could potentially save you thousands. In fact, new kitchen cabinets alone account for nearly 40% of a kitchen remodeling cost according to This Old House.

Our Hip CEO, Collin, says rather than gutting everything, give new life to the cabinets you already have with some paint and new hardware. In the end, you’ll be so surprised by what a difference that can do. Plus, you can save significantly more if you take the time to paint them yourself.

4. Shop in bulk for hardware.

white kitchen with stainless steel appliances home renovation tips

Speaking of bathrooms and kitchens. Hardware can add up quickly regardless if you’re gutting an entire space or giving it a facelift. Our Hip CEO who has flipped a few properties said her favorite way to save on hardware is to buy in bulk. Etsy and Amazon are two of the best places to get the most bang for your buck. Plus, both retailers have plenty of high-end-looking options that won’t break the bank too.

stock photos of gold hardware price difference

As another option, Collin also shared how she loves scoring affordable lookalikes at stores like Home Depot and opting out of more expensive trends. The selection of hardware tends to be better online at big box stores like The Home Depot and Lowe’s.

Take this $45 Rejuvenation Trask Drawer Pull as an example. You can find similar pulls with the same finish and texture at Home Depot for just $11.61 each when you buy them in packs of 10. If you’re doing an entire kitchen, that cost alone could save you hundreds.

5. Save on tile and flooring by buying from discount stores. 

full bathroom with shower tub and single vanity

There are a plethora of affordable tiles places if you find yourself obsessing over an expensive option. Another tip our CEO, Collin, shared is that buying directly from a tile shop isn’t typically going to be your most affordable option. Instead, check out places like Floor & Decor where you can score high-end-looking tiles for way less and save by picking up your order in person.

As another option, our Hip sidekick, Lina, also shared how she scored accent tiles on clearance at Lowe’s and went to several stores to score a super low price until they had what they needed. This frugal shopping tip allowed them to add a beautiful accent wall in their kid’s bathroom on a dime!

6. Do your home remodeling in phases and not all at once. 

dated bathroom before photo home renovation tips

finished remodeled full bathroom with modern tile and glass shower door home renovation tips

Rome wasn’t built in a day so you shouldn’t expect any different for your home renovation either. By spacing out your projects, you’ll be able to wait for deals on materials and spend less upfront on labor costs if you’re budgeting for professional help. Of course, this won’t be ideal if you’re planning to flip a home as quickly as possible, but if you plan to live in your home for years to come it’s a great option to consider.

Our Hip sidekick, Lina, shared how she did all the bathrooms in her home in phases by painting the cabinets one year, swapping out the counters with a new sink and hardware another, and then redid their shower tile and hardware and the floor the year after. It was certainly worth the wait in the long run! 🤩

inside of shower with modern square tile and toiletries

Love Lina’s tile shown above? Her white ceramic subway tile and the modern square porcelain tiles are both from Floor & Decor.

7. Don’t settle for the cheapest contractors who are available immediately. 

wood floor with cracking seam home renovation tips

If you’re planning to hire contractors for an upcoming project or two make sure to do your due diligence to be sure they’re experienced enough for the job and preferably licensed too. Oftentimes, contractors who cut corners and are available immediately don’t always do the best work and you’ll inevitably pay for their expensive mistakes. Remember to ask for references and check their reviews too!

“It’s tempting when someone says they can start work right away and their bid comes in cheap, but just don’t hire unlicensed contractors. We know better (I mean, my husband is in construction 😂) but we somehow managed to get people years ago who installed expensive hardwood floors wrong and it can’t be fixed due to the extensive splitting EVERYWHERE. They are no longer a company and insurance doesn’t care, so in short, we learned a very hard and expensive lesson ($10,000 to be exact😭).” – Lina

8. Avoid changes after you’ve started a project. 

paint roller on wood table with white paint for home renovation tips

This is especially important if you’re hiring a licensed contractor to do your home renovation project. However, any changes you make after plans have been solidified can get costly even if you’re planning to do the work yourself. Simple things like moving an outlet, shifting a chandelier, changing paint colors, and so on may not seem like a big deal when looking at the big picture, but the cost to change them can add up quickly. Of course, you want to be happy with the final outcome, but it’s important to be mindful of your budget and timelines too. Remember, time is money!

9. Save on the finishing touches where you can.

wood bead garland chandelier hanging from ceiling in nook space

Just because your space is new, doesn’t mean everything inside of it has to be too. It’s important to have a budget for finishing your space once your project is done too. While it’s easy to get carried away with a new space, buying all new things, you can get the same looks for less when frugality is at the forefront.

Consider thrift shopping, checking Facebook Marketplace for great finds, or opting for a much less expensive furniture piece that looks like an expensive one.

Hip Tip: Sourcing lookalikes for your home is one of our team’s favorite things to do! Check out our favorite lookalikes from Anthropologie, West Elm, and Pottery Barn to get high-end style while saving thousands.

10. Make a list of all your measurements. 

close up of hand pulling down corner of navy blue roman shades on window

Writing down measurements for items you still need to source for a project could help save you money if you spot an unexpected deal or clearance item while you’re out and about. Whether it’s a new bathroom vanity or a set of roman shades, you’ll want to ensure you’re buying a size that will fit your space perfectly. Better yet, by having your list always handy you’ll be ready to jump on the opportunity at a moment’s notice.

“When we first moved into our home we needed all new window coverings. My goal was to spend as little as possible so I took my time waiting for deals and kept a list of all the window sizes by room in my purse. I happened to be at Bed Bath and Beyond during a closeout sale and spotted roman shades for my boys’ room! I paid about $30 per window which saved me hundreds!”

Hip Tip: Score a FREE Norman USA cellular window shade – we’ve team tested this and it’s totally legit!

Building something new? Don’t make these house-building mistakes we made.

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 9

  1. Kathy

    I would love to know what some of the best sources are for a successful cabinet makeover with paint!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for the request! I did hear from Lina that her cabinet contractor recommended Renner paint for her cabinets as it is such a high quality paint with a hard finish. Hoping that might be helpful! ❤️🤗

  2. jean

    I would sure like to know the color of the painted cabinets in #3 ty

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Hey jean! The cabinets in #3 are Benjamin Moore – Vintage Vogue. 😍

  3. Beth

    Great ideas on renovating and decorating on a budget!
    Would love to know more about online resources about this or how our Hip2Save crew flips a home on a budget.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks, Beth! ❤️ Here are more tips on updating your home on a budget! 🤗https://hip2save.com/tips/ways-i-maximized-every-purchase-in-my-new-home/

  4. siena95

    #1 way to save $ is to do Demo yourself.

  5. Thriftypuppy

    I’ll add a few as well: shop local auctions for quality building materials. I am buying brand new cabinets that cost $250+ for 90% off through local auctions right now. Also, for kitchen cabinets, if you have plywood or hardwood boxes (not MDF), you can have them refaced for alot less than replacing the full cabinet.

    • Jessica (Hip Sidekick)

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing these helpful tips, thriftypuppy! I’ll personally be checking into the auction option for kitchen cabinetry, as I’m looking to update them soon! 🤗💗

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