Renovation: Spend vs. Save

Buying a new home or about to undergo a renovation and unsure where to allocate your resources? Hilary Farr of Love It Or List It gives us some insight on where to spend and where to save.


Countertops: Stone vs. Laminate

Hilary says: Save!
There are great choices out there for laminate countertops these days. If your budget forces you to choose between lower grade cabinets and granite countertops, spend on the cabinetry. Cabinets are the infrastructure of the kitchen- go for the best quality you can afford ... and do the countertop later!

Windows: Custom Blinds vs. Ready-made Curtains

Hilary says: Save!
A window without curtains is like a mouth without teeth! Ready-made curtain panels are a very affordable option and there is a great selection on the market.

Tip: Panels should extend to each side of the window. Put two or three panels on each side to make sure they look full and gather them with tie-backs. They should drape and frame the window beautifully and close up enough to fully cover the window at night.

Appliances: Industrial vs. Standard/Off the Shelf

Hilary says: Spend!
There is a big jump from what is available off the shelf, and high-end appliances. The reason a Sub-Zero fridge is so expensive for instance, is not only the designs they have developed, but also their double compressor technology; it actually is a better fridge. Standard fridges are also made very well these days. The key is to choose the one that aesthetically suits your kitchen. Stainless steel is the best option for resale.

Tip: Spend a little more on a fridge that has stainless on the sides, and is integrated or counter depth as it looks so much better!

Flooring: Hardwood vs. Laminate

Hilary says: Save!
When budget is a factor, go with laminate. There are great options out there these days. You can always upgrade to hardwood flooring down the road and a good quality laminate will look great in the meantime.

Ceilings: Smooth vs. Popcorn

Hilary says: Spend!
Pay the cost of getting smooth ceilings and everything in the room will instantly look better. Why spend money on a lovely light fixture if it's hanging from a popcorn ceiling?


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