How I’ve Renovated my 1920s-era Home on a Budget (So Far)

When a husband and wife searched for their very first home, they noticed that many places presented a multitude of problems. They had come to the conclusion that houses that had been redone were too small to their liking or completely out of their available budget. Instead, they went with the most beneficial option and bought a non-renovated household that they would in turn fix up with a budget of 15,000 dollars.


They thought to hire a contractor to complete most of the work which would have allowed the couple to enjoy the finished renovations more but they realized that if they were the ones to do the work, it would mean a bigger return of their investment.

In order to save money, they asked for assistance from their loved ones. This allowed for a contractor to pass along ideas to the couple. The husband and wife even brought on their friend who had plenty of experience in construction. The couple bought the materials and simply paid their friend for his labor to redo the bathroom which saved the couple the costs of hiring an actual contractor. In the bathroom alone, many modern features (like a handheld shower head) were removed and replaced with retro attachments.


One bedroom proved to be quite the challenge. The original closets only reached to about chest-level and needed to be raised up more. The couple widened the closet openings and added another wall to create a walk in closet: something many old houses do not possess. The last space that needed renovated was the master bedroom. This room was in need of newer model windows, trim and half of the bamboo flooring. The couple found it difficult to complete these tasks by themselves and so again they required assistance from others for help.


The projects in the master bedroom as a whole took the husband and wife almost three years to complete. While the years added age to the house, the couple found that they could also allocate their finances as they saw fit without having to take out a loan. In perspective to how much money the couple saved by doing their own renovations, they were able to take a trip to Southeast Asia and enjoy the sights.

In the end, the couple saved a lot of money to renovate their home but in the end the ultimate cost was time. Many weekends were spent on renovating the house to ensure that it was done to their desire. They lived in their renovated house for about another four years and when their house sold, the sale paid them back for the time they had put into the house.