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Old 02-21-2013, 11:44 AM   #11
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Re: thrifty home updates??

Craigslist is a fantastic option as is habitat and big box stores. We usually find super deals in the clearance section at Lowes and HD. In fact, we have been needing to replace a vanity and found one at HD for $78 on clearance. The exact same vanity is in the Lowes ad this week for $219!

As for the floors, I would go with either tile or the laminate wood flooring. The laminate wood would be easier for you to lay yourselves, but both would look really nice. You can easily find ceramic tile for $.99 a square foot and wet saws can be found inexpensively also. Do you have a Costco membership? I just saw some laminate wood flooring for a good price this week at our Costco.

Can your DH do wood work? Mine just started recently and using the free Ana white plans he has built some amazing things for our home at a significantly cheaper price. For mother's day last year he built this vanity. I believe the cost was $150 including the vessel sink and new faucet. It really stepped up the look of our bathroom. She has some awesome plans for building things around your home and they are beginner friendly.

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Old 02-21-2013, 03:38 PM   #12
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Re: thrifty home updates??

If you have a Costco membership, they often have laminate flooring and it even goes on sale sometimes. We just laid laminate, but bought through our contractor (who installed it). I love it!

There are TONS of fixing up ideas on pinterest. I just updated our four exterior lights for $11 total- the cost of two cans of Rustoleum from Home Depot. They look like entirely different lights. I've seen blogs about spray painting all the hardware/fixtures in your house to a different metal finish too. I think there are a lot of small improvements that can be made that have a huge impact.

Here are the before and after pics of one of my lights. I should have taken a before one of it all together, but you can see how dingy the brass is and then it had clear glass panels. I took them apart, cleaned them, spray painted the metal a satin black and used a frosted glass spray for the glass.



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Old 02-21-2013, 04:21 PM   #13
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Re: thrifty home updates??

For flooring check the remnant area in big box stores. We purchased a top of the line linoleum piece that was 12 x 18. It was the end of a roll of a discontinued pattern. We got a $300 piece of flooring for $80.

Also, see if you can find a builder's surplus type place. We have a couple places near us that buy freight that has been damaged. They buy whole tractor trailers of building materials and maybe only the ends of boards got wet or the top box of tile was broken, etc. For our bathroom reno, we got 18 x 18 porceline tile for $.35 each and 12 x 12 for the shower at $.25 each.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:21 PM   #14
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Re: thrifty home updates??

I think engineered hardwood is a very good option. We did hardwood floors and if I had really understood what engineered hardwood was, I would have gone with that and saved a lot of money. My friend did engineered hardwood and it looks like hardwood. It goes down like laminate where you snap the pieces together. Her husband did it all. It can be refinished one time so it should last a good 20-30 years. I loathe laminate. I would prefer any other type of flooring including linoleum.

For thrifty updates, paint can go a long way. Also updating cabinet hardware can make cabinets look updated. Keep an eye on craigslist.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:59 PM   #15
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Re: thrifty home updates??

Thanks everyone! You all have given me a lot to think about. We do not have a Costco near enough us to drive to us if I am not mistaken but I wish we did! We are going to go look at some places this weekend. I think there is a Habitat for Humanity store, I will check that out for sure.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:03 PM   #16
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Re: thrifty home updates??

Quote:
Originally Posted by KindaCrunchyMomma View Post
If you have a Costco membership, they often have laminate flooring and it even goes on sale sometimes. We just laid laminate, but bought through our contractor (who installed it). I love it!

There are TONS of fixing up ideas on pinterest. I just updated our four exterior lights for $11 total- the cost of two cans of Rustoleum from Home Depot. They look like entirely different lights. I've seen blogs about spray painting all the hardware/fixtures in your house to a different metal finish too. I think there are a lot of small improvements that can be made that have a huge impact.

Here are the before and after pics of one of my lights. I should have taken a before one of it all together, but you can see how dingy the brass is and then it had clear glass panels. I took them apart, cleaned them, spray painted the metal a satin black and used a frosted glass spray for the glass.



Those look great!
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:13 PM   #17
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Re: thrifty home updates??

We are DIY-ers. Do you have a habitat for humanity restore in the area? Or other rebuilding center? It's kind of like goodwill for building supplies. People donate what they don't want and they sell it for a profit (well, the profit is habitat for humanity and they build homes for people).

I'm also big on craigslist for cheapo materials. And you can go to workshops at home depot for free tile seminars and things.

Toilets are super cheap. You can get a complete basic one at home depot for around $70. For a vanity I might go with Ikea since we have a weird layout and they don't have deep vanities (I guess that's the new style).

For kitchen flooring I'd suggest tile. Fairly easy to install, and very durable.

For easy upgrades, I'm big on painting the walls. Makes it looks so much nicer. For energy efficiency, look at insulating the attic. We have an energy trust in our state that gives cash incentives for upgrades. They came out and gave us an energy review, and that gave us some ideas of what we could do to improve our home. The power company also offers some incentives. And a local community action thing does help out with energy efficient upgrades for low-income homeowners.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:40 PM   #18
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Re: thrifty home updates??

It helps if you're not set on specifics. We got a toilet for $9 from Menard's, smaller than we wanted but super cheap. We bought remnants for our last house, the kitchen cost $0.23/sq ft for flooring. If you have experience staining wood, you can buy unfinished cabinets. We bought a bulk lot of cabinet hardware off ebay. There are lots of counter refinishing options. Showers and vanities go on sale often at home improvement stores.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:40 AM   #19
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Re: thrifty home updates??

Oh I forgot, check for rebates! We were able to get new toilets both bathrooms a while back for free due to a water co. rebate!
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Old 02-23-2013, 09:21 AM   #20
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Re: thrifty home updates??

We did groutable vinyl tile and it's lovely. You'd never know it's vinyl. It's durable, easy to clean and much much less expensive than tile or some other flooring options.
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