Friday, September 30, 2016

Home improvement - Don't break the budget updates - By Lorraine Glowczak

It is still the great American dream to own one’s home, according to the Gallup’s annual Economy and Personal Finance Survey in 2013. However, as income levels tend to either remain stagnate or improve only slightly in an uncertain economy, the average homeowner needs to be creative and resourceful in terms of home improvements.

There are many ways one can improve the value and beauty of their home without either taxing the budget or getting a home equity loan. Home improvement can be as simple as giving a room a fresh coat of paint or adding a couple of flowering bushes to your yard. An individual can turn eyes away from dreadful laminate counter top, a stained claw foot bathtub, or old and rugged wood floors, making it all come alive in a more stylish way without causing too much strain on already tight funds.

A homeowner should never believe they are not creative or innovative enough to produce the home of their dreams and yet stay within their budget. There are a number of resources that will inspire and spark imagination for home improvements. In her Huffington Post Blog, Brie Dyas suggested 19 ways to take an old kitchen and transform it on the cheap. Some of the simple and easy suggestions include, “treat utensils as art by corralling them in nice containers” and “use nice glass jars for organizing.” Other suggestions include adding a simple vase with flowers or a bowl with fresh fruit. 

She also suggested painting a chalkboard on the wall, using stick on back splash tiles, adding unique cabinet handles, and adding a colorful, cheery mat or runner to brighten a dreary floor.
As for that outdated bathroom, Money Crashers’ Heather Levin pointed out, “according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report, an average bathroom remodel costs around $10,500 while an upscale remodel is going to run you a hefty $26,000.” However, Levin further pointed out that giving the bathroom a classy update can cost you much, much less. Much like Dyas’s simple suggestions for the kitchen, a bathroom redo can be easy and simple too. What about that deeply stained claw foot bathtub that you would dare not enter? Add a wicker basket filled with rolled bath towels for easy access when you jump out of the shower. A potted fern near the tub is also a perfect addition to give the bathroom an elegant, spa-like touch. Other simple additions of fresh paint and a few shelves to place jars filled with useful items can be just enough until one can do the total makeover.

The same goes for the living, dining and bedrooms. It is surprising what a quick trip to a favorite consignment shop or a spontaneous stop at a garage sale can do to polish a drab older home. Simple items such as old art work, glass bottles, books, picture frames, and wooden side tables can transform a room into personal and eclectic elegance. 

One does not necessarily have to go deep in debt to improve the value and the beauty of their home. Your home does not have to look like your neighbors’ or the home on a cover of a remodeling magazine. In fact, make your home as special and unique as you are, giving it the stylist class it deserves without breaking the bank. Your pocket book will thank you and you’ll be surprised by the number of compliments you’ll receive. More importantly, you will be living the new, creative and resourceful American dream of home ownership.

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