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Newlyweds: How to Fix Up Your New Home on a Budget

If you are getting married in the near future or have recently exchanged vows with your new spouse, you may be trying to limit home renovation expenses. Here is some advice for fixing up your new home on a budget.

Expenses, Expenses, Expenses

Did you know that the tradition of giving a fiancée an engagement ring was introduced by Maximilian of Austria in 1477? He gave Mary of Burgundy, his soon-to-be wife, a masterfully crafted ring as a promise of marriage. At the time, they surely didn't expect the costs of engagement rings and wedding bands to skyrocket hundreds of years later.

A general rule of thumb when it comes to buying an engagement ring is spending about two months' worth of one's salary on the ring. Couple these with the costs of the actual wedding and a honeymoon. It adds up, especially after including a list of costs that you may not have expected to encounter when you bought a house as a married or soon-to-be-married couple.

If you and your new spouse have decided to buy a home and it's a bit of a fixer-upper, there are several ways to increase the house's value and make it a functional, loved home as well.

Out With the Old

Nino Sitchinava, the principal economist for Houzz, commented on today's housing stock, saying 50% of it is 37 years or older. Most of these aging homes have roofs, furnaces, flooring, and appliances that have reached the end of their lives. What does this mean exactly? If your home has outdated and barely functional appliances, consider swapping them out for new ones. When it comes to the roof, appliances, and furnaces, calling in professional help is wise. However, new floor installation, painting, and decorating can be projects you two can tackle yourselves.

Projects You Can Tackle DIY-Style

First, figure out the layout and design you'd like for your new home. Do you want hardwood floors for the entire first floor with some large rugs, hardwood for the kitchen and dining room, and carpet for the living room? These choices are entirely up to you and your personal preferences. Perhaps you'd even like hardwood floors for your upstairs too. If the hardwood flooring in your new home is outdated or needs to be replaced, there are a few installation methods to choose from: glue-down, nail-down, and click-lock. Once you've chosen a method after considerable research and prepped for the project, you and your new spouse can get started.

Installing bathroom tile and carpeting can be done yourselves, too. Be sure to research step-by-step guides and instructions to follow. You can also ask for tips from your local home improvement store.

Painting is another do-able DIY project. Be sure to really think about the color schemes you want for each room in your new home and that each room's color flows from one to the next. Consider the amount of lighting each room in the home offers. If your living room doesn't get much natural light, consider a lighter paint color. If your kitchen is on the smaller side, perhaps choose a neutral tone so a bright or loud color doesn't overtake the space. Pick out paint samples at a home improvement store and think through your decision before buying the necessary materials.

After you've purchased new appliances, finished installing flooring, and painted the rooms in your house, consider decorations and furniture. You can find second-hand furniture and decor at thrift shops and online for much cheaper prices compared to retail. Find items that match your style and the aesthetic you and your new spouse are aiming for.

Consider Finishing Your Basement

Did you know that finishing your basement costs 80% less than buying a larger home? This project can increase your home's value as well as give you and your new spouse an extra room to utilize. Would you like a home gym, an entertainment area, a movie room, or a kid's room if you plan to grow your family in the future? There are several options to choose from, and finishing your basement is definitely a DIY project you and your spouse can tackle on your own as well.

Before getting started, consider what you'd like the space to be. This will determine the flooring and wall material you will install. A professional inspection for mold, water damage, and other issues will aid you in the basement insulation process as well. There are several step-by-step guides and videos you can find online to help you with this bigger project. It's very do-able if you are willing to spend the time and money on materials to make it a reality.

Even though staying on a budget is important, do spend money on aspects of your home that require proper preservation. Don't go cheap on appliances and materials for your renovation projects. Furniture and decorations can be cheaper items to buy that you can easily replace later. It'll be easier down the road to replace a squeaky chair than redoing the drywall you put up in your basement. Save yourselves time and money by managing your expenses now. Be sure to have fun renovating your house by appreciating the quality time DIY projects offer, too!

Head of Content, reality TV watcher and lover of cookies. emma@shared.com