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Home Maintenance

Higher Costs Cutting into Your Home Improvement Budget? Opt for These DIY Solutions

Renovations can add value to your home and increase the enjoyment of your dwelling, but the costs for various projects also have the potential to pile up. What do you do when you want to prepare a home for sale or give it a makeover without going into major debt or depleting your savings?

Many homeowners turn to DIY solutions that may take some time and a bit of research but often prove worth it in terms of money saved and happiness gained.

Projects like painting and power washing typically require only a few days to a week of your attention. Others, such as laying tile or resurfacing floors, may demand a lengthier commitment, but with the right attitude, they can produce years of benefit for little cost.

Here are some DIY solutions you might want to take on if your budget is tight but your inspiration lofty.

Paint Your Home

Interior walls with scratches, scuffs, and outdated colors can use a new coat of paint. Fresh paint will likely make a dramatic difference in the overall look of your home and present it nicely to future buyers.

Depending on your style and interior design goals, you may want to play with color, for instance, painting a statement wall or an entire room in a bold hue. Homeowners who plan to sell in the near future should heed expert advice that says to stick to a neutral shade carried throughout the house.

Painting an exterior might take a little more work, especially if you have a two-story home. But, those not opposed to erecting and climbing ladders and scaffolding may want to dive into this project.

With any painting project, it’s important to properly prep your surfaces, research the different paint types and materials, and test your color on a small section. While involved, this DIY solution is usually a much cheaper option than hiring someone to do the job.

Update Fixtures

Swapping old outlet covers, switch plates, curtain rods, door knobs, light fixtures, and faucets can be a cheap and easy way to give an outdated home a quick update. Often, homeowners overlook these minor parts of a home until they look so bad they can’t be ignored or it’s time to sell.

Consider that attractive switch plates and outlet covers typically cost less than $5 each. Additionally, you can usually get modern curtain rods and door knobs cheaply. Good quality light fixtures and faucets may run you a couple of hundred dollars or more (especially for luxury versions with touch or sensor technology built in), but consider their impact on your home for a relatively low cost.

And, remember that instead of paying a handyman, electrician, or plumber to install fixtures, you can do it yourself and save money. Some great video tutorials available online walk you through every step of the process. Of course, when working with electricity and plumbing, it’s wise to research ways to keep you and your home safe before you begin.

Upgrade Window Treatments

Shabby curtains, shades, and blinds don’t add value to your home and they may, in fact, decrease it. For just a small cost, you can upgrade your window treatments yourself to lighter, brighter, and more contemporary versions that provide privacy while giving your home an airy and open look.

There are plenty of low-budget options available for beautiful drapes, shutters, and horizontal or vertical blinds. Some of the most impressive window treatments we’ve seen, however, require a bit more of an upfront investment (i.e., smart shades and blinds with voice-activated opening and closing) but are still a cost-effective solution if installed yourself.

Restore or Reveal Hardwood Floors

It’s possible to bring original or replacement hardwood floors back to their like-new splendor with a little time, elbow grease, and money. Consider that flooring often makes or breaks a room. Imagine, for example, how much more dramatic a dining room or study could be with pristine hardwood to set the mood.

Likewise, pulling up old flooring to reveal hardwood underneath can be worth the effort, especially in a period home. Not sure if you have hardwood underneath your laminate, tile, or carpet? Some homeowners are willing to take the risk of time and money to pull up a small corner of old flooring and potentially reveal a treasure underneath.

Stain or Paint Kitchen Cabinets

Purchasing and installing new cabinets, or even new cabinet doors, is not cost-effective in many markets. Instead, homeowners often trade a little time for a fresh coat of paint to breathe life into a stale kitchen or bathroom.

As on walls, new paint on cabinets and cabinet doors can completely transform a room. Depending on your design and real estate goals, you may want to paint cabinets a neutral shade or go bold with a dark or bright hue, or lather on an ultra-high gloss.

Remember, though, that before you start this DIY project, it’s essential, again, that you research methods for prepping your surface and choosing the right materials.

Are you considering fixing your home and putting it on the market? Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate® can help you when you’re ready.