The term “low cost” is rather subjective. While some people may think a low-cost home improvement project falls in a range under $10,000, others might not be willing to spend more than a few hundred dollars. But there are home improvement projects in every price range that can have a major impact on the appeal and even the value of your property. And you don’t necessarily have to go for an all-out gut that’s going to cost you tens of thousands of dollars to complete. If you’re looking to make a difference for your own enjoyment or in a bid to sell your home, here are a few projects that will cost you relatively little for the impact you’ll get.
- Curb appeal. The best thing about spicing up the facade of your home and your front yard is that you can save a lot via DIY projects. For example, you can have a huge impact by painting or staining your front door and frame and adding new hardware like a doorknob, lighting fixture, mail box, and house numbers. And fixing cracks in the sidewalk, trimming back dead or overgrown brush, and adding potted plants for pops of color can add a lovely aesthetic and professional touch that makes your house the most attractive on the block.
- Refacing cabinets. If the cabinetry in your home is outdated but sturdy, one of the best ways to have a major impact with little cost is to reface the cabinets. Replacement could cost you thousands of dollars, depending on the number of cabinets and the upgraded materials you choose. But you can save a bundle by simply having your cabinets refaced. Whether you paint, stain, laminate, or simply introduce new door and drawer fronts, you’ll spend a lot less than you would on replacement cabinetry and you’ll get the fresh, new look you crave and the upgrade that prospective buyers will love.
- Swap out lighting fixtures. If you have yet to replace the cheap, brass lighting fixtures that came with your property, it’s high time you upgraded to modern materials and timeless trends. This small change doesn’t have to cost a lot and it can make your home interior much more appealing. As a bonus, you could install LED fixtures that will help to reduce energy costs.
- Update flooring and tile. Cosmetic changes may not add the same value as a complete kitchen overhaul or a bathroom renovation, but dragging your home interior out of the last century can go a long way towards interesting buyers in your property without a lot of expense. And it doesn’t have to cost you a ton. For example, you can add a backsplash in your kitchen for relatively little expense if you opt to do it on your own with the help of guidebooks or online tutorials, not to mention some savvy shopping at tile stores to find discounted items like discontinued or overstock tile. As for flooring, consider reclaimed hardwood to save money and cut your carbon footprint, or opt for affordable laminates that come with long-term (and sometimes transferable) warranties.
- Programmable thermostat and zoning. Not every home improvement can be seen, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have a big impact. Many home buyers are looking for properties with energy-efficient upgrades that allow them to save on their monthly utility bills. And so long as you practice proper furnace and AC maintenance and service, you won’t necessarily have to upgrade your HVAC equipment (which could be a very pricy undertaking). Instead, optimize with a programmable thermostat and a system of sensors and dampers that allows you to separate your home into heating and cooling zones as a way to conserve energy. Eco-conscious buyers will be attracted by such upgrades and you can save on your own electric bill while you’re in residence.