When it boiled down to it, our house just absolutely needed a face-lift-no ifs, ands or buts about it. However, we faced a number of issues in getting any project off the ground. Our first problem was that the mother-daughter trio in our household knew virtually nil in the department of any kind of construction, remodeling, or heck, really any sort of home repair. Our second problem was that no one here was rich and we were working with a low to middle class budget, a family and a litany of daily tasks, like most other Americans out there surviving in today’s economy. With these obstacles in front of us, we thought that our options were limited; yet with a little research and a lot of hunting and you can make your home look completely refreshed and new; giving it that face-lift it so deserves. 

The main areas of our home that were in dire need of attention were the floors (which hadn’t been updated since near the sixties!), the walls which needed fresh paint, and the kitchen whose last owners hummingbird theme just didn’t fit with the current attitude of the house. These areas on an average could run you into the ground financially pretty quickly. The average cost of labor for putting in a new kitchen counter top ranges anywhere from 15-30$ an hour for the one project alone. We at our household found that getting creative in our search could prove essential in saving us all a bundle even if it meant entering into the unknown realm of home remodeling. 




We started with the walls; nothing is easier or cheaper than buying a few gallons of paint to perk up an existing room and give it a fresh feeling. Easiest room to start with is the bathroom as it usually requires so little paint; so you can always change it! We painted the bathroom, living room, and kitchen all for under three hundred dollars. The original owners of the house had adorned the wall around the fireplace in the living room with outdated fake wood paneling. Wanting to change that look in the least expensive way possible we opted for mudding in the grooves and sanding them down prior to painting. The resulting look has blended this one eyesore to match the rest of the walls, completely updating it’s look. 

Next we moved to the flooring. Our home had a lot of add-ons put on throughout the past and the original floor in the living room screamed every bit of that truth once the worn out carpet was removed. Wanting to stick to the original wood look but lacking the funding needed to replace the wood, we opted for do-it-yourself click-and-lock flooring. This system is steadily growing more popular as an alternative to it’s more expensive cousin. These products can be purchased from many stores including Home Depot. Our flooring costs were three-hundred and forty five dollars. The best thing I have found about this product was the ease of installation. For a person like myself who has never before even considered how these systems work, it was easy, I was able to install the entire thing with the easy instructions and flat out simple process. For the kitchen we went for the stick-on vinyl tiles and with all the variation they have out there now it definitely holds it’s ground in looks to the ceramic tiles and with our cost totaling one-hundred and eighty seven dollars it was well worth the price. It is a synch for even a novice to install. 

On to what three females feared the most was the kitchen counter tops with matching back splash going all the way up to the cupboards, wondering whether our inexperience may have reached it’s limit at this point. We had breezed through the painting, and survived gallantly the flooring and now the doom and gloom of thinking 



perhaps it was time for a contractor to fill our shoes and finish up the last of our tasks came creeping into our minds. Yet once again the advances that the Internet has to offer to do-it-yourselfers shined it’s lovely light on our dismal thoughts. We found a company called Giani Inc. which has a product which you paint minerals over your original counter top. We bought two kits from the site giving us a total of one-hundred thirty dollars spent including the shipping and handling. The kit came with both written instructions and DVD instructions, all supplies needed (except gloves and paper plates), plus a practicing board. After scouring the directions and DVD and practicing on our boards we went at  that showed us How much you can expect to pay out of pocket for a facelift to have better enrichment of the surgical odds. Our results were fabulous and having never painted with minerals before it was an experience. The look came out very professional and there were countless different variations of patterns you could create with just the one kit. Very user friendly and we were left with a ton of extra material. When the site said a little goes a long way it really meant it! 

All in all for under one thousand dollars we did a complete update on many areas of the house, turning it from the summer vacation home that it was into the family home it is at present and making it our own. Budget aside as well, we proved that existing knowledge is not a necessity for taking on projects you may not have thought to before. With all the how-to help out there and user friendly projects there are no excuses for not just jumping in and starting something. You can save yourself a bundle doing it yourself and the finished product is something which you can be proud of for years to come.