budget for home remodeling

15 Awesome Budget Friendly Remodeling Ideas for Your Fixer Upper

Budget Friendly Remodeling ideas for fixer-upper homes can be both exciting and daunting. Who doesn’t love looking at bright and fun paint colors at The Home Depot to match that cute kid’s bedroom remodel you saw on Pinterest or countertops you saw on HGTV for the kitchen?

Budget Friendly Remodeling ideas for fixer-upper homes

The allure of transforming an old house into your dream home is undeniable, but it’s crucial to approach such projects with practicality and financial savvy.

In this blog post, we will explore various budget friendly remodeling ideas and conscious renovation tips that can help you breathe new life into your purchase without breaking the bank. From refreshing rooms with paint to installing new flooring or upgrading the exterior, there are numerous ways to enhance your property’s value while staying within a reasonable budget. 

If you are considering purchasing a fixer-upper, we will briefly discuss the pros and cons of purchasing a fixer-upper.

We’ll also delve into specific areas like kitchen remodeling and bathroom updates which are often some of the priciest renovations homeowners embark upon because of the role kitchens play in modern living spaces. Lastly, we’ll provide insights on making personal finance coverage accessible during renovations, preventing costly challenges in home renovations, and final considerations before buying a fixer-upper.

This comprehensive guide aims to equip you with knowledge about remodeling ideas on a budget for fixer-upper homes so that you’re well-prepared when embarking on this thrilling journey toward creating your perfect abode.

Finally, We will discuss how to survive a renovation. Because renovations can be taxing on the most patient couples and families.

Table of Contents:

The Allure of Fixer-Uppers: Understanding the Investment

Fixer-upper homes have a certain charm that appeals to many homebuyers. Approximately 73% of people purchase fixer-upper homes because they’re budget-conscious or want to customize their space. These properties often require repairs and upgrades, with an average spend of $13,000 and $6,000 respectively.

budget friendly remodeling ideas for the fixer upper notebook saying control your spending

Before committing to a fixer-upper, it is important to take into account the location of the property and be aware that renovation costs can vary significantly. Location matters – it affects your property’s value and desirability. Renovation costs can vary widely, so be prepared. And remember, remodeling takes time – sometimes more than you expect.

Budget Friendly Remodeling Ideas for Fixer Uppers – Consulting Experts

If you’re considering a fixer-upper as an investment or because you love old houses, consult professionals like Virginia-based Ron Leffler Real Estate. Consulting with experts like Ron Leffler Real Estate in Virginia can be a great way to maximize your return on investment when taking on a fixer-upper.

For more insights into the appeal of fixer-uppers, check out Evolving Appeal of Fixer Uppers. It’s a comprehensive guide that explains why so many homeowners choose this path despite its risks and rewards.

Is a fixer-upper budget realistic?

The realism of a fixer-upper budget greatly depends on the specifics of each individual project. While popular television shows may make it seem simple and affordable, there are often hidden costs that aren’t accounted for in initial estimates.

In reality, unexpected issues such as structural problems or outdated electrical systems can significantly increase your renovation expenses. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a thorough inspection before purchasing and budgeting for a fixer-upper. Also, consider setting aside an additional 10-20% of your total estimated cost for unforeseen expenditures.

How does HGTV shows do renovations so cheaply?

HGTV’s ability to conduct seemingly inexpensive renovations can be attributed to a few factors. Firstly, they benefit from economies of scale due to the high volume of projects undertaken. Secondly, partnerships with suppliers often result in discounted materials and appliances. Lastly, labor costs are significantly reduced as much of the work is performed by the show’s hosts and crew.

It’s also important to note that these shows often don’t include all renovation costs (like permits or design fees) in their budgets, which may make them appear cheaper than they actually are.

How do you tell if a fixer-upper is worth it?

Determining the worth of a fixer-upper involves careful evaluation. Firstly, estimate the cost of necessary repairs and renovations – engage professionals for accurate figures. Secondly, analyze the property’s location and future potential value in that area. Thirdly, consider your financial capacity to handle unexpected expenses that may arise during remodeling. Lastly, assess whether you have time or patience to oversee such a project. If these factors align favorably with your goals and capabilities, then the fixer-upper might be worth it.

