Remodeling your kitchen, bathroom, basement, or other room of your home is a great way to freshen up your space and make it suit your tastes perfectly. It’s also a great way to spend a bunch of money—unless you follow these tips!

1. Plan, Plan, Plan

It’s so exciting to start remodeling! You just can’t wait to rip down those cabinets from the 60’s and that awful linoleum floor, right? But one of the easiest ways to save money when remodeling is to hold your (saw)horses and plan first.

What arrangement of cabinets, countertops, and fixtures will work best in your space? What materials do you like – and will you still like a few years down the road? Which materials are the most durable to meet your needs while still maintaining aesthetics? What is the best order for the work to be done in while causing minimal inconvenience to you during the process? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s best to unplug your power drill and talk to a professional.

Working with experienced contractors like DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Springfield can ensure that you’ve thought everything through before you start your project. Our friendly designers work with you to determine your needs and wishes, and then provide 3D renderings so you know how the design will look before you start purchasing (and demolishing) things.

2. Optimize the Space You Have

Knocking down walls and moving plumbing are some of the most expensive parts of remodeling. Sometimes they’re necessary, but many times they can be avoided with a creative design. A professional can see things in your space that you might not be able to and can help you achieve your vision with fewer changes to your existing floorplan.

For example, maybe your bathroom vanity is too small so you’re thinking of moving the toilet to make room for a larger vanity. Changing the plumbing could cost thousands of dollars more, but finding niches, nooks, wall cavities and other creative spaces could be the solution to more storage.


3. Talk It Out

Even with a well-designed plan, changes can arise. What’s going on behind the walls is unknown until demo time. An unseen water leak can rot subfloor over time or a vent stack may have been placed in an odd and unforeseen location. These small problems can turn into big problems if they aren’t addressed immediately, so you’ll want to work with a contractor who communicates honestly and often about budget and any changes to the scope of the project.


4. Nothing Beats First-Hand Knowledge

No matter how many books you read or YouTube tutorials you watch, nothing beats first-hand experience. And unless you’re a professional, you’re not likely to have much remodeling experience under your toolbelt! Even if you’ve done a little spackling here and paint touch-ups there, kitchen and bathroom remodeling is an entirely different game.

Working with a contractor who has experience in the exact project you’re doing – kitchen remodel, bathroom remodel, or basement remodel – means they’ve encountered the same types of issues and surprises before, which means it won’t actually be a surprise to them. They’ll be able to anticipate most problems before they arise and will be able to address any others quickly, saving time and money.

And don’t forget about permits! You’ll want to be sure everything you’re doing is above-board and up to code, and this is something the professionals can handle, no sweat.

5. Have One Impact Piece and Go Budget on the Rest

You might not want to limit yourself to just one impact piece – a handful could be OK, depending on your budget – but you definitely want to focus your efforts on the things that matter most to you, then consider going easier on the other items. Maybe you splash out on a fancy backsplash and that special faucet you’ve had your eye on, then go with vinyl tile floors (versus hardwood) to balance out the expense. Or maybe you splurge on quartz or granite countertops and then reface your existing cabinets instead of completely replacing them.

These decisions can be tough to make! An experienced designer will help you find the areas that will give you the biggest “wow” factor, as well as the places you can get the biggest bang for your buck.

At DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of Springfield, our team of experienced designers and contractors is ready to help you remodel your kitchen, bathroom, or basement. Give us a call today or stop by our Design Center to see how we can make your dreams a reality – all while keeping your budget in mind.

It’s here! It’s here! The 2017 National Cost vs. Value report is here! And your response is…”so what exactly is that and how does it benefit me?” Good question. The “Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report” (, is made available via Hanley Wood, LLC, each year and can be useful to both remodelers and homeowners in evaluating which home remodeling projects will yield the most return at the sale of a home. It is pretty interesting to digest in total, but we will give just a few of our quick take-aways from this report and how we think it might be useful.

  • No, you won’t get a dollar for dollar return. I wish it was as simple as invest $10,000 in your home and when you sell it, your home will be worth exactly that $10,000 that you put into it. In good ole Central Illinois, our home values will probably never soar like the East or West coast (and likewise will probably never plummet like Detroit).
  • Yes, it really cost that much!  As a quick reference to the totally legitimate question, “How much should it cost to remodel my kitchen?”. The Cost vs. Value report lists 19 midrange home projects and 10 upscale home projects and their respective average job cost nationally, regionally, and by some major metro areas. What we appreciate is that the average job cost is pretty realistic as compared to what you might be learning watching HGTV.

  • Yes, there are smart and not-so-smart home remodeling projects.  If you plan to stay in your home for 2-5 years, taking a conservative approach to a kitchen upgrade or master bathroom remodel and choosing more neutral tile, flooring, cabinetry, etc., might make good sense. If you are in your forever home and want to make it truly your own, then go for it. We believe there is value in loving and enjoying your home. It should feel good to you and create a peaceful environment.

  • Just can’t handle less than 100% return?  Insulate your attic. This is the only home project listed on the Cost vs. Value Report that will give you super bang for the buck. It won’t be exciting to show your friends or to soak in at the end of a long day, but when you sell your home you will get a quick smile.
We would love to hear your take-aways or discuss any project in more detail. Take the first step and set up an appointment with us today! Hope you enjoy the report!  

Source: © 2017 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2017 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at