10 DIY home improvement projects on a budget

With many people continuing to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic, homeowners are increasingly looking to touch up the spaces they’re utilizing all day every day. DIY home renovations can help transform your space on a budget, but they can easily become pricey endeavors if you aren’t careful. With a bit of education and planning, however, there are countless ways to give your home a face-lift without spending a fortune.

a vase with flowers in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Wall paper room

© Photographee.eu/Adobe Stock
Wall paper room

10 DIY home renovations that won’t break the bank

1. Repaint the front door

Average cost: $20-$50


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Adding a new coat of paint to your front door and updating the accents around it are simple budget renovation ideas that can drastically change your home’s appearance. Rather than buying a new door, spring for a fresh coat of paint, new hardware and spruced-up trim. Your front entrance is like gift wrap for your home, making it feel inviting and welcoming and giving it curb appeal when done right.

2. Apply removable wallpaper

Average cost: $75-$100 or more

If you want a quick, non-permanent upgrade that’s affordable, consider removable wallpaper. Today’s wallpaper styles are available in a variety of colors, patterns and textures, which can cover up a bland paint job and instantly transform any space in your home.

3. Add a new kitchen backsplash

Average cost: $200-$300 (depending on material and scope)

To update your kitchen without undertaking a major renovation project, consider installing a new backsplash for a refreshed look. 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.

4. Update bathroom tile floors

Average cost: $65 or more

Instead of installing brand-new tile, 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.

5. Repaint cabinets

Average cost: $200-$600

Gallery: 26 Home Makeover Ideas That Each Cost Less Than $500 (GOBankingRates)

a person standing in front of a door: Imagine being forced to leave your garage door up weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sure, there are times when having your garage door open is convenient, but what about when you’re away at work? Everything you have stored in your garage will be on display and free for the taking.
One homeowners association in Auburn, California, implemented this rule after finding out a homeowner was allowing people to live in the garage. The HOA assessed a $200 fine to those who didn’t comply with the rule.

In addition to revamping backsplash or tile flooring, you can completely update the look of your kitchen or bathroom by repainting the cabinets, especially if they’re decades old. While it will require time to repaint them, the costs are fairly low compared to replacing cabinetry entirely. If you want to take things a step further, invest in new cabinet hardware, too.

6. Clean the exterior

Average cost: $50 or more

A home’s exterior is sometimes out of sight, out of mind, but taking the time to clean it can really brighten things up without costing too much. You can tackle this project on a budget with your garden hose, cleaner and a long scrub brush. For an even faster job (but for more money), you can also rent a power washer.

7. Replace bathroom hardware

Average cost: $10-$200

It’s no secret a bathroom remodel can be expensive. For cheaper, 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. For example, replacement bathroom mirrors can be wood-framed, steel-framed or frameless.

8. Add new window treatments

Average cost: $20-$300 (depending on material)

New window coverings can give a room a new look without much effort or cost. Window treatments are easy to find on a budget, especially online, and they’re easy to install quickly. If you have windows that aren’t standard sizes, go with an adjustable no-sew option to make this project happen.

9. Bring in artwork

Average cost: $10-$100 or more

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.

10. Add storage

Average cost: $40-$100 or more

If you’re looking for a way to optimize your living or storage space, consider installing a closet organizer or adding new shelves. A closet organizer can help you declutter your closet, freeing up more walking space and giving it a neater look. To add more storage space, you could install new shelves for the garage or other living areas to organize or display different items.

Quick tips for renovating on a budget

  • Make smaller cosmetic changes. It doesn’t take much to change the look of a room. You can bring outdated kitchen cabinets, for example, back to life with a fresh paint job, eye-catching cabinet lighting or an aged-wood treatment, all within your DIY home renovation budget.
  • Invest in home improvements that have long-term value. Ideally, any home improvement you do should increase the value of your property. Adding energy-efficient insulation or sealing cracks, for instance, can add value without being too expensive – and save you money on your energy bill while you’re still in the home.
  • Incorporate materials you already have. One of the most effective ways to save money on DIY home improvement is to use upcycled or recycled materials, such as pallets or scrap lumber.
  • Avoid getting into a financial jam. If you find yourself in a bind mid-renovation, avoid turning to fast-cash sources such as payday loans, which can charge high interest rates and fees. If you have poor credit, a personal loan can be a great alternative to cover unforeseen expenses.

The bottom line

There are numerous DIY home renovation projects that can help you spruce things up at home. By using a bit of elbow grease and resources that fit your budget, you can transform your space without expensive upgrades.

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