Home renovations require patience, planning, and more patience, but not massive amounts of money. You just have to think like a pro. Keep costs down and spirits up by taking advantage of these professionally-proven tips and techniques in order to achieve the look and feel you want minus the hassles.

Kitchen Lighting

Make sure you have the illumination you need and want. Any kitchen worth its salt will have three types of lighting: accent, ambient, and task. If you’re being wired for overhead accent lighting in the form of a hanging pendant light, have the electrician ready the ceiling for recessed, or ambient, lighting as well. When going for task lighting in the form of under-cabinet illumination, avoid wiring altogether and simply stick LED adhesive lighting strips where needed. These versatile peel-and-stick lights don’t require extra labor and can be cut to length to accommodate whatever crazy dimensions you come up with.

Read Related: 7 Ways to Do Energy-Efficient Lighting (That Actually Looks Nice)

Super Storage Savings

Consider going with open shelving instead of cumbersome and expensive new cabinetry in the kitchen. Cool and stylish, open shelves offer a number of décor options without a heavy-duty price tag. Better yet, you can then repurpose those old cabinets to provide excess storage in the garage (for tools, etc.) or even in the closet (for whatever).

Read Related: 5 Ways to Try Open Shelving in Your Kitchen

Paint The Mood You Want

If you’re done dealing with lighting altogether, use lighter paint tones to brighten a room without adding excess fixtures. Lighter walls will make better use of the lighting you do have, and won’t add dollars to your electricity bill. While we’re on the subject of paint, be sure to cover the walls before adding cabinets, backsplashes, or anything else that you would otherwise need to dance around after installation to save on unnecessary time and labor.

Read Related: Can Paint Color Increase Your Happiness?

Embrace The Future, Save Now

Energy Star appliances and products are at your service, helping you to be more efficient by spending less and performing better when it comes to daily tasks especially in homes equipped with 100-amp service. Have the bad habit of leaving the lights on when running out the door in the morning or at night? Install sensor switches and extinguish those tendencies electronically. And when it comes to smart controls, remember that you don’t have to go with the most expensive setup to get what you’re looking for.

Read Related: 32 Ways to Save Energy at Home

Don’t Forget About The Yard

Native plants love living in your neck of the woods, which means they can rely on the current conditions to thrive and don’t require tons of care. When looking to fill the empty spaces with something cool and colorful, forgo traditional mulch and plant a rock garden or go with inexpensive gravel for longer lasting style. You can also opt to go with “free” mulches like leaves and grass clippings.

Read Related: 12 Inspiring Ideas for a Lawn-Free Landscape

These are just a few basic options you can use to your monetary advantage when it comes to home improvement. Just remember: you don’t need to do everything at once; focus on one area of the home at a time and use these tips, and you’ll get to where you need to be, eventually!

Originally written by Cameron Poague of the Master Builders Association (MBA) of King and Snohomish Counties.