4 Money-Saving Renovation Hacks One Design Blogger Swears By
These tricks helped her save so much money on her kitchen and bathroom remodels.
When Stacy K. Allen, a photographer and blogger behind Mountainside Home, decided to renovate her kitchen and add on an extra bathroom to her home in Cahaba Heights, Alabama, she knew she had to get creative. Sharing a 1,400-square-foot, 1950's-style ranch home with her husband Jarrod, two kids (Jude and Eva), a dog, and a cat, Stacy wanted to create a stylish, family-friendly space, but for a fraction of the cost of a designer home renovation.
The solution? She and her husband (who happens to be an industrial designer) decided to "hack the system." By hacking supplies from big box stores, making friends with the pros, and finding affordable alternatives to their favorite materials, they were able to get their dream kitchen and bathroom—while staying within their budget. The next time you're planning a home remodel, keep these thrifty remodeling hacks in mind.
Make it yours.
"When we go to do a remodel, our style isn’t necessarily represented at the big box hardware stores," Stacy explained when I took a tour of her beautiful, creative home. Rather than rely on builder-grade basics, Stacy used finds from IKEA as the "building blocks" for the design, and then she added a DIY touch. For example, in the kitchen, the couple used IKEA cabinets, but paired them with modern hardware to make it theirs.
In the bathroom, they used IKEA countertop, but they hacked the trendy waterfall countertop look by also installing the material down the sides of the bathroom vanity. The end result: a custom waterfall countertop, but for an IKEA price tag.
Use the leftovers.
When you're trying to make every dollar stretch during an affordable home renovation, it pays to use leftover materials. In the open closet on the side of her new beautiful bathroom addition, Stacy decided to repurpose some leftover IKEA countertop into floating shelves. She was able to sneak in a little extra storage, and she didn't have to shell out for brand-new shelves.
Make friends with the pros.
When Stacy priced out the cost for a custom shower door, she originally thought it wasn't in her budget. Luckily, her husband Jarrod is an industrial designer, so he was able to order a custom shower door (and two bathroom mirrors) from a welder who he knew. The frames were welded and powder-coated, and Jarrod installed the glass himself, bringing the total cost of the shower door to around just $200.
Even if you're not an industrial designer, you can still reach out to a local welder, woodworker, or specialist in your area to get a cost estimate for a project you have in mind. And especially if you're willing to DIY some portion of the project or do the install yourself, it can save you thousands of dollars.
Find a cheaper alternative.
"Flooring can get really expensive," Stacy warned, as I admired the gorgeous tile floor in her kitchen. "We love the look of marble, so instead, we got a marble look in a ceramic tile," she explained. The finished look is every bit as luxurious as real marble, but it's much more affordable—and it won't stain as easily (which is a big plus in a home with kids and pets!).