What is the best way to renovate a house on a tight budget?

Dated: June 11 2021

Views: 111

When it comes to renovation the escalating cost of labor will encumber one’s dream and deem ideals impecunious. Put aside the economic reasons of the current reality and seek creativity for relief. Here are the possibilities on a $1,000 budget, $10,000, and $50,000 budget. Starting with $1,000.

What can you do with a $1,000 budget? The economic answer is not much, the creative answer is boundless. Your limitation at this stage would be to use DIY aka Do it yourself. When you are on a tight budget, professional service is out of the question since your labor cost will disintegrate the majority of your budget. Focus on design at this stage. Two types of designs will complement a tight budget harmoniously, the Bohemian design and the minimalistic design. Bohemian design is concentrated on open space and using layers, texture, pattern, and creative cluttering to fill up the atmosphere. If done correctly you will emulate a comfortable space integrating artistic layers and individualistic characteristics to the atmosphere. This style of design emanates a fashionable vibe to space and radiates artistically when not much of a budget is expended. The underlying principle here is to use existing resources including furniture, wall décor, flooring to design the space and add patterns to distract the eye from less admirable areas of the area. If the space is functional yet visibly dated past the point of acceptance, then here are some low-cost solutions. You can use wallpaper for walls which can be bought at Walmart for a couple of dollars. Painting is an alternative. However, I do not recommend it since the cost can creep up and most people will not replicate the results of a professional. Wallpaper is less prone to error and any error can be recovered without much effort. Buying paint can increase the budget to a few hundred dollars, this is not including the equipment. Wallpaper can also be used for kitchens and bathrooms. The solution for flooring would be an area rug. If you have existing area rugs, then all that remains is for you to place it symmetric to the eye. If not, you can visit sites like Target, Wayfair, Ikea and purchase them for less than $100 each. A flooring solution is a must since it will improve the appearance of the space drastically. It would also exude an impression that space has been renovated. Finally, we have lighting. Have as much natural light as possible, which translates to keeping windows open and accented with shades, blinds, and curtains that reflects most light into the room. Avoid blackout curtains and dark colors unless you can accommodate and it’s an irreplaceable artistic choice. Curtains can also be used creatively to conceal dated walls where the window is located and can also create an illusion that you have bigger and more windows in the room. If natural light is not an option, change the lightbulbs in the rooms to daylight bulbs that have 5,000-6,000 lumens. These bulbs can be purchased in bulk at Home Depot for under $100. Once you have improved the lighting, floors, and walls your space will inevitably feel renovated. Your total cost would be $150 for wallpapers, $300 for rugs (4-5 rooms), $100 for lightbulbs, and another $100 for curtains. As for the remaining amount of your budget, I would recommend for you to save it but if you must treat yourself then purchase a non-expensive light fixture from Ikea and the alike to accent the space.  

When you have $10,000 you can explore more permanent solutions as oppose to over-reliant on its comrade, creativity. The first and most important consideration would be painting. Painting can cost you from $1,000-$2,000 depending on the size of your space. Being on a budget, natural color pallet would be the most strategic option. I highly recommend white since it complements most designs from modern traditional to rustic farmhouse. Having white walls is versatile. If you decide to change the color theme to the room you can do so with curtains, bedsheets, furniture, and wall décor that can all be removable as oppose to paint color which is permanent. The next area of focus would be flooring. If you have dated wood, then the logical step would be to sand and refurbish the wood floor. That would include a gloss paint coat that would make the floor appear new. If you have carpeting, then rip it out and proceed with floor refurbishing. The glossing will cost you from $2,000-$3,000 depending on the size of the area. For other flooring types that are more difficult to accommodate you can solve through using area rugs to cover up the majority of the area. The budget would still be inadequate for a bathroom or kitchen renovation, what you will have as an available option is also kitchen refurbishing and bathroom refurbishing. For those with wood cabinets, you have the option to paint it white as well to replace the old with a contemporary look, if you have exclusive wood cabinets then you can incorporate the same solution as flooring and add a gloss coating. For those who have old and dated tiles in the bathroom and cast-iron bathtubs, you can hire an online bathtub and tile glossing service to add a new coat. The total cost for the bathroom glossing will cost anywhere from $500-$1000 depending on your bathroom size. Painting is $2,000, Flooring is $3,000, Kitchen is $1,000, and Bathroom $1,000, total of $7,000, which leaves you $3,000 left. Saving the remaining funds is recommended to keep the remaining funds as a reserve. If you must spend it, then changing light fixtures in each room would be the next logical option. It will ascend the space. You can purchase inexpensive light fixtures from Ikea, Target, or Way fair. The economical challenge would be hiring an electrician to do the work. This will cost you $1,000 for 6 rooms. As for the remaining $2,000, recommended options to optimize lifestyle and experience is to replace a new toilet which cost $500, purchase a new refrigerator $800, the stove at $700, or any other appliances including but not limited to air conditioner, washer, dryer, a new mattress, bed, or living room seating. The last part is optional. Depending on your specific situation you can choose what is most needed. 

Your options broaden once you have a budget of $50,000 or more. You will either feel like you can accomplish a lot or don’t have enough to do any major repairs. The prerequisite would be to accomplish everything mention in the $10,000 budget. The following step would be a kitchen renovation. A budgeted kitchen renovation will be between $10,000-$12,000 which includes new cabinets on one side of the wall, sink, island (optional), or additional cabinets on a 50-100 square feet kitchen. This is of course assuming you are not choosing the most expensive cabinet options available on the market. A good place to start would be to speak to a representative at Home Depot, Lowes, or Ikea. Keep the kitchen renovation under $15,000. A bathroom renovation will also depend on the size of your bathroom and your design preference. For a 35-60 square feet bathroom you can expect between $7,000-$9,000 assuming you are not choosing the most expensive materials available. If you decide you do not need a new tub or tiling from floor to ceiling, the cost would be reduced. The bathroom sink cabinet will cost between $1,000-$1,500 for the purchase of a cabinet and installation. Once you have completed the $10,000 budget renovation list, Kitchen for $15,000, and Bathroom for $9,000, totaling at $34,000; you would naturally have a renovated home. The remaining $16,000 would be better spent on furniture. A good place to start is to separate necessity from desire. Bed frame and mattress, wardrobe drawers for bedrooms qualify as necessities. Sofa, TV stand, TV for living room. Dining tables and chairs for the dining area and important appliances including air conditioner, washer, dryer, dishwasher, and microwave are all universally accepted as necessities. 

Full disclaimer, all of the numbers discussed are rough estimates based on data collected for renovations done in New York outer boroughs. These figures are by no means an accurate representation of all areas within the states. Please seek out local professionals for more accurate figures. The purpose of providing numbers is to give readers a starting point to be used as a benchmark. $50,000 budget is a sufficient amount to do a remodeling and cosmetic renovation. For most instances, this would be considered the most efficient use of budgeting and also the most economical. If you have additional funds that permit you for gut renovation, then one must ask themselves how long one anticipates living in the place. Gut Renovation is defined as the removal and replacement of all old walls, flooring, plumbing, electrical, windows, stairs, and all other old materials. It is indisputable that this would bring the most fulfillment but renovation of this magnitude cost north of $150,000. From a financial perspective, once that type of fund is expended you would need to use it for 10-15 years to make it worthwhile. If you have a lifestyle change within that 10-year period then most of your renovation will be sold at a depreciated discount not able to command much in the market. 

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Peter Pan

Peter began his career at a small real estate brokerage in 2009, during one of the most difficult markets in decades. While many other agents left the business, Peter decided he was going to persevere....

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