by Leah Ingram
This weekend we finished up spackling in the dining room, leaving it to be the last room we have to paint from our renovation. This means that once it’s done, I can put away the drop cloths and painting rollers for good.
I painted the new kitchen earlier in the weekend, and helped Bill to finish installing the cabinets. On Friday we both took the day off so we could choose and order our countertops (black granite). A few weeks before that, we’d sheet-rocked the new kitchen, including taping, spackling and sanding, plus Bill installed new hardwood floors all throughout the new space.
Perhaps in reading this you’re hearing a cash register ring in your head for each thing we accomplished in the addition. We did spend money on supplies, to be sure, but it’s amazing how much we saved by doing so much of the work ourselves. In fact, here are 5 ways we’ve managed to save $35,000 on our remodel:
1. Ripped out the old drywall in the kitchen and installed new. Had we hired someone to do the job, we would have spent: at least $2,500.
2. Installed hardwood floors in the newly remodeled space. Had we hired someone to do the floor install, we would have spent: $5,100.
3. Put in the new kitchen cabinets. Had we had Lowe’s or Home Depot, or another home improvement company install the cabinets, we would have spent: at least $25,000 (this is for the install alone; the cabinets cost is separate.)
4. Painted the new space. Had we hired someone to come in and do all the painting, we would have spent: $2,100.
5. Went to a wholesaler/fabricator for our countertops. Had we just ordered our granite countertops from a home improvement store, we would have spent: $1,000 more on the same amount of granite.
With numbers like this do you think you would jump in and try some of this, to save the big bucks, too? I’m so glad we did. And I can’t wait until the house is done and we can say, “Hey, we did this all ourselves.” Now sure it would be nice to have had someone do all this at once and be done with it, but I know I wouldn’t have wanted to spend that kind of cash to get the job done.
Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for LessMost mothers teach their kids to cook and clean. Leah Ingram’s mother taught her to compost. These days she’s passing along this green message to her own daughters as they all try to live a green and frugal lifestyle as The Lean Green Family. She’s the author of Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less“Suddenly Frugal:How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less.” Visit her blog, Suddenly Frugal.