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Spring Renovations on a Budget

With the arrival of spring comes the desire of many of us to spruce up our homes.  While participating in the “Spring Cleaning” tradition is what usually comes to mind, many of us find that is just not enough.  What we want is a real change, and a home renovation is just what the doctor ordered.

The following are a few tips and ideas for sprucing up your home without destroying your finances.  These inexpensive remodeling ideas can make an enduring impact on how your home feels and functions all the while being reasonably inexpensive.  These renovations range from quick and easy weekend makeovers to small remodel projects.

The Kitchen

There is no doubt that the kitchen is the most used room in a home.  With that being said, the kitchen is often the first place that many of us think of when we start considering a home renovation.  But isn’t it going to cost a fortune to renovate a kitchen?  Not necessarily…

  • Paint – Just a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in making a kitchen look new and inviting.  Consider changing the hardware on your cabinets and drawers for a nice added touch.
  • Accents – Much like replacing the pulls on your cabinets and drawers, decorative accents can dramatically enhance the overall design of your kitchen.  A new light over the sink, new window treatments or even an accent rug can change the appearance and feel of your kitchen.
  • Backsplash – There are many ways to update the backsplash in your kitchen.  Depending on the “style” you are trying to achieve, you can choose from a beaded board backsplash, new tile or marble, tin or copper, or even glass, painted on the backside for a clean, contemporary look.
  • Remove your cabinet doors – With the back of your cabinets covered in wallpaper or even a foam core covered in wrapping paper, your open cabinets will totally change the look and feel of your kitchen.
  • Flooring – There are as many choices of flooring for your kitchen as there are people who have kitchens, but a new kitchen floor is one of the design components that will result in the most noticeable and transforming change.  Of the seemingly endless options for kitchen flooring are hardwood, vinyl, ceramic tile, marble, vinyl tile and even bamboo.


Whether it’s inside or out, fresh new paint is one of the most common and inexpensive home renovations that can be done.

  • Interior – Whether you decide to paint the whole interior of your home or just one room, adding a fresh coat of paint to the walls (and ceiling) is one of the most noticeable and rewarding renovations you can do.  You are not limited however to just your “normal” wall paint.  There are many faux painting techniques that can add that custom designer flare to your home.  Keep in mind however that if you decide on a faux treatment that it is a subtle one making sure to compliment the style or theme of the rest of the house.  A good example would be painting your living room in a faux distressed appearance when the rest of your home is modern or contemporarily styled.Before choosing your paint be sure to contemplate where your room fits into the big scheme of things within your home.  Is it high or low traffic?  Is it the kid’s room? The right type or finish of the paint will make a huge difference in the outcome of your renovation.  Flat paint works best for ceilings and anywhere that low-reflecting light is desired.  Flat paint should not be used in high traffic areas because of its difficulty in cleaning.  Gloss or Semi-gloss is best suited for high traffic areas, kitchens, shelves, banisters, trim and window sills.  Satin or eggshell paint has a low luster, somewhere between flat and gloss.  This type of finish is best used where you want a bit of a sheen and is durable enough for high traffic areas.


  • Exterior – When it comes to painting the exterior of your home, most all of the options for exterior paint are going to be a gloss finish.  Just like interior paint, there is an endless range of colors to choose from when it comes to painting your home’s exterior.  Even if you choose not to change your home’s exterior color, a fresh coat of paint will do wonders for look and curb appeal.


  • The Paint Alternative – There are alternatives to paint for the exterior of your home that can put an end to ever having to paint the outside of your home again.  Vinyl siding is a tried and true alternative and comes in almost as many colors as paint, however, a fairly new player in the home exterior arena is a ceramic coating system.  There are elastomeric ceramic coatings that looks like your typical latex exterior paint but virtually eliminates frequent house painting forever.


Landscaping rivals exterior painting as one of the most noticeable and effective way to spruce up your home.  But it easy to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on professional landscaping… but you don’t have to.  The real estate section of MSN recently posted some information about this very subject, it is worth repeating:  “Get the most visual bang for your buck: First of all, realize that budget gardening can still be beautiful. Let’s say you’ve got less than $1,000 to spend. The first things you should focus on are improving your soil and adding trees, recommends Joanie Clarke, a design consultant for Classic Nursery and Landscape Co. in Redmond, Wash. “You can spend $500 on plants, but they’re not going to grow in clay or sand,” she says. Clarke advises amending your soil with compost and other ingredients to improve its quality. Buying soil, in comparison, can cost as much as $27 a yard plus delivery.”

One of the best ways to freshen up your landscaping is to work with what you have.  By simply trimming your existing trees and bushes and adding some fresh mulch to selected areas, you can make your unremarkable yard appear fresh and new.

No matter which renovation project you decide to tackle, do your best to avoid going overboard.  You can make small, inexpensive changes to your home all the while staying within your budget and adding value to your home.

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