5 Quick Tips for Frugal Updates

Take one look at the struggling economy and it will become pretty clear, times are changing for everyone. Even people who once had their eye on home equity funds for a remodel are reconsidering how much they are spending and how they are spending it. Most of us can’t really afford to be living high on the hog.

So, what do we do if we are staring at our 1970s style bathroom and wondering how to make do with a meager budget? We get creative and work with our house’s charming imperfections.

While a year ago we may have considered ripping a room apart and starting over, now it might make more sense to do a more reasonable makeover.

Here are five quick tips for working around your home’s imperfections:

  1. Reface cabinets rather than ripping them out. 
    When we remodeled our kitchen a few years back, we assessed the quality of our cabinetry and found them to be solid. While we didn’t like the look of them, there was really no reason to rip them out and start over. Our contractor built new frames and ordered new drawers and cabinet doors. We got a brand new look, easy opening drawers, and saved ourselves quite a bit of money over new cabinetry by working with what we had.
  2. Buy from resale shops or scratch and dent rooms.
    Need new appliances or furniture? You can save a small fortune by purchasing ones that come with the same tiny scratch you know your family will put on it later. My refrigerator came with a small dent on the freezer drawer. Sure enough, we put another dent in since our purchase. Glad we didn’t pay full price for perfection.
  3. Rethink how you use your space.  
    Don’t have the rooms you need? While you may wish you had a nice new family room addition, there is a less expensive option.  If you have a little used formal dining room or living room, it is fairly easy to change the way you use those rooms. With different furniture, changing walls, adding new windows or doorways, a space can be transformed for a fraction of the cost of a new room. Think inside the box, rather than how to expand the box.
  4. Details, details, details
    Need to give a room a cosmetic facelift? It can be easy and inexpensive to change a few details. A fresh coat of paint, new hardware, updated faucet and a new shower curtain can give a bathroom a whole new feel without an expensive remodel.
  5. Break out the elbow grease
    Many home imperfections can be vastly improved with a weekend of effort. A few trips to the home improvement center and some creative thinking can bring about acceptable results. It may not be as stunning as a remodel, but your pocket book will thank you for the effort and you’ll sleep better at night knowing you are living within your means.

Be creative around the house and work with what you have. Perfection is highly overrated, anyways. 

For more creative and frugal ideas for the home, visit The Inspired Room!

©2009, Melissa Michaels

3 comments for “5 Quick Tips for Frugal Updates

  1. March 22, 2009 at 1:02 PM

    I dont usually comment, but after reading through so much info I had to say thanks

  2. April 22, 2009 at 1:34 AM

    As a Newbie, I am always searching online for articles that can help me. Thank you

  3. July 1, 2009 at 8:34 PM

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

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