How to Affordably Add Character to a Builder Grade Home

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When we started house shopping several years ago, we soon realized we had to figure out how to affordably add character to a builder-grade home. The homes in our price range and desired location just didn’t have much, if any, architectural beauty in them.

Here are seven ways we added character to our builder-grade home, and you can too.

1. Paint Paint and Paint

Paint is my favorite renovation and DIY tool. It has always been and always will be a transforming element. The best thing about paint is that it’s really quite inexpensive. You pay more for it now than you did three years ago, but it’s still worth the money every time. It can take a room from boring to beautiful in under an hour. Anyone can paint almost anything, and if I had to choose only one thing to transform a room with, it would be paint.

Mary’s Room

Elsa’s Room

2. Replace Carpet with Wood or Laminate Wood Flooring

Carpet can really date a home. Not only that carpet gets the worst of the wear and tear that happens in a home and can harbor lots of yucky stuff. Over the course of several years we ripped out all of the original carpet in our home. Most of it was replaced with wood flooring. This was a game changer. We’re diyers and thus we installed our own wood floors in two separate projects. If you do this job yourself you will save thousands of dollars. In our case we saved about ten thousand.

It is not easy work, but with the flooring technology of today you absolutely can install your own wood floors. Time, energy and patients are needed, plus a bunch of tools, but you can rent them. Check the posts below for details.

3. Install Molding

In most builder grade home molding is at the bottom of the list when it comes to importance. It’s usually minimal and an after thought. When you tear out old molding you have a chance to make a really strong statement about your house. I have yet to do a full post on the molding we installed on our main floor, but I’m sharing some photos. Again, this was some work, but not as much as the floors. Rent a miter cutter and you are well on your way to a huge upgrade in your home. Molding can be used in several ways. Go for larger floor molding and thick crown molding to add lux to your home’s design. Add old world character by adding wall molding as well.

4. Update Your Hardware

Such an easy fix with a huge return on investment. Go all out with your hardware. It’s been called cabinet jewelry and it act very much in the same way as jewelry acts with an outfit. It can elevate your cabinetry as well as the look of your home.

5. Transform Your Walls With Wallpaper

I’ve been slow to get on the wallpaper bandwagon, but no more. Ever since I installed a wallpaper mural I’ve been thinking of ways I can bring more wallpaper into our home. It really is art for your walls and sets a tone for a space. Every time I walk by this wallpaper I’m impressed by it’s beauty. I want more of that in our home, and there are so many gorgeous prints and design out there to choose from. Pick a small room or just one wall if you are being very budget conscious.

Upstairs Landing Wallpaper Mural

6. Add Built in Storage

As our family grew so did our storage needs. We’ve added so many different built in storage areas throughout our home. If you hack cabinets as we did the costs can be kept down and make it possible to do more elsewhere with the money you save. I have a lot more ideas to come, but check out these posts to give you an idea of what an upgrade built in storage can be.

Foyer Storage Part 1 and Part 2

7. Change Out Your Light Fixtures

This is a huge one! Changing out your light fixtures is like hitting a home run when it comes to adding character to your home. The time invested is minimal and the bang for your buck great. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, buy used light fixture. Don’t be afraid! We’ve had several great experiences and no bad ones I can think of when it comes to buying used light fixtures. Over the course of your home renovation it’ll save you so much, you’ll be able to open a money market account. Head to a Habitat for Humanity Restore to find the best deals.

Hope I’ve given you lots of ideas on how you can make the home of your dreams a reality.

You can do it! Little by little your home will be transformed.

xo maria

 

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Welcome to Pure Happy Home! A home design and DIY blog encouraging and helping you to design spaces you love. Here you’ll find budget makeovers, design tips and creative ideas you can apply to your home. Follow along as our family of 7 works to make our home more beautiful and our relationships closer.

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