When you start planning for a home remodel, it’s easy for the dollar signs to stack up. However, whether you’re updating because you want to make your home more comfortable or because you’re planning to sell, it is definitely possible to renovate on a budget.
We’re sharing our best tips for saving money on a home renovation.
Tips for Getting Ready to Renovate on a Budget
Don’t Budge From Your Budget
Set a firm budget for your remodel and do not stray from it. Make sure to build in a 15-20% cushion for any unforeseen costs that may arise.
Shop Around for Supplies
Take the time to shop around for the supplies and materials you will need ahead of time to get the best deals. You can reap big savings with recycled or lightly used fixtures and building materials.
DIY What You Can
Not hiring a contractor can help keep your home remodel on a budget, but make sure you have the skills and tools needed to complete your whole to-do list. If you do have to hire a contractor for some of the work, make sure you understand what’s included in the contractor’s fees and what is your responsibility to provide.
Handle Your Own Debris Disposal
Renting a dumpster to have on-site at your home is a great way to save on your remodel and easily clean up as you go. A 20 yard container is usually a good fit for a home renovation or cleanout project.
Set Up a Temporary Space
Be sure to always have a functioning backup space inside your home available while certain areas are being worked on, such as your kitchen or bathroom. If your bathroom will be under construction and not useable, you can have a temporary bathroom set up in your basement if you don’t have a second one available in your home.
Easy Room-by-Room Ideas for Remodeling on a Budget
You spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so it’s important that it reflects your family’s personality. You don’t always need to remodel your kitchen from top to bottom to give it a nice refresh. Think about what aspects of your kitchen are most important to you and invest your money there.
Paint Your Cabinets
If your existing cabinets are a nice, quality wood but the color isn’t the look you’re going for anymore, consider painting them a new, lighter color to brighten the space.
“With a kitchen remodel many times the cabinets are going to be structurally adequate, where you can paint the doors and cabinets in order to save money compared to tearing them out and doing a full remodel. You can also retrofit things like roll out trays and trash and recycling receptacles into your existing cabinets in order to get modern amenities on cabinets that might be 15 or 25 years old and missing those things.”
Add Some Backsplash
Renovating a house on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t indulge. Choose one area of your kitchen, such as behind your stove, to splurge for a colorful mosaic backsplash and then save on the rest of your walls with sleek, white subway tile. You could also opt for the peel-and-stick backsplash option which would be easier for someone new to DIY projects and save you the tough work of grouting the tile.
Search for Appliance Deals
If your kitchen is in need of new appliances, think of their life expectancy before deciding which ones to purchase. A refrigerator only lasts 10-15 years, but a nice cooktop stove may last up to 20 years. Keep this in mind, and spend accordingly on appliances. You can check your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for scratch and dent deals on appliances, or watch for seasonal sales or discounted package deals at your local retailers.
Countertops are often the focal point of your kitchen. Consider using two types of materials such as quartz on the outside perimeter and the more cost-effective butcher block for your kitchen island. Decluttering your countertops and reorganizing to give yourself more space can also make a world of difference in the overall aesthetic of your kitchen.
“Instead of premium countertops like quartzite, go with quartz. It’s so durable and zero maintenance, and cheaper — without sacrificing style, beauty and color options. There are also many affordable granite materials out there that look great as well.”
When you are remodeling on a budget, at least one of the bathrooms in your home will likely make the list for an update. If it’s possible to skip remodeling it from start to finish and just choose a few smaller projects, these are good places to start.
Freshen Up Your Walls
Never underestimate the impact a simple coat of paint can have in a small space like the bathroom. You can add an accent wall with a fun color and keep the rest light and bright to make even the tiniest bathrooms seem larger. At the hardware store, make sure to note that you will be using the paint for your bathroom walls, and they can formulate it to prevent mold and mildew.
Refinish Instead of Replace
An easy way to save in your bathroom is to refinish your bathtub instead of fully replacing it. Make sure you have a second option for bathing during the renovation, since the tub takes up to 48 hours to cure. If you currently have a bathtub, but want a shower, you could go the DIY route to convert your tub to a walk-in shower without breaking your budget.
Keep Your Layout the Same
If you’re happy with the current layout of your bathroom and it’s functional, simple aesthetic changes and upgrades can really make your bathroom feel like a new space and help you save big on your budget.
“Avoid changing the layout or floor plan. This will require extra plumbing and electrical work, and sometimes structural engineering.”
Oren Farkash | South Land Remodeling
Paint Cabinets and Add New Hardware
Update your vanity by painting it a new color and adding new hardware to make it a focal point of the space. If your vanity isn’t in good enough condition to repaint, you can remove it yourself and buy a new one for a fairly low cost.
“Find a prefab vanity set rather than custom-building one. There are tons of options out there, and many come with a countertop, fixtures and even matching mirror(s).”
Remodel the Other Living Areas in Your Home
There are plenty of ways to save money on your renovation for the other living spaces in your house, too. You can make an old room feel new again with just a fresh coat of paint, though there are other budget-friendly projects to consider.
“Minimizing the scope of work is going to be the best way to save on any project.”
Open Up Your Space
Merging rooms together by removing a wall can make your house feel brand new and improve the overall flow. Make sure to first check if the wall you want to remove is load bearing. If it is a non-load bearing wall, the cost can be minimal. But if a wall is important to the structure of your house, you may want to skip this project.
Update Your Flooring
If your living space has dingy old carpet, check underneath and see if you have useable hardwood flooring. Even if what’s underneath isn’t what you expected, you can remove the carpet and install your own hardwood flooring for minimal cost.
“When shopping for costly items like flooring, look for ones that are on sale, but make sure you buy some extra in case they become discontinued.”
Rearrange and Refurbish Furniture
Rearranging furniture can change the entire look and feel of a room and be a key component in completing your home remodel on a budget. Choose a focal point for the room, and arrange your furniture around it. You can also spruce up old furniture by refinishing the wood or reupholstering couches and chairs to give them a brand-new appearance.