We’ve mentioned before about the push for home renovations from places like HGTV and House and Home magazine. It seems everywhere you turn someone is trying to convince you that you won’t be happy until you’ve dropped $60,000 on a new kitchen.

Most home renovations don’t recoup their full value when you sell, so you have to REALLY love that granite countertop, which works just as well as your old laminate one, to justify the cost.

But today we’re going to look at some ways you can get most of what you want out of a renovation without blowing your budget. By making everything look nicer without spending a ton, you might actually raise the value of your home more than the cost of the actual work.

A Little Paint Goes A Long Way

It’s truly amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do to a room. Old dingy walls can be completely restored with a fresh colour, some bright white on the trim, and maybe an accent wall or other splash of colour as part of the décor.

But what about other surfaces in your home?

Bathroom floor tiles, for example, can be painted to brighten them up, change the colour, and generally make them look new, without having to spend a couple thousand dollars to rip them up and put in new ones.

What about your kitchen cabinets? These cost thousands of dollars to rip down and replace, and often they’re in pretty good shape. With some light sanding you can completely change the look of your kitchen by re-painting your cabinets another colour. Use the cabinets to emphasize the countertop or backsplash and you’ll save thousands.

Buy From Smaller Shops

Rather than buying your entire kitchen from Ikea or Home Depot, consider looking around for independent shops. Countertops in materials like granite or quartz typically come in sizes larger than that need for a customer. This means that smaller shops might have remainders from old jobs that you can buy for much cheaper than retail price.

You can also speak to a cabinet maker about options for simply re-doing the doors on your cabinets instead of replacing everything (if you’ve decided painting isn’t going to work for you).

With smaller places you also have a much better chance of negotiating a lower price. Ikea doesn’t care if you buy from them or not, as there’s probably someone waiting in line behind you to do the same thing. But a smaller business owner will be much more reluctant to turn away business, and it’s possible you can work out a reduction in either the materials cost or the labour cost.

Do It Yourself

Sometimes it feels great to complete a home renovation project on your own. But if it’s taking you 8 hours to install a dishwasher, and the person who delivered it could have done it in an hour for $100, you might not be using your time as efficiently as possible.

Sometimes, however, you can save money by doing things yourself. Replacing a kitchen backsplash, for example, might include a charge for removing your existing tiles or removing the countertop from the cabinets.

With a hammer, chisel, and screwdriver, you can probably do both of these in a couple hours and save yourself a couple hundred dollars.

For appliances, instead of paying the $25 (this may vary) fee to recycle an old appliance, consider donating it to an organization like Habitat for Humanity (only if it’s still working of course). They’ll pick it up for free and you’ll be happy knowing someone else will be able to use is.

A Fresh Way Of Thinking

How you live in your home is completely up to you, but no one has an infinite budget for home renovations. Spend a bit of time upfront questioning your assumptions about a project and start thinking creatively about possible alternatives.