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Remodeling Dreams on a Budget

Just because you are on a budget, does not mean that you cannot have the house of your dreams. Making the home you have now into a house that is stylish, comfortable, and welcoming may only require a few changes, which can be done at a minimal cost if you are willing to be a little thrifty and clever.

For instance, if you are tired of your old flooring and want the wood, try going with the appearance of wood, instead of the real thing with a real big price. Hardwood flooring is very popular, but it can also be quite expensive.

To save money on new flooring, but to preserve the look of hardwood flooring, consider installing laminate wood flooring. Laminate wood flooring is easy to install because, unlike conventional solid wood, it is pre-finished and may be glued down or applied over a thin foam paid laid on the subfloor.

Some types are even adhesive-backed. Another laminate flooring option that has become very popular is the grouted tile look.

And, you never have to worry about the “grout” looking dingy. This is one way to change the entire look of your kitchen, without shelling out hundreds of dollars.

Next, try refinishing items instead of replacing them. If your cabinets are in good condition, consider refinishing rather than replacing them.

This cost-effective measure provides a whole new look in your kitchen or bathroom without the major expense. Changing the hardware can also update your cabinets at a very small cost.

If your appliances still work well, but you can’t stand the avocado green you can also refinish these in a new color. If you have mismatched appliances, refinishing is also an economical way to create an updated, unifying look.

You if choose neutral colors when buying new appliances, you can save money! When selecting your appliances, cabinets or countertops, choose neutral colors such as almond or white.

These are much less expensive than custom colors and add better resale value. Who would have thought?

Instead of putting in expensive granite or stone countertops, try a laminate which provides the same look. Laminate countertops are the least expensive option, but like laminate flooring, come in a wide variety of styles to mimic the look of natural stone or other solid surfacing.

A decorative edge in a solid surface material adds a decorative, inexpensive touch. While there is today a demand for designer faucets and other plumbing fixtures, chrome is still the least expensive material of choice for those that are on a budget.

Another popular trend is to combine chrome with another finish, such as nickel or brass, to make your fixture budget stretch farther. Also, look for a faucet (or other fixture) with a lifetime warranty, which will save you money later as well.

Next, choose fiberglass for bathtub enclosures. Use one-piece fiberglass unit or three-piece fiberglass wall panels instead of ceramic tile.

You will not only save on the material, but also on labor costs as fiberglass installation is a much faster process. Little changes like this can make little impact on you, but a big one on your wallet.

Many companies sell prefinished decorative trim. Prefinished means a contractor will not need to paint or stain the trim, avoiding the additional cost of labor.

If you can, order pre-hung doors. Here’s another great way to save on labor costs.

Pre-hung doors are actually hinged and installed into the frame before the door ever leaves the shop, which means the entire unit simply needs to be installed in the entry opening, a less time-consuming task. Also, hang hollow-core doors.

Another cost-saving door measure: order hollow-core rather than solid doors, which are much more expensive. However, hollow-core doors should only be hung inside a home as they will not be very secure as exterior doors.

Last, install a direct vent gas fireplace. If you’d like to install a fireplace, but you’re on a budget, the direct vent gas fireplace is the way to go.

A direct vent gas fireplace uses two pipes that lead directly to the outside. One pipe uses combustion air from the outside while the other vents the exhaust gas.

You save money because no chimney flue is required, no additional piping is necessary and the roof is never penetrated. As you can see, there are so many simple ways to make a big impact on the look of your home.

You can keep the cost to a minimum by being smart, and making little cuts in cost wherever you can. See what you can do for your home and your wallet today!

Ronald Pedactor has worked as a general contractor remodeling homes for 27 years and has written hundreds of articles about roofing, awnings, siding, and remodeling Utah.

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Ronald Pedactor