Remodeling on a budget: Refinish, reface and recycle

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Remodeling on a budget is a hot topic for homeowners and remodelers. In tough economic times, many homeowners...

Remodeling on a budget is a hot topic for homeowners and remodelers. In tough economic times, many homeowners are choosing to stay in their homes longer than in the past. Choosing to keep your current home, despite lifestyle or family size changes, does not mean that you can't give your home a facelift that makes it feel brand new. The good news is that you can remodel on a budget, and even increase your home's value at the same time. The Fall Atlanta Home Show showcased many ways to give your home a fresh new look without going broke by focusing on refacing, refinishing and recycling.

The kitchen

The kitchen is often the first room in the home to become outdated, and is the most commonly remodeled room in the home. Luckily, it is one of the easiest areas of the home to remodel on a budget.

Cabinets

If your existing cabinets are not falling off the walls, chances are you can give them a facelift and save thousands of dollars when remodeling on a budget. Having a contractor come in and replace your cabinets completely can cost as much as $15,000, but if your cabinets are solid, replacing the doors can give your kitchen an entirely new look, often for a third of the price of a total replacement.

Counters

When updating your kitchen counters, you may think that new granite is the only way to go. Luckily, there are many options available for giving tired workspaces a new lease on life. In addition to a variety of budget countertop materials, refinishing old countertops is a very popular option. A refinished countertop can offer a variety of color options and even allow you to change the style of edges of your counters without the headache or cost of removing old countertops and replacing them with new.

Accessories

The shabby chic trend is far from yesterday's news, and the kitchen provides many opportunities to grab a friend and visit antique stores looking for the perfect accessories to your remodel. Consider refinishing an old sewing table as an island, or vintage bar stools for your breakfast nook. The possibilities are endless!

The bathroom

Older homes often have older looking bathrooms. Unfortunately, the bathrooms of 20 or 30 years ago looked much different from the ideal bathroom of today. If your home has a vintage style bathroom that makes you cringe, you will be happy to know that remodeling the bathroom can be done on a fairly tight budget.

Tubs, sinks and showers

Unlike other methods of covering up old tubs with liners, refinishing actually restores and repairs the surfaces in your bathroom. A specially designed bonding agent is used to attach primer, color and acrylic to your old surfaces, allowing you to change the appearance of tubs, tile, showers and sinks to match almost any design style, from a textured stone look to ultra glossy and modern. When compared to the cost of removing and replacing old fixtures, refinishing your bathroom could save you as much as 75 percent.

Accessories

Vanities, medicine cabinets, over the toilet shelving and dcor can be found at antique stores and remodeling recycling centers around Atlanta. Before buying new, make a day of exploring the local area treasure troves and make your bathroom one of a kind.

Indoor accents

It's said that in decorating, the details make the difference. A popular trend involves using wood accents to add a bit of dramatic flair to your designs. Architectural molding and mill work is one way to make your home stand out, without spending a fortune on a complete remodel. Crown molding, casing, tongue and groove paneling, base molding and even pull-out columns are easy to paint or stain to match all of your designs.

If you are clueless when it comes to color matching, or just feel like you need a professional's help, many interior designers are offering short consultations to help you come up with a plan that you can do yourself. The interior designer can help you choose colors, show you current styles and trends and provide professional and practical advice to help your decorating get underway.

Outdoors

While outdoor changes typically cost more than interior repairs due to the material costs, there are a few trends to consider that may help your budget in the long-term.

Ceramic coating

Before you grab buckets of paint and a ladder, consider some of the newer technology available, such as ceramic coating. While not as easy on the budget as old-fashioned paint, ceramic coating is an economical option when you consider that you will never have to paint your house again. Ceramic coating is flexible, so it does not crack when temperature changes and is resistant to mold, mildew and carpenter bees. It also helps keep heat out in the summer and in the winter, so it can help save money over the long-term as well.

Concrete resurfacing

One of the most popular trends for outdoor remodeling is concrete resurfacing. If your driveway, garage floor, sidewalks or pool area has cracks, chips or holes, concrete resurfacing can allow you to give the trouble area a modern looking facelift for a third of the cost of replacement. Concrete resurfacing offers more options that simply pouring concrete, with many decorative trims and finishes available.

Do it yourself or hire a pro?

Being on a budget for your remodeling project does not mean that you have to attempt to do it yourself. Contractors and remodelers have the buying power of wholesale and can often save you money both in the short-term and in the long-term. Many remodeling contractors offer guarantees or warranties that can prevent you from making a costly mistake and paying for it later.

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