Go for Efficiency… Don’t worry about size

You can avoid big demolition in your home if you can rework space to its full efficiency. Try using the height of your room and installing space saving shelves or cabinets. So instead of blowing out that wall in the kitchen to get extra space, you can reorganize the space you already have and save some money!

Cost to expand kitchen by 200 square feet: $48,000 to $95,000
Cost of super–efficient, custom–designed cabinets: $35,000
SAVED: Up to $60,000


Natural lighting without the windows
You may not have considered that you can bring in “natural” lighting without ripping a hole in your house. Instead, you can install what’s called a “light tube,” which is installed between roof rafters and funnels sunshine down into the living space.

Cost to add a double–pane insulated window: $1,500
Cost for a light tube: $500
SAVED: $1,000


Consider items that you could buy used, or salvaged to save some dough. Thrift stores are great to find things to repurpose or refinish. There are many DIY resources online to help you get inspiration. Habitat for Humanity operates about 400 ReStores Nationwide that offers salvaged materials at half off home-centre prices. The only downfall to this is that there are many contractors that will not work with salvaged material so they are not liable for any mishaps. This tip may work best for those doing their own work.
** You can also donate your unused materials in your home to Habitat for Humanity and instead of paying to dispose of in your local landfill. It’s a great way to save a bit of money and use it as a tax write off!


As long as you proceed with caution, you can save on labour costs by doing your own demolition. Don’t assume to be taking out walls without the proper knowledge, but taking apart that deck out back or ripping off that wallpaper could be very helpful to your cost. There are some huge safety risks when doing major demolition and we always recommend you use a professional in these instances.

Cost to demo a 200–square–foot deck yourself: $450 (Dumpster rental and parking permit)
Cost for a pro: $1,000
SAVED: $550


Consider the longevity of your materials
When purchasing material, there will always be a cheaper option that can help your upfront cost. However, it may be in your best interest to consider materials that will last longer so you can avoid the long-term costs of maintaining the cheaper material. For example, using prefinished wood or siding on your house can actually last longer than if you try to finish the wood yourself. Factory finishes are applied on dry wood under controlled conditions—no rain, no harsh sun.

Cost of unfinished siding for a 10–by–40–foot addition, plus two paint jobs: $5,000
Cost for prefinished claps and one coat of paint at installation: $3,750 SAVED: $1,250


Make sweat equity count.
Unless you've got loads of time (and expertise) to spend on your project, the best way to add sweat equity is up front, by handling your own demolition, or at the back end, by doing some of the finish work yourself. "If you want to save money, dig in and start helping out," says Tom Silva. "You can insulate, you can paint, you can sand." Or better still, he says, help with cleanup every day. "Instead of paying someone to pick up sawdust off the floor, put your money into the time it takes to trim the window properly," he advises.

Cost for construction crew to handle cleanup: $200 per day
Cost to do it yourself: $0
SAVED: About 3 to 5 percent of the overall job cost


Consider look-alikes.
Some imitations just make sense: Lumber giant Weyerhaeuser sells a fast-growing natural eucalyptus hybrid under the brand name Lyptus. Sustainably harvested in plantations in Brazil, the clear-grained hardwood looks and feels remarkably like mahogany. It's sold as tongue-and-groove flooring and in planks and sheets for cabinetry and millwork. (Visit Lyptus.com
to find a distributor near you.)

Cost of 100 board feet of mahogany: $808
Cost of same quantity Lyptus:$395
SAVED: $413

Don't move the kitchen sink.
Or the toilet, if you can avoid it. This often becomes the biggest price increase when it comes to plumbing. If your new layout requires that you move the toilet, use the opportunity to upgrade the pipes at the same time. Again, think of the longevity of the job. You could be saving a ton of money in the long run.

Cost to move toilet more than 3 feet: $500—$1,000
Cost to leave at existing location: $0
SAVED: Up to $1,000


Plan with stock sizes in mind.
"Ask yourself, 'Why am I building something 10 feet wide if plywood comes in 4–foot–wide sheets?'. The same applies to stock windows and doors: Use manufacturers' off–the–shelf dimensions from the outset and you will save the premiums of custom fabrication.

Cost of custom doors: $1,500—$2,500
Cost of standard doors: $500–$800
SAVED: Up to $2,000


Work with a Contractor that is honest and clear with you.
We have a partnership with an awesome contractor that we trust and recommend. If doing it yourself isn’t for you… they are the best option in the business.

Pinnacle Renovations Group