From Dean Dowd on July 14, 2008 in General Remodel
Remodeling is rarely a bargain. Even at a good price you are still likely to spend a hefty sum of hard-earned dollars. But don’t get discouraged. There are some ways to spruce up your home and still manage to spell B-U-D-G-E-T when all is said and done. Just try your best to adhere to the following guidelines and you might just get lucky…
Do It Yourself
- This is the obvious money-saver. One word of caution however—be wary of what you get yourself into. Know your limits. There are books-length DIY disaster stories out there. Sometimes your bargaining dreams can turn into expensive nightmares.
- That being said, don’t be afraid to pick up your hammer. At least you could do the demolition work (i.e., tearing out walls, tearing off paneling, etc.). Tell your contractor that you want to do some of the work. He or she can help make sure your not infringing on the home’s structural support.
- Look around. Take extra time, know what you want, and expedite the process. There is no telling what you can find: slightly worn furniture, decoration/art, doors, even overstocked windows. You can reupholster that headboard. You may be able to salvage some wood.
Upgrade Before You Re-do
- The rooms you use the most: the kitchen and bathroom, are the most remodeled. Yet unless things are in dire straits in there, you can get away with a few simple upgrades that are subtle but really change the feel of the room. Paint, of course, is a big one. A fresh coat of paint emphasizes the word ‘fresh.’
- Replace fixtures like faucets, sinks, showerheads in the bathroom, even cabinet doorknobs and drawer handles. These little steps make a big difference.
- The first step toward making your home a head-turner is your yard. Get out there. Grab those pruning shears. Get rid of dead or dying plants. Buy new plants native to your area, especially if you live in a dry climate, because they are often cheaper and you’ll save time and money on caring for them.
- Look into a picket fence; a great do-it-yourself project. Picket fences are not only stylish and innately American, but also inviting instead of standoffish.
- You can even refinish that old, stained driveway.
These are fairly simple steps you can take to lessen the load on your wallet this summer. Remember that you can clean and dress you house up, inside and out, before you go tearing walls out. Sometimes the siding is just dirty. In short, be creative. Design ahead of time. Somehow it always seems that if you know what you’re looking for, you’ll find it. Vintage and antique stores are a dime-a-dozen in many towns and cities. So explore, have fun, and buy yourself something big for Christmas this year with all the money you’ve saved.