How to

How To Renovate On A Budget Without Sacraficing Design

As you may or may not know, we are in the midst of two rather large renovations: LaRancharita and the Shenandoah Flip, both of which we plan to hold as rentals. (Long-term holds are a part of our long term goals)

The whole point of a rental is that it will cashflow. Unfortunately, it won’t cash flow if you’re over budget, which brings us to today’s post, and my specialty!

The Balancing Act: Design and Budget

In real estate and renovations, it’s all about equilibrium; A constant balancing act of where to spend money so you can maximize profit, yet create a well-designed space people want to live in. This is true both for the homeowner and investor. Most people want to know that the improvements they make in their home create a return.

FYI, The Inspiring Investment is one of the few real estate investing / house-flipping companies whose mission is to providing well-designed, quality products for the housing market. It says it right here in our mission statement:

To provide excellent customer service to individuals in the community through buying houses that need work, and transforming those properties into quality, desirable products for the housing market.

We try hard to make ours stand out in some way. Not every project’s budget allows for amazing, unique design elements however, I keep a few tricks up my sleeve and wanted to share them with you:

Tricks to Produce High Design on a Budget

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
When you are on a budget, you need to work with what you’ve got. Ask yourself, what can we save? What has to go? If most of the house has brushed nickel hardware, it all matches and is in good condition, keep it! Alter your design plan to make them pop and consider painting the doors a matte black. This would even look great with old school gold hardware!

Could you save money by installing open shelving instead of upper cabinets?

Envision living in the space

Consider room dimensions and functionality. Does it work for you? If not, what can you do to make it more acceptable? Is tearing out that supporting wall in your budget? Could you create a pass through in the wall of the kitchen an option to allow the feel of an open layout? The odds are if it isn’t functional for you, it wouldn’t be functional for someone else either. So, if there are small ways you are able to improve a home’s liveability, it will be a good investment.

Brainstorm & Consult Pinterest

Scour Pinterest for on-trend or classic looks. Take screen shots of what you like and make a vision board. I have a Mac, so I make my vision boards on Keynote. I do this to affirm my believe that “this tile” will look great next to “this paint color”. Here is an example of a vision board I made on Keynote.
inspiration vision board navy cabinets wood
Go Deal Hunting

This is the fun part. It’s also the hardest. After years of deal hunting on craigslist and countless hours of online shopping, comparing prices, shipping costs and working with customer service, I happen to feel like a master at this. (#futurepostalert) In the meantime, you will find that certain items at Wayfair are more expensive, and the same item is cheaper at Home Depot. Some times its visa versa. Just takes a bit of digging.

Do the Labor Yourself

You can afford to put more money into your design if you do some of the labor yourself. Pick up the hammer! You may suprise yourself. My friend, Brittany, over at is breaking the mold that only guys can be “handy”. Check her out. She may inspire you 🙂 I

f this is too much work, you can always hire it out.

Don’t Over Improve

The investor in me wants to make it a point to remind you not to over-improve for the neighborhood. That is, unless, you are under budget. But honestly, when does that happen?

Overwhelmed yet? I can help. Subscribe to our email list where you will receive more cost-saving tips and project ideas!

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