Remodeling is a popular do-it-yourself project, especially in the winter when people suffer from cabin fever and the “winter blahs.” The problem is that full remodeling is expensive, and although it’s improving, the American economy is not as strong as it used to be. That being said, remodeling on a budget is entirely possible and can be fun. Today, we’ll examine a few key ways to remodel a room when money’s tight.
One of the first things guests notice when they enter your home is the walls. Therefore, paint should be among your first considerations while remodeling. Go for fresh coats of neutral colors such as eggshell, ecru, tan, or dove gray. If your home has several accents in saturated colors, ask a hardware store consultant for contrasting shades. A good rule is to choose colors that are in the same family – blues, turquoises, and cyans – or colors that complement each other. Complementary colors are directly opposite each other in the color spectrum – red and green, blue and orange, purple and yellow, and so on.
Save the Walls
Many people think remodeling is only successful if you knock out walls, which often costs a great deal and leaves a big mess. Instead, make the space you already have more efficient. For example, if your cabinets are crowded, try using cabinet-height drawers instead. Use the drawers in place of shelves for canned foods, spices, dishes, and other items. This increases your horizontal space and keeps everything in easy-to-reach places. Also, avoid large or cumbersome appliances such as lazy Susans, indoor grills, and pizza stones. If you must have these, try to store them in one cabinet at floor level or in a drawer directly under your oven.
Let the Sunshine In
Adding windows is another common remodel that causes a mess and drives up costs. However, we can’t live without sunshine. Consider installing “light tubes” between the rafters in rooms with small windows or windowless areas like hallways. You can also take the blinds off the windows you already have, which will reduce dust while letting in more sunlight. Finally, use inexpensive window coverings to trap heat in the winter and cool your home in the summer.
The fees for remodeling contractors and professional workers are probably the most you’ll spend on any remodeling project. It’s a good idea to have these people around, especially if you’ve never done a remodeling project before. However, you can save money if you pitch in and help them do the work. Ask permission first, but be assured most contractors are happy to have an extra hand as long as you’re knowledgeable. Save money before calling in the professionals by doing your own demolitions. If you must knock out walls or tear down fixtures, research first.
Stop Buying Stuff
People get excited about remodeling because they see it as an excuse to buy new furniture and fixtures. Put your wallet down. New accoutrements will blow your budget faster than the remodeling job itself. Plan your remodel around the items you already have, or visit recycling centers or reputable secondhand shops.