Who doesn’t want to improve the value of their home? We all know you need to spend money to make money, and that is true for your home as well. The bigger investment you can make in improvements, the more you’ll get in return (if you spend it smartly).
While big cost is a fun idea, and you can enjoy your home with a brand new kitchen until you decide to sell it, there are also a lot of budget-friendly tips and tricks that will bring value as well. For under $100, here are some quick fixes and DIY projects that will enhance your both your curb appeal and resale value.
1. Replace your Front Entry Door
Changing your entry door isn’t really very difficult, but that can depend on the age and condition of your home. When I replaced my front door, the house had settled so the floor was sloped in that area and I wanted to put in a wider door so the frame had to be rebuilt to accommodate the larger size.
As for the price of door, yes, a new one costs much more than $100, but I bought mine at the Habitat Restore for $50. It’s an older steel door with a huge double – paned window. All it needed was a nice paint job, and it looks like new.
2. Install Organizers
Whether it’s in a closet or another room of your home, creating cubbies and shelves in a space can not only keep you organized and save time, it can also increase the value of your home. While store – bought organizers can be very pricey, you can create the same effect with some thick MDF and a good coat of paint. You can even incorporate elements you find when you’re out and about, like a streamlined dresser or drawered table with good bones.
3. Add a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t already have one, installing a programmable thermostat is a great quick upgrade for your home. Since it offers more options for controlling temperature, it can really help save on your cooling and heating bills. In the winter, you can set it to keep a lower temperature when you’re at work and warm up a bit when you’re at home. The opposite can be done in the summer months. That way, your air conditioner or furnace doesn’t have to crank so hard all day when no one is home.
4. Replace Cabinet Hardware
Switching out your old cabinet hardware for new is a very easy way to freshen the look of your kitchen (It works great in the bathroom too!). While you’re at it, if your cabinets look old and tired, putting a new coat of paint on them makes a great weekend project. If you have any drawers that stick or hinges that need to be tightened up, get that done at the same time. Come Monday morning, it’s like you’ll be walking into a brand new kitchen.
5. Add a Recessed Alcove in your Bathroom or Kitchen
While this may seem like an intimidating project, it’s really just a matter of punching through the drywall in your kitchen or bathroom to create a recessed alcove. By putting in a box with or without shelves, you can have a niche to show off collectibles or store your spices or toiletries. Adding a little molding around the edges can make it look extra finished.
6. Repaint Walls & Trim
This one is pretty simple and obvious, but it’s easy to overlook. A fresh coat of paint and crisply colored trim can really bring a room to life as well as making it look new and fresh.
Before you begin, make sure to remove all hardware and light switch and outlet covers, as it’s much easier than taping around them. You can also remove doorknobs, hinges and handles to make the painting go extra quick. If there is any damage to your walls, now is a good time to get out the spackle and do any necessary repairs before getting started.
7. Replace your Mailbox
Replacing and tired, worn out looking mailbox can add a fresh outlook to your curb appeal as much as putting a good lawn mower to good use. If you don’t want to take on such a big task, try just adding a new coat of paint, which will freshen the look.
If you choose to do a replacement, you may need to dig a new concrete footing and replace the pole your box sits on depending on the shape your current one is in, but oftentimes you can just replace the box itself.
If you want to get really creative, try surrounding the box with beautiful flowers at its base, or you can even make an enclosure and cover it with brick or stone for a very upscale look.
8. Replace your Welcome Mat
Talk about a cheap upgrade! Have you looked at your front door mat lately? If it’s anything like mine, it has ground-in dirt and generally looks a little beat up. You can buy a new welcome or front door mat pretty inexpensively. Consider getting a nice thick one that will collect the debris from the bottom of shoes so it doesn’t get tracked into your house.
You can even buy a plain one and personalize it by painting on designs or words. The easiest way to do this is to make a stencil out of contact paper, pin it in place and paint on your choice of design. Black on a natural – colored mat looks especially sharp.
9. Replace your House Numbers
Much like freshening up your mailbox and entry mat, if you have dinged up house numbers, they’re hard to see from the street or just plain outdated now is a great time to tackle this budget – friendly job.
You can even create your own out of wood or metal if you’re especially handy. If you’re not, try making a wood or stone – covered panel to mount them on so they really stand out. Another idea is to paint your numbers on antique ceramic accent tiles then mounting them on the house.
If your home is hard to see from the street, you might add in painting your house numbers on the curb by your driveway so they’re easy to see for the mail carrier or anyone looking to pay you a visit.
10. Replace your Entry Light Fixure
While most lighting is pretty expensive, adding a new light fixture in front of your entryway is much more economical. Aim for some updated sleek lighting or even sconces depending on the style of your home.
If you have an overhead light outside your front door, try swapping out your old tired fixture for a chandelier for some extra flair.
11. Add a Ceiling Fan
Installing a ceiling fan is actually a fairly quick project and can greatly improve the air flow and ambience of any room. Try swapping out your bedroom or living room ceiling light fixture with a contemporary ceiling fan to show your space at its best.
If you have an old ceiling fan that came straight out of 1980, this is a good time to replace it with a much more up – to – date fixture that will enhance the value of your home.
