Remodeling a room in your home can be costly, but you can learn to remodel on a budget. Our beloved farmhouse is over 125 years old, and suffice to say we have plenty of remodeling to do on this home.
The remodel budget, however, is on hold until we get our debt paid off, or at least paid down substantially. There are days when I long to remodel our home now, but with a super-high debt load, that wouldn’t be a smart choice.
I got a taste, however, of “be careful what you wish for” last month when our washer, due to a malfunction, flooded our laundry room: twice. We knew that we had to get a new washer and dryer (which was also in bad shape) and we figured we’d have to do at least some remodeling of the room for repair purposes due to the water damage. The old owners had carpet in the laundry room as flooring, and despite our best repair efforts, the carpet was trashed due to the water damage it had sustained. When we pulled up the carpet we found more trouble: rotted floor boards and moldy sheet rock beneath the trim moulding. This setback in debt payoff was tough to deal with, but sickness due to mold exposure would have been much more costly in several ways, so we chose to remodel the laundry room. Here’s how we did it on the cheap.
Remodel on a Budget
First, we determined what absolutely needed to be done, and then we resolved to finding quality but inexpensive replacement items where possible.
Second, we started shopping. Luckily, only part of the floorboard was rotted, so we measured and cut out the rotted part, and only bought what we needed in terms of plywood to replace it. After Rick cut out the molded part of the sheet rock, he calculated that it would be cheaper and easier to replace the sheet rock with plywood. No one would ever see it because it sits behind the trim, so we were okay with going that route.
The trim moulding was also moldy and would need to be replaced, but instead of opting for the pre-cut trim and moulding, Rick got basic 1×4 pine boards and beveled them himself, cutting our trim price down substantially. Thankfully, during the week we did our detective work and shopping, flooring was on sale, so we chose a medium-quality linoleum vinyl flooring that we paid 30% less for thanks to the sale at the home improvement store. We also managed to find a quality brand super basic washer and dryer set on clearance that day, so we quickly made the purchase and loaded them into the pickup. We kept a frugal mindset the entire time, weighing what needed to be done vs. what was the cheapest way to get a quality result.
DIY to Save Big Money
Third, Rick chose to do all of the work himself. He’d never laid linoleum before, nor had he repaired sheet rock, so he studied online forums and Youtube videos to get the opinions and advice of seasoned remodeling pros. Rick wasn’t necessarily comfortable with doing all of this himself, but if you’re going to remodel on a budget, doing it yourself is a key money-saver. He also painted the room himself, using a can of paint we already had that was slated to be used for another room.
*A note: if you’re doing a bigger remodel job that involves plumbing, electrical or the addition of a room, for instance, make sure to check with your city’s inspector. Bigger remodel jobs often need city permits and inspections.
When all was said and done (and after a week without a washer and dryer. Boy, did I learn to appreciate modern appliances real quick that week. 🙂 ) we did the entire remodel, including the purchase of the washer and dryer, the flooring, the sheet rock replacement, the trim moulding, the sub floor and all of the “little” extras we needed in terms of tools and supplies, for the not-too-expensive price of $1156.83.
We hadn’t planned on remodeling this room right now, but it feels good knowing we did it frugally. With a little detective work, ingenuity and sweat equity, you really can remodel on a budget.
What did your last remodel cost? What are your best tips for remodeling or redecorating on a budget? Do you usually try to fix things on your own, or call in some help?
Photo courtesy of: Armchair Builder