A testimony from Katie
In March of this year, my husband and I were able to purchase our first home. It was a newer home in great condition, but it needed some TLC. The previous owner chose some interesting paint colors and neglected to take care of minor maintenance issues. My husband, Nick, is quite the handyman, so we saw a home with great potential!
Nick works for a university, so he had some free time during the summer months that he was going to dedicate to home repairs/remodeling. Since the home only needed minor repairs, we knew we could tackle nearly everything completely on our own. We also knew that by doing the projects ourselves, we’d save lots of money in the process.
The one area of the home that we absolutely wanted to remodel (and as quickly as possible!) was our staircase. The previous owner had the walls painted a “lovely” forest green, and the staircase was pine. One word came to mind for me: YUCK!
When we sat down to decide how we planned to tackle the project and what our expenses might be, I was absolutely shocked when Nick told me that he thought he could do the entire staircase for $70 or less!
He estimated the following costs and supplies:
- One can purple paint for the walls (approximately $30)
- One can white paint (approximately $30)
- One can stain (approximately $10)
So, after two weeks of lots of hard work on the part of my husband — prepping, sanding, planing, painting, and staining the wooden stairs and landings all by hand — we had a new staircase!
Our total expenses for supplies came in right around $70, just as my husband expected! He guesstimated that if we had purchased all new wood to complete the project, in addition to the paint and stain, our costs would have come in just shy of $600. And if we would have had a professional come in and do the work for us, it would have been even more expensive.
But thanks to some pre-planning, hard work, and creativity on the part of my handyman hubby, and some extra time over the summer to complete the project, we were able to pay just $70 cash for a brand new staircase!
Katie and her husband, Nick, are young professionals, both working full-time and pursuing graduate degrees at a local university. They enjoy remodeling their new home and saving money on anything and everything. In their spare time, they enjoy couponing (well, Katie does!), bike riding, taking their dogs to the dog park, and traveling.
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