The #1 rule of renovating and remodeling frugally: doing the work yourself.
Mr. Frugalwoods and I have discovered that most supplies and equipment are fairly inexpensive and can be used on multiple projects. Labor is where high costs come into play. For this reason, we tackle projects that are heavy on the labor and low on the skill. In other words, stuff that takes a long time to do but doesn’t require advanced technical knowledge. And, we’ve had to become somewhat fearless in our renovating–if we don’t know how to do something more technically advanced, we research it, and if we still don’t know how to do it, we just start trying. It usually works out fine and the places where we’ve made mistakes are not all that noticeable (though don’t be bringing a magnifying glass to our house!).
We operate on an 80/20 principle: if it looks 80% better, don’t worry about the other 20%.
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