Just thinking about home improvement leads most people to see dollar signs, but upgrading your house doesn’t have to be expensive.
Plenty of reasonably inexpensive improvements can brighten up a home and make a world of difference for less than you think.
Here are a few tips from home-improvement experts:
1. Gardening/landscaping is one of the top home improvement projects, said Abby Buford, a spokesperson for Lowe’s. “Updating the landscaping or adding new plants add color and definition to the back yard now, and you can enjoy it in the future as well.”
2. Spruce up the mudroom, suggests Gail Drury of Drury Designs in Glen Ellyn, Ill. “Make the space more liveable by adding lockers for coats and belongings, and cubby holes for purses and keys. Put in a message center with an outlet strip to charge cell phones and even a recycle bin where you can sort the mail.”
3. It takes big bucks for a full kitchen transformation. Instead, consider changing out the hardware on kitchen cabinets or adding a new faucet, said Pat Vredevoogd-Combs, president of the National Association of Realtors.
4. In the bathroom, replacing the vanity may cost only $300 to $400 “but will change the whole look of the room,” said Ariel Darmoni, production manager for 123 Remodeling in Chicago.
5. Painting is one of the easiest, do-it-yourself upgrades, the experts agree. A new coat of paint will hide wall nicks and bring new life to a room.
6. Looking down, floors can be upgraded in a number of ways. Refinish wood floors, pull up carpet to expose wood, or place easy-to-apply, vinyl tiles right over existing floors, Darmoni said.
7. Add curb appeal by adding house numbers, a kick plate, planters and in-season flowers or landscape lighting. Or update the color of the door, Buford said.
8. Give yourself more functional closet space with a wire or laminate closet system, Vredevoogd-Combs said.
9. Change the mood of a room with new lighting, such as replacing recessed lights with an eye-catching chandelier, Drury said.
10. Finally, make the quick fixes that you’ve been putting off, such as recaulking a sink or repairing a small hole from where a picture used to hang.
author: Melissa Erickson