Money-saving tips for home renovations

May 3, 2024


✔ Whether you’re spending a little or a lot on your home renovation, there are always lots of ways to save money.  

✔ Painting (walls, cabinets, tile, even floors) often offers the best renovation ROI (return on investment).

✔ Doing it yourself is an easy way to cut costs: many home improvement stores offer inexpensive (or free) home renovation workshops.

✔ You don’t have to own your home to improve it: renters can do low-cost home renovations and updates as well.

Looking to spruce up your home this spring? Even if you don't have a big budget for a completely new bathroom or a full kitchen renovation, there are improvements you can make on any budget. Here's an overview of three of the most common types of home renovations, with great ideas that will make an impact, no matter how much you have to spend. Below is a breakdown of renos costs from less than $1,000 ($) to $1,000-$5,000 ($$) to over $5,000 ($$$).

Kitchen renovation

$ Don't love your outdated cabinets? Paint them a clean white (or whatever colour suits your style) and replace the knobs and pull handles for an easy and inexpensive refresh. You can also paint the backsplash – and even the counters. Just ask the paint expert at your local home improvement store for a primer that will help paint stick to glossy services. For counters, do a final coat of high gloss varnish after you’ve primed and painted to make the colour last longer.

$$ Bring in the pros to spray paint your cabinets for a “factory finished” look. Many companies can do everything in a day or two. Some do it right in your home while others take the doors and drawers to their site. This service costs more than DIY, but the result is more polished and will likely last longer – and it’s still a fraction of the cost of refacing or replacing your cabinets.

$$$ If you don't like the shape of your cabinet doors, refacing them is less expensive than replacing all of them. Looking to upgrade your countertops? Laminates have come a long way in recent years, but if you’ve got your eye on granite or quartz, you can save a lot by shopping for remnants. You could even mix and match different pieces, with one type of stone as your main countertop and a complementary colour topping your island. More flexibility can mean more savings.

Tips for renters

You don’t have to own your home to give it a refresh. Here are a few things you can do to “renovate” your rental without losing your security deposit:

○ Paint the walls.
○ Put up removable wallpaper.
○ Update your furniture: get a new couch or replace your coffee table.
○ Hang big mirrors to reflect windows: it makes the space look bigger and brighter.
○ Cover the kitchen floor with removable peel-and-stick tiles.
TIP: Talk to your landlord about other changes – they may be willing to pay for them if you ask, or at least meet you halfway on the costs if you do the work.

Bathroom renovation

$ Look for an inexpensive, ready-made vanity or check out online marketplaces for one that is used but in good condition. Paint the walls, replace your shower head (a stainless rainfall shower head adds a touch of luxury at a reasonable cost), pick up a new shower curtain, and together they’ll give your bathroom a fresh new look for a few hundred dollars.

$$ Consider installing a prefabricated bathtub and shower. Many companies can do this in a day or two and you can choose custom finishes. It goes right over your old one and is significantly less expensive than installing something new.

$$$ If you're planning a complete bathroom renovation, start saving by:

  • Shopping at not-for-profit stores that sell new or gently used items
  • Browsing “as is” sections for returned items or those with minor flaws
  • Online websites that sell used items.

Home improvement stores offer workshops to help you build skills – and there are plenty of videos online to help you pick up money-saving home renovation know-how.

Basement renovation

$ Perk up an uninspiring basement with some “cheap and cheerful” updates: give the walls a fresh coat of light-coloured paint and bring in a budget-friendly area rug or two. Amp up the lighting, too: replacing dated ceiling fixtures and adding inexpensive floor lamps adds a cozy vibe.

$$ Rip out the old carpeting and install wood-look vinyl flooring. The look of hardwood immediately elevates the space – and vinyl withstands moisture, so you don't have to worry about warping or discoloration.

$$$ Installing pot lights illuminates and modernizes even the darkest basement. However, unless you’re an electrician, this is a job best left to professionals. Spend your money on good lighting and drywall installation, then save by DIYing the painting and flooring.

Updating and refreshing your space doesn’t have to cost a lot. If you plan ahead, set a budget, and do your research you can give your home or apartment a whole new look. If you need some financial help to make your vision a reality, easyfinancial offers personal loans from $500 to $20,000 to help you with your home renovations, and payment plans that fit your budget. Apply online in minutes, contact your easyfinancial branch or call us at 1-888-502-3279.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial advice on any subject matter.

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