Remodel or Build Your Own Home
Remodel or Build Your Home
“Most clients don’t want to hear those words,” says Paul Irwin, design director with Landis Construction, in the Washington, D.C., area, “but it really needs to be considered on major remodels. “In one case, for example, plans for a 1,300-square-foot addition revealed that the house’s existing foundation wasn’t up to code and would have to be replaced—a $30,000 proposition.
After crunching the numbers, the owners concluded that it would cost as much to update the house, a former summer cottage, as it would reproduce it new. “For a relatively small additional cost,” says the owner, “we get all the benefits of new construction while preserving the character and feel of our old house.”
Hit the Recycling Center
Do-it-yourselfers can reap big savings with recycled or lightly used fixtures and building materials. Habitat for Humanity operates about 400 ReStores nationwide, which offer salvaged materials at half off home-center prices.
One caveat: Many contractors won’t work with salvaged items, or homeowner-supplied materials in general, because they don’t want to assume the liability if something goes wrong.
That said, if you’re doing your own work, you can find anything from prehung doors to acrylic skylights to partial bundles of insulation. (To find a ReStore near you, visit habitat.org.)
- Price of 4-by-5-foot insulated window in a home center: $600
- Price at ReStore: $300
- Saved: $300
Donate your Trash
Before you begin a remodeling job, invite the local Habitat for Humanity chapter to remove materials and fixtures for later resale. “About 85 percent of a house is reusable,” says B.J. Perkins, Habitat’s ReUse program manager, in Austin, Texas. “We can do a total takedown, or do a cherry-pick job and take the cabinets, the tub, the sink, and so on.”
You save space in the landfill, collect a charitable tax credit for the donation, and help a good cause. Visit Habitat to find an affiliate near you.
- Cost to trash a suite of bathroom fixtures: $50 to $75
- Cost to donate: Nothing, plus you get a tax deduction
- Saved: Space in the landfill (and a little bit of your soul)
As an Accredited Business Member of the Better Business Bureau (BBB) we carry an A+ rating. This means that we have chosen to be accountable. We continue to demonstrate good faith in our community through our business relationships and our operations. As an Energy Star Partner, Debuty Builders, Inc. is committed to responsible construction practices by installing sustainable and energy-efficient materials.