Home remodeling and improvement costs can be expensive, if you allow them to, but there are plenty of ways to remodel on a budget.  Whether your remodel or home improvement means re-doing a room, finishing off a basement, staging your home or simply updating and replacing worn items, there are several avenues available that will help you improve your home at thousands less than retail costs.  Today I’ll share some of the ways we’ve learned to update, repair or improve our 125-year-old home on the cheap.

Remodel on a Budget: Start With Education

If you want to learn how to remodel on a budget, the best place to start is with education.  HGTV and Youtube are fantastic sites for learning not only what’s new and “in” as far as updates go, but also for learning how to take your remodeling dream and do it on the cheap.  There are scores of sites and blogs that can show you how to get the new product or item that you want in your home without spending retail prices.  For instance, instead of a new home office desk, look online to learn how to refurbish a used one to give it the look that you want.  Or learn how to make that new headboard for your bed instead of buying one at the furniture store.  There are many creative ways to get the look that you want without buying the items that you think you need to buy.  By learning how you can make light fixtures, furniture and accessories on the cheap, you can minimize the amount of cash that comes out of your pocket.

The same goes with staging a home for sale.  You can avoid the fees your realtor will charge you for hiring a home staging professional simply by googling “staging your home” and heading over to one of the many sites devoted to teaching others how to stage their home.  We’ve successfully staged and sold two homes completely on our own simply by educating ourselves on how to properly stage a home.

Learn to Do it Yourself

You can learn to do it yourself on many of your home improvement tasks simply by reading up on the job that needs to be done.  In our own home, library books and Youtube videos have helped teach my husband how to replace a roof, install all types of flooring, repair a plethora of home items, and do his own landscaping.  I have now doubt that the money we’ve saved by learning to “do it yourself” ranks up there in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Enlist Help

Nearly everyone has family members or friends with different skills and abilities when it comes to home improvements or repairs.  For instance, if you need a light fixture installed, call up that electrician friend and offer him a nice steak dinner at your home in exchange for helping you install that new light fixture.  The key to enlisting help from others successfully is to make sure they’re compensated fairly, whether with a dinner, or in an exchange for improvements you can help with at their house, or whatever.  Most people are glad to do an exchange in services for things they need and want done around their house as well.  Whenever you do an exchange in services though, make sure to check out the bartering laws in your state to help ensure you’re working within the law.

Hit the Sales

This includes store sales, garage sales, Craigslist and the like.  Many people who’ve done remodels of their own are looking to get rid of their old parts, appliances and furniture at a fraction of the cost of new.  This can apply especially well in more upscale neighborhoods.  I’m always amazed at the great deals that those in upscale neighborhoods have in their garage sales and on their Craigslist sites.  A friend of mine once got a perfectly functioning digital video recorder for $5 in an upscale neighborhood, simply because the family was looking to declutter.

With a little ingenuity, and a little elbow grease, it is possible to save thousands of dollars when working to remodel on a budget.  Try it yourself and see.

What is your biggest fear when it comes to do-it-yourself home remodeling?  What is your biggest do-it-yourself home remodeling success?


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