Editors' Picks: Restoration on a Budget

Our editors highlight new and classic articles on how to make the most of a limited restoration budget.
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We'd love it if we all had unlimited funds to restore our old houses. But since most of us don't, we've got to go with Plan B: Get creative, and make every dollar count. And sometimes that's not such a bad thing—as one of our contributors once pointed out, an unlimited cash flow could lead to over-renovation. Small budgets, on the other hand, force you to focus on what your house really needs. These five articles offer up some great ideas for making the most of limited budgets, from cost-cutting tips to insight on where to splurge to how others have tackled it.

bungalow kitchen

The existing kitchen stove, ca. 1920, was restored, and the 1940s kitchen table left in place.

Bungalow on a Budget
If you keep it simple, you can restore a period home on a modest budget.


Yellow renovated kitchen

Clean lines keep the kitchen looking neat and tidy.

Makeover For a Modest Kitchen
How we achieved a bungalow-era kitchen— on a budget, and without sacrificing authenticity or style.


In a Pasadena buglalow, the re-creation of a 1920s "service" kitchen with painted cabinets cost about $39,000. Photo: Chris Considine.

In a Pasadena buglalow, the re-creation of a 1920s "service" kitchen with painted cabinets cost about $39,000. 

Kitchen Renovation Costs: Planning a Budget
Learn how to decide, when to save, and where to splurge with these tips on how to cut the cost of your kitchen renovation.


The kitchen dish cupboard has glass cabinets as well as glass at the back of the shelf to allow for more light through the pantry skylights.

The kitchen dish cupboard has glass cabinets as well as glass at the back of the shelf to allow for more light through the pantry skylights.

Planning A New Addition
Adding on to an existing house can be tricky. These architects dealt with previous bad additions, cramped layouts, and setback requirements.

19th-century interior

An early 19th-century interior, treated to a palette of milk-paint colors in earth tints, from Olde Century Colors.

Save, Repair, or Replace?
Knowing what to save, what to repair, and what to replace (or replicate) is the key to increasing the longevity and comfort of your treasured home.

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