Monday, April 20, 2009

Redecorating on a Budget - The Costs and 3 Tips

One of the things I remember when I was in the process of getting my first mortgage before any refinances etc, is that they said that you had to plan to have about 1% of the value of your home in addition to mortgage payments set aside. This money was to handle the upkeep of such a home.

Fortuntately, I have been in the position that there hasn't really been a ton of upkeep. The roof was replaced which was a pretty big expense and there were a few other minor things. However, when all is said and done, it was pretty reasonable given the quality of the space that this money had purchased.

Even now, in the midst of spending a tidy sum on redoing the two bedrooms, I can't help but feel like this is money that needs to be spent; it is not extravagant and it should help the value of the place as well as the quality of life overall.

So far, these have been the expenses:
2300 dollars for new carpeting (original was over 15 years old).
120 dollars for paint
200 dollars for new curtains and curtain rods.

After that, I'm expecting between 2500-3000 for living room furniture that will be used to go in the living room and some of the downstairs furniture that is still usable will come upstairs -- at least that is the plan right now.

Figure another couple of hundred dollars for curtains downstairs and then I think that the grand total will be in the neighborhood of 5500 dollars for redecorating 3 of the 5 main rooms in the house, including quite a bit of furniture.

These were the things I did that I think has helped keep the costs reasonable:
1. Reuse furniture if possible. Often times, you just need to change rooms and the furniture becomes usable again. I did this and used an old antique that was in storage.
2. When doing work with contractors, try to hire locally in a bad economy. You may get a better deal than with a chain. Be sure to include an estimate.
3. Shop around, even at chains you normally ignore. I was able to score very nice curtains at Bed Bath and Beyond that were not much more expensive than Wal-Mart curtains I bought for the other room, just by shopping around.

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