How to Renovate a Condo on a Tight Budget

Even an old condo properly renovated can be rented or sold at a higher price. However, a full-scale repair may consume too much money. On a limited budget, such measures as installing or repairing the HVAC system, electrical rewiring, or global design reconstructions might be unaffordable.

Still, you can update your condo’s look and functional possibilities without going to great expense. The key rules for successful renovation on-budget are simple:

  1. Make up a plan with fixed priorities.
  2. Employ time-proven methods like painting, changing colors, ensuring more light, etc.
  3. Do as much work as you can yourself.
  4. Ask a trusted professional to do all the work you cannot do yourself.
  5. Shop around and try to spare money by using budget-saving materials.

Do not waste your funds on such items as expensive furniture or luxurious fixtures. Instead, try to refresh the furniture with your own hands and buy affordable equipment.

A Tried and Trusted Strategy for Condo Renovation

You are sure to spare time and money if you carefully plan your condo repair and then follow the plan step by step. You may start by analyzing the general condition of your apartment and defining the most urgent zones, as well as ones that might require a heavy investment.

Generally workable ideas for the whole condo include painting the walls and updating the flooring with modern, budget-friendly materials. You can improve lighting by adding new fixtures and choosing lighter shades for the walls, curtains, etc. Another option is to rearrange the furniture so it does not block your windows.

In today’s reality, you may do the best part of the job yourself. Thanks to online masterclasses, you can cope with light activities. However, let a specialist do the rest of the job so you don’t pay twice. At least, Do-It-Yourself techniques won’t work for plumbing or electrical repairs.

Depending on your project, consulting an expert at once may be reasonable. For example, they can give you helpful hints if your condo requires design changes and you are unsure if your ideas will work.

Where to Pick a Trusted Contractor?

Since you are going to run a small-budget project, an ideal way to find a specialist to bring it into reality is to ask your friends, relatives, and colleagues for recommendations. If they have a similar condo renovation experience, you can get a lot of useful info from them.

Another way is to pick a qualified contractor online. Today, you have plenty of marketplaces and specialized forums at your disposal. There, you can find repair specialists as well as read reviews of their previous projects.

What to Discuss with Your Contractor?

It’s crucial to fix an exact plan with your contractor. Your condo renovation project is safe if you have discussed at least these options with the contractor:

  • The available budget;
  • Scope of work;
  • Materials and finishes;
  • Convenient working hours;
  • The total price (feel free to negotiate the price, but be reasonable);
  • An acceptable payment schedule.

Such a plan will protect you against unexpected investments and the necessity to reorder the same services. Still, good advice is to reserve some money for extra expenses.

Ideas for Specific Areas

Each area in your condo may require an individual approach. Yet, a list of ideas might work for any condo renovation.

Source: Unsplash


The kitchen usually goes as the #1 area on the repair list. The most frequent problems include a lack of space, a boring look, and outdated equipment. The top-effective solutions for the kitchen are as follows:

  • Repaint the walls and ceiling with light and warm colors.
  • Use warm-colored, unordinary textures.
  • Repaint the floor instead of costly reconstruction.
  • Rearrange the kitchen furniture.
  • Add an accent element to your cabinet.
  • Install a central kitchen island.
  • Use open shelves instead of massive cupboards.
  • Change or add countertops.
  • Enhance lighting by adding rope pendants.
  • Plank the ceiling and walls over.
  • Add special elements made of wood and other materials.

You do not need to buy new furniture if you wish to have a fake island in your kitchen. You can find numerous ideas for making a stylish kitchen island with your own hands.

Living Room

Adding more light and updating your furniture are two simple ways of renovating a living room cheaply. You can repaint the floor or install peel-and-stick flooring to freshen the room’s general look. Try to remove the furniture that blocks the light and consumes too much space. Change your curtains and electrical fixtures. Make your living room look original by adding unique details like built-in bookshelves, accent pillows, a large painting, etc.


Budget-friendly ideas for a bathroom are countless. You can refresh this area using these prompts:

  • Use peel-and-stick solutions to update the flooring.
  • Buy a compact cabinet or floating shelves.
  • Reglaze your tiles instead of retiling.
  • Upgrade the vanity.
  • Change small elements like shower heads, towel rails, robe hooks, etc. Employ the same material and style for all the elements.
  • Add a medicine cabinet with an original accent detail.
  • Change the light fixtures.

Design experts also recommend adding mirrors and feature walls. You can create them from cost-saving materials.


Your bedroom will look clutter-free and stylish if you free as much space as possible. A great idea is to organize hidden niches and remove all the massive furniture from the room. You can simply paint the floor and walls or use unusual textures to decorate them. Add stylish bedside tables, use headboards, wainscot panels, etc.