I love a good bit of DIY, so I’m going to explain how to transform your house for free or cheap. It’s easy to do if you take the time to research and plan!
When we first moved into our new house, the interior was dated. The house we live in is rented (I know what your thinking…but read on…), hard flat carpets, dated wallpaper, yellow wood work etc, a house that was just lived in, quite dismal if I’m honest. Shortly after we moved in, the house was sold and the new landlord said “it’s my property, but your home, make it yours”.
We have no intention of moving, we love the area, neighbours, convenience of local shopping centre, schools etc. So we set out to make the house our home.
Should I spend money on a house I rent?
Spending money on a rented house, a house you don’t own, doesn’t quite make sense. I don’t like spending money, unless I can justify it. In fact I’m that tight I squeak when I walk!
So, what do I recommend to transform your house for free or cheap? Here’s a few tips:
- I swear by Facebook market place, Gumtree & Shpock… I spend a lot of time finding inspirational items that are listed as FREE or less than £20. Someone else’s trash is another persons treasure. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. If you get it home and don’t like it, you’ve lost nothing, just give it away again. Alternatively upcycle/repair it and sell it on.
- Create a small money pot just in case you find something you really like but can’t get it free. Use method 1, upcycle/fix it and sell it on, put the proceeds in your money pot.
- Think of the design or theme your looking to create and ask the sellers if they have other matching items they’d consider selling as a bundle deal.
- Be patient. The item(s) you’re looking for will turn up eventually on one of the free selling sites.
If it’s free, it’s for me!
As I say, if it’s free, it’s for me! So far I’ve acquired 3 carpets, all free. Now I’m not going to lie, they weren’t in perfect condition. They’re second hand carpets, they aren’t going to be. But with a bit of Googling and a little bit of time you can get minor marks out and give them a clean. They look brand new! The trick here is to get a carpet much bigger than you need, you can use the none walked on parts as your carpet and remove the excess, giving you a new carpet feel.
Moving onto our kitchen. The Laminate flooring was knackered. I can’t describe it in any other way. Decent Laminate flooring isn’t cheap. Unless you get it for free! Our kitchen is 15 square meters, so a decent size. The chances of getting that much laminate for free is slim, especially in good condition and not broken.
Patience is key
Like I said earlier, patience is key. I managed to bag 32 square meters of laminate flooring, all the same colour & brand. Yep… for Free! Some were in bad condition, some in really good condition. Remember the carpet rule? Get more than you need! I only needed 15 square meters. After a good sort through we managed to filter out 16 sqm of perfect, uncut laminate.
However, I must add, it’s not recommended to relay laminate flooring as it acclimatises to the environment it’s in etc. But if you’re as tight as I am and know what your doing the results are brilliant!
We live in a throw away world these days. Electrical’s, appliances, even furniture is unfortunately built to be replaced in relatively short spaces of time. Why buy new when you can reuse?
Living room Furniture… Free (very comfy suite, excellent condition!)
60” TV… Free
TV Unit… Yup… Free. Although I built this myself.
Dining room Table & chairs… Free
Dining room sideboard… £5
Dining room laminate flooring… Free
On a side note, Pallet furniture is great, I was dubious and curious, so I got some nice dry pallets and with a lot of effort pulling them apart, I built a TV unit, I’m that impressed, I’ll be building some side tables next!
The biggest expense we’ve forked out for is the living room Laminate floor. It’s a high traffic area and everyone is in there most of the time, so we thought we’d spend on it, other than the living room floor, pretty much everything in our house was free or less than £20, including the American style fridge freezer!. We’re really pleased with the way it looks. We even managed to completely re-landscape and transform our back garden at a very minimal cost too! It’s now our home.
Now I’m not saying everyone should do this, as we’d have no economy at all (worse than it already is). But if you are on a tight budget then it’s definitely worth doing, especially if you rent. All you’re investing in is your time, it gives you a slight sense of ownership and you make the property your home. In a way, it also gives you the feeling that you’re not just paying out “dead” money on rent.
Give it a go!
Let me know in the comments if you’ve done something similar?