Budget Friendly Remodeling Ideas – Fixer Upper

Renovating a fixer-upper can be a wild ride, but don’t let it break the bank. Here are some economical strategies to help you renovate your home without breaking the bank.

man painting a ceiling as part of a home remodel

Refreshing Rooms with Paint

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in giving your rooms a whole new vibe. It’s an affordable way to spruce things up. Check out this handy guide on painting rooms if you’re feeling adventurous.

remodeling ideas for a fixer upper man refinishing a wood floor

Installing New Flooring

If your fixer-upper has worn-out hardwood floors, don’t panic. Instead of replacing them, consider refinishing them. It’s a much cheaper option that can still bring back their former glory. Learn more about hardwood floor refinishing here.

Upgrading the Exterior

Don’t forget about the outside of your home. Boosting your fixer-upper’s curb appeal doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Adding some colorful accents to your outdoor space can be an inexpensive way of enhancing the exterior of your home. Get some inspiration from HGTV’s budget-friendly ideas.

budget friendly curb appeal ideas for a fixer upper. flowers bed in a yard.

Remember, it’s not just about looks. Prioritize tasks that will increase your property value and keep your finances in check. These budget-conscious renovation tips will help you manage your project efficiently and keep your wallet happy.

Budget Friendly Remodeling Ideas – Kitchen

The kitchen is the core of any home, yet it can likewise deplete your funds. Don’t despair; you can give your kitchen a whole new look without spending all your savings.

Complete Cabinet Makeover in Your Renovation

Upgrade your cabinets without the high cost. Instead of replacing them, consider repainting or refacing them. It’s a budget-friendly option that gives you a brand-new feel.

Replacing Countertops

Don’t splurge on expensive materials like granite or quartz. Opt for more affordable options like laminate or tile. They offer durability without the hefty price tag.

And don’t forget to check out second-hand stores or online marketplaces for lightly used appliances. You can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars without sacrificing quality.

Remind yourself that attempting DIY projects can be a cost-effective choice, but only if you are confident in your ability. Do your research before diving in.

Bathroom Updates Without Breaking the Bank

Renovating a bathroom doesn’t have to drain your wallet. With some smart choices and creative ideas, you can give your bathroom a fresh look without breaking the bank. Here are some budget-friendly tips that will help you achieve an appealing space while saving money.

Installing Pre-Made Vanities

A vanity is not just functional; it also adds aesthetic value to your bathroom. Pre-made vanities offer a cost-effective solution for budget-conscious homeowners. You can select a vanity that fits your taste and requirements from the range of styles and sizes available. Check out options at Home Depot.

bathroom fixtures in renovation budget brass fixtures on bathub

Updating Showers

An outdated shower can really bring down the vibe of your bathroom. Luckily, there are affordable ways to spruce it up. Consider installing new tiles or replacing old fixtures with modern ones. This guide from This Old House can help you replace a shower pan yourself.

Saving Money on Materials

You don’t always need fancy materials for a stunning bathroom renovation. Opt for less expensive alternatives like vinyl flooring instead of ceramic tiles or laminate countertops instead of granite. You’ll save money without sacrificing style or durability.

Purchasing Second-hand Items

Shopping for pre-owned goods is a fantastic way to save cash when doing renovations. Check out websites like Craigslist for lightly used building materials at discounted prices.

Incorporating these tips into your renovation plan should help you keep costs under control while still achieving an updated and stylish look in your fixer-upper’s bathroom.

remodeling the fixer upper doors stack in rows

Making Personal Finance Coverage Accessible During Renovations

When renovating a fixer-upper, it’s crucial to make personal finance coverage accessible. Anticipating costs and being aware of your financial restrictions can help you stay on track with expenses during the remodel. Planning ahead and understanding your financial limits will ensure a successful renovation without breaking the bank.

Start by setting a realistic budget for your project. Consider all potential costs, including labor, materials, permits, and unexpected expenses. Use online home remodeling cost calculators to get an estimate based on average prices in your area.

Prioritize projects based on return on investment (ROI). Not all upgrades are created equal. According to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs Value Report 2023, minor kitchen remodels tend to have a high ROI, while luxury upgrades may not recoup their full cost.

  • Minor Kitchen Remodel: Average cost: $26,214 Resale value: $18,927 ROI: 72%
  • Bathroom Addition (Midrange): Average cost: $49,598 Resale value: $26,807 ROI: 54%
  • Luxury Master Suite Addition: Average cost: $282,062 Resale value: $145,486 ROI: 51%

Save money by seeking discounts on building materials. Many home improvement stores offer sales, especially around holidays. 

