Stretch Your Dollar Projects

While some families have decided to delay major renovations for a year or two while their home values and portfolios recover, there are some fantastic and economical projects that you can do that will give your home and your spirit a lift.

It is important to keep up with maintenance on your home while keeping the look fresh and exciting. Here are a few great ideas.

A Fresh Coat Of Paint

This is easy to do yourself or you can hire a professional. Repainting will instantly bring rooms inside your home up to date and make the exterior of your home look great. Be daring with your color choice, as bold, bright colors have a dramatic effect.

Spruce Up The Kitchen

Instead of a full kitchen remodel, consider a more cost effective approach –including repainting the cabinets, new counters and flooring, and perhaps some enhanced lighting.  Make sure your cabinets are worth painting. There are lots of well‐built cabinets that will look beautiful when painted, and granite is surprisingly affordable. This is a great way to get a few more years out of your existing kitchen and you’ll be surprised what an impact this will have.

You’ll get the best results for this type of project if you hire a company that can handle all aspects of the job.

Bathroom Make Over

If you have a tired old bathroom it’s usually best for a complete gut and remodel. But that doesn’t mean big bucks. A project like this usually includes a new tub with an acrylic or tile surround, tile floor, vanity and top, toilet, lighting, and paint.

There are some parts of a project like this you can tackle yourself, but this is the type of work you’re better off bringing in a professional contractor for; and make sure electrical and plumbing work is completed by a licensed professional. Not a jack of all trades!

Have Fun With The Kids’ Rooms

Let’s face it, kids’ tastes change like the seasons.

Last year it was race cars and princesses, this year it’s blue aliens and Hanna Montana. No problem, don’t be afraid to let your kids have fun decorating their rooms. Change the tired old carpets to wood floors or a new carpet, add a fresh coat of paint and a new blind or window treatment and your ready to go.

Most importantly, let the kids decide on the colors and include them in the entire process. It’s a great family project and it beats sitting around and watching TV.  And you never know if you’ll have the next Martha Stewart on your hands!

New Flooring

Whether it’s tile for the kitchen or mudroom, wood floors or carpet for any room, or various other types of products available on the market now, this is always a home run. You’ll get great value and a new look and feel for any room in your home!

Window Treatments

I’m amazed at how many homes I visit that have nothing on the walls and no window treatments.

It’s like walking into a jail!  Blinds or drapes will not only add a great look to any room, they will also soften the feel of a room, increase the efficiency of your windows by keeping heat in during the winter and out during the summer, and also absorb sound which makes any room feel more cozy.

Options range from pre-made products that you can install yourself to custom blinds and window treatments that offer a better selection of color and design. Some other projects to consider that won’t break the bank but will help keep your home fresh include a new front door, new garage doors, replacing all the rotting wood, and keeping up with all the other handy man projects.

While it might be tempting to put projects like this off, the routine maintenance on your home will accumulate if you don’t keep up with it, so getting some of these nagging projects done a little at a time is always a good idea.

Finally, don’t be afraid to call a professional for advice! Most contractors and retailers will provide free estimates on all of these types of projects, and they have the experience to make recommendations that will help you get the most out of your project. I’ve seen far too may “do it yourself” nightmares lately, including a kitchen that is going on two years to complete.

It’s important to have a realistic understanding of what types of jobs you can complete yourself and which ones will require professional assistance. Once you’ve made the proper decision you’ll be surprised how much you can get done and relieved at how much you can save.

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