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
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Movies

Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…

Movies

Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

NFL

Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.

NFL

Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.

NFL

Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.

MLB

Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…