Budget-Friendly Home Improvements
Full home remodels are certainly exciting, but they are also prohibitively expensive for most homeowners. That doesn’t mean families with tight budgets can’t have nice things, though. The budget-friendly home improvements described in this article can give an old house a whole new life without breaking the bank.
- A Fresh Coat of Paint
There are few home improvements more cost-effective than interior painting. Hiring a painting company costs very little compared to changing out flooring or fixtures, and oftentimes, it makes more of a difference in terms of aesthetics. Try switching up the color scheme in one room or across the entire home. If new furniture, wall art, and other changes aren’t in the budget, just be sure not to stray too far from the original palette.
- Refinished Cabinets
Cabinet replacement projects can get expensive fast. Refinishing the existing cabinets, on the other hand, is a more affordable way to give a kitchen a new look. These kinds of projects also offer homeowners a good opportunity to rethink their use of space. Removing the doors on some cabinets can create easy-access storage, for instance, while incorporating decorative touches like corbels beneath floating shelves improves aesthetics with a more classic look.
- Improved Lighting
In homes that are scarce on windows, getting the lighting just right can be tricky. This is especially true in older homes with few outlets and no overhead lighting. There are a few easy, affordable ways to find the right balance of light, day or night. Consider:
- Mirrors that redirect natural lighting from windows.
- Dimmer switches that allow overhead fixtures or floor lamps to do double-duty as both task lights and ambient lighting.
- Consider sun tunnels as a more affordable alternative to adding windows or skylights in upper-story rooms.
- Switching to a lighter color palette that makes the room feel brighter.
- A Statement Staircase
Staircases are often the first things people see when they walk into homes, yet surprisingly few homeowners consider how they could be incorporated into a room’s overall decor. Painting the stairs with a striped runner or using patterned peel-and-stick flooring to generate some extra visual interest on all-white steps doesn’t cost much money but can make a big difference when it comes to aesthetics.
- Switch Up the Flooring
Most homeowners assume that installing new flooring will be beyond their means if they are working on tight budgets. In reality, the cost of flooring varies significantly. While it’s true that ripping out old materials and having top-quality, solid hardwood flooring installed may not be doable for everyone, there are plenty of flooring materials that look great but can be installed at home. Many of them can even be installed on top of existing floors for DIY enthusiasts who don’t have the time, money, or inclination to strip everything first.
- Add a Mini-Mudroom
Every old farmhouse has a mudroom, but newer houses rarely have this extremely useful traditional feature. If there’s space, homeowners can add mudrooms in their entryways by laying down waterproof flooring and building or repurposing some old furniture to act as benches and cubbies for each member of the family. Having everything organized in one place next to the door won’t just give people a place to take off their boots. Adding a mini-mudroom will also make the daily routine easier.
- Install a Headboard
Just about any bedroom will look better with a headboard. Homeowners who don’t have the money for brand-new, real headboards from the store can usually create just as stunning of a visual effect using wood trim, tapestries, or even penny tiles. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creative options for this bedroom decorating staple.
- Update Lighting Fixtures
Updating lighting fixtures can give an old room a new look without the kinds of costs associated with adding new windows or lights. Now is also a great time for homeowners to consider adding ceiling fans in places where it is appropriate such as kitchens, bedrooms, and living rooms. Ceiling fans help to maximize the efficiency of the home’s heating and cooling systems by drawing cold air up in the summer and hot air down in the winter, so light fixtures that incorporate fans are always a worthwhile investment.
- Install New Faucets
While no homeowner without dedicated industry training and experience should be moving plumbing lines around, installing new faucets is a simple task that can usually be completed at home. Just one easy, affordable change can give a bathroom or kitchen a whole new look. Try matching the new faucets to the appliances or switching to a popular finish like brass or polished nickel to keep up with changing trends.
- Add Display Shelves to Kids’ Rooms
Kids’ bedrooms pose an interesting home design challenge. As children age, they quickly move from toys to books, collectibles, and other items, all of which need to be stored somewhere. Adding narrow shelves that span one or more walls is a versatile solution that allows kids to choose how to keep their rooms decorated without parents needing to invest in different wallpaper, furniture, or decorations with each change of interest.
- Change Window Treatments
Window treatments such as shades and curtains serve both practical and aesthetic purposes. Any blinds or drapes can keep out the sun or prying eyes, but the right combination of window treatments can also add visual interest to the room. There’s no need to go for designer curtains, either, with all of the affordable and sew-it-yourself options available.
Start Making Changes
One of the best things about making home improvements instead of performing complete renovations is that it allows homeowners to take projects one step at a time. Start with the basics like having walls painted or installing new flooring, then move on to smaller but equally effective projects like switching out faucets and light fixtures. The cumulative effect will be to create a stunning new interior design that reflects the family’s current personality and preferences one day at a time without ever breaking the budget. Just remember that while it’s fine to take on some DIY projects, it’s never wise to cut corners on jobs that require skilled labor.
Budget-Friendly Home Improvements
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