How to Renovate a House on a Budget: A Room-by-Room Guide

a couple with baby planning a home improvement project

If you’re bored by the look of your home, it might be time to start renovating. With a few DIY improvements in different rooms of the house, you can make your home feel fresher, homelier, and cozier to live in. Renovating a property is also an excellent opportunity to add resale value. Even without a huge budget, it’s possible to make a big difference to your bottom line when selling.

Keep reading to learn our top tips on how to renovate a house on a budget.

How to Plan a Home Renovation in 3 Simple Steps

For those who feel like taking on the task, you need to keep a few things in mind to enjoy the process far more and make good use of your time and money. Here are our top tips for DIY home renovators.

1. Know Your Budget

Home improvement projects can very quickly turn into never-ending money pits if you’re not careful. Make sure you have a budget and develop a careful plan of how you’re going to spend money on home renovations. It’s also important to decide how to fund home renovations to get the most rewards. Remember, it’s a good idea to always have a bit of a financial buffer in place, just in case anything goes wrong.

2. Educate Yourself

If you’re using new equipment or taking on a DIY project for the first-ever time, make sure you watch plenty of tutorial videos before you start. You don’t want to end up with shoddy paintwork or uneven tiles because you didn’t do enough research beforehand. Likewise, it’s important to stay safe before attempting renovations at home. For example, you don’t want to run into an asbestos issue or cause injury due to a lack of knowledge.

3. Check Legalities

Different states require different permits for some home renovations. Before attempting any home renovations, always check your local council website and regulations first. Special permissions may be required for certain home improvements to prevent causing a code violation on your property when selling. If in doubt, seek advice from a local contractor or ask your council if any of the DIY jobs you’ll be doing need special permission. 

How to Renovate a House on a Budget


a stone marble kitchen island

The kitchen is the hub of just about any home. It acts as a space for cooking, socializing, working, and more. However, that also means that it’s the room that has to work the hardest. Some regular touch-ups will help to keep it looking at its best, no matter how much use it gets.

To show the kitchen some love in a way that won’t break the bank, consider making some simple cosmetic changes. For example, repaint the kitchen cabinets and replace the handles. Or introduce layered lighting, with spotlights, ambient lights, and accent lights. These will brighten up the room, add new moods, and make the kitchen more functional overall.


a stone interior bathroom with stone tiles and flooring

When it comes to renovating your bathroom on a budget, it’s important that you don’t attempt to change any of the plumbing. Moving baths, basins, and shower pans are particularly pricey and time-consuming jobs. Unfortunately, though, this means that you’re limited when it comes to altering the layout of the room. So, if you’re looking to create more space, you could instead add open shelving to give you additional storage.

Changing the tile of your bathroom can also go a long way in improving the way it looks. A lighter tile can also give the impression of more space, making the bathroom look bigger. With the right equipment, it’s perfectly possible to cut and affix your chosen tiles to the walls yourself. With new tiles costing between $2 and $20 per square foot (according to LawnStarter), changing the tilework is a cheap solution that makes a big difference.

Living Room

a staged living room with a fireplace

You have much more freedom when it comes to doing up your living room on a limited budget. Because there’s no need to alter any important infrastructure to change your living room, it’s one of the most affordable home renovations. As long as your TV is near a power outlet and there’s enough space for seating and storage, you can get a bit creative.

For example, upcycled wooden chests or boxes can be picked up for cheap or even for free on certain online marketplaces. These look great as coffee tables. Cost-effective shelving also creates plenty of space for accessories, like lamps, candles, ornaments, and more. If you splash out on new cushions and blankets, too, this can completely change the decor of the room. Naturally, you can also invest in new paint and wallpaper to give the living room a total refresh. 


an elegant master bedroom

Your bedroom is another space that offers you plenty of opportunities to get creative. Remember that your bedroom should be a somewhat tranquil space, so try to avoid making it too busy with additional trinkets. Accessorizing may be an inexpensive way to update a room, but too many knick-knacks can quickly make it look cluttered. This is also important to keep in mind when staging a house for sale.

Instead, paint the wall behind your bed a calming color. This can make the space feel much lighter and more relaxed. It can also help to create an attractive focal point in your room. Plus, if you’re struggling for space, floating shelves and hidden storage solutions tend to be relatively cheap and easy to install.


Renovating your home doesn’t have to be an expensive job. Making small changes to each room using a limited budget can make your house feel like a home. Remember, if you’re selling your home, it’s important to focus on home renovations that add value and are considered neutral to the relevant buying market.

For example, if your property is a family home, it should be staged as such. Building a swimming pool can be a good investment for a family home, but not for a ground-floor apartment.

Are you thinking about renovating your home before selling? At Brotherly Love Real Estate, we buy houses in Philadelphia and San Diego. With us, you can sell your property as is, with no prior renovations or maintenance work. Because we buy for cash, you can sell your house to us in as little as 21 days, with no realtor closing fees.

Contact us online today or give our friendly team a call at (215) 769-9875 to get an instant offer.