Cost-Effective Home Remodeling
Floor plans and tools for renovation
When it comes to remodeling and redecorating homes, Frank Fontana of HGTV's Design on a Dime knows how to create high-style, low-cost living spaces. Frank shares tips on how to save money by using common building and decorative supplies instead of costly materials to make less expensive—and sometimes more eco-friendly—updates to your home.
Stack of plywood
Try medium-density fiberboard (MDF) instead of commercial-grade plywood, Frank says. There are many grades of plywood, so you would have to choose wisely to save some cash, he says. MDF, which is basically compressed sawdust, is less expensive, and Frank recommends it for projects in which the wood will be painted.
Person staining wood
Make your own wood stain instead of using commercial wood stain. Commercial stains are used for a dark wood look or faux effects, but Frank says by mixing old brewed coffee and black tea, you can create your own homemade stain. Let home brewed coffee and a tea bag sit for about a day or two in a full coffee pot. The stain won't cost you more than $3, he says.
Stacked pillows
Make your own custom pillow covers instead of buying designer ones. Try sewing two decorative table napkins together; the finished edges of the napkins will give it a professional look. "A little basic sewing is required, but you can turn your old pillows into trendy new ones," he says.
Concrete close-up
Apply a faux concrete finish on existing counter tops instead of pouring concrete counters. "Why rip up your entire kitchen and spend all of that money when a little faux magic and elbow grease can save you thousands?" Frank says. Using a faux-finishing product on your counter tops costs about $200 compared with an average cost of $5,000 for poured concrete counters.
Pile of shirts
Hang up vintage T-shirts as wall art instead of expensive pop art reprints. "Looking for that pop culture image can get pricey when shopping at stores that license images and reprint them," Frank says. "Go to your drawer and save some cash." Frank says to take old concert tees, vintage shirts or cut-up blue jeans, stretch them over an old canvas painting and staple them on from the back. "[It's] super easy and a fun idea for kids' rooms or a lounge," Frank says.
Shelving with a bowl of fruit and candles
Hang recycled crown molding instead of purchasing shelving for decorative accessories. See if there are materials left over from an old estate that's being renovated or go dumpster diving for cool, free architectural design elements, such as thick crown molding, Frank says. "When cut down to size, painted and nailed to the wall, it works perfect to lean framed art on," he says. It's eco-friendly too!

How to have a successful home renovation