Remodeling can cost thousands of dollars, which can take homeowners months or years to save.
In the interim, how do you make improvements to rooms like bathrooms and kitchens? Instead of taking out loans for an expensive remodel, consider investing in a few of these less expensive remodeling alternatives:
1. Refinish bathtub
If you have a porcelain bathtub that looks a bit worn, the alternative to replacing it is refinishing the tub. While refinishing is a long process, it costs less than a new bathtub, about $300 to $1,000 according to ImproveNet. The process involves getting off all of the dirt and grime and then sanding it before putting on new layers of paint and primer. It’s a process that will leave your bathtub looking almost new if you have the right tools and want to invest at least a day working to refinish it.
2. Refinish wood floor
Over time wood floors get scuffed, scratched and worn down by foot traffic in kitchens, living rooms and hallways. While homeowners might consider replacing parts or the whole wood floor, another option is to refinish the wood. The DIY approach is to sand down the wood floor and then re-stain it, which requires a lot of elbow grease and time to complete. If you want to have a flooring professional do the work, you might pay between $1,500 and $2,000 for wood floor refinishing depending on the square footage.
3. Replace cabinet and drawer hardware
When cabinets are opened and closed continuously, the hardware can wear down, hinges may start to squeak and areas may crack. Instead of replacing the entire cabinet door, you can go to a local home improvement store and find knobs, hinges and pulls. Then on the weekend, using some screwdrivers and a drill, you can take off the old hardware and replace them so the cabinets have brand new knobs and hinges that don’t squeak.
4. Paint cabinets
If paint starts to chip away from your kitchen or bathroom cabinets because of usage over time, you can take the doors off with a screwdriver and repaint them or have them professionally finished. This will save on having to replace the entire cabinet, and you can have them personalized for the room. If you choose to paint them yourself, be sure to choose quality paint that can last so you won’t have to go back and do it again. You also want to be sure and cover the hinges and knobs. It might be good to consult with a painter ahead of time just in case.
5. Update lighting
For those who want to have a greener home, an inexpensive project is updating your lights from fluorescent or incandescent to LED. You can go to your local home improvement or big-box store and purchase LED bulbs for around $10 and install them in about any fixture. These will cut down on your utility bill while giving off the same glow without that bright, buzzing haze. You can also replace many of your hanging fixtures with recessed lighting, which can optimize ceiling space but might require an electrician’s expertise for handling exposed wires.
6. Paint appliances
Many older homes have appliances that are oddly colored in pastels or pinks and blues. While these appliances are still in working order, they don’t match modern demand for stainless steel. Instead of replacing them, innovation now allows for homeowners to paint their appliances. Homeowners can buy painting kits to transform these retro appliances from old to new without spending thousands on all-new appliances. However, if you aren’t certain about doing it yourself, there are professionals who refinish appliances every day.
These are just some of the inexpensive alternatives homeowners have to remodeling rooms in their home or ways to revitalize rooms while saving up for a remodel. If you need other ideas for updating without gutting a room, consider options like plumbing, furniture upholstery, heating and cooling and other small projects that will save you time and effort on a remodel.