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

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.