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

Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.

International

Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.

Local

Earth Day New York food toolkits to help…

Hundreds of classrooms across New York City already have indoor container gardens that allow students to grow food right where they learn. But Earth Day…

Local

NYPD announces street closures for United Nations General…

The United Nations representatives are in town, and multiple city streets will be closed to traffic through Saturday, Sept. 26. The NYPD is urging those…

Television

10 Facts you won’t learn about Frankie Grande…

Frankie Grande is the worst and/or the best. Whether or not you're a fan, you'll want to know these facts about the polarizing player from "Big Brother 16."

Movies

Antoine Fuqua can kill someone with just a…

It's amazing what you can get done with the right tools. In designing the climactic battle in "the Equalizer," in which Denzel Washington's retired special…

Movies

Guess Ben Kingsley's worst filmmaking experience

Here's a fun game: Sir Ben Kingsley has made a lot of films since "Gandhi" in 1982, but at least one of them was a…

Books

Does Lena Dunham have any secrets left?

Get a sneak peek at her new book to determine if it’s worth the read.

NFL

3 things that went wrong in Jets loss…

The Jets have very little room for error with a far-from-explosive offense.

NFL

Eli Manning finally feeling good in West Coast…

The Giants have very little time before their next game, but they still took a moment to relish the team’s biggest offensive outburst since Week 1 of 2013.

College

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close…

College football top 25 poll: Oregon, Alabama close in on FSU

NFL

Jay Cutler takes Marc Trestman's coaching to heart

While Jay Cutler turned to an autobiography on the man who would be his head coach, Trestman had personal experience with the player.

Wellbeing

Exercising leads to more drinking — and we…

  We’re rewarding ourselves with more than dessert on days we exercise, according to a new study. On days when people exercise more, typically Thursday…

Wellbeing

5 gadgets to protect you from sharks, concussions,…

The medical industry is inundated with devices looking after all aspects of your wellbeing, from monitoring your sleep patterns to warding off shark attacks. We…

Wellbeing

Narcissism and the ugly side of vanity

I have a friend who constantly talks about herself and rarely asks any questions about my life. She is constantly preening, obsessed with her body,…

Wellbeing

Lacking new ideas, Apple Watch disappoints health experts

Technology pundits were quick to predict the demise of most fitness wristbands and smartwatches when the Apple Watch was announced. But health care professionals and…