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How to Renovate on a Budget

Last Updated on October 13, 2011

Home renovating is not something to do on the cheap. However, having a budget is not the same as being stingy. When homeowners think about renovating, they typically conjure up images with teams of contractors walking in and out of their house, tools and materials in-hand.

But “renovation” is not the same as “rehabilitation”. Renovating simply means updating a space. Whereas rehabilitation often requires extensive demolition, followed by new interior and/or exterior reconstruction. With this is mind, you can be more confident about renovating on a budget.

Know Your Budget:

While you may be screaming, “Thank you Captain Obvious!” it is the most important step you can take for a successful “reno”. Start with want you can afford, coupled with what you want. Then, reconcile the two. For instance, you want both new appliances and kitchen cabinets. You can’t afford both. So, shop discount appliance outlets to cut down the price. In addition, dress up your old cabinets with paint and new hardware.

There are other ways of cutting budget corners such as using online websites to find coupon codes and cash back tickets to save on tools from retailers like Home Depot, Lowes and others.

Make the Old New Again:

Like repainting cabinets and fitting them with new hardware, you can reinvent practically anything. An old wooden cable spool can make a lovely coffee table or end table. With just a bit of elbow grease and a little imagination, you can transform what seems like junk into usable, stylist decor.

Concentrate on the Money Spots:

Don’t waste your time and money updating a hallway closet or laundry room. Neither will give you a good return on investment. Focus on the rooms in the house that will actually pay-off. Renovate in your kitchen, bathrooms, basement, attic and bedrooms. Putting a new workbench in your garage and installing new shelves won’t increase the value of your property, but a renovated kitchen will.

Make Simple Changes:

Budget minded homeowners shouldn’t be spending money on big ticket items to get the same effect as little changes. Paint your bedroom, update your kitchen lighting, use an old dresser as a bathroom vanity and decorate with plants. These little changes do wonders. Instead of tearing out a wall to make a bigger space, hang a mirror.

Install crown molding and/or a chair rail around the living room. Even installing wainscoting in a room can remake a room without spending a lot of money. Don’t be afraid of color. Decorative throw pillows and new window treatments can update a space instantaneously.

There are many other simple ways to renovate your home without emptying your wallet. If you have any other ideas, we’d love to hear what you have to say!

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