Whether you buy cheap or expensive roller covers, washing them before their first use gets rid of the fuzz that inevitably comes off once you start painting. Wash them with water and a little bit of liquid soap, and run your hands up and down the covers to pull off any loose fibers (a practice called "preconditioning covers"). You can start using the roller covers right away—you don't need to let them dry.
Start prowling the aisles at the hardware store or home center way before the wrecking crew shows up. Get a good feeling for what you want in fixtures and appliances and what they cost. If you aren't absolutely specific up front about what you want, you'll have to rely on your contractor's estimate, called an allowance, and his notion of what is acceptable may be quite different from yours. "Ninety-eight percent of the time, allowances are too low," says Tom Silva. For instance, you may have had a glass-tile backsplash in mind, but your contractor's bid was for ceramic.
Begin with the reality of budgeting for kitchen remodels: Kitchens are always one of the most expensive areas of the home to remodel. Upgrades to bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, and even small bathrooms pale in comparison to the price of remodeling a kitchen. The good news is that a budget kitchen remodel is possible relative to the average cost of other kitchen remodels.
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According to Marc Appleton, “half the experience of living indoors is seeing the outdoors” So when remodeling your house install large windows. However, you might not have the budget to change your windows in that case play around with paint and paint your windows a shade lighter than the rest of the room to maximize the light coming through the windows.
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.")
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.
Try to use all the space of your bathroom as much as possible, if your bathroom is on the smaller side, then you have to unleash your creativity in order to design the space and make it look larger. Glass doors for tubs and showers are perfect if your purpose is to open up the room, and the pedestal sinks are ideal since they occupy lesser space when compared to cabinets. All cabinets and tower cabinets above the toilets, as well as towel racks are perfect for those who need storage, but who don’t have much space to work with.
I will say that we had a lot of trouble with Ikea. They messed our order up and I ended up having to go back two additional times, which was a hassle (we live on an island, Ikea is a $150 ferry ride away). In the end, I’d do it the same way next time. The price difference was just too much to ignore. Though I’ll be more careful to check over what they’re giving me next time!
From wall paint to furnishings, it’s best to avoid dark colors and contrasting hues in a small space. “Stay with light colors—a monochromatic color scheme is best—so you don’t feel like you’re in a cave,” Maykut advises. Soft gray walls, for example, are very popular right now. If you’d prefer a bit more color, consider other trendy options, such as icy blue, seafoam green, warm white, and butter yellow. All of these colors work well, paired with white trim and cabinetry, for opening up a tiny bathroom. You’re sure to find some appealing options in light-colored cabinetry among the selection of more than eight colors that Sears Home Services offers.
Take note of design inspirations in every facet of life. I often use these as a starting point to discuss with clients when I’m hired to help them design the interiors of their homes. Recall a hotel in which you’ve stayed or restaurant in which you’ve dined that particularly struck your fancy. Perhaps it was a minimal interior from your trip to Japan or a clubby bar in New York furnished with worn leather chairs.
Don't cheap out on paint and brushes. Cheap brushes are false economy. Buy a Wooster or something with some heft. That $3 plastic brush is going make it look like you smeared paint on the wall with a rake. And the bristles fall out. I like a nice 2-1/2-inch angled brush. It's versatile and you can wash and reuse it until the bristles wear down to a nub. And get the most expensive paint, too. Why? Because it will go on easy and offer the best coverage. It'll last a long time. You'll be able to wash a grubby fingerprint off the wall without taking the paint with it. And your whole job will just go quicker and easier.
Paint won't bond to greasy or filthy surfaces, like kitchen walls above a stove, mudrooms where kids kick off their muddy boots and scuff the walls, or the areas around light switches that get swatted at with dirty hands. "I always use a degreaser to clean grimy or greasy surfaces," a pro tells PM. "It cuts through almost anything you have on walls for better paint adhesion."
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.
Do-it-yourselfers can reap big savings with recycled or lightly used fixtures and building materials. Habitat for Humanity operates about 400 ReStores nationwide, which offer salvaged materials at half off home-center prices. One caveat: Many contractors won't work with salvaged items, or homeowner-supplied materials in general, because they don't want to assume the liability if something goes wrong. That said, if you're doing your own work, you can find anything from prehung doors to acrylic skylights to partial bundles of insulation. (To find a ReStore near you, visit habitat.org.)
"One recommendation I would offer is to take out the clunky sink cabinet and replace it with a floating countertop with a vessel sink. You can then incorporate either hanging or floating shelves below for storage (include baskets for those items you don't necessarily wish to display). This takes the visual weight up and off the floor while still providing for ample storage in a small space - something much needed in every bathroom." - Huh? Designs
Thanks for these remodeling tips. I didn’t know that it’s important to make sure that your new bathroom is ventilated properly especially if it can help prevent mildew buildup. I’m kind of interested to learn more about how to take this consideration into the initial planning of the project, and how to determine where the best location of the vent should be.
Acrylic urethane has many properties that make it a perfect primer for cabinets. First, it sticks tenaciously to almost any surface. You could even paint over plastic laminate cabinets with acrylic urethane. Acrylic urethane also cures to a very hard and durable finish. You can use acrylic urethane primer and cover it with your choice of paint. Or you can use acrylic urethane paint as the final coat too. Insl-X Cabinet Coat (not shown) is one brand of acrylic urethane paint formulated for cabinets.
Sample actual paint colors on your walls when looking at options. Observe them in natural light, morning light and at night. Often a go-to color that worked well for one project will not work for another. What might work at your friend’s home might not work at your home. The chips at the paint store are a helpful starting point, but what looks good on paper might not translate into your interior. With white paints, try a handful of different hues on the wall and pay special attention to the undertones. They can have touches of pinks, blues or yellows. The outside surroundings strongly affect the temperature of the light. The vegetation and the sky can create reflections of greens and blues on your interior walls.
In the final measure, it is only the homeowner who has a true stake in keeping costs down for a kitchen remodeling project. All of the secondary parties involved in a kitchen remodel, including contractors, subcontractors, architects, designers, and suppliers, will tacitly agree to your stated budget. But it is not within their best interests to do so, since they are trying to maximize their profits at the same time you are trying to maximize your cost savings.