Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How to Save Money on Home Renovations

By Mona Sabalones Gonzalez

We have been slowly renovating our home. At first, it was a project I did by myself. I would learn a lot by going to youtube and googling things. For example, when I changed the lanai French doors to sliding doors, I knew exactly how to install them by watching "how to" Youtubes. So when we'd hire people they would be surprised when I would tell them how to do it.

When choosing paint colors, I'd go to Google images and look around. Eventually, I started a Pinterest account so that I could get more ideas on what I wanted for the house.

But it was expensive, because since it was a one-woman job, I had no idea how much money to pay laborers and a job that could be done by one, would be done by three, making the pay higher.

That's why I'm so glad my hubby finally realized that if we were going to renovate, he'd have to help me out. He is VERY good at knowing how to deal with people and finding alternative solutions, and he will only pay the going rate.

Example: we wanted to paint the front of our house, but the surface is not smooth. It's not stucco, but the bricks are placed in a way to have different levels. It's pretty but its a dust collector, too.

I chose  a nice, Savannah Brown color, thinking it would also make dirt less visible. The workers, who dealt with Ed had HUGE suggestions.

1. To remove the dirt (because the surface levels, being uneven, are pretty but also a dirt holder) one said get a super strong sprayer. We'd have to rent the sprayer, use a lot of water, and get an extension cord which would cost a lot of money.

2. We consulted another laborer. He said we needed a carver machine to get the dirt out, since it's embedded. The machine would cost a lot to rent, again require extension cables and raise our electric bill. Plus, we weren't sure how safe a carver machine would be to use on our walls.

3. My husband asked around. The solution: Muriatic acid. That's all.

4. Naturally, the workers exclaimed it wouldn't work. They wouldn't get a cent if we used muriatic acid. They talked to our maid and insisted their way was right. So, I youtubed the use of muriatic acid to clean cement, and found one. I showed our maid, and she went back and said yes, it would work.

5. My husband saved thousands of pesos by just buying muriatic acid and safety stuff for the workers and some plastic bottles. THOUSANDS. They spent the whole day cleaning the front and when they were finished, it was so clean, it seemed the house didn't need a paint job anymore.

6. But I knew our savannah brown paint would be a good long term solution to "blend in" with nature's ways. Besides, the paint we got is a bit more expensive, but I've tried so many brands and this is the BEST. It even repels dirt.

Our house is a lovely Savannah brown, and the job was done in just two days. I'm not gonna photograph the house yet because we still have to do accent painting. But I love the fact that we saved so much money because my husband and I are now working in tandem. Guess he realized the house renovation is inevitable, so if you can't fight it, join it. Thanks, hon:).