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Home renovation is exciting, but it can also seem overwhelming. Renovation on a tight budget is especially challenging—that’s why we’ve compiled a few home renovation ideas to inspire you to keep renovations economical without compromising your vision of the perfect home.

Effective Planning

Do you have a theme? Are you renovating your whole house? Do you need to borrow money? These are vital questions to ask, especially while you’re establishing a budget. There’s an excellent financing option out there called Hearth—filling out a quick form gives you personalized offers for your renovation project from companies like LendingClub and Prosper.

Set a Budget, But Prepare for the Unexpected

Being aware of your financial limitations is absolutely vital when renovating. Once you have a budget set, you can plan for the most immediate renovations and adjust for anything that isn’t necessary for your vision. If you’ve committed to knocking down a wall to open up your floor space, maybe that doesn’t leave room for buying a Victorian door. Don’t despair—adjust. Use at-home tools to paint the door, or add some woodwork to achieve a similar ambiance without wasting resources.

Find Ways to Get Thrifty!

Never underestimate the value of a good furniture thrift haul. Alternatively, you can purchase lightly used materials and fixtures from resale stores. Be on the lookout for yard sales and offers on sites like Craigslist and OfferUp. If you’ve hired a contractor, you can also ask them for materials they’re not using. They’re usually willing to part with some materials, but fair warning—these can require a fair bit of manipulation to make them workable. But if you like a challenge and have a strong imagination, this is an excellent option for you.

Don’t Hire a Contractor for Work You Can do Yourself

Labor costs make up a large portion of the expenses of home renovation, so renovating on a tight budget will probably involve a little elbow grease on your part. Doing things like minor demolition, sanding, painting, or staining will save you the trouble and expense of hiring a contractor, and you’ll be pretty darn pleased with yourself at the end of it. You can also think about some simple DIY projects that have a big impact, such as peel and stick backsplash floor planks. They’re easy to apply, have diverse uses, and are far more DIY-friendly than putting together an entire accent wall.

These home renovation ideas are merely starting points. There are new ideas everywhere—from discount bamboo flooring to staircases that double as bookshelves, your imagination is the limit. Wherever your project takes you, remember that your journey begins with planning, effective budgeting, and using your own hands to add that personal touch.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.