Yes, You Can Remodel on a Tiny Budget
If your home no longer fits your needs, it may be time to think about remodeling. Even with a limited renovation budget, there are a number of very practical ways that you can improve your house's appearance and functionality. Find out how.Posted — Updated
Start by brainstorming all the changes you'd like to make in your home. When you look at the ideas that you've come up with, you'll find that most of them (the practical ones, anyway) can be organized into one of three categories. These could be described as:
2) What you need. Two bedrooms and a single minuscule bathroom were fine when you bought the house as newlyweds. But at this point, a decade and four kids later, you're feeling awfully strapped for space.
3) What will add curb appeal. Whether your home is actively listed with a real estate broker or you are just starting to toy with the idea of selling, you know that certain upgrades -- garage door replacement or revamping your shabby front porch, for instance -- are important if you want to attract buyers.
Doing part of the home remodeling yourself will help save you money. Consider the free time you have available, your physical capabilities, and your DIY skills to determine whether your share of the project will include kitchen remodeling and climbing ladders to put up sheetrock or will be limited to tasks such as hunting down bargain tile and fixtures, for example. Bear in mind that the trickiest remodeling jobs, such as major electrical or plumbing work or structural repairs, should always be left to the pros.
Taking care of small changes, either by yourself or with the help of a professional, can make a surprisingly large difference. Repairing broken door handles or creaky steps is a cheap, quick fix that will help you feel more at home in your home.
Improving the lighting in your living room or home office or adding under-counter electric outlets are other small modifications that may have a big impact on the functionality and appearance of your house.
While we're talking money, look into turning your basement or the bonus room over your garage into a rental property. In addition to material and labor costs, check your local laws regarding zoning, landlord-tenant relations, and building code (just one example: basements used as living quarters must have a second egress in most areas) so have a clear picture of what you might be getting into. If you are fortunate, this one reno could finance the rest of your remodeling job.