Buying a new home can be expensive before you even step foot into your new place. The excitement of owning a piece of ground in the world can be overwhelming to say the least. To add to that pressure many homeowners (including myself) aspire to turn their new home into a place that reflects their personality. But most people that aren’t filthy rich put every last penny into the purchase with very little left over to fix their new home to their liking. Here are a few tips to renovate on a budget.
There are a few different homeowner-renovator species. To some, the idea of buying really expensive things randomly and without vision is really all that is required. This usually turns into a good conversation piece when it comes to their friends talking behind their backs. Another species that is closely related to the above mentioned but with an edge is to hire an expensive interior designer. This species will never fail to mention which celebrity designer they paid. Lastly, you have my type. I have worked in the construction field since I was 16 years old. I have managed remodel projects from the easternmost tip of Long Island, better known as the Hamptons, all the way across the Atlantic Ocean to Puerto Rico. Personally, I have a background in carpentry, finish and rough, I know electrical for homes, painting, plumbing, low voltage AV, home security systems, as well as landscape design. Having the experience in these fields translates to thousands of dollars saved where you would normally be paying subcontractors and a general contractor to handle every detail.
Our Work’s Cut Out for Us
Recently, my beautiful fiance and I purchased our first condo in Southern California. Our new home is a cozy two bedroom two bathroom condominium. The kitchen has already been updated, so very little has to be done there. One thing that makes a huge difference and doesn’t have a big price tag hanging over it is pull knobs or handles for the cabinets. First I plan to get a price for new pull knobs. After that I look at the existing ones in the kitchen and decide if the ones on the cabinets are nice enough in design and shape to maybe customize them by painting them and clear coating them to give them a shine. Many times old pull knobs from twenty years or so ago have fashionably come full circle and you find yourself liking the style, but the finish is worn out. This option can save you $100. I like to take the money I save and designate it to be used in the same room the savings occurred. Kitchens usually have tile floors. It is very easy to change the style of the appearance simply by throwing a different color grout down; it really personalizes the look to your taste. In my opinion the biggest change as well as the best savings is flooring. Manufacturers offer many types of laminate flooring. Prices vary from $1 per linear foot up to $3-$4 dollars. The purpose of laminate flooring is to cut costs but not sacrifice the look of having nice hardwood floors. Most people keep it in the $1-$2 dollar per square foot range. Hardwood flooring tends to be much more expensive. Prices range from $5-$20 per linear foot. The main thing I like to keep in mind when deciding between laminate and hardwood floors is the area that needs to be covered. Sometimes putting down hardwood flooring in a smaller area works out better in the long run. Many times people get a gift from the gods when they remove their carpet to see old antiquated hardwood flooring, an instant upgrade from carpet. Old hardwood flooring is usually oak and the floor can be refinished and sanded to expose a brand new beautiful hardwood floor.
All of this is just scratching the surface when it comes to cost conscious ideas in home renovations. Playing your cards right in this first phase of the remodel will open up many different opportunities when you get to Phase Two: Decorating. I have a good eye when it comes to interior decorating, but for this project I am leaving it to my bride to be, S. Of course I will be overlooking the progress from afar like an Egyptian engineer overseeing the pyramids’ progress. S has a classy and sophisticated style which could be bold and risky when she explains it to you, but it always turns out amazing, and at little cost. We truly are a great team when it comes to this. I just have to make sure I don’t turn my head for too long with her being Iranian, I will turn around and the whole house will be adorned in gold and silver.
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