Whether you moved into your home knowing it was a fixer-upper, a major life change means you need to do a renovation or you’re just a little tired of the way things look and want something different, there are a lot of interesting alterations you can make to your home on all kinds of budgets.
Some of them are DIY and for others you might want to hire professionals. Keep reading for some ideas on how to go about planning and proceeding with your renovations. If you’re going the budget route, what you can do will vary a lot depending on your time, your skills and your interests, but there are still a lot of options. Of course, if you’ve got more money to spend, your options expand.
Figure Out Your Budget
You need to be realistic about what you can afford, so this should be your first step. Should you go into debt for your renovation? It really depends on what it is. Some, such as fixing the roof, cannot be avoided. Others may substantially increase the value of your home, so they may be worth it if you plan to sell in a few years even if money is tight at present. For purely cosmetic changes, you may want to look more closely at what it will cost you and figure out how to do it as cheaply as possible.
However, one potential pitfall is that renovations nearly always go over in time and money, so it’s good to have a bit of a cushion in case this does happen. A home equity line of credit can help ensure that you have that cushion if needed. The advantage of a HELOC is that you can get approved for it, but you don’t have to use it. You can review here for a page that explains the process and what you can expect.
Outdoor Ideas on a Small Budget
First, think about what you want to do. Do you want a recreational space? Do you want to be able to host parties for adults or kids? Do you want to encourage wildlife? Are you just looking for something with more character and color? Do you want to try growing some of your own vegetables? Thinking through these questions can give you a better idea of how to proceed, and they are all things that can be done on a budget. For example, if you’d like to make your yard more ecofriendly, read up on converting from grass to wildflowers to encourage and sustain insects, birds, and bees. This is just one of many DIY backyard ideas that are also budget friendly.
If vegetable gardening interests you, you might want to look into something called lasagna gardening, which allows you to avoid tilling and digging and is great for small backyards and other urban areas. As for parties, if you live somewhere with mild weather, you could get a projector and a screen and have neighborhood movie gatherings. If you’d like to have backyard barbecues or other types of gatherings, check out yard sales and secondhand stores for cheap outdoor furniture. And of course, few things feel as luxurious while being relatively inexpensive than a great hammock.
Outdoor Ideas for Bigger Budgets
If you’ve got a lot more money to spend, your options expand although of course you need to check with local zoning laws. A pool or a hot tub is the choice for many people. One way to think about the space if it’s large enough is in terms of separate zones. For example, you could have a fire pit, a lawn area and a pool.
You might want a separate workshop space. Another option is a partially enclosed area with indoor-outdoor furniture. If you love cooking, entertaining and al fresca dining, you might to opt for an outdoor kitchen. A pizza oven is another popular option. You could also hire a landscaper to design a formal garden.
DIY and Inexpensive Home Ideas
Maybe the outdoors looks fine to you, but you’d like to do something about the indoors. DIY can slash your budget significantly, so there may be a lot that you couldn’t afford to pay contractors to do that you can do yourself. However, there are a few caveats. First, make sure you have the desire and the aptitude. Taking the DIY approach can be a joy if you’re into it and a misery if you aren’t. Second, make sure that you have the time. Finally, keep in mind that there are certain alterations that you really should hire professionals to do. This includes anything affecting the structure or foundation, plumbing and electricity.
Talk to your family and see if you can come up with something that you all agree on. Maybe you want to convert the basement to a game and entertainment space, or perhaps you want to turn the attic or garage into a spare bedroom so that grandparents or cousins can visit and have their own rooms. Dig into resources online and offline for how-tos, and look to yard sales and other low-cost or even free sources of furniture. You might be surprised at how many friends and neighbors will give something away for free as long as you’re willing to pick it up.
Home Renovations for Bigger Budgets
Of course, more money gives you more flexibility. As with the budget renovations, a family meeting to decide what to do is not a bad idea. However, if you’re not sure where to start, a kitchen renovation is often the best first choice. It can go the furthest in renovations that increase your home’s value, and of course, if you enjoy cooking, it will improve your quality of life as well.
If you’re hoping to remain in your home as you get older, you might want to consider making it more accessible. This could involve widening doorways or could even mean putting in an elevator if you have more than one floor. Adding an extra bathroom is another good way to make your home more comfortable for everyone, and you should definitely consider doing so if you decide to build another bedroom as well.