It’s easy to save on remodeling costs in Atlanta when you know a few tricks
You love your home, and you love living in Atlanta. But there may be some parts of your home that you don’t love. Or maybe you just bought a new home, and you know you want to update it to suit you. We see renovation projects in Atlanta at a wide range of costs. Often, homeowners want to maximize their scope on a minimal budget. Luckily, there are a handful of tricks that can help you save on remodeling in Atlanta.
Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.
Remodel smaller and smarter
For years, one of the draws of living in Atlanta was that you could own a large house for the same—or less than—what you would pay in northern cities. Atlanta ranks number two in the United States in home sizes. In fact, Atlanta’s average home size is just under 2,000 square feet. But sprawl has its price, which means large homes and large remodels come with higher costs.
Find ways to remodel that don’t involve creating a new foundation or building upward. If you can, stay within the existing footprint of the house. Explore rooms that are no longer used for their intended purpose and convert them. Tour the house with your contractor and find walls that you can open to expand two rooms into one large room.
Look into Atlanta’s green remodeling incentives
Green or eco-friendly remodeling helps the environment and can certainly help you save on remodeling in Atlanta.
Many homeowners may not realize that they can take advantage of a host of green remodeling incentives. These incentives can reduce the cost of remodeling. Some of the incentives include tax credits, loan programs, tax exemptions, and rebates.
Speak to your contractor about your interest in green remodeling. You may also want to have an energy audit done before remodeling begins.
Tailor the HVAC to Atlanta’s weather
Heating and cooling are different in Atlanta than in other cities. Systems that work in Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York aren’t always applicable in Atlanta.
In a city with fewer than 50 days per year below freezing, Atlanta homes don’t need the kind of robust furnaces or heat pumps found in other areas of the country. And maxing out your A/C isn’t always the answer, either! Your A/C should be tailored specifically to Atlanta’s weather and to your own house. Also, it’s smart to explore passive cooling methods with your contractor.
Make use of Georgia’s solar power and natural light
Atlanta is one of the sunniest cities in the United States, with at least 60% of the days per year being sunny. Use this to your advantage! Concentrate on improving windows on the south side of your house. Rooms that have plenty of large windows rely less on artificial light. This saves money on electricians’ costs and on the cost of extensive artificial lighting.
At the same time, make sure that these windows have low-e solar coating. Add draperies to block sun during the brightest part of the day.
Remodel with mold in mind
Atlanta can get humid—extremely humid. Humidity that reaches 55% or more can lead to mold growth. Poorly vented crawlspaces, basements, and rooms are susceptible to mold growth. Not all mold is dangerous. However, some mold can be a lung irritant and can affect those with respiratory ailments.
Good remodeling work can be quickly undone by mold. To avoid mold growth, talk to your contractor about mold-inhibiting wall and ceiling systems, along with venting systems.
Refurbish, don’t replace
The days of tearing out everything and replacing it wholesale are long gone. Now, there is a smarter approach to remodeling that incorporates fixing items, not throwing them out.
For example, you may decide to reface, rather than replace, your kitchen cabinets. Refurbishing cabinets, tubs, showers, floors, walls, and more keep these items out of the landfill and make your Atlanta remodel more affordable.
Considering new doors for your kitchen cabinets? Get the lowdown on different cabinet door styles.
DIY projects in an Atlanta remodel
Not all of the work of your home remodel project needs to be done by the contractor’s workers. You can do a few things yourself in advance, or during downtimes. Sweat equity helps you save on remodel costs and make it all more affordable. Always coordinate in advance with your contractor if you plan to do DIY work. (Here’s what you can DIY and what should be left to the pros!)
Use durable imitation materials
You might really want that exotic hardwood flooring, but the price of it isn’t within your budget. Look for wood-look ceramic tile planks that look just like mahogany or other overseas hardwoods. Laminate and vinyl plank also look remarkably like real wood. Quartz and laminate countertops reliably imitate expensive marbles and granites.
Wherever there is an expensive material, there is likely a far less expensive imitation material that you can use in your remodel.
Keep the plumbing in place
One rule of thumb for keeping bathroom and kitchen remodeling affordable: avoid moving the plumbing, if possible.
Whenever you move plumbing around, remodel costs rise. This doesn’t mean that you cannot change your shower, bathtub, or sink. You can replace or refurbish these items while keeping the core plumbing system where it is.
Shop around for the best contractor
Finding the best contractor for a remodeling project in Atlanta isn’t about finding the cheapest person. Instead, it’s about finding a person who can best bring your vision to light. Concentrate on finding a contractor who best matches your needs. You’ll also want to find a contractor who you work with well, and who you communicate well with.
Get on the general contractor’s schedule—now
When you sign with a contractor for a home remodeling project, the contractor places you on their calendar. Being in the early queue means getting ahead of other clients, especially when there is overall high demand for home remodeling, labor, and materials.
Ask your expert for remodeling advice
One of the upsides of hiring a general contractor is that you can take advantage of their knowledge and expertise. Feel free to ask for their advice…that’s why you hired them! Contractors can have years or decades of experience in construction and the right one will help you match your scope to your budget.
Ready to renovate? Sweeten can match you with our licensed, vetted general contractors in Atlanta.
Here’s where to splurge and where to save during a home remodel—room by room.
Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.