Home Remodel


New Member
This is a bit different than the other posts I've read on here.

Last year I had some folks come in and completely remodel my downstairs. I think I've sufficiently recovered from that chaos since I'm sketching out my ideas for my upstairs remodel. With my newfound obsession with saving money on things, I've been wondering what I could do to wrestle some savings out of this project.

The previous experience I've had just involved me finding some general contractor guy locally (found online mostly) who'd want to be paid with a check a few times throughout the process as things got done. I don't see many options there.

I have been looking at Amazon Home Services since 1) I am an Amazon whore who spends way too much there already and 2) they would charge my card on file and that gets me 5% cashback. But I wonder if this project might be out of the scope they are selling.

Any and every idea would be greatly appreciated!


Staff member
I've done two remodels now, simply put your expenses are going into two broad categories:


Labor tends to cost more than the parts.. and this is an area that perhaps needs a closer look

I don't see many options there.
This is hard to do without perspective, but it might be that you have a fantastic price, and it might be that you have a terrible one.. this area is by far the greatest opportunity to save.

For example, in my first remodel I was quoted $75K (possibly for just labor, I forget), by the time I looked at more contractors and negotiated, the final price came in at about $21K, including a full gut renovation and all labor and parts (new kitchen/bath/etc)

In terms of parts - huge savings if you are the one buying them. Really depends on what you can access though. If it is a kitchen, then you can often get 20-40% or more discounts via stacking basic deals, you can get similar amounts for construction materials - drywall and all that stuff if available at Home Depot.

In short:

  • Make sure your price for labor is fair (ask around other owners, ask around forums, etc)
  • Find out if you can buy the materials and use discounts to get them cheaply


New Member
75K to 21K is pretty impressive. I really think I had a good price for the last one, but unfortunately that was tied to the contractor being a bit flakey. That necessitated a 2nd contractor coming in and finishing the job. For purely aesthetic reasons, I did buy some of the things myself (e.g. I oddly wanted a very specific new toilet...), but they are going to be in charge of the materials since I don't even know what most of the words mean.

I guess for the labor part it really just boils down to multiple quotes & lots and lots of reference checks. This would be a good time to have a friend who's a general contractor. My friends sadly picked other careers.