Everything You Need to Know about Renovating Your Home on a Budget

September 2, 2018

No one wants to spend more than they have to when renovating or redecorating their house.  This post will teach you nine ways you can create the beautiful, homey space your desire while still staying on budget.  

RENOVATE   |   Published September 2, 2018

A few months ago, I announced that I was in the process of acquiring my grandparent's home to fix up and style.  And then I've said no more about it since.

It is still happening and you should be seeing  more pictures of the house in it's before state in a few weeks......fingers crossed.  Nothing has been done to the house as of yet because we have been trying to empty it out of all the things that my grandma had collected over her 97 years.  It has been a much longer and more labor intensive process than we ever imagined it could be.  But I'm finally able to see some light at the end of the tunnel and should be able to start making the house a home very soon.

Here is just a little sneak peek that I quickly captured the other day while I was at the house....

Renovating a Fixer Upper

Because this house is not going to be a dream home or likely a forever home, it is important that the renovations remain budget friendly.  As much fun as it would be to go in and rip down all the walls and install fancy granite countertops, it just would not be a wise use of funds.  But, I still want the house to look nice and feel like me.

Perhaps you are in the same boat where you want to be living in a pretty, stylish house but don't have the money to invest in over the top upgrades.  Or maybe you know that you won't be staying in your current location long enough for major remodeling to make sense.  As easy as it is to believe that everyone is doing expensive renovations to make their dream home come to life, the fact is that there are even more people just trying to scrape by to turn their house into a home.

That is one thing that excites me more than anything moving forward with this plan to bring a family home back to life.  I don't HAVE to spend a fortune or do a complete gut job on the house in order to make it a comfortable, inviting place to live.  Regardless of your budget, it is possible to make small updates that will have major impact.  (This complete bathroom transformation for under $500 is proof of that.)

My hope is that my cost-conscious remodel will inspire you to open a can of paint or hang a new light fixture that will bring some new life to your own space.  If you are wanting to make some improvements to your home while staying on a budget, here are a few suggestions to help you.



The easiest way to waste money when renovating or redecorating your home is buying supplies or decor that you don't need, are not the right size, or do not fit in with what you already have.  Have you ever went to the store to buy a new couch and realized only after the delivery men are placing it into your living room that it was too big or too small for the space?

Before buying a single thing, you need to have a plan in place that takes into account the style you are after and how you want your room or home to feel.

Take measurements of the room and draw a layout of the space including where doors and windows are placed.  Decide where specific pieces of furniture will go so that you can know the correct size to look for.  Gather paint chips and fabric samples.  You can even print off rooms that inspire you or specific pieces of furniture and decor that you are looking for.

Everything you gather should look like it goes together and serves as a great guide when you begin shopping for your space.


In the world we live in now, it is easy to get pulled in twenty different directions when designing and redecorating.  There is so much inspiration out there.  But in order for your home to be YOU when it is done, you need to be clear on what it is that YOU actually love.

Although there may be elements in another person's design that you would like or a piece of decor that you must have, knowing what your style is and sticking to it will guide you towards making good decisions and ending up with a home that is what you were looking for.  And you won't end up with a pile of decor or style of furniture that you bought on a whim and no longer love.


Because you put the work into planning first, you can know what is going to work in your home.  But you likely won't be able to remember the forty different measurements that you took for the space right off the top of your head or the exact shade of gray you chose for the walls.

Buy a notebook or small binder that you can take with you containing all the measurements from the room, the room layout, your paint chips and fabric samples, and anything else that you may need to reference when shopping.  It is also a great place to store receipts from purchases in case you need to return something and a shopping list or "wish" list of what you are looking for.

A tape measure and calculator are always handy to have with you when shopping, too.


In a dream world, we could all go in and completely gut a room and start from scratch with new walls, floor, furniture, and accessories.  But that costs money.

There is nothing wrong with refinishing the wood floors or trim you already have.  Or repainting a piece of sturdy furniture.

And when it comes plumbing and electrical, finding ways to make the design you want work with how things are already set up in your house will save money.  Everything that you choose to move is going to add to your budget.

The less you have to buy or start from scratch, the less you will have to spend.


With a simple Google search, we can learn to do just about anything ourselves when it comes to home renovation.  There are YouTube videos, blog posts, and websites that take everything step by step with pictures to follow.  Things like painting your walls, installing a tile back splash, or changing a light fixture can be accomplished by anyone who is willing to try.  Doing things like this yourself can add up to a lot of savings.


Some jobs are bigger than what the average person can handle and can wind up costing  more in the long run if you don't know what you're doing.  While you may be able to deal with a few wires to update your chandelier, I don't recommend rewiring an entire room.  You can install a new faucet in the kitchen, but moving the sink and pipes to a new location in that kitchen is probably best left to the pros.

I'm all for being confident and trying things yourself, but you have to be realistic as well that there are some things that are harder to learn than a simple video might teach you.....things that actually require schooling and education to be competent doing.


Shopping used is a great way to save money for things you need in a room renovation.  Gently used, sturdy furniture can always be refinished or painted as long as the structure is in good condition.  You might be able to visit a thrift store, ReStore, or shop Ebay to find unique architectural items that will add character to your home.  I know someone who was able to renovate his entire house by seeking out things like gently used appliances, cupboards, and even a granite countertop.


There are things that you want to be able to last for a long time like a living room sofa, mattress, and counters.  High ticket items are not something you want to skimp on and later regret.  In my opinion, you need to invest in buying exactly what you want (within reason, of course) when purchasing something for your home that needs to stand the test of time.  You save nothing by having to repurchase the same thing a short time later because it was poor quality or you settled for the cheaper item you didn't really love.


A lot of stores have similar and sometimes identical inventory.  I've found this to be especially true when shopping for area rugs recently.  An identical rug in the same size varied by as much as $300 between about five different online shops.  I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have that money to spend on something more in my home than waste it on an identical rug because I didn't take the time to do a little comparing before purchasing.

And one last thing to consider in regards to comparison shopping......search for online coupon codes and shop through a cash back platform like Ebates when looking at different online places to buy from.  A few months ago when shopping for a vacuum cleaner, the prices were all relatively the same from the online retailers.  But one retailer had a very generous coupon promotion and free shipping making their store the cheapest price even though the retail price was more.  And some retailers have a better cash back program than others.

I hope today's post inspired you to consider different ways that you can stay on budget the next time you begin a home renovation or redecorating project.  No one should have to spend a fortune just to have a home they can love.


Join the Anderson + Grant Mailing List

Sign up to receive my tips + inspiration for creating a home you love delivered directly to your inbox.