Design on a Dime

Many of my home buying clients ask me questions such as “How much will it cost to remodel the kitchen?” or “What do you think it would cost to re-tile this bathroom?”. I always give them same answer – it depends. It depends on a number of different things:

  • Who you hire to oversee the project, if any. Maybe a general contractor is not needed?
  • What finishes you use. Will you purchase a slab of Carrara marble for the bathroom vanity or are you OK with quartz? Maybe a butcher block countertop from IKEA could work perfectly in the kitchen?
  • Who the contractors are that you will use. Sure, companies such as Hammer & Hand are very good at what they do, but they also charge a premium for their services.

Bottom line is, there are ways to cut financial corners without compromising the final outcome of the project. My advice is to pay with sweat equity rather than check equity.

Case in point, the main floor bathroom at my personal home was outdated and not at all suitable for a family of four. There was a pedestal sink that didn’t even have space for a bar of soap. The wainscoting was outdated and there was a laundry chute that was begging for one of our daughters to get stuck in.

With a vision, hard work & a few cuts & bruises we were able to transform the space quickly, and more importantly, on budget.

  • The vanity was purchased on Craig's List for $200.
  • The quartz surface is a beautiful remnant which cost less than $500 including fabrication and installation.
  • My wife did the plumbing all her myself after a quick lesson from her dad and by watching YouTube videos.
  • At the end of the day, we spent around $3,000 with professional tiling of the shower & wall taking the majority of the expense.

Designing on a budget forces creativity and affords such a sense of accomplishment when the project is complete. We can’t wait for our next design on a dime project!