Top 5 Thrifty Home Renovation Projects

by Editor on September 24, 2013

my bay window

One of the best ways to make a space look modern and inviting is to splash some fresh paint on the wall in a trendy shade and lay down new flooring. But while these cosmetic upgrades are relatively inexpensive and easy to carry out, they simply may not be enough to make your space as functional and livable as you’d like it to be. In this case you might be looking to undertake a few home renovation projects that will increase the utility of your property and/or add value without breaking the bank. We all deserve a home that is both functional and beautiful, not to mention perfectly suited to our personal tastes. But we don’t all have the budget to bring in designers and contractors for the job. So here are just a few thrifty home renovations that most homeowners can tackle on their own to save some money in the process.

  1. Upgrade lighting. Okay, so you might not be able to take on a project like installing recessed lighting throughout the house. But you can almost certainly figure out how to swap out already-existing fixtures with modern upgrades. So pull out those ugly globes from your grandparents’ heyday (don’t forget to cut the power first) and replace them with something that’s a little more in keeping with your personal aesthetic. You might even upgrade to LED fixtures; the bulbs use only a fraction of the energy of other light sources and last exponentially longer, making them an excellent way to continue saving even after your renovations are complete.
  2. Update hardware. There are all kinds of ways to replace existing hardware or add new throughout your house. You can start simply enough with door knobs and drawer pulls on doors and cabinets, not to mention hinges. And then you can move on to the plumbing hardware in the kitchen and bathrooms, replacing faucets, knobs, and shower heads for a unified style.
  3. Learn to tile. Whether you’re interested in adding a backsplash in your kitchen, you’d like to replace chipped tiles on your countertop, or you’re keen to take on a bathroom renovation, having the knowledge and skill needed to cut and lay tile can prove invaluable when it comes to adding finishing touches or even foundational aspects to rooms. So head to your local hardware store for classes in using a wet cutter and mixing grout, or simply look online for tutorials that can help you to get your tiling projects underway.
  4. Add storage solutions. Maximizing limited storage space is a major problem for many modern families. So adding it where you can with built-ins or free-standing shelving and cabinetry is a great way to make your home more functional. In addition, you can add handy solutions to existing storage, such as bins and organizers meant to help you keep everything in order.
  5. Add curb appeal. While you can certainly upgrade the backyard by landscaping, adding a deck, or providing an awning when your air conditioner is not reaching peak performance, you shouldn’t forget the impact you can have in the front yard, as well. Without spending too much money you can totally change the look of your home. Start by trimming old growth and tossing dead plants. Then add some grass seed to fill in dead spots. From there you can slap on a fresh coat of paint (just do the front to save money), paint your front door and steps, put up new house numbers, replace the mail box, and add some color with a couple of new planters. The visual impact will wow neighbors and visitors and the cost is relatively minor.
photo by: eye of einstein

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