A Few Tips for Saving Money on Home Improvement Projects

Revamp Your Home on a Budget: Top Tips for Saving Money on Home Improvement Projects

A major home improvement project does not have to break the bank. Although there are a few things I would recommend hiring out if you are doing a complete renovation (plumbing and electrical), a majority of the work can be done yourself.

I love watching home improvement shows and am absolutely baffled by the amount of money allotted for a kitchen or bathroom project. It ranks in the tens of thousands of dollars!! Crazy, huh? Of course, if you have that kind of money to spend, go for it. I do not. In fact, I remodeled my entire kitchen including cabinets, countertops, and a couple of new appliances for less than $2500.00! So, yes, it can be done! I’ll share a few tips for saving money on home improvement projects!

Build Your Own Cabinets

Trust me, it is really easy to build your own cabinets. I wrote a step-by-step tutorial on planning and building a custom cabinet of any size (Part 1 and Part 2), as well as How To Build a Custom Vanity. Building your own cabinets is easy and can be inexpensive, plus you can customize the height, width, and style suited to your own needs. (I am very tall and it is definitely a luxury to have cabinets suited to my height!)

By building your own cabinets, you can also utilize wasted space. When I did my kitchen remodel, I went from ten poorly planned cabinets and three drawers to thirteen spacious cabinets and twelve drawers without changing the layout of the kitchen. There was that much wasted space! Plus, it allowed me to raise the height of my built-in wall oven so that I didn’t burn myself every time I bent over to put something in it!

ways to save money on home improvement projects custom built cabinets

Build Your Own Countertops

I know that Granite countertops are all the rage right now, and they are quite nice, but if the funds aren’t available it is really easy to build your own countertops. Laminate comes in all sorts of colors and patterns. Some of the laminate even looks like natural stone. I built the countertops for my kitchen using three sheets of laminate, two sheets of plywood, and a few 1×3 boards. They are beautiful and durable, and I am thrilled with the results! I also built a new countertop for each of the bathrooms in my house saving myself tons of money!

ways to save money on home improvement projects countertop laminate

The Power of Paint

After the kitchen remodel, the almond colored refrigerator no longer matched any of the new decor. I wasn’t ready to buy a new fridge because mine still worked with no issues so I purchased Appliance Epoxy in White and painted it. At first, my friends and relatives kept insisting that I bought a new refrigerator but I did not!

If you’ve found hardware (drawer handles, cabinet pulls, hinges, etc.) that you are in love with but are the wrong color finish, consider spray paint. I buy a lot of hardware at thrift stores then paint it. It works and hold up well, plus I get the finish I want without spending a ton of money!

ways to save money on home improvement projects painted refrigerator

Don’t Pay Retail for Plumbing Fixtures or Lighting

The cost of some plumbing fixtures is outrageous. I found something I really liked but the price tag kept me from purchasing it. I looked at online auction sites to purchase the faucet, sprayer, and soap dispenser for my sink. Most of the fixtures on the online sites are brand new (my set was still in the packaging) and are usually overstock from contractors. They just want to get rid of it and you can really score a super deal! I ended up finding the exact same set I saw in the store and only paid half of the price!

Lighting fixtures are equally expensive. I love to find old, dated light fixtures from thrift stores then rewire them and give them a makeover with paint. Old fixtures add a bit of nostalgic charm with modern color!

 ways to save money on home improvement projects thrifted light fixture

Don’t be afraid to take on a home improvement project yourself! It is really easy and will save tons of money in the long run but if you are in doubt, consult a professional! I’ve hoped my tips for saving money on home improvement projects were helpful! If you have any questions, please contact me at cher {at} designsbystudioc {dot} com.


  • Jessica F. Hinton says:

    I love all of these ideas! I also watch home improvement shows and am, often, amazed at the kind of money people dish out! I am not rich, by far, but I like improving my home. So your post is encouraging!

  • vinma says:

    You are so resourceful Cher. Making your own kitchen cabinets? Wow.. I always look up to the Builder if we come across any issues with our cabinet doors and pantry lol Great tips, all of them. I will be falling back on this post time to time from now on 🙂 Thank you!

  • I didn’t know about Appliance Epoxy – great tip and easy way to save money!!

  • Storm says:

    These tips are super useful! Thanks for sharing and I’ll let you know how the projects go!! 🙂

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