Remodeling in Stages: Beat the Budget

Today, I’m going to show you a true skill and lifesaver: How to remodel in stages to beat the budget.

If you have a lot to do, but not exactly all the money you need to do it, then this blog post is for you.

Sit Down & Plan

It’s always a good idea to have a game plan, especially in a remodel.

In most cases, home owners start their remodel without that precious plan. They try to do a few things here, and a few things there, only to realize that their next project requires they rip up the one they just completed!

Hindsight is, as they say, twenty-twenty.

beat the budget

Once the idea hits that you’re ready to remodel, it’s time to sit and plan. If you want to beat the budget, this is seriously the first step.

Detail exactly what you want, and try not to worry about money or finances. I know that’ s easier said than done, but understand that there are several financing options available. First, you need to plan what you want and what you want to accomplish. 

You want a kitchen remodel, right? Ask yourself what it looks like in the end and go from there. No one expects you to have every single facet or feature outlined, but it’s a good idea to envision your ideal living space before you get started. Think big, narrow down later.  Think you’ll be surprised on what you can accomplish with a little bit of creativity and open-mindedness.

Beat the Budget: Remodel in Steps

Functionality: What’s not Working?

Once you’ve planned your dream, your dreamscape, if you will..let’s look at what’s not working. For the sake of this blog post, I’m going to use the remodel approach of one my friends to sort of detail the steps.

So, what’s not working in your home? The gutters are leaking, making it sound like Niagara Falls on your front porch, the HVAC is on the fritz and needs to be tended to ASAP, or the guest bathroom toilet doesn’t work and you’re hosting Thanksgiving in a matter of months. All very pressing things.

While you’re jotting these things down, it’s a good idea to ask yourself, “What’s going to make me the most happy when this gets fixed?”

When people come visit, are you tired of having to show someone the bathroom in the basement or use the master bath every time? Those gutters kinda make it difficult to leisurely read during the incoming rainstorm, too, don’t they. These are just, ya know, pains in the butt. Let’s attack those before we get to the big things. That’s how you effectively beat the budget.

Structural Stuff

Look at the things that you’d like done structurally. Understand, too, that the majority of these things can be done by yourself. The more you can accomplish using your hands without having to bring in more help and hiring a crew, the better. We’re trying to keep cost down.

beat the budget

So for my friend, these were things like removing walls, side panels, wall paper, drywall damages…and paint. Little emphasis on paint because it’s very, very important to get this done before the next step: Flooring.

All wall work should be done beforehand. The last thing you want is paint drips, drywall mud, scratches and scuff on the brand new flooring you just purchased. This is why it’s good to think ahead. It’s time to beat the budget, friends!

Flooring

My friend quite simply didn’t like the floors in her home. As soon as the two steps above were completed, it was time to get the flooring down. This is where the fun comes in as far as options go, too. There are a vast number of flooring options out there: Hardwood, Luxury Vinyl Tile, Laminate, Ceramic Tile, Porcelain Tile, Wood-Look Tile, Patterned Tile, and Carpet.

beat the budget

Each option has their own advantages and disadvantages, and it’s not really a matter of, “which one’s better?” Choose the option that best suits your lifestyle. If you have children or pets or both, then you’re going to want something durable, scratch-resistant, waterproof, stain-denying, and low-maintenance. You could go with Luxury Vinyl Tile, an option that brilliantly exhibits all of the above.

Cabinets/Countertops

My friend built their countertops, so we can’t really go off their experience for this aspect. BUT…if you want different countertops and prefer a low-cost option, go with laminate. It’s a lovely, cost-effective option that will undoubtedly give you the look you seek; I’ll advise you of something, though.

beat the budget

Your kitchen countertops are an overworked surface. I wrote it that way cause they really are. Reminiscent of Atlas holding up the entire world, that’s a lot of stress we put them through. We cook, bake, chop, pound, grind, spill, bang, slice, cut, and cover all through that surface. Just because you go with a low-cost option doesn’t mean it’s better for you in the long run. I elaborate a bit more on that concept in a blog post right here.

The same goes for your kitchen cabinets, which are easily the most expensive aspect of your kitchen remodel. If you go for the cheap option now, you may find yourself in the same situation 3-5 years from now. Go for something with a more longevity, something durable, long-lasting, and equally as attractive and jaw-dropping.

Backsplash

Now we can get kinda crazy with creativity. Kitchen backsplashes can do absolute wonders to the look of a kitchen. Go with Subway Tile or Mesh Back, maybe even Patterned Tile if you’re not a messy cook. Throw in some deco pieces, create a unique design, and you have a cooking space that’s as good and appealing as the dishes you may (or may not) create in them.

beat the budget

Time to Finesse

Now that you have the major areas of your home finished, let’s tackle the less important areas: Bathroom, Living Room, Study, Dining Room, etc. We leave these last because we should finish the rooms that we, the homeowners, are in. It’s okay to be selfish during this time, okay? Aunt Mary will be just fine if there isn’t any crown moulding in the guest bedroom.

And speaking of, of course, this IS the time for those finishing touches. crown moulding, cabinet door hardware, door knobs, paintings, portraits, curtains, all of the decor you can think of. Make it yours. Make it your own. Beat the Budget.

beat the budget

All right, there it is. A way to go about things without stressing over the budget. Sure, put a deadline on when you want it to be done, but give yourself a break. If it takes three years, cool, it takes three years. It’s your home. Sometimes one stage is huge, and it’s going to take time.

If you do everything one stage at a time, you’ll not only save on money, but you’ll do so with low stress, mess, and hassle. Take things one project at a time and know that everything will be just fine. Best of luck, beat the budget!