Preventing Costly Challenges in Home Renovations

Undertaking a domestic revamp expedition can be stimulating, yet it is not without its own difficulties. From unexpected repairs to delays in delivery of building materials, there are several challenges that homeowners often face during renovations. Fortunately, with thoughtful preparation and forethought, many of these issues can be avoided.

The first step is to conduct a thorough inspection before you purchase fixer-upper homes. A comprehensive evaluation by professionals will help uncover any hidden problems such as structural defects or outdated electrical systems. This advice comes from the real estate solutions guy, who emphasizes the importance of inspections to prevent costly surprises down the line.

Besides inspections, having a well-thought-out plan is crucial for smooth sailing through your renovation project. Here are some budget-conscious renovation tips:

  • Prioritize essential repairs: Focus on fixing critical issues like roofing or plumbing before moving onto aesthetic upgrades.
  • Create a realistic timeline: Understand that renovations often take longer than expected due to unforeseen complications or delays in material deliveries.
  • Maintain open communication with contractors: Regular updates from your contractor will keep you informed about progress and potential hurdles along the way.

Avoiding common mistakes also plays an important role in preventing costly challenges during home renovations. For instance, rushing into demolition without knowing what lies behind walls could lead to damaging important components like wiring or pipes, which would require expensive fixes later on.

In addition to these strategies, consider consulting experts who have experience dealing with fixer-uppers such as Texas-based Etch Design Group. Their insights can provide valuable guidance when navigating through complex renovation projects and help ensure that every dollar spent contributes towards enhancing both aesthetics and functionality of your space while keeping costs under control.

Remember: Preventative measures may seem time-consuming initially, but they’re worth it if they save money and stress further down the road.

Key Takeaway: 


To prevent costly challenges during home renovations, it is important to conduct thorough inspections before purchasing fixer-upper homes and prioritize essential repairs. Creating a realistic timeline and maintaining open communication with contractors can also help avoid delays and unexpected complications. Consulting experts who have experience dealing with fixer-uppers can provide valuable guidance in navigating complex renovation projects while keeping costs under control.

Balancing Aesthetics with Practicality

When renovating your home, remember to prioritize safety and functionality alongside style. Start with essential upgrades like roofing, plumbing, and electrical work before diving into the fun stuff.

The Texas-based Etch Design Group knows that a solid foundation is key. Fix leaks and update wiring systems to protect your home and prevent future headaches.


Invest in roof repairs early on to avoid costly damage from the elements. It may be pricey, but it’s worth it in the long run.


Replace old pipes to prevent water damage and save yourself from future headaches. It’s a wise decision that will provide long-term benefits.

fixer upper hands doing electrical work in a power box

Electrical Work:

Upgrade your electrical system to ensure safety and accommodate modern appliances. No one wants a house fire.

Once the basics are taken care of, you can move on to more aesthetic changes like painting and selecting flooring. A fresh coat of paint and new flooring options can transform a space without breaking the bank.

For expert guidance on purchasing fixer-upper homes, check out Ron Leffler Real Estate. They’ll help you navigate the process and turn your renovation dreams into reality.

Working With Pros for Your Home Improvement Projects

When renovating, having the right team is key. A reliable real estate agent, like Virginia-based Ron Leffler Real Estate, can help you find the perfect fixer-upper. And don’t forget an interior designer, like the San Diego-based pro, to turn it into your dream home.

Why Local Contractors Are a Must

For a smooth project, hire a local home improvement contractor. They offer advantages like easier communication, knowledge of local codes, and closer supervision. Find reputable contractors on platforms like HomeAdvisor.

Success in remodeling depends on skilled pros guiding each step – from purchase to execution. So, choose your team wisely.

Why Licensed Contractors are a Must for your Budget Friendly Remodel

Remodeling a fixer-upper can be quite an undertaking, especially when you’re working with a tight budget. However, there are ways to maximize your investment and get the most out of every dollar spent. Whether it’s new flooring, updated ceilings, or kitchen renovations – one of the priciest renovations homeowners embark upon are kitchens and bathrooms, so it is good to plan carefully by getting a professional involved.

