Six Money-Saving Reno Tips

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Owning our own design and renovation company, we’re often asked how we achieve the looks that we do while staying in budget. The answer is that it’s been a painful and expensive process—and we’re still learning! Overbuilding the neighborhood? Check. Hiring the cheapest contractors? Yup. Under-budgeting? Guilty. Thankfully, however, every new remodel presents an opportunity to learn and improve.

Our most recent project was a 1,300 square foot condominium that was in desperate need of some updating. It was much smaller than our previous flips, and since the finished home would sell for $200K or less, we had to be extra careful with our remodel costs.

We got super creative with how we spent money and transformed spaces, so here are the top 6 ways  we saved big:

1. We used IKEA (whom we love) for all kitchen and bathroom cabinets, countertops, shelving and vanities.

Most people think of IKEA as being lesser quality and lacking style, but this is the second house we’ve used them in and we couldn’t be happier with the results! Obviously, a more expensive home would demand something more custom, but again, for this condo, it was perfect (not to mention IKEA has really upped their style-game and offers a great warranty!).

2. We did the IKEA installation ourselves.

If you’re anything like me, you look at a set of furniture directions (let’s be honest, any directions) and you completely zone out. Thankfully, IKEA caters to humans like me and gives step-by-step directions, IN NOTHING BUT PICTURES!

3. We installed hardwood look-alike vinyl flooring throughout the entire space.

This was our first time using this product—and we were definitely skeptical. But again, due to the price point of the home, it made the most economic sense. It was also easy to install!

4. Reused leftover tile from previous projects.

Advice for future renovators: think outside the box and ALWAYS keep leftover materials! You never know when they’ll come in handy.

5. Instead of replacing the tub/shower tile, we used a white epoxy to refinish it.

This was another first for us, but we wanted to give it a whirl since I actually liked the style of the old tile. It’s a bit of a process and requires someone that knows what they’re doing, but it saved us tons of $$$.

6. Used leftover chop block (from the IKEA kitchen) as a floating vanity in the half bath, computer desktop in office and mantel for the upstairs fireplace.

As I mentioned before, NEVER throw out leftover material! We had enough chop block remnants to fashion a bathroom vanity, fireplace mantle and shelving.

These are a few of the tips and tricks we used for renovating this cozy condo and we couldn't be happier with the results!

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Blank Slate Renovations is a Dallas-based home renovation and design company owned and run by Hannah Wilson and husband, Chayce. When she's not designing spaces, consulting with clients or running their social media platforms, you can find Hannah at school (once again) studying architecture. Her love for Midcentury Modern design mixed with Scandinavian/Boho vibes leads her to incorporate lots of texture, organic materials and natural lighting into their projects. Outside of work, she loves running, biking, hiking—anything active outdoors—and traveling (fun fact: about five years ago, her and Chayce lived in England for a year, exploring 14 different countries and making lifelong friends and memories!).