Renovating Your Dream Home on a Budget
Written by Megan Cunningham
Wednesday, October 17th, 2018
I've recently become the proud owner of my very own (outdated) loft in downtown Toronto. Because I'm juggling the costs of my first mortgage, on top of condo fees, taxes and bills, I've had to take an innovative approach towards upgrading my new place.
Whether you find yourself in a similar situation, or you want to revamp your home, here's what I've learned so far about renovating on a tight budget.
I started my low-cost renos in the kitchen because I love to cook and knew I'd be spending a lot of time here.
My countertops were worn out and the dark colour brought a sombre look to the apartment. To brighten them up, I chose wood countertops because they're durable, anti-bacterial and affordable. If you're willing to get your hands dirty, you can source reclaimed wood and cut it to size.
In the end, I only spent $330: $320 on two pieces of oak, and $10 on oil to protect the wood. The best part was, I had a leftover piece that I now use as a butcher's block.
Next, I took apart my cabinets to give them a fresh coat of paint. All I needed was a piece of sandpaper, primer, a paint brush and paint – coming to a grand total of $60. When you compare that to buying brand new cabinets for $500+, this felt like a steal.
If you want to upgrade your knobs, all you need is a can of spray paint that works well on metal.
When I was apartment hunting, I realized how many bathrooms are stuck in the 90s. From terracotta floors to old school vanities, I knew my bathroom would likely be in desperate need of some upgrades, and I was right.
After doing some research, I discovered peel and stick tiles. I'm not a natural handywoman, but fortunately the installation was straightforward — measure and cut each tile, peel off the paper backing, and press it onto the floor. One box of tiles covered my 28-square foot bathroom and only cost $30.
To freshen up the rest of the bathroom, I focused on smaller scale projects like a fresh coat of paint on the walls, a new shower curtain, and spray painting the existing lighting fixtures. You can apply the same trick I used in the kitchen to revamp the bathroom cabinets – if you have enough leftover supplies from the kitchen, you won't even need to spend a dime.
My last project (for now) was to rip up the old carpet on my stairs and refinish the wood underneath. After reading about other renovation projects online, I learned how cost-effective it was to do it yourself.
Warning: set aside an entire weekend as this is a labour of love.
For this job you need: pliers, a utility knife, wood filler, sandpaper and paint or wood stain. Luckily, my parents are well-equipped with renovation supplies and only live a few blocks away. For step-by-step instructions, I'd recommend looking at home renovation blogs such as this one. My new staircase only cost me $60.
Home Sweet Home
In the end, it's a wonderful feeling to finish a big project on your home. My best advice when tackling your own renovations is to do your research, enlist the help of your friends and believe in yourself.
This article or video (the “Content”), as applicable, is provided by independent third parties that are not affiliated with Tangerine Bank or any of its affiliates. Tangerine Bank and its affiliates neither endorse or approve nor are liable for any third party Content, or investment or financial loss arising from any use of such Content....
The Content is provided for general information and educational purposes only, is not intended to be relied upon as, or provide, personal financial, tax or investment advice and does not take into account the specific objectives, personal, financial, legal or tax situation, or particular circumstances and needs of any specific person. No information contained in the Content constitutes, or should be construed as, a recommendation, offer or solicitation by Tangerine to buy, hold or sell any security, financial product or instrument discussed therein or to follow any particular investment or financial strategy. In making your financial and investment decisions, you will consult with and rely upon your own advisors and will seek your own professional advice regarding the appropriateness of implementing strategies before taking action. Any information, data, opinions, views, advice, recommendations or other content provided by any third party are solely those of such third party and not of Tangerine Bank or its affiliates, and Tangerine Bank and its affiliates accept no liability in respect thereof and do not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information in the third party Content. Any information contained in the Content, including information related to interest rates, market conditions, tax rules, and other investment factors, is subject to change without notice, and neither Tangerine Bank nor its affiliates are responsible for updating this information.
Tangerine Investment Funds are managed by Tangerine Investment Management Inc. and are only available by opening an Investment Fund Account with Tangerine Investment Funds Limited. These firms are wholly owned subsidiaries of Tangerine Bank. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated.