Life, Money

Renovating a home on a budget

Published on January 14, 2016 8:48 am, by

“Love it or list it?” This question is posed on a popular reality show in which lucky home owners are given a choice: They can either continue to live in their newly renovated home or move to a new place that has everything they’re looking for. Amazingly, most home owners would prefer to stay in their old home even if they didn’t get all the renovations on their wish list. This decision shows the power of the pride a person can take in their property.

We don’t all have the luxury of a professional design team and skilled contractors rolling up to our front door. Does that mean you’re stuck with your home in its current state? Absolutely not.

Many affordable options let people renovate a home on a budget. Some of these ideas require the DIY approach, while others require a bit more research. Either way, your home can be totally made over without breaking the bank.

Paint It Up

One of the fastest and most affordable ways to renovate your home is with a fresh coat of paint. This works for the interior and exterior. For the outside, you might want to bring in the pros or just power clean the area beforehand. On the inside, you can do some amazing things with colour choices beyond the white scale. This is a perfect DIY project to take your time with.

You might want to start with the mis-tinted paints — every store that sells paint should have a section of them. These are mixes that didn’t work for the customer but could totally work for you. The only caution is to make sure you have enough of that paint to cover your room because it will be extremely difficult to match, and you might have to remix it by blending a few gallons in a five-gallon can.

Go Faux

Not everything in your home has to be real as long as it looks real. This holds true for countertops, wood floors and driveways. Consider your pavers: you can find the look of cobblestone at a fraction of the cost. Redoing your driveway or walkways will instantly boost your curb appeal and home value.

Fix the Fixtures

Are your lighting fixtures drab? What about the knobs on your kitchen cabinets? Maybe even your door handles could use a little polishing. Those are all perfect examples of simple projects that could boost the look and feel of a room.

A good place to start shopping is a Habitat for Humanity Restore. At these locations, Habitat for Humanity sells the leftovers from their home building projects. Most of the items are new and will look great in your home.

Move It or Lose It

The quickest and most affordable way to renovate a room is to rearrange the furniture. If switching the sofa to a new wall doesn’t work, consider trying some simple designer tricks like accent pillows or mirrors. The pillows can provide a splash of colour in an otherwise drab room. Large mirrors on a wall or over a fireplace can bring in more light and give the appearance of more space.

Shop Smart

You should shop intelligently for anything your renovation requires. This doesn’t mean rushing out to Bunnings. Yes, they have good bargains, but they aren’t the only deal in town. Go through Craigslist to search for everything from furniture to carpeting to building materials. You might be pleasantly surprised at what people are selling.

The best part of renovating on a budget is that you don’t have to do everything at once. Take it one room at a time. After all, you’re not moving.

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Read more from Sarah Landrum’s blog: Punched Clocks

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Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and the founder of Punched Clocks. Catch her tweeting sporadically @SarahLandrum and be sure to subscribe to her newsletter for more great tips!

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