Remodeling: Keeping it Affordable

In the current tough-as-nails housing market, there’s no question that remodeling your home can add some much needed resale value to your home. While taking out a loan and hiring a licensed contractor to do a major remodel will yield great results, many of us just can’t afford the cost. Luckily, there are many simple things you can do to drastically change the look of a room in your house while not spending a lot of money.

Before we begin with the specifics, let’s get into some general concepts.

Remodeling: Keeping it Affordable
1) Concentrate on one room or one series of rooms (kitchen or bathrooms come to mind) instead of tackling the whole house.

2) Second, if you’re remodeling on a budget it’s best to pay cash for everything and not take out a loan.

3) Keep a very close eye on your budget. Lists and spreadsheets are your friend. Plan it out ahead of time.

4) Warm colors are in right now—they’ll bring a positive, relaxing energy to your home. Fifth, start small but look at the big picture. This will make more sense as we go through some specific ideas.


That little plate around your light switch or electrical outlet is often ignored, but let’s face it- these often off-white or cream-colored pieces of plastic often accumulate a staggering amount of dirt and grime over the years. Swapping them out with new switchplates (in warm colors) will highlight all the work you’ve done to a room. They’re cheap and they make a big difference.


Faucet knobs, cabinet hardware and door handles are easily replaced. Since we touch them so much, they often show signs of wear and tear faster than many other items in our homes. Sticking with the warm color scheme, bronze or a convincing faux-bronze are great options for sprucing up a room.


This is perhaps the cheapest way to make a big change in a room. For a kitchen or bathroom, try using a high gloss paint that won’t absorb spills or splatters. If you’re on an extremely tight budget, remember that you can change the whole tone of the room with just one accent wall painted in a different color.


Old, raggedy curtains are an eyesore. Old floral curtains that have been in a home for decades can also bog a living space down. There are many inexpensive curtain options available, and almost any set of curtains that looks bright and clean will drastically improve the look of a room.


Just as faucets get an overwhelming amount of traffic from our hands, rugs are abused by dirty shoes and what we track in from the outside world. Kitchen and bathroom rugs are battered by water, both dirty and clean, and a multitude of soaps and cleaning products. Look closely at the rug in the room you’re remodeling, and if it needs a change, swap it out. A new rug can really tie a room together.


Even if you’re not replacing the entire cabinet system, this can add up quickly. If it’s in your budget, swap out cabinet doors with freshly varnished or painted replacements. If you’re on a slimmer budget that does not allow new cabinet doors, just replace the handles and hardware. A little new metal goes a long way.


This is perhaps the cheapest thing you can do to improve the look of a room. Remove the clutter from bookcases, countertops and other surfaces. If a surface looks wide open then it looks more inviting. Less clutter gives a room a new, cared-for feel. No one is saying you need to get rid of your knick knacks or your salt and pepper shakers—just put them somewhere out of sight.

Utilizing any combination of these ideas should provide a cheap, easy way to breathe new life into a room without relying on loans or a contractor. If you plan the remodel out ahead of time, keep a tight budget and look at the big picture while you change small things, you’ll be living in a brand new space in no time at all.

About the author : Tim Richmond is a passionate blogger who writes about the economy, finance and home ownership. He is an online publisher for 1st Tribal lending.