With holiday parties underway and 2017 just around the corner, have you come to the realization that you hate the way your home looks? Whether you're looking at a major kitchen overhaul, new bathroom tile, or just a new sofa, a plan and a budget are the place to start. I spoke with Kentucky-based decorating expert Liz Toombs for some tips on home updates that won't break the bank.
Research shows that homeowners are completing more home projects and spending more to do so. In fact, over the past 12 months, the number of homeowners who reported completing two home maintenance and repair projects increased nearly 12%, and the number of homeowners intending to perform more home maintenance doubled. “Homeowners are increasingly seeing the value of investing in their homes for resale and/or to create a lifestyle that’s welcoming for family and friends,” says Liz, the owner and founder of Lexington's Polka Dots & Rosebuds Interiors. Her design work can be seen on college campuses around the country, as well as homes and businesses in more than 25 states.
Here are the Polka Dots & Rosebuds Team's top 5 tips for HerKentucky readers who are having an “I-hate-my-house” meltdown, but don't want to spend a fortune.
- Make a Plan: Start your process by making a list of items you desire or things you want to update. The list is your foundation and will guide you in seeing the bigger picture of how much money you’ll need to set aside for this project. If your focus is to increase resale value, Toombs suggests the kitchen and bath as the rooms for focus. If you want less of an overhaul that still increases your home’s value, focus on flooring, such as adding hardwood instead of carpet.
- Set a Realistic Budget: After making your plan, do your research in order to estimate costs and timing. Materials and finishes, such as granite, marble, etc., vary greatly in price. For a kitchen, Toombs says $15,000 is a good estimate assuming you don’t want to keep anything; again, pricing varies on the type of cabinets, finishes, etc.
- Estimate a timeline: For scheduling, estimate at least three months for a kitchen redo and be prepared to go up to four months; same for bathrooms. If you can leave the footprint of the room the same (not remove walls, etc.) and simply add new finishes, paint and décor, your timeline is drastically shortened.
- Order in advance: Make the most of your timing by purchasing everything before demo starts. For example, estimate four weeks for cabinets on the short-end and more if they are custom or ornate. “If you can order your cabinets and then wait two weeks to start tearing things out, the project will begin on better footing. Keep in mind that countertops cannot be measured and cut until cabinets are in place, which adds days to your project. Thinking ahead of time will save you a lot of headache during the renovation,” adds Toombs who redid her kitchen a year ago.
- Focus on One Room at a Time: Save money by completely finishing one room and waiting to start on the next after you have saved enough. When timely, it’s fine to shop sales, but Toombs advises not waiting on sales for too long as you risk the desired items & styles no longer being available.
Thanks so much to Liz for taking the time to share these great tips with us!