How to Remodel a Home on a Shoestring Budget
Cheap Remodeling Ideas
Renovating or remodeling your home does not have to be expensive. Whether you are trying to update and remodel a house to get it ready to sell or to make it a more comfortable place for you to live, there are plenty of ways you can fix up your house without spending a lot of money. These changes will:
- make your house a more comfortable place to live,
- help increase the market value,
- make it look better for your guests who visit,
- and let you enjoy your house to its fullest extent.
Here are some tips on how to save money as you remodel, renovate, and beautify your home.
Remodeling and Renovating on a Budget
Remodeling and renovating a home does not have to be expensive. Here are a few ways to remodel your home without breaking the bank.
- Make changes that have a big impact.
- Considering small things that make a big difference.
- Do it yourself.
- Trade and barter for labor.
- Borrow or rent tools.
- Shop around for the best price.
- Consider your needs when you buy.
- Buy second-hand goods.
- Think creatively.
By using the tips provided, you can save a great deal of money while increasing the functionality and beauty of your home. Read on for more information about each of these ideas!
Before making any changes in the house, it is best to put everything away where it belongs and simply clean up the place. Your place will look better immediately. Also, by cleaning, you get the opportunity to see how things are arranged and think of ways to simply rearrange the furniture or choose a better location of stored belongings to make it more effective or pleasing to the eye . . .
Getting rid of clutter will also clear up space and will make the rooms look bigger than they did when they were crammed with things.
You may find that moving items from one room to another will help clear up the space and make your home more functional without having to spend a single penny.
Make Big-Impact Changes First
To save money, you want to consider making the changes that have the greatest impact first—the things that will get the most bang for your buck. Things like paint, flooring, lighting, and arrangement and existence of appliances and furniture. A fresh coat of paint can quickly and economically update, brighten and enhance a home.
Then, if you still have money in the budget, you can make the changes that will enhance the home in more subtle ways.
Smaller Changes That Can Have a Big Impact
In addition to thinking big, you should also think small. There are small changes you can make that make a big impact as well.
- Changing the hardware of cabinets, for example, can change the look of the kitchen without having to replace the cabinets.
- Painting the trim instead painting the whole house might be sufficient depending on your situation.
- Adding a drawer organizer might keep you from needing another drawer.
- Repairing instead of replacing some things could avoid headaches and cost less, depending on the amount of time and material it would take to repair them.
- Changing the rug or towels in the bathroom, or a new bedspread or curtains in the bedroom can change of the look of the room without any remodeling whatsoever.
Do It Yourself
In order to save the most money, you will want to do yourself all of the things that you are capable of doing. If you have the skills and experience to do something, it will be cheaper for you to do it than to hire it out. There may also be some additional skills you can pick up by watching some YouTube videos or reading some books or articles.
Of course, you do have to be careful that you don't cause any damage that will cost more to repair. Some jobs may turn out to be bigger or more complicated than you expected. If you take your time and start with small and easy repairs, you will be able to build up your confidence and skill level over time.
Trade and Barter for Labor
If you have friends who have skills you are missing, you may be able to barter with them by sharing your skills with them. Don't forget, the trade doesn't have to be in remodeling. You could cook, babysit or run errands while they work on installing lighting fixtures for example.
Borrow or Rent Instead of Buying
If you need some big tools to get the job done, you may find a tool-lending library in the city or a place that rents tools. Since you will only need the tool for a short time, you can avoid the cost of buying it and finding a place to store it.
Shop Around for the Best Price
Most people know that prices vary tremendously for items, and usually comparison shop for basic household goods. They also know they should get three estimates so they can make sure they are getting reasonable prices for quality service.
They may sometimes forget to comparison shop for the material. Be sure to compare the prices at different stores and online. You may find that it is cheaper to buy the item at a store when it is on sale, and then pay someone to install it for you. In this way, you will also be able to pick out the exact thing that you want in your home.
Also realize that since most items you install during a renovation or rehab will stay in your home for a long time, there is no need to buy the latest and greatest item. Most people will not know a couple of years from now whether you bought an item that was from 2012 or 2013. You can easily buy something on clearance (as long as the condition, quality, and features are good) and save a great deal of money without anyone being the wiser.
Don't Buy What You Don't Need
Many items come with lots of special features. Sometimes you can save money by not buying those features. For example, I recently replaced the garage door opener. When doing my research, I chose a make and model that would work best for me. I noticed a big price discrepancy, however, and realized that the same product was being sold two different ways. One included the keypad that was installed outside the door, and the other one didn't. I decided that I did not need the keypad, and saved myself $60 on the price of the opener.
You may be able to find really good bargains by going to a Habitat for Humanity Restore and finding second-hand material that will fit well with the décor and other items in your house. ReStores sell new and gently-used home improvement goods, furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price. A brand new item may look out of place in an old fashioned home, but you can find beautiful pieces that will fit right in.
Save Money With Government Programs
There are some government and company programs that can save you money, if you keep an eye out for them. For example, the following programs are or have been available to me:
- turning in my old refrigerator for a rebate
- low-price home energy audit, with additional discounts on energy improvements
- federal tax credits for energy improvements
You may also be able to find items either in your own house, at yard sales, at thrift stores, and at a Habitat for Humanity Restore that can be repurposed to a different function. I use a chest of drawers with bookshelf that was made for a bedroom in my kitchen. The bookshelf part works great for cookbooks and cereal boxes while the drawers hold my kitchen towels, plastic wrap and similar items.
You can also consider adding a counter top to a dresser to turn it into an island. This will give you additional counter space as well as storage space.
How much did you spend on your last remodeling project?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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© 2013 Shasta Matova