The first step involves getting quotes from multiple contractors. John Bodrozic, co-founder of HomeZada, which helps homeowners manage renovations, suggests, “Get at least three qualified quotes from contractors to do the work.” This allows you not only to compare costs but also gives a clearer picture of what all expenses might entail beyond just building materials.

Hiring based on cost alone isn’t always wise, though, as my husband Nathan points out: “Hire the right contractor, don’t hire the cheapest contractor to save money.” It’s important that you choose your home improvement contractor based on their reputation, experience, and updated licenses rather than just the price point.

We have seen it. Nathan is incredibly knowledgeable when it comes to home remodeling. More than anyone I know (he’s my husband so there may or may not be a little bias). He would often give a homeowner a bit to finish a basement that cost-wise is above many other bids. The homeowner will hire the cheapest contractor or use a neighbor who finished his own basement and could use the money. 

Well, the contractor doesn’t do the best job or takes months and months longer to finish and never gets it finished. Countless times, Nathan was called back to finish the job. It is better just to get the best contractor from the beginning, even if they aren’t the cheapest. 

Beyond labor costs, there are other aspects where savings can be made during the renovation process, such as opting for a budget-friendly cabinet upgrade option instead of high-end showroom places or improving the fixer-upper’s curb appeal with affordable changes like painting the front door or adding some landscaping features.

Avoiding redoing work later down the line is another crucial aspect while remodeling, which needs strategic planning upfront – this prevents costly challenges arising later due to a lack of proper foresight initially.

  • Purchase Fixer-Upper Homes Generally: Buying properties needing TLC often comes cheaper, hence leaving more room within the budget for improvements.
  • Making Personal Finance Coverage Accessible: Seek advice from experts like New York City-based Life Designs Group, who specialize in making personal finance coverage accessible.

Exchange Services

Remodeling a fixer-upper can be quite challenging, especially when you and your partner don’t always agree on style. However, with some creativity and flexibility, it’s possible to achieve stunning results without breaking the bank. One cost-effective strategy is exchanging services.

Many of us have skills or talents that others may find valuable. For instance, if you’re good at painting but need help with electrical work, why not swap your painting services for an electrician’s expertise? This approach helps homeowners manage renovations effectively while saving money.

In this context, consider reaching out to professionals like Virginia-based Ron Leffler Real Estate, or perhaps consult with a Texas-based Etch Design Group. These experts often have extensive networks and might know someone willing to barter services.

Buy Used

Remodeling a fixer-upper can be quite the challenge, especially when you’re on a budget and have to make decisions with your partner. However, there are ways to navigate this journey while keeping both your sanity and wallet intact. One such strategy is purchasing used items for your home renovation project.

budget friendly renovation ideas fixer upper windows stacked up to buy used

Purchasing fixer-upper homes generally come with the expectation of some of the priciest renovations homeowners embark upon because of the role kitchens play in our daily lives. But did you know that buying used kitchen cabinetry is an excellent budget-friendly cabinet upgrade option? This approach not only helps you manage renovations financially but also adds character to your space, making it uniquely yours.

Where To Buy Used Items?

Consider purchasing gently used or surplus items from places like Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores, which sell discounted new and used building materials donated by local retailers, contractors, and individuals. Every dollar saved adds up over time. You might wonder where these high-end showroom places are hiding all their gently-used treasures. Look no further than local classifieds or online marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Additionally, thrift stores often have hidden gems waiting to be discovered by savvy renovators like yourself!

Saving Money With Other Preloved Items

Besides cabinets, other great items worth considering include furniture, lighting fixtures, and appliances – all capable of giving a boost to any fixer-upper’s curb appeal. Remember though: always inspect these second-hand purchases thoroughly before making final considerations with your money! It will prevent costly challenges down the line.

Tips For Successful Buying

  • Evaluate: Always check for quality before making a purchase; don’t let personal belongings fill up space without adding value.
  • Negotiate: Don’t shy away from negotiating prices as most sellers expect this.
  • Inquire about history: The San Diego-based interior designer suggests asking questions about how old an item is or if it has had any repairs done recently.

The Texas-based Etch Design Group believes incorporating pre-loved pieces into home designs makes them more meaningful and unique – so why not give it a shot? After all, every penny saved during remodeling contributes towards building materials needed elsewhere in the house! So next time you’re planning out renovations, remember – ‘Buy Used’.

