Home Renovations – Continued

We have most of the major expenses and repairs covered now from last week’s post. Your walls, windows, and wiring are set to go. Now what?

This is when we move to the plastic shielding (for exterior walls) and drywall. Drywall will save you lots of money if you can do it yourself. But be careful because this can be finicky work. You want to make sure that the screws don’t sit too far in the drywall or too far out causing popping later. You’ll want to practice taping before applying it to the walls as well. Once you get the paint on top of the drywall, it will show every little mark you make. 

For a great resource of information and how-to’s, check out Or watch Shannon’s video on how to hang drywall: He also has great tips on how to mud and tape drywall as well. 

Next comes the paint. This is getting into the exciting part of the room. Calculate the square footage of the room to decide how much paint you’ll need to purchase. Home Hardware has nice paint for a decent price. If you have time to wait, you can also wait for higher end paint stores like Dulux to have a sale, then get your paint from them. I would recommend waiting for a sale regardless. Considering you’ll need a couple layers of primer and of paint (the drywall absorbs a lot), you’ll want all the savings you can get. 

Don’t cheapen out on a paint roller. If you do, you might end up with little gobs of fuzzies stuck to the paint and ultimately your walls. Save on the paint and get some decent rollers. 

Then comes the flooring. Shop around for this as well. There are places that sell leftover pieces of carpeting and laminate that looks great! We’ve been really impressed with a company called “End of the Roll”. Their flooring was inexpensive and good quality. Make sure that you get carpet that’s guaranteed to last decades. You don’t want to put something in that your pet’s nails will snag or your child’s juice will stain. Think about your living conditions and then get the flooring that will match that. 

If you’re doing the flooring yourself, you’re best off to go with laminate or linoleum. Tile can be costly and troublesome getting the grout right. Carpeting needs a good underlay, and you’ll be dealing with covering seams and stretching it properly. If you go with tile or carpet, make sure you get someone else to do it for you.

Then you can move on to the finishing touches of trim. There are different prices depending on style, as well as if it is pre-primed or not.  If you need to cut costs, go with the basic model and the unprimed trim. Trim is a nice accent but something people rarely take the time to look at. You’ll most likely have some primer left over from the room, so you can use that to prime the trim yourself. Then decide whether you want a high gloss or matte look for your trim and get the paint accordingly. You’ll also need some special putty to fill in the nail holes after hanging them, and putting on the last coat of paint. 

Now comes the most tempting part. Filling the room with furniture, paintings, etc. Remember how much money you just spent on repairing the room. The last thing you want to do is go out and buy all new furnishings to fill it. If you have it in the budget, then by all means, go for it! But, if you’ve gone over your budget or don’t have a budget, don’t do it. Use the lovely furniture you already have. Or, wait until you can afford to buy what you need and leave the room empty in the meantime. 

The tricky thing about home renovations is that they always cost a lot of money, and you’ll most likely need someone else to do various aspects of it for you. If you’re a handy person, you could save thousands of dollars by doing all the work yourself. If you don’t know what you’re doing or struggle to learn it, have someone else come in and do it for you. You won’t save as much, but you’ll have the reassurance that the job was done right. This will help when it comes time to sell your home as well.  

As much as it isn’t necessarily enjoyable, the biggest key to doing renos and being able to save is to do it room by room. It’s exciting to watch an old room transform into something you’ve created. It now fits your style and it’s more cost-efficient. It’s also most satisfying because it’s paid for. 

Michael and I have flipped the majority of our house. We’ve transformed a very old home into something that’s sound, heat efficient, and updated. We’ve enjoyed the process of seeing everything come together. We’ve still got a ways to go, but it’s so nice to know that we’ve paid for it all, and saved a ton of money over the years in the process. We’ve been able to keep up with the renovations alongside working hard at paying off our mortgage. So, I’m here to say that it can be done. It may just take a lot longer than you anticipated. 

Unfortunately, higher expense items like home renovations can leave a big dent in your wallet regardless of whether you’re doing it yourself or not. It is important to always plan. If you want to renovate a room, calculate how much you think it’s going to cost, and then tack on another $200-$500 just to be safe (unless it’s a bigger room, then do more). That way you have a buffer. Then save up the money before starting. You don’t need a financial headache while dealing with the stress of living in renovations. It’s not worth it. You want to enjoy the process and appreciate the work, not regret it. 

Send me a message if you want anymore specific details on things you can do in this area. 

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