Stretch Your Dollar: Your Go-To Guide for Budget-Friendly Home Makeovers!

June 28, 2024

Hey Flipsters! Ready to give your home a facelift without breaking the bank? You're in the right spot! We're diving deep into how to pull off those stunning transformations on a budget. Get ready to unleash your inner designer and make your dollars stretch further than you thought possible. Let’s get this makeover party started!

Welcome to Budget-Savvy Renovating!

Who says you need a big budget to create big changes in your home? Not us! Whether you're prepping to sell or just want to freshen up your space, I'm here to guide you through achieving your home makeover dreams without spending a fortune. Let’s dive into the smart, budget-friendly strategies that will make your space shine.

  • Start by Outlining your Goals: Begin by clearly defining what you want to achieve. Are you updating to increase home value, or is it purely for your enjoyment? Understanding your goals will help prioritize spending and choose projects that offer the best return, both emotionally and financially.
  • Evaluate Your Space: Take a good look around. Which areas need the most attention? Sometimes, small changes in key areas can make a huge difference. Assess your space to determine where updates are needed most.
  • Set a Realistic Budget: Crunch some numbers to see what’s feasible. Consider the scope of your projects and the materials you’ll need. Don’t forget to factor in a contingency fund for those unexpected costs. When we're talking about a contingency fund, think of it as your renovation safety net—it's there to catch those unexpected costs that pop up like a surprise guest at a party. I typically set aside about 10-20% of the total project budget for this fund. This way, no matter what surprises come our way, we're ready to handle them without breaking a sweat (or the bank)!
  • Prioritize Your Projects: Organize your renovation projects by starting with the most necessary or value-adding changes. This might mean painting walls for a fresh look or updating fixtures and hardware for a modern touch. 
  • Seek Inspiration: Hit up Pinterest, home decor blogs, and even home improvement shows, like the Austin Flipsters, for creative ideas that can be done on a budget. 

Create Your Budget: 

Creating a budget is about making strategic decisions that align with your renovation goals and ensuring you don’t hit a financial wall halfway through. Here’s how to start your budgeting process strong and stay on track:

  • Detailed Budget Planning:
    • Break down costs: Start by listing all anticipated expenses. This includes materials, labor, permits, and even small costs like hardware and decor. 
    • Focus on value-adding renovations: Prioritize projects that increase property value. For instance, updating kitchens and bathrooms typically offers a good return on investment. 
    • Essential vs. aesthetic: Separate essential repairs from aesthetic upgrades. Essentials like electrical and plumbing repairs should not be skimped on, as they ensure the safety and functionality of your home. It’s not the pretty stuff but fixing essentials adds to the value and enjoyment of your property.
  • Utilize Budgeting Tools:
    • Software and apps: Use budgeting tools and software to keep your finances in check. Apps like HomeZada or Mint can help track your spending and alert you if you’re about to go over budget.
    • Spreadsheets: Maintain a spreadsheet that you can update as you spend. This helps keep a running total and provides a visual representation of where your money is going, which is crucial for staying within budget.
  • Research and Compare Prices:
    • Shop around: Don’t buy the first thing you see. Shop around for the best prices and quality. Pricing can vary widely depending on where you purchase materials.
    • Bulk buying: Consider buying in bulk for projects that require a lot of materials, like flooring or paint. Bulk deals can offer significant savings. We like to utilize the same materials across the project (ex: using the same tile in both bathrooms)-this adds consistency to the design and allows us to buy in higher quantities for a discounted price.
Buying our shower tiles in bulk to save money on materials

Big Impact, Small Price: Secrets to Economical Renovations

Believe it or not it is possible to have an economical renovation without sacrificing the ‘wow’ factor. Here are a few of our favorite tricks.

  • Choosing Alternative Materials:
    • Look-alike options: Opt for materials that offer the look and feel of high-end products without the hefty price tag. For example, utilize affordable materials such as porcelain tile instead of marble to achieve a similar look at a fraction of the price.
  • DIY to Save Costs:
    • Self-perform simple tasks: Tackle tasks like painting, installing fixtures, or even basic tiling yourself to save on labor costs.
    • Educational resources: Use online tutorials and workshops to gain the skills you need to perform more tasks on your own. The more you can do without professional help, the more you save.
  • Refurbish Rather Than Replace:
    • Restore old fixtures: If kitchen cabinets are in good enough shape you can save a ton of money by repainting rather than replacing them entirely. Bathtubs in good condition can be re-glazed instead of replaced.
  • Strategic Spending:
    • Focus on key areas: Invest in areas of the home that will have the greatest impact on property value and appeal. For example, updating lighting fixtures and hardware can refresh a space without requiring a full remodel.
Refurbishing the tub and tile surround in this hallway bathroom to save costs.

Style Your Space for Less

  • Mix High and Low:
    • Strategic splurging: In our flips we have found that investing in a few key pieces (like a standout chandelier or a high quality faucet) can elevate the entire space. A high quality item can give a “halo effect” to the whole project. It is especially important to spend on items that buyers can touch and feel like countertops or door hardware. Pair high end items with budget-friendly basics to keep overall costs down.Elements like ceiling fans or mirrors are great places to save. We love buying basics on Amazon to keep the costs down. 


I hope this blog has given you confidence that you can achieve a renovation that is both stylish and affordable by planning ahead, prioritizing your projects, spending where it matters and saving where you can!

Curious to hear more stories and get deeper insights? Check out our full podcast episode on YouTube. And when you're ready to start your own project with the backing of an experienced team, visit Join us, and let’s transform potential into profit together!

Remember, whether you're new to the game or looking to streamline your next flip, Homemade is here to handle the heavy lifting. Let's make your property flipping dreams a reality. Head over to to learn more and get started. We can’t wait to work with you!

Lauren Ahrens
Austin Flipsters/Homemade Co-Founder

Ready to learn more?

Experience Homemade's turnkey renovation platform. Apply now, email or call us to learn more.