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The Affordable Remodel: Can it Be?

In freshman English class you learn about juxtaposition. That is, the placing of two antonymous words side by side. The affordable remodel, it so often seems, falls right into that category. So how do you do it? And do it best?

Obviously, affordable is relative to your budget, but let’s assume we can’t afford $30,000 for a new bathroom or $80,000 for a new, luxurious master bedroom. So where does the affordable remodel exist? It exists in thinking clever, in thinking outside the box. It exists in making choices that aren’t necessarily perfect, but will increase resale value and maybe even save you some money in other ways.

New Vinyl Windows

Vinyl windows have come a long way in recent years. They are more energy efficient, cost-effective and rival wood windows in quality. Not only that, you just may get you new windows installed for less than ten grand while improving curb appeal and reducing energy bills. Vinyl is a strong material that is easily customizable and, subsequently, easier on your budget; just one way to spell affordable.

The Efficient Bathroom Remodel

Instead of trying to add a new bathroom, get creative with the old one. You already have the existing plumbing and wiring (although you may want more), not to mention the walls. There are plenty of things you can do in the bathroom that will be affordable and satisfy your needs for change. Upgrades can include new tile (floors or splashes), fresh paint, an energy-saving, low-flow toilet and new fixtures. Bathrooms are popular places in any home, so it’s best to give them a personal, unique feel. There are even great ideas for small bathrooms that might make all the difference.

New Siding

This is a great idea for prospective home sellers looking to increase their resale value on a budget. New siding is like a makeover for your home, adding new lines and luster to its facade. There are all different directions you can go with siding. Vinyl siding is relatively inexpensive and saves a paint job. Cement-board siding is durable and has the appearance of wood siding without the cost. New siding is another gig you should be able to get for less than $10,000.

In the Kitchen

Ah, the kitchen. It’s the most popular and the most expensive of remodels. In the kitchen that juxtaposition is in all caps and bold-faced. In the kitchen you are at home; you don’t want to compromise your enjoyment. So what do you do? For starters, look into new, energy efficient appliances. Appliances are what you use in the kitchen and are the biggest energy hogs in the house. New Energy Star appliances will spruce up your kitchen and cut down your energy bills. You can also try refinishing the cabinets (perhaps refinish the body and replace just the doors). Combine that with new countertops and you’ll find yourself with a new-looking kitchen at less than half the price.

In the Yard

If you want to go affordable and perhaps even do-it-yourself, then you go landscaping. It’s a very underrated, inexpensive way to add to your home’s appeal. Yet, just because you are on a budget, does not mean you should settle for some wood chips and ground cover. The new landscaping mantra (and the English have had it down for years) is “Grow not mow,” reflecting the busy lifestyle of the world, post-internet. A beautiful garden, complete with path, water feature, and stonework, can change your whole outlook on your home, without a nail gun ever being fired. Much of it you can do on your own and there is a cornucopia of landscape contractors willing to do the rest.

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