Free Tool: Calculate Your Kitchen Remodeling Budget! Calculate Now

Blog Feature
Kevin Ahern

By: Kevin Ahern on May 24th, 2024

Print/Save as PDF

Budget-Friendly Renovation Tips: Making the Most of Your Renovation Budget in 2024

Residential | Residential Remodeling

Home improvements can be costly, but even on a budget, there are still many things you can do to upgrade or repair your home. Knowing your goals, limiting the scope of your project and making low-cost improvements instead of big changes are ways that you can make these kinds of improvements to your home without breaking the bank. 

Regardless of how much you're able to spend, it's important to hire the right Connecticut contractor for the job. Don't settle for a low-cost contractor just because they've bid lower than the competition. If a contractor does bid far below the other contractors, ask yourself why and how. Low cost contractors have to cut corners, and that usually translates to lower quality work.  

If you're on a budget, here's how you can perform high-value home upgrades for an affordable price.

Know Your Goals and Limit the Scope

Stay focused on the purpose of your home improvement to ensure that your project does what you need it to do. Knowing your goals and staying focused on them as you plan your project can help with this. Ask yourself questions before hiring a contractor. Questions such as:

  • What am I hoping to accomplish with this project?
  • When does this need to be completed?
  • What are the most important parts of this project?
  • Are there any parts of this project that can wait until later?

When you know the goals of your project, communicate your goals with your contractor. Have a list of must-haves versus nice-to-haves, and share that with your contractor to keep everyone on the same page. 

Scope creep is what happens when items keep being added to a project, thus increasing the cost. Some scope creep is unavoidable - for example, when your contractor uncovers damage that needs to be repaired in the middle of a remodel. Often, scope creep happens when a homeowner keeps adding little things or making small changes to the original scope of the job.

Knowing what you need to accomplish and sticking to that goal is a way to avoid scope creep. Also, once the renovation has been planned and the contract is signed, don't make change orders unless it's necessary.

Repaint Instead of Replace

A lot of things can be updated with a fresh coat of paint. From cabinets to furniture, you can change the appearance of your home by applying a new coat of paint to the fixtures in your home. You'll spend dramatically less money, too. Kitchen cabinets can cost $30,000 or more to replace, but repainting your cabinet may cost a couple thousand, and your cabinets will look brand-new when it's over. 

Focus on Low Cost, High Impact Improvements

Some renovations deliver a high bang for your buck, despite their relatively low cost. If your goal is to update the appearance of your home without spending a lot of money, here are some ways you can do it. 

Upgrade the Cabinet Doors

Maybe you're really unhappy with the appearance of your home's cabinets, and a fresh coat of paint won't cover up what you don't like. Upgrading with new doors costs far less than replacing the entire box, but gives your cabinets the appearance of being new. You'll pay per door. Most homeowners pay between $2,000 and $7,000 total for this project. 

Replace Lighting

The lighting in your home makes a big difference in its mood and the overall character of the room, and old overhead lighting can sometimes be very unflattering to a space. You'd be amazed how different your home interior looks with thoughtfully placed recessed lighting, pendant lighting and sconces. The cost to upgrade your home's lighting varies; work with your contractor to get a quote. 

Install Wall Paper or Repaint Your Walls

Painting your walls can sometimes make your room look brand new, and for an affordable price of about $6 per square foot. Wallpaper is becoming more common in homes as homeowners seek ways to express their personality and make a splash in interior spaces. Adding wallpaper can be just as impressive as repainting and costs about the same.

Swap Out Hardware and Faucets

Another way to update your home's cabinets and make them look different and new is to replace the hardware. Choose new handles and (and hinges, if they're visible) to make your home's cabinets look like they've recently been restored. Cabinet hardware trends change from time to time, so updating this one feature can pull older cabinets into the modern decade. 

At the same time, consider updating your home's faucets to match or coordinate with your kitchen hardware. Metals found in the same room don't have to match, but it's best if they coordinate with and compliment each other, so many homeowners make this change all at once. 

Focus On Necessary Changes

Maybe you want to update your kitchen, but a full remodel sounds outside your reach right now. Consider making just a few necessary changes instead of updating the entire kitchen space. For example, change the countertops but leave the cabinets. Installing good countertops can make your kitchen look almost new. Making this single change instead of making many updates at once leaves more money for investing in high quality stone countertops, so you'll have something new to enjoy for a very long time to come. 

Install New Garage Door or Replace Exterior Door

The doors to your home, including the garage door and exterior doors, have a big impact on the appearance of your home. Installing a new garage door or exterior door is a relatively affordable home upgrade that can dramatically change the appearance of your home. You'd be surprised how different your home will look. 

Need More Budget-Friendly Renovation Ideas? Talk to the Pros

Home remodeling is most affordable when it's pared down to its most essential parts. Working with a capable Connecticut contractor can help make that happen. Download the Litchfield Builder's free guide to hiring a residential Connecticut contractor.

How to Choose a Professional Home Remodeling Contractor

About Kevin Ahern

Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.