12. Add New Faucets
Adding new hardware to your bathroom and kitchen sinks is a great quick way to add some flair and sparkle to your most important rooms. If you have an older style faucet or it doesn’t function that well any more, there are many options to make your sink area look tip top by replacing it with something new.
To replace your kitchen or bathroom faucet, you’ll need a few basic tools and possibly some plumber’s tape. If you have an older home, you may need some elbow grease as well, as old fittings can be especially tight.
Once you have the old faucet removed, make sure you do a really good cleaning job everywhere the new unit will go so you have a nice clean surface to start with.
13. Add a Walkway
Is there a way to get to your front door, patio, fire pit or garden without walking in the grass and mud? If not, adding a new walkway (or replacing an old one) is a great low – budget weekend project that will really amp up your curb appeal.
Try buying a mold that makes concrete look like stones, or get some glow in the dark rocks to line the path. You can even buy glow in the dark paint that works on concrete, so your walkway will be illuminated well after dark.
14. Install Shelves
Do you have any collectibles or grandma’s dishes that are pretty and hidden away in your kitchen cabinets? One great DIY project is to create display shelves for them. For a clean look, go for floating shelves in a beautiful wood or laminate. To create more visual space, go for glass (though sometimes these require more dusting and polishing to look tip top).
If you have books to display, another idea is to create narrow shelves against a wall and display the books face – forward instead of stacked side to side. This works especially well for a kid’s room or anywhere you have limited space.
15. Add a Wine Rack
Another option is to install a DIY wine rack. Of course you can get one that takes up counter space, but consider making or installing one that hangs on the wall to keep it up and out of the way. Oftentimes, repurposing old or antique furniture is ideal for making a wine rack or even a stand alone bar.
16. Add Trim to your Front Door
Whether or not you’ve decided to replace your front door, freshening up the trim can really help it stand out. Keep it simple with clean lines or go more ornate with crown – type molding and corner pieces.
To build it yourself, you can use thick MDF and trim it to size. One benefit to using this type of product is that there are knots or holes to deal with like you’ll have with natural wood.
17. Polish or Refinish Hardwood Floors
No doubt about it – refinishing hardwood floors is a big job, but doing it yourself will save you a lot of money. In my opinion, the hardest part about doing it is clearing everything out of the room. Then, you can rent a large sander to make the job go faster. Once you have them sanded down to your satisfaction and all the old stain is gone, give them a good cleaning. Then, apply a fresh coat of new stain followed by a high quality sealant.
This job does take some time, but it’s amazing the difference it will make in your room. That and your floors will look brand new for a fraction of the cost of lying down new flooring.
18. Paint or Reface your Fireplace
Do you have an old fireplace surround made of brick or dated tile? Even if you have wood, I bet it could use a paint job or refinishing. First, make sure you give the entire fireplace a really good scrubbing. Then, you can choose to paint or whitewash any existing brick or put some new updated slate tiles in place of the old ones.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can even paint the interior of the fireplace with a good heatproof paint. Black usually really makes the fire light stand out. If you’re up for it, you can even add a new mantle.
19. Add Entryway Storage
Is there a spot right inside your front or back door that’s cluttered with shoes, scarves, backpacks, jackets and who knows what else? Now is a great time to solve that storage problem. With a few pieces of wood, hooks and even a cushion, you can create a place to hang coats, tuck away shoes and even a place to sit down to take it off and put it on before going outside.
20. Add Modular Shelving in your Family Room
We have flat screen televisions and can tuck wires in walls and mount peripherals up and out of the way, but most of us still have DVDs, Blue Rays, video games and an assortment of other entertainment paraphernalia crowding our family rooms. Add some modular storage to get everything tucked away so it looks nice and tidy.
If you’re clever, you can DIY a storage unit that looks like it’s built into your original home. Buyers will certainly appreciate this if you’re ever looking to sell.
21. Clean your Carpets
No, this is definitely not a fancy or glamorous job, but it can make a huge difference in the look of your home. It’s fairly inexpensive to rent a carpet cleaning machine for a day or weekend if you don’t have one, and think about how nice it will be for your carpets to smell fresh and any stains gone. Truly, it makes them even feel better under your bare feet.
If you’re feeling extra spunky, you can even steam clean your upholstery at the same time. Get rid of any stains from pets, food or kid play, and make your furniture look like new.
22. Replace your Backsplash
Still have old ceramic tiles with roosters on them lining your kitchen? It’s way past time for an upgrade. Opt for glass or stainless steel tiles for a contemporary look. If those aren’t in your budget, there is some great peel and stick tile on the market today that looks pretty convincing and is easier to cut and fit (no grouting is a plus as well).
23. Add Greenery
Bring some of the outdoors in and add some houseplants if you don’t already have them. Beautiful resin pots are fairly low in price and come in a variety of styles. Keep the availability of natural light in your home in mind as well as your lifestyle. You don’t want to get plants that need watering every day when you’re not around every day.
Adding some greenery in your home cleans the air and brings welcome life into a very industrial space. Plants just make a house feel more like a home.
