We learned a valuable lesson about remodeling: architects design for beauty, not budget. Custom-built cabinets, wider tubs, and taller windows cost more for installation and accessories.
Planning a project with standard size units or fixtures saves money. Will you end up with a run-of-the-mill house? Not necessarily.
- Upgrade materials with the money you’ve saved.
- Keep the background basic and invest in things you can take with you.
- Antiques, fine art, and quality furniture may give your home enough “custom detail” to transcend its standard roots.
This concept carries over to much of frugal living.
My mother-in-law, an artist, learned the hard way that custom framing is expensive. Now she chooses a ready made frame, selects a standard size canvas to fit, and then begins her work.
Likewise, a secondhand car with easy-to-find parts will always be cheaper to maintain than its specialized counterpart.
A man who can wear a 40 R suit and a woman who can slip into a size 8-12 can dress like a million for less—secondhand shops are packed with great buys on standard size clothes.
(I’m still working on this one, though!)