How we Fixer Upper’ed our house on a budget (part 1)
Have you ever wanted to renovate your house on a budget? Earlier this year Emily and I bought a house near Waco, TX and renovated every square foot of it! From replacing the flooring to tearing out some walls, we did so much we could have filmed a show for Fixer Upper (also in Waco, TX)!
According to HomeAdvisor.com, the average cost of a house (multiple room) remodel is about $35,000. I’m going to walk you through how we renovated OUR ENTIRE HOUSE for only $25,000! If you’re considering doing some house renovations, you’ll definitely want to keep reading! I’ll show you how we renovated the house we bought into our dream home!
Our total out of pocket renovation cost: ~ $25,000
How much other people would have paid for the same renovation: ~ $35,000
Total Saving: ~ $10,000
Renovation time: ~ 3 weeks
As discussed in a previous post, we bought the “ugly duckling” on the block. While other houses were selling for over $200,000, we bought our house for $165,500. I had neither the knowledge or the time to work on the house, so we decided to find a quality contractor that could do all the work we needed. If you’re construction savvy, though, and have the time, you could save quite a lot in labor costs just by doing the work yourself.
There are a few different ways we cut costs, which I’ll go into detail about in part 2, but the main ways I stayed on budget were:
- Shopping around for cheap BUT reliable contractors
- Researching & buying everything @ a discount (using coupon codes, leveraging sales etc.)
- Using discounted dollars to buy everything (buying discounted gift cards and using those to make purchases)
BEFORE WE BOUGHT THE HOUSE
Here’s a couple pics from when it was listed on the market:
It didn’t really look bad from the pictures. When I walked in the house, though, I could see why I it hadn’t sold. Overall the house just wasn’t updated, and felt relatively closed off. There were about 5 sheet-rock repairs that were being worked, the master bathroom shower was removed for repairs, and the backyard looked like a muddy mess. So, although the pictures of the listing looked great, when you actually walked through the house it looked more like a poor attempt at some bad repairs.
We closed on the house in late January and had the contractor start work immediately! There was so many items we wanted to complete, but wanted to focus special attention on the kitchen, bathrooms, lighting, updating the floor plan, and replacing the floors.
Floor Plan Modification
We removed two walls. The first wall we removed was between the kitchen and the living room. The second wall removed was between the living room and formal dining room, which is now my office.
Another overhaul was the flooring. We removed all the flooring in the kitchen, living room, dining room and master bedroom to match the tile in both bathrooms (which was already dark cherry tile).
The kitchen’s original cabinets were in great condition, so we opted for just re-painting them. The original countertop was a laminate top, so we decided to remove it and bring in silestone quartz.
We decided to change up quite a bit of the lighting in the living room and the kitchen, mainly adding can lights. We also removed the ceiling fan in the living room which made the room feel quite taller.
The front and back yard were in dire need of some new landscaping. The front yard had mud throughout most of the yard. We added a walkway from the driveway to the front door so guests would have easy access to the front door. The previous owners had a pool that they just filled with dirt, and didn’t level. So, the backyard was extremely muddy and un-leveled.
Throughout the renovation, I kept a detailed log of everything we did, and that’s important if you’re on a budget!
Here’s a budget breakdown of what we spent on the renovations / upgrades:
Appliances (Fridge, cooktop, stove, microwave, rangehood, oven): $4950
Flooring (Black walnut tile throughout entire house): $3,300
Landscaping (re-level back yard, bring in fresh sod, install sidewalk): $2,000
Labor (Contractor and his 4 guys): $7,000
Countertops (Install Quartz countertops in kitchen / bathrooms): $3,500
Small projects (removing two walls, removing popcorn ceiling, painting, texturing): $2,500
Replace back door (Install door that has built-in doggy door, including labor):$700
Supplies (Paint, texture, thinset, grout, trim): $1,000
GRAND TOTAL = $24,950
There you have it! All in all we made very strategic decisions to renovate our house on a budget. But after all is said and done, we’re thrilled to be living here! Hope you enjoy the pics and seeing our transformation!
What are the big renovations you’ve done to your house? Did you do it yourself or contract the work to someone else?