5 Cheap Ways to Improve Your Home and Your Life

home improvement projects

Tim Allen on Home Improvement | ABC

Home improvement can be a great way to feel more comfortable and happier in your home, or to be more comfortable having guests pop by. Home improvement can also help if you have been trying to sell your house, but you still haven’t been able to sell. While some home improvements require a lot of saving up (such as a complete bathroom or kitchen remodel), there are many more affordable ways to improve your home without spending a lot of money.

It’s also true that some home improvements also give homeowners a better return than others, but in the end unless you are trying to sell your home, you also need to factor in what changes will make you the happiest while you live in your house. Of course, you also need to consider the time frame that you have to make changes. Here are five cheap improvements to consider.

1. Attic insulation

According to Remodeling magazine’s “key trends” in the 2016 Cost vs. Value Report, a fiberglass attic insulation project gives homeowners a large return on their investment (100% return in 60% of markets). Although this particular renovation isn’t as glamorous as some other possible renovations, it can help you whether you are planning to stay in your home or sell it because you can cut bills. According to Realtor.com, it will cost you about $1,268, and the resale value could be $1,482 (116.9 percent cost recouped). A manufactured stone veneer, garage door replacement, steel entry door replacement, and a minor kitchen remodel are some of the other improvements with high recoup rates.

2. Coordinate and update your kitchen

Beautifully designed kitchen

Painting or reorganizing your kitchen is a great way to update your home’s look | iStock.com/Jun Zhang

If you can’t afford new appliances, flooring, or cabinets, there are several less expensive kitchen improvements you can complete to make your space look better. You can paint cabinet doors to give them a fresh look, and you can also replace old hardware. Be sure to properly prepare if you are going to paint: It’s important to consider the scope of the job, to remember to remove hardware and doors, clean the surfaces, sand, and apply primer-sealer before painting.

Improving your kitchen lighting will also make your kitchen feel and look more comfortable (and more efficient lighting will save you money). Although replacing kitchen floors can be expensive, a deep cleaning or refinishing can help tremendously and cost less if you do it yourself.

3. Organize as much as you can

organized home improvement project

Does everything have a place in your home? | iStock.com

Some people don’t consider organization to be a home improvement, but appropriately organizing your space can make a huge difference to potential buyers, and can also make you more comfortable in your own home. Organizing your home can be affordable, and it can also be a quick job (unless your home looks like a house from the television show Hoarders). Start by organizing the space you spend the most time in, and you can move on to the rest of your home when you have time. You can purchase shelves or organizing buckets if you want, but start by completing free organizing tasks first.

Find a permanent home for things that are on several different surfaces (for example, end tables and counters). Organizing your shoes, clothes, and even your refrigerator and pantry can help. Organizing is a lot like cleaning: It’s hard to start, but when you finish you will be surprised by how much better you feel.

4. Update your bedroom


Bedroom | iStock.com

Your bedroom should be a sanctuary: If you plan to live in your home for a while, it is imperative that your bedroom be a place that you enjoy being in. If you’re planning to sell your home, then you will want to wow potential buyers when they walk into the master bedroom. If your bedroom is small, then proper decorating is key: It’s important to consider the size and placement of your furniture, and to have the proper flooring (wood floors can be ideal, and radiant floor heating can be a plus); decorative mirrors can also make the room look bigger, and wall cabinets can save space.

Regardless of the size of your room, it’s important that it feels inviting. Also be sure to choose paint colors that will make you feel comfortable (or appeal to buyers), try to have a cohesive theme or color, and be sure to keep your room clean.

5. