Remodeling tricks that make you look like a pro

Apr 28, 2022, 3:00 PM

(Shutterstock Photo)...

(Shutterstock Photo)

(Shutterstock Photo)

A home remodel can be as small or large as you want it to be. Whether you hire a contractor for the whole project or will be doing some of it yourself, consider these tricks that will make you look like a remodeling pro.


Never undertake a remodel without a plan. The plan should include:

• Wish-list
• Budget
• Timeline

Listen to the experts

Don’t go it alone. Talk to architects, designers, contractors, and suppliers for ideas, realistic costs, and timelines.

Manage expectations

Make sure that you and everyone living in the house are in sync with the remodel. Set clear expectations between you and everyone working on the project. Communication is key. When a problem arises or there is a delay in the schedule, everyone is kept informed.


Your remodeling budget should cover the costs of building materials, building permits, labor, decorative finishes, and provisions for miscellaneous expenses. Splurge on the spaces where you spend the most time.

Add a buffer to your renovation schedule and budget.

Decide and stick to the total expenditure requirement or limit. It is important to remember when budgeting that you cannot overestimate your budget. Keep your budget underestimated and then move on to researching the things you need.

When setting your budget, visit with multiple contractors to help you establish a benchmark. Rosie’s How To Choose A Contractor Consumer Guide will help you through the process of selecting the right contractor for your project.

Note that most contractors will not provide a free estimate because of how busy they are and the number of people just “window shopping” without realistic expectations.

Consider the resale value

If you anticipate that you will only be in the house a couple of years, you may want to rethink projects that very few buyers would be interested in. Plus, there are specific modifications that offer better resale value than others.

For example, according to Remodeling, in the Mountain region a moderate kitchen remodel on average costs $25,400. The cost recouped after sale is a whopping 72.7% on average! Click here to view the 2021 cost vs. value report.

It’s better to do a remodel at least a few years before your house goes on the market. That way you can enjoy those expensive improvements yourself.

Unique finds

Find unique décor at secondhand retailers and salvage yards. They get new stuff all the time. Visit often and early in the day. Some places to find good deals include Habitat for Humanity HabiStore and Stardust Building Supplies.

New finishes

Refinishing your cabinets vs. installing new cabinets can save you a significant amount of money. Use the money you save in other areas on your remodel. Just know that refinishing does involve some mess and strong odors.

Cover an old bathtub with a tub reliner. A reliner could save you a third of what it costs to completely replace a tub. Again, the money you save could be allotted to other items on your remodeling wish list.

Replace old, dinged baseboards with less expensive pine or medium-density fiberboard, also known as MDF for baseboards. MDF holds paint better than many wood species and once it’s painted, no one will know it’s MDF anyway.

Do more with less

Update the front entry. Repaint or re-stain the front door for a fresh and inviting look to your home.

Make a small room look larger by incorporating large mirrors. Also, select a color palette in the white-or-light color spectrum. Dark colors make the room feel smaller and claustrophobic. Use white or light-colored fixtures, especially in the bathrooms. Any color other than white or off-white will shrink the feeling of a room.

The latest choices in crown molding are plastics which can be a better, less costly alternative than wood. Since the plastic mouldings often hang high overhead, it’s hard for anyone to know that they’re not actually real wood.

Plastic moldings are lightweight and easier to install, plus, they will not warp or disintegrate when exposed to moisture. Hire a professional carpenter to hang crown moulding.

Make every room functional. Turn a tiny, unused guest room into a laundry room or a too-small formal dining room into a home gym.

Control the dust

Remodeling creates dust. No matter how careful you or the contractors are. If there will be a lot of sanding, removal of walls or insulation, be sure to develop a plan of action to prepare your HVAC system for the remodeling process. Rosie Right | Design. Build. Remodel. recommends using well placed plastic protection walls to enclose messes. If it is an extensive job, it may be worth it to use a HEPA filter.

Shut down your HVAC system temporarily. Then, close and cover the registers and vents in the living room and dining room. Also, make sure you change the air filter before and after the renovation process.

After the remodel is complete, contact a professional HVAC technician to inspect your ductwork and HVAC system.

Finally, hire a professional cleaning company to clean your home. A professional cleaning will help to put the finishing touches on any job.

Join Rosie on the House every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KTAR News 92.3 FM. If you’d like to send us questions or comments, email Follow us on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook. For more do-it-yourself tips, go to An Arizona home building and remodeling industry expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of the syndicated Saturday morning Rosie on the House radio program. Call 888-767-4348 with questions and comments.

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Remodeling tricks that make you look like a pro