save money on home renovations

Save Money on Home Renovations

We saved thousands of dollars on our bathroom renovations. Back in 2020, we moved into a 1950s rambler and immediately knew we wanted to renovate both bathrooms. When COVID hit, everyone and their mother started doing renovations to their homes. Renovation prices started to skyrocket and, because of this, we decided to wait it out. In 2022, despite prices not coming down very much, we began to do research and begin the process.

How we saved money on our bathroom renovations!

  1. We got multiple quotes. We saved the most money on our renovations by taking time to get quotes from seven different contractors across the Twin Cities. The quotes were vastly different, ranging from $20,000 to $65,000. It was challenging to compare the quotes against each other, because the contractors always priced things differently. So we asked each contractor the same list of questions to compare answers.

    • Ultimately, we selected a contractor that was referred through a mutual friend, was on the cheaper end, and said they could do the project in 2 weeks (versus the 4-8 weeks we were getting quoted by the others). This was big for us, as we have a toddler and wanted to limit the time that we were living in a construction zone. This was also our first lesson learned – the project ended up taking 5 weeks, just like the other contractors had quoted. Oh well!

  2. We always used the most optimal credit card to maximize cash back. Most often, we used our Capital One Quicksilver credit card which had a special 3% cash back rebate and it’s regular 1.5% cash back on every purchase. Note: we always pay off our credit cards on time and in full each month. Any “benefit” from credit cards quickly goes away if you go into credit card debt, so avoid that at all costs! You can sign up through our referral link and get $200!

  3. We shopped on holiday weekends when there were big sales. For example, we waited until Labor Day Weekend to purchase our double vanity, which was originally $1,972, but we got it for 40% off which saved us $793. We also shopped on Black Friday and got a lot of our bathroom décor for a fraction of the cost.

  4. We always checked Rakuten to see if we could get extra cash back from the stores we were buying from. Rakuten is amazing, because it’s the ultimate way to stack discounts and rewards. For example, if we were making a big purchase from Lowes, we could wait until there was a sale, get 20% off by using the store coupon, then use our credit card to get another 1-3% cash back, then activate Rakuten and get ANOTHER 5% cash back. Rakuten adds up all the cash back you’ve earned and sends you a check once per quarter. If you don’t have a Rakuten account yet, you can sign up through our referral link and get $30 for free.

  5. We used our network. Our friend works at Kohler, and she gave us her “Friends and Family” 35% off discount code which we could use on our bath and plumbing fixtures. Use your network, people!

  6. We used our contractor’s existing relationships. We purchased all of our tile from The Tile Shop. Our contractor had an ongoing relationship with the store, and was able to give us his 20% discount. We learned that contractors often have their “go-to” stores they work with, and it’s very common for them to have access to discounts because of their ongoing relationships.

  7. We asked for discounts. When we received our vanity, it had a small scratch on it. I called customer support to tell them the situation. They offered to replace the vanity (which would have put us behind schedule), or give us a 15% refund. We opted for the refund, and purchased an $8 wax pen to fill the scratch. Problem solved and money saved!

Overall, we saved over $20,000 on the labor for our two bathroom renovations, just by getting multiple quotes and choosing someone on the lower end of the range. We felt good about going with someone on the lower end of the range, because they had been personally referred to us by someone we trusted. In addition, by utilizing the other tips above, we saved $3,000 on the cost of all of the materials.

Use these tips to save money on your home renovation and check out our blog post on “How to Find a Good Contractor!


Are you starting a renovation soon? Comment below and let us know if you’re going to use any of these tricks to save money on your home renovation!


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