Tag Archive 'budget'

Mar 24 2010

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Furnish your Carriage House on a Budget

032G-0010 Carriage HouseBy building a carriage house plan from The House Plan Shop, you’ve added additional living space to your home, perfect for weekend guests, the in-laws or even rental property. The list below offers money saving tips to help you furnish your carriage house while creating comfortable accommodations without breaking the budget.

 

·         Survey the living space and determine what items you need. What furniture items do wish to have in each room? What size pieces do you need? How many beds do you need? What type of seating is necessary? A sofa or club chairs? Do you need a dining table or end tables?

·         Consider storage space. Often storage space is minimal in a carriage house so keep an eye out for items and furniture pieces that provide storage such as a trunk that could double as a coffee table or end tables that have drawers or doors with room to stash things inside. Likewise, watch for a sofa sleeper offering additional sleeping space for an extra guest or visitor while providing everyday seating.    

·         Don’t expect to find the perfect furnishings. Rather, look for things that you can improve or change to suit your needs. In some cases you’ll need to do a little hard work yourself, but it will be worth it. Consider a new slip cover and throw pillows for a couch. Repaint a nightstand or a bookshelf. Buy a trendy lampshade for an old lamp. Refurbish a dining table. Sand and stain a nightstand.

·         Look for items that can be used for something else. Can bookshelf work for linen storage? Will a portable microwave cart add cupboard space to the kitchen?

·         Visit eBay and other online stores. Items sold on these sites are often in good condition and are sold at a fraction of the retail price.

·         Check thrift stores and resell shops often. They are always receiving new items, so stop in frequently.

·         Check newspaper ads for auctions and estate sales. They are great places to find pieces of matching furniture at a low price such as a coffee table and two matching end tables or a bedroom set.

·         Visit yard sales and garage sales early. They best items and deals go quickly so get there early to find the best furniture pieces at a great price.

·         Take your stack of mix matched dishes out of the attic and give them a new home in the carriage house kitchen. If you don’t have your own stash of dishes, check with friends and family. Someone will have a variety of dishes they aren’t using and may be willing to get rid of them.

·         Remember to inspect any second hand items for mold and insects. Clean them thoroughly before refurbishing them or arranging them in the living quarters.

·         Consider buying new small appliances and new linens. These items are often on sale for reasonable prices at your favorite department store. You’ll have peace of mind knowing small electrics, like the toaster and blender, will last a while and you won’t have to worry about your guests having any type of allergies to the bed linens or bath towels.

 

Using a little creativity, imagination and ingenuity, you’ll have your carriage house or garage apartment neatly furnished in no time while keeping extra cash in your pocket.

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Apr 14 2009

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

Determine Affordability when Planning to Build a New Home

Filed under Building Budget

Have you decided to take the plunge and build a new home? If you think you are ready for the challenge, the following tips will help you make the best decisions when it comes to building a new home you can afford.

  1. Begin by getting several bids or estimates from contractors for the construction of the home plans you’ve selected. Check with lumberyards and family and friends for recommendations of reputable builders in your area. Don’t assume that the cheapest estimate is saving you the most money. Be sure to compare the quality of materials used in each estimate, and note differences if one bid includes something that another one does not.
  2. Determine what you can afford. Do your research by looking at homes that are comparable to you future home in size and cost to build and estimate your total monthly housing costs including utilities, taxes and homeowner’s insurance.
  3. Find out how much you should expect to pay in closing costs. Closing costs include a variety of fees such as fees charged by the lender, title and settlement fees, taxes and prepaid items such as homeowner’s insurance.
  4. Determine how your future home fits into your budget. Financial advisors recommend that buyers spend no more than 28% of their income on housing costs annually.
  5. Finally, look at the big picture. Building a new house is a great way to build wealth, but maintaining your investment can involve a lot of labor and be expensive. Consider what you will spend to furnish your new home, purchase appliances and landscape your yard. Consider the costs of unexpected expenses such as plumbing problems or roof repairs in the future. Will you be paying a lawn service to mow the lawn once a week or do you plan to save money by doing it yourself? It is important to plan ahead for these costs and expenses rather than finding you’ve drained your bank account and you still haven’t purchase a washer and dryer and the grass in the front yard in two feet tall.

So, before you jump feet first into building a new home, be sure to do your homework where finances are considered. Select and build a home that will fit your budget rather than a dream home you might not be able to afford.

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