But why scale back a project or forgo that Viking range? No, what you need to do is get your dream at a price you can afford. And not by cheaping out, either. With some strategic thinking about design, materials, and timing, you can cut costs without cutting corners. On the following pages, we'll show you the ways, from the big (knock down the house and start over) to something as small as choosing a wall sconce over a recessed light. But another universal truth about renovations is that every little thing adds up. So save a little here, save a little there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.
A full grand surround turns a conventional shower into a steam shower. A transom installed above the door could be utilized in a way where it would dry the shower every time you close the door. Likewise, placing the fan near the transom can also help in drawing air out of the shower every time you close the door. For those with a steam shower, it’s highly recommended to incorporate a bigger bathroom fan. Don’t forget to check the grout lines as well. Fewer grout joints are recommended because there’s less surface area to absorb moisture.
Visually raising the bathroom ceiling will make the whole room feel larger, and it’s not a difficult illusion to achieve. For starters, it’s a good idea to replace large crown molding with narrower crown molding painted to match the ceiling, because heavy, dark crown molding will overpower a small room. You might also reconsider the room’s light fixtures. A ceiling fixture that hangs down emphasizes the smallness of a room, so replace it with recessed lighting for a cleaner look. Need extras? Wall sconces that direct light upward blur the line between the wall and ceiling, almost as though the ceiling has receded.
If you are decorating/renovating your house then you are probably trying to de-clutter and maximize your storage as well. Utilizing your kitchen to its maximum capacity can help you minimize your storage problems. In order to do this on a low budget you can either DIY kitchen cabinets or storages from recycled material at your house, or take advantage of thrift shops in your area.
According to the experts, 2020 will be a Star year for some very specific paint colors. Whether you’re the type of person to jump on the wagon of new trends, or you want to take some time to sit back and analyze how these new colors will work best for your aesthetic plans, be sure to take a look at this informative list for ideas that will set those plans into motion.
We were fortunate enough to have a couple of friends advise us on certain parts of the project. This made things much easier and saved us a couple of costly mistakes. For example a carpenter friend advised me to get some fans and dry the subfloor out rather than cut it out and replace it. Worked just fine and saved me a thousand bucks in plywood and a couple of days work.

Don't bother taping windows when painting sashes—it takes a long time and paint usually ends up on the glass anyway. Go ahead and let paint get on the glass. Once it's dry, simply scrape it off with a razor blade. The paint peels off in seconds. "Just be careful to not break the paint bond between the wood and the glass," a pro cautions. "Otherwise, moisture can get on the wood and cause rot."
Selecting a countertop and devising space-right storage to fit your particular bathroom isn’t as difficult as it sounds, thanks to the Sears Home Services team. When you sign up for a consult, a qualified representative will take the necessary measurements and help you select countertops and cabinets in the comfort of your own home. In fact, during the consult, you can choose shower fixtures, flooring, and accessories that suit your style and budget—it’s just like having a bathroom showroom brought to you.
For home owners who are currently in the process of building a new home, what they can do is incorporate a remote timer and this would give them the ability of being able to turn the fan on in the middle of the day or at night remotely. Likewise, you can also consider wiring in a dehumidistat, so that the fan would be able to run whenever you need it.
In painter lingo, a bad set is when you're in a physically bad position for whatever you're trying to do—maybe your ladder isn't quite long enough, or you're in a awkward spot with your brush. The good news is that many bad sets are avoidable. Just climb down and move the ladder. Yeah, it's annoying. But not as annoying as falling into your paint bucket because you were hanging off your ladder like an America's Cup crew member on the port sponson. And sometimes bad sets can be resolved by moving an obstacle. Fridge giving you a tough angle at a wall? Move the fridge.
Knocking down may not be as costly as rebuilding, but you can still shave dollars by doing some of the demolition yourself—as long as you proceed with care. "If a homeowner wants to demo a deck, well, I am sure they can handle that," says Michael Winn, owner of Winn Design, in Virginia. "But when it comes to interior spaces, I would dissuade them from doing it unless they have done it before." The reason: A reckless wrecker might unwittingly take out a load-bearing wall or, worse still, plunge a reciprocating saw into live wiring or pressurized plumbing. (For tips on how to do demo right, see our October 2005 feature, "Before You Construct, You Have to Destruct.")
It's possible that you may find a contractor or architect who willfully tries to punch holes in your budget by heaping on more extras or finding problems down the road that require more and more construction change orders. Such deliberate undermining of a budget is not typical, though. More commonly, you be working with secondary parties who continually need to be reminded to stay within the limits that you are comfortable with.
The first impression of your house is your door. If you are unable to change the door completely and if your existing door is in a good condition then you should repaint your door. Your doors could also affect the lighting of your room, and you could benefit from this great technique interior designed Amy Lau uses, “When dealing with a dark room, whatever color is used on the walls, I paint the ceiling, trim, and doors the same color but 50 percent lighter. Too much of one shade can overpower a space.” So, when renovating on a budget if you are repainting your door try to use different shades according to the concentration of light in your house to optimize the lighting of your house the way you want to.
Use what the pros use—canvas drop cloths. They're not slippery and they absorb splatters (but still wipe up large spills or they can bleed through). "Unless you're painting a ceiling, you don't need a jumbo-size cloth that fills the entire room," a pro says. "A canvas cloth that's just a few feet wide and runs the length of the wall is ideal for protecting your floor, and it's easy to move."
"Storage must-haves: towels, toilet paper, daily supplies (teeth supplies, cleansers, makeup, etc.). Wasted space: Pedestal sinks (beautiful, but not functional if you have limited space). Consider: Behind the door hooks for towels and robes or over the door pouches for holding small supplies (hair, makeup) and medicine cabinets and/or shelving set inside the walls, in between the studs." - Storage and organizing expert Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO

Depending on the scale of your project, you might not need a full-on architectural commission, which involves extensive meetings, multiple job-site visits, and several sets of construction drawings, to the tune of about 8 percent of a project's construction budget. You might be able to tap an architect's design savvy by having him undertake a one-time design consultation. For example, for a $400 flat fee, Baton Rouge architect Kevin Harris will meet with a homeowner, examine the problem, and sketch out a few solutions that could be as simple as opening up a partition wall or moving a door. The homeowner can then give the sketch to a builder or take it to a drafting service, which will charge about $1 to $1.50 a square foot to crank out formal construction drawings.
Ikea cabinets are not only cheap, they’re really easy to install. This one decision saved us more than $2000. We bought our cabinets from Ikea for a total of just over $4400. This was hard for me as I really believe in supporting local businesses, but I got some quotes, and I just couldn’t pay a minimum of $2000 more for cabinets that are functionally the same.
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