Engineer-celebrity Slater Young shares money-saving tips for home projects

Almost eight months in, we’re still locked in our homes, stuck in the middle of a health crisis and economic recession.

To ease stress and anxiety, we’ve turned our houses upside down and redecorated or renovated every corner our eyes land on. But if we can be real with ourselves for a moment, we know that home projects are on the pricier side.

Thankfully, celebrity YouTuber Slater Young, who’s an engineer by profession, uses his platform “to make engineering and building more approachable” to students, fans of engineering and architecture, including new and existing homeowners.

In his recent vlog, he talks about tips on saving money on home projects — be it renovation, building a new home, and constructing an extension. 

TIP 1. Look for different suppliers

Instead of sticking to one, do your research and increase your options to find the best deal. 

“We save when we look for different suppliers,” he says.

He shares that this tip alone helped him save around 10 to 20 percent while constructing their new home in Cebu. While this step involves a lot of coordination or follow-ups, he says it’s worth the effort as you could save a few thousand, even millions. 

TIP 2. Go through every line of their quotation

“They are suppliers out there that try to hide or eliminate stuff in their quote and charge you after,” he says.

His tip is to thoroughly check every item line by line to determine how the supplier arrived with the quote. If you have questions, do not hesitate to clarify and compare quotes of different suppliers, too.

Photo from @thatguyslater/Instagram

He cites his experience while constructing their pool: “With our pool, nagpa-quote kami sa dalawang suppliers. The other one was more expensive, so we didn’t get them. The problem is, the supplier [we picked] did not put in lights for the pools and steps… Mas maliit ‘yung pumps na ginamit.”

“He ended up [becoming] more expensive than the other guy,” he adds.

TIP 3. Make sure you have everything in writing

“Don’t trust usap-usapan lang or handshake deals,” he advised.

It’s best to make sure that everything is signed on paper before pushing through a project. 

Going back to his unfortunate experience with their pool, “When I discovered about the lights, the supplier said, ‘Oh, ganito lang ‘yung cost. Don’t worry about it.’ Pagdating ng actual cost, it was actually 50 percent more than what he said.”

TIP 4. The design will influence the cost of your house

“A glasshouse will be a little bit more expensive, siyempre dahil mahal ang glass. A house with a lot of moldings and designs will also be more expensive. Modern houses without a lot of partitions, walls, and a minimalist design would be cheaper,” he said.

Photo from @thatguyslater/Instagram

In their house, Young uses LED lights and polyurethane foam for insulation. While this may cost more than some alternatives, he stresses the importance of investing in products that will help you save in the long run.

“Splurge on what you feel is important and then budget on what you don’t need,” he said.

TIP 5. Hire professionals

“Hire architects, engineers, plumbers, electricians. Make sure they are professional and trustworthy,” Young advises.

He highlights that simply hiring a foreman for a home project is risky, as it is less likely that they will come back if you encounter problems with their work in the future.

“For example, if I don’t hire an architect — [magiging] mali mali ‘yung location and height of windows, shelves, counters, and that alone is a reason to hire an architect or structural engineers,” he said.

At the end of it all, you will feel at ease knowing that your house isn’t a fire hazard and is safe from calamities, thanks to reliable design and construction professionals.

Check out his vlog here: