Now that we’ve officially been living in the new house for more than a week I’m feeling a little more settled in. Since I’ve got the majority of the cleaning underway I’m starting to dream up and make lists of all the DIY projects I want to get to soon.
This house is a nice blend of half beautiful and half fixer upper. It’s also the biggest house I’ve ever lived in which makes my to-do list rather long.
However, I’m not going to start pouring thousands of dollars into this house. Instead I’m going to take my time and work on each room very methodically and on a budget.
Here are my plans for fixing up this house on a budget.
# 1) Going One Room at a Time
I can’t lie, walking in this house on possession day was a little bit overwhelming. While we knew this house needed work the condition in which we received it was not the condition in which we first saw it.
It was bad.
Luckily, the main rooms are pretty timeless. Once they were thoroughly cleaned several times all they need is a nice coat of paint.
Now that everything is clean, and mostly unpacked, we’ll be going one room at a time based on the sense of urgency.
This is my need-to-get-to room list:
- Painting the living room. The living room now looks good except for the walls. They’re grossing me out. This is the first room I’ll be painting.
- Fixing up the basement bathroom. This is the worst room in the entire house. Jamie’s Dad will be staying in the basement when we comes down and since the other bathrooms with showers/baths are on the second floor we need to get this done. I have a $150 budget for this and already have all the supplies to do it. (Hoping to have our less than $150 bathroom makeover completed this week!)
- Painting Kailyn’s room. There’s really nothing wrong with Kailyn’s room but it’s blue. And Kailyn, who is six years old, is embarrassed by this. (See pic above.) She’s keeps telling everyone “Please don’t make fun of me” as she shows them her room. I’m going to go ahead and get this knocked out of the way.
# 2) Investing in the Right Cleaning Supplies
It’s amazing what a good cleaning can do for a room as long as you have the right tools. Seriously, CLR and Magic Erasers have been a Godsend!
While I normally try to be cheap as possible when it comes to cleaning supplies I’ve went through several bottles of CLR and it has worked so great that I just won’t use anything else.
# 3) Waiting At Least a Year for Any Major Changes
The bathrooms are the worst rooms in this house – all of them. There are 3.5 bathrooms in this house and there’s only one where I feel comfortable touching the toilet and one where I feel comfortable taking a shower.
However, I don’t think anything major should be done to a house until at least a year until you’ve lived there. This way you can really figure out what you love and hate about how the room is currently functioning.
And when we do get to those bigger renovations they’ll be done on a pretty tight budget too.
# 4) Shopping Smartly
Jamie’s Dad is wanting come down from the city and stay with us for a few days. He’s not in the shape to be walking up two flights of stairs to take a shower each day or even one flight of stairs just to use the bathroom. Because of this we really want to get the basement bathroom fixed up. It’s the worst room in the entire house. (And ironically, was the bathroom the former tenants used.)
It has no flooring and was just downright dirty.
I budgeted $150 for this mini makeover and started shopping. I know this might sound crazy but my original inspiration for this room was a trashcan!
When I started browsing for bathroom accessories online I came across this trashcan and basket set that I absolutely loved. The problem was it was way more than I wanted to spend on a trashcan.
So I started looking for similar substitutes. I found this trashcan and this basket at JC Penney for a fraction of the cost of the others. And since I went through ShopAtHome.com, an online coupon and Cash Back site that partners with thousands of online retailers and more than 60 million members to deliver savings and rewards, I lucked into a 15% off coupon code, plus 7% cashback, and 50 ShopGold points! Woohoo. Now I’ve got a pretty trashcan and basket for way less.
The next thing I needed was flooring. I got this simple, cute, and inexpensive vinyl plank tile from Lowes. It took less than $65 to get enough for the bathroom floor. Plus Shop at Home was offering .5% cashback. I really like it!
The rest of the stuff in the bathroom I’ll clean up, paint, and stain using the supplies I already have on hand. Smart shopping, using what I already have (like a mirror from my growing mirror collection) and some elbow grease will have this bathroom looking pretty great for less than $150!
#5) Taking My Time
I plan on being in this house forever. I really love not only the house, but the land too. Since DIY has always been a big hobby of mine it looks like I’ll be having fun fixing up this house and property for the next couple of years.
What are your tips for fixing up a house on a budget?
This post was created in partnership with Shop at Home. All opinions are mine.
It sounds to me like you guys have the right idea. Some paint on the walls and new flooring can go a long, long ways to breathe new life into an old house. Everything else like the curtains, counter-tops, light fixtures, decorations, etc can come naturally over time.
You are going to have so much fun!
Are you getting a new light fixture for the bath ? I can’t wait to see the results of paint, stain etc.
I hope you guys are really happy in the new/old place.
Reelika @Financially Wise On Heels says
Congrats on a new home! It does take some time to settle in and get everything done, but you have awesome ideas 🙂
pram financial says
Well the very first of all is a big congratulations for your new home. It’s all about fun and happiness in the new home. getting the upper fixed done can take some time but be sure that it is done soon from your end. There are many financial planning tips which you must know. apart from the happiness and joy of getting a new home , togetherly you must start thinking about it’s tax planning and other financial moves. It will be good for your long term.
Congrats for your new home, it is nice , also if repairs will need some time-and a lot of patience- result will be a good reward! Enjoy all the adventure on good and bad days!!!
I 100% agree that you have to take your time with major projects in a new home. I’ve been in my place for YEARS and there are still projects that need to get done. No worries, it will eventually happen.
Alexandra @ Real Simple Finances says
Congratulations on the house! And best of luck to you. I wish I had some tips for fixing up the house, but we have been ever so slowly working on ours for the last 6 years and haven’t been making too many improvements. I’ve hated the little blue toilet in the guest bathroom since day one, but it just hasn’t been in the cards to fix it… yet! 🙂
Paula Smith says
We were left our house by my husband’s grandpa. It is a two bed one bath home that was not particularly cared for (gramps was single a long time and smoked like a chimney). Out bathroom is also the first thing that must be fixed. The overgrown land will have to wait for awhile. The kitchen is atrocious with hardly any cabinet space to speak of. I can start feeling overwhelmed! I am glad I found this site!
Elizabeth Vega says
Congratulations on your new house, and thank you for the ideas on fixing it up…. We got our Little Hippie House this past summer, as well, and we haven’t really begun to focus on aesthetics, but I’m looking forward to it! So far, all our projects have been to save energy and money: weather-proofing, adding gutters, building a raised-bed garden. I just came across your blog, and I’m excited to follow along with your journey!
Hi Alexa. Congrats on your new house. I live your blog. I’m currently a single mom. I have several sources of income but I really want to get my blog bringingmomshome.org
Up and running really well. I started it a month in a half ago and it had really good traffuc for a while. 2400 hits one day in the second week. Do you do consulting? I would love to get some advice from. You are my go to bligger, because I can totally relate to everything you write about.
Oh, also. Being a former real estate agent I can tell you this. Try to hang on to it five, years that seems to be the majic ROI number to make your max profit. Also, every underestimate a couple coats if paint. The kitchen and bathrooms.s should be yiur main areas to spend on. The other rooms can wait. It looks like it has good bones, which is good. Shop for key peices at thrift stores and yard sales. You can ever find some awesome ho.e decor at the Dollar Tree.
I can really spell. Lol Sorry I typed this in my android phone and its hard to see the screen.