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When your home is a fixer-upper, it can be difficult to even know where to start with a renovation. The list can be overwhelming—fix the patio, change out the mustard yellow carpet, buy furniture, paint the house. With a never-ending to-do list, planning a budget can seem virtually impossible.
By sorting through your list of wants and needs and focusing on essentials, you can outline a budget that won’t keep you up at night. Here are some tips on how to plan a budget for turning your fixer-upper into your first dream home.
1. Sort through the “wants” and “needs.”
Where do you even start with a renovation budget? With a limited fixer-upper budget, it’s essential to make functionality the first priority. When the roof is leaking and your fridge is dead, this is where the budget begins. First, determine what infrastructure items require repair or an essential upgrade, as these are typically big-ticket items. Next, focus on beautifying projects that will reap benefits in the long run, like bathrooms and kitchens. Hold off on budgeting fancy appliance upgrades and expensive decor if you already have working items—these can come at a later time after you take care of all the essentials.
2. Consider purchasing used over new.
Give your budget more flexibility by going for used over new with certain big-ticket items. Used appliances, for instance, can be found in great condition from other remodels or homeowners upgrading to the latest technology. Used furniture is also a fantastic way to keep your fixer-upper budget low. Don’t forget—sofas, vintage chairs, tables and more can be easily reupholstered and refinished. They’ll look brand new for just a fraction of the cost.
3. Be ready to DIY with a gift card.
As a first-time buyer, there’s a 99 percent chance you’ll be diving into the realm of DIY. Learning one or many DIY skills will not only come in handy with home repairs in the future, but it’s a fantastic way to keep labor costs low. If you’re worried your DIY supply budget will get out of hand, however, shop with a gift card to your local hardware store. That way, you’ll always be working with a fixed amount of money and won’t be tempted to add on any expensive extras. It’s a guaranteed way to keep your budget in check.
4. Get creative.
Fixer-uppers are great hands-on projects, and creative solutions are key for keeping your budget in line. For items like cabinetry that may be in good condition but out of style, get creative with refinishes to bring new life into your space. Give your kitchen a fresh take by painting cabinets in a modern shade, or reface them for a whole new look without the added cost of all-new cabinetry. Replace hardware on cabinetry, furniture and built-ins to make your pieces feel brand new. Even outdated fireplaces, doors, furniture and windows can go a long way with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. Consider this cheap alternative to help save room in your budget for the fun stuff.
5. Let the professionals help.
Whether you’re starting with the kitchen or diving into a full-scale remodel, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. No matter what your budget, a professional’s advice can help ensure that your renovation has as few hiccups as possible. City codes, minute details and hidden elements can wreak havoc on projects, so let a master guide you through those hurdles instead of trying to blindly tackle them yourself. Don’t let the potential price tag deter you from investing in having expert guidance—many architects and designers have options for paying an hourly rate. This is a great option, especially for fixer-upper and DIY projects, as it allows your plans to be looked over by professionals without the price tag of a full design scope.
With so many dining rooms being converted into part of the living room or kitchen these days, dining room design has kind of fallen by the wayside. But if youâre one of the lucky homeowners to have hung on to a formal dining space, youâve got an opportunity to make some amazing modern updates. Here are 7 affordable ways to breathe new life into an old dining room:
#1 Perk things up with paint.
Are your dining room walls still the same color they were when you moved into your house 10 years ago? If so, thereâs a good chance the colorâs a little past its prime. In fact, it may also be doing an injustice to your furniture and the updates youâve made in adjoining rooms as well. Refresh the walls with a paint shade that makes you feel comfortable and cozy. The room will reflect that feeling.
#2 Modernize the lighting.
Are outdated chandeliers and lamps gathering dust in your dining room? Consider sending them packing and installing some recessed lighting and pendants in their place. Pendant lights, in particular, come in a wide variety of styles and colors sure to add some new pizzazz to your space.
#3 Repurpose another room.
If your dining room is located in an undesirable space — a cramped corner of the house away from the kitchen, for example — pick a new place for your table and chairs. Put them in the kitchen, if you have the the space. Or, place the dining table somewhere right in your living room, where thereâs easy access to the TV and stereo. You should always feel comfortable during a meal, and being confined to an area you donât enjoy doesnât contribute to that feeling.
#4 Add some visual appeal.
Visual appeal doesnât stop at paint and lighting. Itâs also important to consider how wall decor may increase the interest and comfort of the room. Blank walls may make it easy to zone out and focus on your meals, but your guests will surely enjoy looking at something a little more interesting. Depending on your budget and the size of your dining room, consider hanging potted plants and colorful pieces of art. Just be sure to balance wall decor with other elements in the room so your space doesnât feel like itâs cluttered with stuff.
#5 Throw in a rug.
One of the worst sounds to hear is a chair scratching against the floor as you go to get up from the dining table. So fix the issue. Add a rug underneath the table and chairs to make things soft and cozy. Choose a rug that isnât too thick with fibers. Otherwise, your chairs can get stuck and twisted. Of course, youâll also want to make sure that the style and color of your rug complement the rest of the room.
#6 Use dividers.
Many newer homes combine kitchen and dining spaces. If you want to create a dedicated dining space, think about incorporating a room divider. Itâs much cheaper than installing a wall â and you can add shelves, plants or a sliding door to further divide the two spaces. Plus, the flexibility of the divider allows to revert back to the bigger space any time you like.
#7 Build in.
Howâs your dining room designed? Do you have a table that sits in the middle with four chairs around it? If you want to make the room more functional â and create more storage in the process â think about ditching the clunky furniture and opting instead for built-ins like bench seating, china cabinets and buffets. A professional can create custom built-ins to suit any style.
The post 7 Creative and Quick Dining Room Updates first appeared on Century 21Â®.