Summer home improvement projects: high expectations, low budgets

Bet you couldn't guess the owners of this kitchen installed these cabinets themselves / credit: Alan Daly
Bet you couldn’t guess the owners of this kitchen installed these cabinets themselves / credit: Alan Daly

Summer is prime time to get around to those home improvement projects we’ve been putting off all year, but many of us have had to further delay getting to work because of a tight budget. Luckily, Danny Ruby of Refine Construction has good news for those of us with both light wallets and light fixtures that need repairs. The Massachusetts-based builder says that there are many ways to save money and still achieve a first-class finish that you’ll love to live with and will add value to the property when it comes time to sell. Metro asked Ruby for money-saving tips for your next home improvement project for your home’s most lived-in rooms.

The Kitchen
“Buy ready to assemble cabinets and put them together yourself. Also, check online for better deals than you may find in stores; this goes for most other items, including lighting and fixtures. Granite holds up well and adds value to a home, but it can be a bit pricey. Dark granites are often cheaper than the lighter shades so start there and shop around. Really, you can find the exact same piece of granite at different stores for very different prices.”

The Bathroom
“Don’t forget the power of paint. Update an area quickly by adding a new, fresh color to the walls or a piece of furniture. In a bathroom, an old vanity doesn’t always have to be replaced, sometimes it can be painted and end up looking brand new. Don’t move plumbing, as it adds cost very quickly. You can easily update a kitchen or bathroom without touching the actual plumbing, like sinks and tubs.”

The Bedroom
“Consider installing ceiling fans instead of central light fixtures. It will help keep you cool over the summer. Put your money toward something that will have added benefit later by cutting down on AC costs. Things like trims and moldings can make a huge difference in how the finished house looks. Keep in mind that the thicker the molding, the more expensive it is. Your best bet is to go with a smaller molding. It will still add character and class to the room without breaking the bank.”

[Pro Tip] The merit of DIY handiwork
“Demolition is one thing you can do yourself to save some money,” says Ruby. “Tearing down the existing interior so that it can be redone is pretty straightforward, as long as you have your contractor tell you specifically what needs to be torn down.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Local

(Update) Body of missing BU grad Eric Munsell…

The dead man pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon was that of missing 24-year-old Boston University alumnus Eric Munsell, Boston Police said today.

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Arts

'Becoming Cuba' at Huntington is a bit short…

Playwright Melinda Lopez freely lampoons the English language for its lack of passion in her latest work, “Becoming Cuba.” Ironically, the Huntington Theatre Company’s playwright-in-residence…

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

NFL

Patriot’s schedule comes up fair

Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014-2015 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair. For the fourth straight…

MLB

Nava demoted, Victorino return imminent

  Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who was batting a team-low .149/.240/.269, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. "His struggles at the plate, I…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.