24. Replace your Shower Head
Did you know there are so many new types of showerheads that can make even the weakest water pressure better? If you have an old shower head, you might try cleaning it first with a good descaler to get rid of any calcium deposits. If that doesn’t help it function better or you just don’t like the way it looks, opt to replace it with an up to date fixture in satin nickel or chrome, but keep in mind chrome shows more water spots.
25. Illuminate Deck and Outside Areas
It’s amazing all the different styles in which you can find solar lights these days. From retro strands to posts to light pathways, this little extra touch won’t cost you much, and it won’t do a thing to your electric bill. It will give your home exterior a warm glow after dark and help guests to navigate your property when you’re entertaining.
26. Upgrade Door Locks & Hardware
Not only is this good for resale value of your home and general appearance, it’s good for your safety as well. Many of us have had the same door locks for years and years, and who knows where some of our spare keys went?
Opt for a matching brushed nickel or stainless steel deadbolt and handle combination for a sleek contemporary look. If you really want to splurge, get a digital combination touch pad so you don’t need a key at all.
27. Create an Area Rug with Carpet Tiles
Not ready to commit or go to the expense of a brand new area rug? Try purchasing some carpet tiles in fun colors or patterns to renew any room. Use them in any combination you’d like, and they’re easy to change or replace if one gets damaged or stained. Since they’re generally less expensive than a new rug, they’re also easy to change on a whim if you get tired of the look.
28. Add Light Dimmers
While this one takes a bit more skill, if you have some electrical savvy, installing dimmers on your lighting is a fairly easy job. The option to dim the lights not only makes it easier on the eyes but can also ramp up the ambience in any room.
29. Add Under Cabinet Lighting
Installing under cabinet lighting not only adds a nice mood and glow to your kitchen or office, but with the advent of new LED options, it’s actually an energy-saving measure and can be an easy DIY project if you have some electrical knowledge.
If you decide to go ahead with this project, it’s a good time to put a new coat of paint on the underside of your cabinets if it’s needed prior to starting.
30. Install a Towel Warmer
Installing a bath towel warmer in your bathroom is a nice touch that most of us think is a complete indulgence. However, it’s one you’ll really appreciate, especially on chilly winter mornings. Designs range from rustic to modern and from Art Deco to Victorian in style.
In addition to adding comfort, adding a towel warmer can make your towels dry faster after using them to lessen the chance of mildew building up.
If you decide to hard wire the warmer to your home’s electricity, this can be a daunting project for some. However, many electric towel warmers just plug into an outlet like any standard curling iron.
31. Add a Weather Vane
Old world? A little bit, but adding a weather vane to your roof can give a nice polished touch. Much like a hood ornament on a classic car, it just provides that little something extra. Modern weather vanes can look old fashioned but many new styles are very modern in appearance and come in a variety of finishes. For added personality, you can even find them designed to look more like an artistic sculpture if that’s to your taste.
32. Paint Exterior Trim & Shutters
Painting the whole house is a huge job, but painting your shutters or exterior trim can easily be tackled in a weekend. For dramatic flair, go with a glossy black for an elegant feel, or try a new color that contrasts with the exterior of your home. Stick with neutrals for a natural look.
33. Add Flower Boxes
There’s no better way to liven up your windows than to add flower boxes with some bright colors to perk up your curb appeal. Opt for colors that harmonize or contrast with you’re the color of your home. Make sure you keep them watered and looking good for maximum impact. Opt for a variety of flowers with a few hanging vines over the side for even more eye candy.
34. Add a Sink Cutting Board
If you have a double sink or a large sink, oftentimes you really don’t use the whole thing. Making a DIY cutting board to install over one side (removable of course for cleaning) is a quick and easy project.
If you have a garbage disposal, using a cutting board right on the sink makes it easy to dump the waste. When not in use, it will multiply your counter space as well, which is ideal if you have a smaller kitchen.
35. Add a Doorway Shelf
Need to really maximize your storage space? Try adding a shelf over a doorway, window or archway for books or collectibles. A little wood, glue and a few screws and you’re in business. You can even use it to maximize space in the bathroom for extra towels or for plants to add a little greenery to your spaces.
36. Paint Cabinet Interiors
Painting the interior of your cabinets or bookshelves is a really nice finishing touch. This is your chance to try something bold to liven up a boring color scheme or to try a color you’ve been afraid to touch in the past. If you decide you don’t like it, it’s so quick to change it again if you prefer. Painting just the back inside of kitchen cabinets or an open bookshelf can really bring it to life.
If you’re extra bold, try painting the inside of a cabinet door or two with chalkboard paint. What a great way to keep track of grocery lists or other reminders without all the clutter!
37. Add Architectural Detail
Whether its wainscoting, crown molding or a higher end detail, adding simple architectural elements to any room of your home can add a nice visual finishing touch. Just run molding along the ceiling or make molded frames or library panels depending on your taste and level of skill. These little details can make your home look like something special.
Whether you decide to implement just a handful of these home upgrade solutions or go whole hog and get all of them done, they will not only make your daily life at home more pleasant, but they can increase buyer interest as well when you’re ready to sell your home.