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Home improvement projects more important than ever

Look for products with high value and low cost


Last updated 1/14/2021 at 11am


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Affordable renovations, such as high definition laminate in the kitchen, can be wise investments for budget-conscious homeowners.

FALLBROOK – Families know how important it is to retain the value of their homes, especially when we hear so much about diminishing home values and foreclosures. Still, remodeling is one of the best ways to preserve your home's value. If you're a homeowner who's in the process of remodeling, consider budget-friendly options to get the look you want without breaking the bank. Here are several tips to give you some less expensive options when remodeling.


The countertops are one of the high impact surfaces in your kitchen. While natural stone options like granite and quartz, as well as solid surfaces are alluring, they're expensive and can quickly drain your remodeling budget. Now is a good time to check out a contemporary laminate countertop, which offers luxury looks at a surprisingly low cost when compared to stone. The deep, rich look and dimensional texture can give your kitchen countertop the look you want without the sacrifice.

Custom cabinets, though gorgeous to look at, can also make a significant dent in your budget plan. To get the same look for less, install oversized crown molding on top of stock cabinets to make them "pop." Most people won't notice the difference, and you'll save enough to buy a new appliance or two.


A beautiful, updated bathroom will undoubtedly add value to your home, but it can also be a money pit that sucks away your remodeling dollars due to potentially high material and labor costs. In an effort to cut back, try searching for discounted fixtures like shower heads and faucets at home improvement stores or asking local providers if they have any suggestions on how to save money on something new.

Oftentimes, the cost of new luxury-name fixtures can run $500 to $1000 while mass-market versions may provide the same look for less. Many manufacturers, like Moen and Delta, provide detailed installation instructions so you can save there, too. Those popular glass or decorative nickel knobs and pulls on cabinets and doors can often run as much as $20 apiece. A better option is oversized hardware – eight to 12 inches long as opposed to the standard four to five inches – which gives you a bold look for less.

You can also save money on bathroom countertop surfaces by considering durable laminate instead of stone, which can be stained by cosmetics and cleaners. Another advantage of laminate is that if you decide to change the color scheme of your bathroom in a few years, laminate can be switched out easily and inexpensively.

Family room

Estimates tell us that adding a family room, as opposed to simply remodeling one, will help a homeowner recoup as much as 80% of their original investment at resale. Remember to plan the space by factoring in the size of your family, the ages of your kids (and their friends), and perhaps even the possibility of additions to your immediate family, like grandparents or babies.

Some families go as far as taking out walls to improve space, but careful planning and wise furniture positioning can help you avoid drastic changes to the room that tend to drain your budget. If you're handy or can afford to hire a carpenter, built-in shelving and possibly an entertainment/gaming nook are useful and popular additions, and can be painted, stained, or simply covered with laminate to match your decor.


From a purely practical standpoint, your bedrooms are places for you and your family to sleep and take refuge from the outside world. A master bedroom remodel should reflect an atmosphere of serenity and comfort. It's also the perfect place to install energy efficient windows, which will help keep you cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and allow you to eventually recoup the cost with savings on your monthly energy bill.

Color is typically one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to make a significant change in the look of your bedrooms. Kids' bedrooms can benefit from bright colors and easily washable surfaces. Pick up a prefabricated laminate countertop slab and a couple of file cabinets at a local home center to create a simple desk with the look of a custom piece. Large collections of colorful laminate patterns are available that children can easily grow into, in addition to a bevy of designs perfectly crafted for a children's room.


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