Home Buying

Kitchen & Bathroom Renovation Ideas on a Budget

You just made the biggest purchase of your life, but you also made some sacrifices on some of the esthetics for the kitchen and bathroom in exchange for extra bedrooms or closet space. Even if the house was a steal, the kitchen and bathroom renovations you see in the magazines can be difficult to afford, but you still want your dream space.

You're not alone. There are home owners who have put their home on the market and aren't getting the offers or even the showings they were expecting. The sellers know this sale is difficult because the same home layouts on their street have all the upgrades and it's hard to compete. These sellers are just going to break even with the home they are moving to and don't have extra money to match all the comps in the area.

The following are a few ideas to help you get your dream kitchen or get the asking price you need for your sale, but within a reasonable budget.
  • Want the look of granite, stone or marble, but can't afford the price tag or contractors? Here are some easy DIY options to get the same look for a fraction of the cost:
    • Option 1: There are different vinyl contact films available in granite/marble/wood finished looks which can be adhered to your current counters. This is a manageable DIY project with so many variations and will offer the same appearance. Also, these peel and stick templates can be used for backsplash in kitchens or line the inside of your shower which can give you the look of a top chef kitchen and spa-like bathrooms.
    • Option 2: Paint kits using spray or paint stencils. These kits can be found at any local hardware and are safe to use on counters or cabinets to lose the dated looks and more closely match your style.
    • Option 3: Faux granite, stone or marble laminate installation. This is the most expensive out of the three options, but still considerably less then what they are imitating. The faux counters and flooring options have been updated to look very similar and is also a huge value in comparison to the cost of the alternative counter options.

  • Appliances in general are expensive, let alone being able to afford stainless steel appliances. How can you get the appliances you always wanted and have them match, without making a huge dent in your savings? We have a few ideas for you here:
    • Appliance paint. Why get rid of perfectly working appliances simply because they don't have the stainless steel look. You can actually paint your appliances to look like they are stainless steel (also without needing to constantly clean the visible fingerprint marks that stainless steel easily accumulates).
    • Online personal ad websites/second hand websites. You can find really any household item online and for a great price! There are so many people frantically selling high end, perfectly working appliances online. These online items are being sold for various reasons including individuals relocating and can't afford to ship appliances or are they could be moving to a new place and the appliances are already included. Regardless of their reasons, you could easily pick up like-new appliances for a fraction of the cost simply because it was previously used or the sale of the item is time sensitive.

  • D├ęcor and fixtures aren't necessarily expensive individually, but several updates added up can become pricey. Here are some ideas to save while looking for all the updates you need:
    • Painting. This is a good go-to for anything that just needs a fresh look. Newly painted knobs, faucets and walls can all lift the look of a room just by using the right color combinations and creativity. To add a bit of personality and fun for your family and guests, you can also paint a chalkboard wall that chalk can be used on. You can write needed grocery items or actually let kids draw on the walls without having the repercussions of scrubbing the walls or repainting.
    • Keep an eye out for estate sales or flea markets which usually have various handles, knobs, rods available in bulk. These can range from vintage to modern depending on what style you prefer. Usually the price of these items can be significantly less and can be bargained simply because they were previously used or they are only being sold for a short period time.
    • Frame your bathroom mirrors and simply utilize the mirrors you have currently have by mounting a frame that matches the size of the mirror. You can find basic frames at any arts and craft store and have the look of your bathroom elevated drastically. Something so simple will elevate the room and those empty frames are extremely cheap and easy to hang.