Home Improvement Saves and Splurges

The sky’s the limit on how much you could spend on most home improvement projects. But how do you know when paying more is worth it?

We can help. Here is a short, and by no means comprehensive, list of where you can save without sacrificing look or utility, and where you may want to splurge for, ultimately, a better value.


Splurge on well-built, all wood cabinets in a style you love but save by ordering standard-sized cabinetry rather than custom-built whenever possible.

Save with tiles made of ceramic (for walls) or porcelain (more durable for floors). There is a huge variety of tile choices, and many are look-alikes for more expensive options and even for natural stone.  If you just can’t find a good substitute, use more pricey pieces sparingly, as accents or in a focal point mural.


Splurge on energy-efficient products. You’ll improve your indoor comfort, lower energy bills, and increase your home’s value.

Save on the finishing items. Custom trim or hardware can really drive up the cost.


Splurge on real wood, especially if adjoining rooms have wood floors. Laminate wood lookalikes will never match the real thing and the contrast will be jarring when old and new run into each other.

Save on carpet.  Have a carpet remnant (new, but the end of the bolt) cut to size then have its edges bound for a much cheaper alternative to wall-to-wall carpet. This is a great choice in awkwardly sized areas, bedrooms, basements, or even as a runner or foyer rug. Be sure your finished remnant is a foot or two smaller than the room all the way around to achieve the best look.


Splurge on good prep materials. The more expensive 3M brand tape really does provide a cleaner line, and a good sander ensures your wall doesn’t show imperfections when the paint job is finished.

Save by avoiding higher priced paint that really isn’t any better. Top-quality brands generally cost around $32 per gallon. Spend more, and you’re paying for a name, not better performance. Spend less, and you likely will sacrifice coverage, having to buy more paint to finish the job.

No matter what your project, wise choices about where to spend your home improvement dollars will stretch them further.



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