Remodels: Little ways to save big

Sure, cutting back on high-ticket items conserves cash during a remodel. But as TOH TV showed on the East Boston project, there are other creative ways to save - in this case, more than $70,000!

Rob Peter to pay Paul
Rob Peter to pay Paul
When Tom took down walls to enlarge the kitchens in both apartments, he had to contend with floorboards from adjoining rooms running in different directions, as well as missing flooring where the walls had stood. Seamlessly weaving in patches would have been very labor intensive, and the new wood wouldn't have matched anyway; replacing with equivalent reclaimed heart pine throughout both kitchens would have cost about $26 a square foot for materials and labor. So Tom got creative.

In Liz's kitchen, he cut the flooring at an angle in the middle of the room to echo the corner cabinet. Then he carefully pulled up all the boards on one side of the cut and relaid them on a diagonal. To salvage some extra flooring, he took boards from where the washer/dryer and the cabinets would go. In Chris's kitchen, he pulled up all the boards that were turned the wrong way and relaid them so the floor would be uniform.

Replacing the floors would have required the same demolition, installation, and refinishing, plus the cost of new materials. So the only added labor here was the extra 2 1/2 hours it took to pull up the boards without destroying them.

What They Saved: $16,000
Repair rather than replace Roll up your sleeves Little demolition Rob Peter to pay Paul Use luxuries selectively Adjust to your circumstances Add detail with paint Stick with stock Be open to shelves and doors Reuse existing materials
We canvassed dozens of industry pros to catalog ways you can wrestle your renovation costs back down to earth. (more)
A 4-phase plan for getting the kitchen you want at a price you can afford. (more)
An architectural designer aims to respect his home's heritage and simultaneously embrace its new parts. (more)