How To Remodel Your Home On A Budget

Monday, May 8, 2017
One scroll through your Instagram feed, and it's easy to catch the remodeling bug. I can go to bed loving most aspects of my house, yet wake up the next morning ready to makeover every single room. I think it happens to most of us, and truthfully, maybe it’s time the house got a little facelift. With two kids, our home quickly shows signs of wear and tear. Plus, I become easily bored with furniture placement, accessories, etc. A fresh coat of paint here, and some new curtains there will revive some of that charm that drew you to the house in the first place.

While remodeling is an exciting project to take on, and it can freshen up the look of your house, it’s not exactly a cheap or quick undertaking. The cost of paint, new furniture, and even new decor can easily pile up and eat into your savings. If you’re on a tight budget, you need to figure out which rooms are a priority, what you’re willing to spend money on, and where you can save a few pennies by doing the work yourself. To help you come up with a few ideas, here are some suggestions for easy remodels you can do on a budget.

Go Green
Making your home more energy efficient will greatly benefit your bills, the environment, and your property value. Some studies estimate that green homes can fetch up 35 percent more on the real estate market. Even if you don’t want to sell, insulating your wall cavities and upgrading to double glazed windows will keep your home at a comfortable temperature during extreme temperatures. A big makeover would include installing solar panels on your roof to generate your own energy. However, if you don’t think you have the funds for that yet, small changes - such as switching to LED light bulbs - will still reduce your carbon footprint and save money for the next big remodel.

The Light
It’s not easy making your home feel inviting if you have an unfortunate lack of sunlight in the majority of your rooms. Our family room is in the front of our house (which faces east). In addition to having an eastern exposure which isn't ideal of all day sunlight, we also have a porch and trees in the front which block light from entering the windows. 

If your home has felt a bit dark and depressing lately, maybe it’s time to look at your light sources. For this room, I've approach the lighting situation in a very strategic way. I've kept the curtains light in both their color and texture (they are linen), and I've placed mirrors in places where the sunlight can reflect off of them to project more light into the room. A fresh coat of white paint will also go a long way towards reflecting some natural light around the room. A white lampshade will let more light shine through, without compromising on the shading quality.

A Fresh Coat Of Paint
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Painting can be a time-consuming activity, but it is the easiest way to make a room feel brand new. You can opt for a simple redecoration, like a splash of white paint to make the living room seem lighter. Or you can get creative and think of a few color schemes to revive that spare bedroom where everyone just dumps their clutter.

You should make it a point to repaint the house every few years, especially when the paint starts to look a bit faded or discolored. If you live in rented accommodation, you can negotiate a deal with your landlord since you’re saving him money on hiring a professional. Get a quote from a handyman, keep receipts for your paint, and dock the savings from your rent next month.

Gather some friends to help you, and the painting will be done even faster. Everyone can bring over brushes, roller trays, and old bedsheets to protect the floor and the furniture. In fact, with a long-handled roller, you could even touch up the ceiling without having to get out the ladder. Make sure you get the right kind of paint for each room . The kitchen will need a paint with a high-gloss or semi-gloss finish to make it easy to clean grease and food stains from the walls. A well-lit room will need a matte finish so that there is no glare from a source of light.

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If you need to create more space in a small room, the best solution is to take advantage of the wall space. Open shelving is becoming increasingly popular, especially in kitchens as a replacement for cabinetry. Putting up shelves removes the need for large, bulky bookcases, and can store as much as you need to make your home office function efficiently. Even DIY novices are up to this task; all you need is a drill, a spirit level, and the right attitude.

You can also put them up in the living room or bedrooms if you have yet to find a bookcase big enough for your large collection of hardback novels. Alternatively, shelves are also a good place to display your family photographs, figurines, candles, or any other home decor that you haven’t had a chance to show off yet.

Reupholstering Furniture
Furniture is the focus point of every room, therefore it’s easy to assume that you need to upgrade your armchairs if you want to give the house a complete makeover. Also, despite your best efforts to keep the upholstery clean, the beloved sofa that you spent a lot of money on has seen better days. But don’t go rushing out to the nearest furniture store just yet.

Reupholstering your sofa will be a big and challenging DIY project, but the results will be worth it. This task is definitely not for everyone. Believe it or not, most furniture is designed to be reupholstered in the same way some cars are designed to be worked on. All you need for this project is measuring tape, scissors, a sewing machine, and useful guidelines. You’ll learn a valuable new skill, you’ll get a new sofa at a big discount, and you’ll complete the look of your redecorated living room.

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You might feel nervous about fiddling with the pipes, but while some jobs are best left to professionals, some are deceptively easy. For example, installing your own kitchen faucets and sink hardware doesn’t require the expertise of a plumber. With the right tools and one of the hundreds of guides available online, you can remodel your kitchen or bathroom with some stylish new taps at only a fraction of the cost of a professional installment. If you’re feeling confident enough, you can even attempt a few minor repairs at a later date.

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Bathrooms are often overlooked during a home remodel, because it feels like there isn’t much to do in such a small space without knocking a few walls down. Perhaps this is true, but that doesn’t mean you can’t touch up the decor to make it feel like an entirely new bathroom. Clear up the mess of shampoo and shower gel bottles by organizing them on multi-level corner shelves in your shower. 

Change your shower curtain for an instant makeover. If you want to get really creative, you can also invest in some removeable adhesive tiles. They are quick and easy to put up, easier to keep clean, and they don’t damage the walls when you take them down. This is a great feature when you’re renting, or when you change your mind about the color scheme.

Create Space
You don’t need to spend money on an extension to create space in a house. Simply knock out a non-structural wall to open up a space and create a sense of flow in the house. If the dining room is a bit on the small side, knocking down a wall into the living room or kitchen creates a much bigger, multipurpose room. If you don’t like the idea of destroying the building, then you should try repurposing an existing room. A basement can be transformed into a music room, a bedroom, or even a wine cellar.

The Floor
Another easy thing to overlook while remodeling is the quality of your floor. If you’ve lived in your house for a while, you may have noticed that your once-fluffy carpets now look threadbare. Maybe you’ve realized that, no matter how often you mop and polish them, your wood floors don’t shine like they used to. Perhaps it’s time to invest in an upgrade, or maybe even switch from one to the other. Each has their own benefits; carpet floors are warm, more comfortable for walking barefoot, and can muffle the sounds from the upper floors, but they are difficult to clean. Laminate wood floors are easier to clean, but they can be a shock first thing in the morning during winter.

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The Patio
With summer just around the corner, it would be a shame not to pay attention to your outdoor space. Create an outdoor space for entertaining by building a patio or a deck. Put in some awning or a large umbrella, and you’re ready to host plenty of BBQs over the summer. If you’d like to welcome nature into your garden, you could build a pond for your next project. However, if a pond doesn’t sound ideal, or your garden isn’t big enough, you could put in a bird bath and see what species of birds visit your backyard.

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