Get Inspired: 5 Budget-Friendly Home Improvement Ideas

Whether you’re a long-time homeowner or a first-time buyer, you’ll surely want to make your house feel like home. A few tweaks here and there can make any minor home improvement feel like a major upgrade. Not only that, but strategic home renovations can also lead to a generous appraisal when it comes time to sell.

Estimates for some home renovation projects may have you running for the door, but home improvement projects don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, many budget-friendly hacks can totally transform a space without breaking the bank. Here are five tips to help you get started on your next home improvement project.

1. Revitalize Your Walls with Fresh Color

There’s no easier way to rejuvenate a space than with a bold pop of color. Maybe you swore to disappear the ugly brown-green bathroom walls the day after the moving trucks arrived or that bright red living room is no longer living up to the hype.

The typical gallon of paint costs $30-$60, which means homeowners can easily spend hundreds of dollars painting a single room. Instead, consider creative alternatives such as purchasing “oops paint.” Most hardware stores will resell already-mixed paint at a fraction of the price without any sacrifice in quality. Unlike custom paint, the average “oops paint” gallon ranges from only $2-$10—an unbeatable bargain.

Colorfully patterned wallpaper is another way to make a bold statement. Although some high-end wallpapers may set you back $49+, low-budget options come in as low as $9.99-$24.99/roll.

2. Transform Entryways and Hallways with a Crisp Trim

The saying “it’s all in the details” could not be more true when it comes to implementing clean, crisp trim.

For some, the prospect of ripping out and reinstalling trim throughout a home may quickly start to feel overwhelming. Start with a small, more manageable project at first to make sure you’re satisfied with the final look, then build out into other rooms. Sure, some couples may choose to splurge on moulding and receive a bill for thousands of dollars. But rest assured that cheaper alternatives are possible. Budget-friendly moulding solutions can cost as little as $200. Research options such as TRIMROC™ moulding, a lightweight polystyrene foam coated in hard plaster.

3. Brighten Up a Dimly Lit Space with New Lighting

Illuminate even the darkest and most cavelike of spaces using a combination of natural and artificial sources of lighting.

Natural lighting is ideal for many reasons. It is cost-effective and beautifies even the most constrained spaces. If you’re going the natural route, swap old and worn-out curtains with a bold new look. Basic curtains cost as little as $10; thermal-insulated curtains and other high-quality but still affordable curtains start at around $40.

Depending on your space and budget, you may opt for artificial lighting. Adding a new light fixture can dramatically change a room’s character. Check out these abstract and artistic options for as little as $40, splurge a little on classic copper styles for around $110, or put your creativity to work and get some inspiration based on these DIY alternatives for around $60.

4. Give Your Kitchen Cabinets and Floors a Facelift

No matter what mood you’re hoping to convey, cohesion is key. It doesn’t take a highly trained eye to detect when a space simply feels “off” because of mismatched stain colors or tired-looking cabinets.

Fortunately, renovating your kitchen doesn’t have to come at the expense of all other home projects. In fact, many noninvasive upgrades can prove impactful in any level of kitchen remodel. Consider something as simple as changing out handle hardware for $2-$20 per knob or restaining cabinets and hardwood. Also, remember to look for “oops” options for wood stains at a major bargain. And for major projects—say you’d really like to completely swap out a set of kitchen cabinets—visit your local thrift store or look for neighborhood online groups where neighbors often alert each other to free or dramatically reduced secondhand cabinetry and other home renovation essentials.

5. Invest in Eco-Friendly and Energy-Efficient Appliances

After you’ve put away the last paint brushes and scoured the floor for loose screws, your cost-saving hacks are not yet finished. Invest in eco-friendly appliances, such as an energy-efficient washing machine, which could cut water waste by up to 40 percent, or a new heat pump, which could reduce your electricity bill by up to 50 percent. While you’re at it, toss out rarely used kitchen appliances such as bread makers that suck up energy and kitchen space.

Renovating your home can feel like a cost-prohibitive endeavour, but that’s far from the truth. The good news is that anyone can make significant cosmetic changes to their home without going into debt. Some simple creativity and an affinity for bargain hunting are the only true prerequisites to create the home of your dreams for a fraction of the cost.

For more of FSCB’s money-saving tips, including a plan to save daily and budgeting tips for those just starting out, check out our blog.

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