Budget Renovations

by reno on October 24, 2011

After watching the recent renovation reality TV shows like The Block and The Renovators it’s easy to think that to renovate you need a big budget, a team of tradies and the ability to knock down walls to transform a home.

But the truth is that you can make fantastic improvements  to your home with a budget renovation.

Here are a couple of tips for budget renovations that could cost you just a couple of hundred dollars per room, plus a bit of your own elbow grease!

Budget Kitchen Renovation

Kitchens can be easily spruced up without blowing the budget.  Of course a complete remodelling with new appliances can stretch well into the five figures, but a budget makeover can be had for an awful lot less.

Budget Kitchen Renovation

Budget kitchen renovation tips:

  • Repaint the walls
  • Repaint the cupboard doors and fit new contemporary handles
  • Replace the tap-wear with inexpensive but modern looking items
  • Repaint the existing benchtop with special laminex paint
  • Replace the existing tiles, or paint with special tile paint
Painting a laminex benchtop or the tiles can be tricky, and if not done properly it can make the kitchen look worse than before you started the renovations!

If you keep the existing layout and can do some of the work yourself, replacing the benchtop can be done inexpensively and give great results.  Likewise if you can do the tiling yourself, re-tiling the kitchen can also give a huge improvement.

Even if you just paint the cupboards and replace the door handles with more contemporary items, you can give your kitchen a fresh look for less than a hundred dollars.

Budget Bathroom Renovation

Renovating a bathroom on the cheap uses many of the same techniques used in the kitchen.  A full replacement bathroom can be expensive, but a quick freshen up can be done very cheaply.

DIY Bathroom Renovation

Budget bathroom renovation tips:

  • Repaint any non-tiled walls in a clean colour such as white
  • Repaint the vanity and any cupboard doors and fit new contemporary handles
  • Replace the tap-wear with inexpensive but modern looking items
  • Repaint the bathtub with special paint
  • Replace the existing tiles, or paint with special tile paint

As is the case with the kitchen renovation, you need to be careful when painting the bathtub or tiles, as getting it wrong can look very poor.

If you plan on replacing the tiling yourself, make sure you follow all the necessary steps to ensure your bathroom remains watertight, otherwise you could cause some major water damage problems that could cost you a lot more down the track.

Budget Bedroom Renovation

Bedrooms are one of the easiest rooms in the home to renovate and give a fresh new look whilst sticking to a tight budget

Budget Bedroom Renovation

Budget bedroom renovation tips:

  • Repaint the walls, built-in wardrobes, door and window frames etc.
  • Update the window coverings
  • Update the light and/or lamp shades
  • Replace the carpets if the budget allows, or at least get them professionally cleaned

Whilst those budget renovations will have a great impact on any bedroom, the biggest impact may come from the furnishings.
Chests of drawers, bed-heads and book shelves can gain a new lease on life from a simple and inexpensive restoration project that can be completed at home.

  • Remove and old handles or other adornments
  • Fill-in and sand back any dents or scratches
  • Repaint with hard wearing enamel paint in a contemporary colour
  • Replace the handles with more contemporary items

This budget furniture renovation can work an absolute treat, and can make daggy old furniture suddenly look brand new again.

The combination of a freshly painted bedroom along with restored furniture can transform your bedroom for no more than a few hundred dollars.  And if the budget can stretch a little further, new bed coverings and cushions will really complete the look.

Budget Living Room Renovation

The final room we will look at is the living room, also known as the family room or lounge room, which really involves much of the same work as a budget bedroom renovation.

Budget Living Room Renovation

Budget living room renovation tips:

  • Repaint the walls, door and window frames etc.
  • Update the window coverings
  • Update the light and/or lamp shades
  • Repaint any old bookshelves or coffee tables etc.
  • Replace the carpets if the budget allows, or at least get them professionally cleaned

If your budget doesn’t stretch far enough for new carpets, another great option is a large rug in the middle of the room.  These can be picked up few a few hundred dollars and can have a huge impact on any room.

One major difference between the bedroom and the living room is the addition of lounge chairs.  If sticking to a tight budget, you may be able to find a good looking lounge cover to update your favourite couch.  If not, you may be surprised just how cheaply you can pick up a new couch for these days from some of the furniture importers.

General Budget Renovation Tips

There are a number of other tips that can give great results to your home without breaking the bank.

  • Replace all old light switches
  • Replace all door handles with more modern items
  • Experiment with different room layouts
  • Remove any unnecessary clutter
  • And if not repainting, clean all walls and door frames with Gumption or a similar cleaner.  You will be amazed at the results!

Replacing all of your light switches and door handles may seem expensive at first, but when buying in bulk you can obtain some fantastic discounts, especially if purchasing online through websites such as ebay.

If you were to undertake all of the tips listed in this article at the same time, the cost would most likely run into the thousands.  But if you could transform the inside of your home for less than $5,000 (much less in some cases) you will make your home a much more pleasant place to be whilst adding value to what is probably your largest asset.

If you have any other budget renovation tips please share them in the comments below.

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