Organizing Your Space Post-Renovation

After the dust has settled and your personal belongings fill your newly renovated space, it’s time to organize. Once the renovation is complete, it’s time to reap the rewards and start organizing. But organizing post-renovation isn’t just about putting things back where they were; it’s an opportunity to declutter and maximize storage.

The experts at Life Designs Group suggest starting with a clean slate. Discard any objects that are no longer useful or don’t complement your fresh style. Remember, less is more when it comes to budget friendly remodeling ideas and creating a clutter-free environment.

  • Create designated zones: Assign specific areas for different activities like cooking, dining, relaxing, etc., based on how you use the space daily.
  • Incorporate smart storage solutions: Use furniture pieces that double as storage units such as ottomans or coffee tables with hidden compartments.
  • Maintain order: Make sure everything has its place and encourage everyone in the household to put things back after use.

You might also want to consider investing in custom organization systems if budget allows. These custom-made solutions take full advantage of all the available area and can be tailored to your special requirements and desires.

Beyond functionality, think about aesthetics too while organizing post-renovation. Display collections tastefully on open shelves or invest in attractive baskets for storing everyday items out-of-sight but within easy reach.

A well-organized home not only looks good but also makes life easier by reducing time spent searching for misplaced items – definitely worth considering once those renovations are complete.

remodeling ideas fixer upper woman painting cabinets brown

Final Considerations Before Buying A Fixer Upper

Ere you plunge into the realm of homes needing repairs, there are some points to think about. Location is key – even if you’re fixing it up, you can’t move the house to a better neighborhood. Nobody wants to reside in a rundown abode situated far away from any sort of civilization.

Renovation costs can be a real headache. Budget for the visible repairs, but don’t forget about the hidden surprises like plumbing problems or electrical nightmares. It’s like playing a game of “what’s behind the wall?” – and trust me, it’s never a pot of gold.

  • Get Inspections: Don’t skip professional inspections. You don’t want to find out your dream fixer-upper is actually a money pit.
  • Time Commitment: Renovating takes time. It’ll take longer than it takes to wait for your avocado to be ready. Make sure you’re ready to dedicate your days to managing contractors and doing DIY projects.
  • Prioritize Essential Repairs: Focus on the important stuff first. Fix the roof before you worry about what color to paint the walls. Nobody wants a fancy house with a leaky ceiling.
living through a home renovation is like living in the wild...you do whatever it takes to survive. quote man and woman on floor looking at a magazine

Now that you’re armed with these final considerations, go forth and conquer that fixer-upper. Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your dream home.

One more thing to consider….how to survive the dreaded renovation.

How to survive a renovation- budget friendly remodeling ideas for your fixer-upper

Having lived in the middle of a remodel for over 6 years, Nathan and I have experienced the ups and downs of a complete home renovation. See our about page for the story.

We only invited a few people over to see the progress. I remember them telling me that I was a saint for putting up with the mess. I would often think, Nathan is living through this as well, is he not a saint? Of course, remodeling is a team effort. Don’t forget that.

Everyone involved in the remodel deserves the same consideration. Look at what has been done, not what hasn’t been done. Be patient and kind.

If you love the paint color and your partner wants to throw up in his mouth just looking at it, move on. Surely there is a color that both of you can agree on. Use that one.

You can do this!

Conclusion for budget friendly remodeling ideas

There you have it! budget friendly remodeling ideas for your fixer upper! We hope you got some helpful advice. Let’s recap shall we?

Refresh your rooms with a fresh coat of paint and watch the magic happen.

Upgrade the exterior to boost your fixer-upper’s curb appeal and make the neighbors jealous.

Want a budget-friendly cabinet upgrade? Say hello to affordable materials and goodbye to empty wallets.

During renovations, keep your personal finance coverage accessible because money matters!

Don’t let costly challenges rain on your renovation parade. Plan ahead and save those dollars.

Aesthetics or practicality? Find the perfect balance when renovating your home.

When it comes to home improvement projects, trust the professionals to get the job done right.

Post-renovation organization is key. Don’t let your personal belongings drown in a sea of building materials.

Kitchens are the heart of the home, so give yours some love and watch the magic unfold.

Before buying a fixer-upper, consider all the final details. It’s all about making the right investment.

Don’t let budget friendly remodeling ideas get you down, be patient, kind and remember you are not alone in this. Now go forth and conquer that fixer-upper, my friend!


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