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Whether it’s to improve property value or just enhance their living experience, homeowners are increasingly looking to touch up their living (and, in many cases working-from-home) spaces on a budget. DIY home renovations can be an economical way to transform your space, but they can easily become pricey if you are not careful. With a bit of education and planning, however, there are countless ways to give your home a face-lift that don’t involve having to borrow or spend a fortune.
Here are 10 ideas for DIY home remodeling projects on a budget — home improvements you can tackle without breaking the bank.
Budget remodel no. 1: Repaint the front door
Average cost: $100-220
Your front entrance is like the gift wrapping for your home, making it feel inviting and drawing people in when done right. Rather than buying a new door, spring for a fresh coat of paint, new hardware and spruced-up trim. Re-painting to the door and updating the accents around it are simple, cheap renovations that can drastically change your home’s appearance.
Don’t stop at the door. Give your home’s exterior a good scrub using soap, a garden hose and a sturdy brush. If you have a bit more money to invest, you can handle the job quickly and with a professional polish by renting a power washer ($100 per day on average).
Budget remodel no.2: Apply removable wallpaper
Average cost: $75-$100
Painting does get pricey if you do the entire interior of your house — not to mention the mess it causes. If you want an easier refresher for tired-looking rooms, consider removable wallpaper, which you peel and stick — instead of paste — onto surfaces. Also known as reusable or temporary wallpaper, it comes in various colors, patterns and textures, any of which can cover up a bland paint job and instantly transform any space in your home.
Budget remodel no. 3: Change the kitchen backsplash
Average cost: $200-$300 (depending on material and scope)
To update your kitchen without undertaking major renovations, consider installing a new backsplash. It’s one of those little things that goes a long way, appearance-wise. There are thousands of stone or tile patterns to choose from, so you can find options that best suit your space and accentuate your cabinets and appliances. Bonus: A fresh backsplash limits the need for extensive cleaning and can add value to your home.
Budget remodel no. 4: Refresh but don’t retile bathroom floors
Average cost: $100-300
While conservative when it comes to kitchen backsplashes, retiling can get expensive in the bathroom. Instead of installing brand-new tile floors, you can achieve the same kind of updated look by painting the existing floor. There are tons of unique stencil designs and paint shades to choose from, making it surprisingly easy to complete the job yourself for less.
Budget remodel no. 5: Repaint cabinets
Average cost: $400-900
In addition to revamping backsplashes or tile flooring, you can completely update the look of your kitchen or bathroom by resurfacing and repainting the cabinets, especially if they are decades old. While this can be a time-consuming undertaking, the costs are low compared to replacing cabinetry entirely.
If you want to take things a step further, invest in new cabinet hardware, too. Ben Fisher, a property investor and owner of the Fisher Group, a Park City, Utah real estate agency, says, “Just a simple addition of brushed gold knobs and pulls can make the simplest kitchens glamorous in moments. However, when you are doing such a project you should be prepared to touch up the tiny dings and scratches that might occur when removing the old hardware.”
Budget remodel no. 6: Plant some flowers
Average cost: $20 and up
Adding a few colorful annuals, such as pansies, marigolds or petunias to a garden is a great way to create curb appeal. While flowers are one low-cost way to add a pop of seasonal color to your property, consider that landscaping can increase your home’s resale value by as much as 15 to 20 percent.
As an alternative low-maintenance way to freshen up your front yard, try a couple of potted, flowering plants or window boxes. Either addition can add a pleasant view from both the inside and outside of the home.
Budget remodel no. 7: Replace bathroom hardware
Average cost: $25-$500
It is no secret a bathroom remodel can be expensive. For budget-friendly DIY upgrades, consider replacing the faucets, drawer pulls, towel bar or bathroom mirror. These items come in a variety of shapes and colors that could help give your bathroom a new look or make it appear bigger. For example, replacement bathroom mirrors can be wood-framed, steel-framed or frameless.
Budget remodel no. 8: Hang new curtains
Average cost: $30-$300 (depending on material)
Window treatments can transform a room’s look and feel. Curtains, specifically, are easy to find on a budget — if you go for pre-made styles — and they are simple to install quickly. For example, you can pick up a stylish curtain rod for $6 on Wayfair and a set of two curtain panels on sale at Target for $25. That’s about $30 for a new look. If you have windows that aren’t standard sizes, go with adjustable no-sew drapes, using double-sided fabric tape.
Budget remodel no. 9: Add some artwork
Average cost: $10-$800
Hanging artwork can add interest to any room. You don’t have to be an experienced art collector (or spend like one) to find the perfect piece, either. Look for wall art that catches your eye and fits within your budget. Thrift stores and craft stores are good places to start. For slightly more money, museums sell professionally produced repros of artworks in their collection, along with exhibition posters (which sometimes become collectible in their own right). Alternatively, online retailers like Minted and Society6 offer original fine-art prints that range in style from serious to whimsical; they can even come framed.
Budget remodel no. 10: Increase storage space
Average cost: $30-$800+ for complete systems
If you are looking for a way to store more things — and who isn’t — there are several options. A closet organizer can help you declutter, freeing up more walking space and giving it a neater look. To add more storage space, you could install new shelves in the garage or other living areas to organize or display different items.
Other tips for DIY home improvements or renovations
Invest in home improvements that have long-term value. Ideally, any home remodel you do should increase the value of your property.
- Add insulation around doors and windows or seal cracks. Such “invisible” fixes improve your home’s energy efficiency, often decreasing your utility bills.
- Incorporate upcycled, salvaged, or reclaimed materials, such as pallets, tiles or scrap lumber. These can be things you already have in the garage, basement or attic — or items you can pick up for cheap at salvage yards and flea markets.
- Anticipate all the costs. Proper project planning, saving and budgeting can help you avoid overextending yourself.
Final word on DIY home renovations on a budget
There are numerous DIY home remodeling projects that can help you spruce things up. The trick is to think superficial, not structural. Many of the ideas above are just cosmetic changes. But it does not take much to change the look of a room, a space or even an entire exterior; one small but strategic alteration, like a repainted front door or refinished kitchen cabinets, can work wonders. By using a bit of elbow grease and ingenuity, you can transform your space without spending a lot or having to borrow money.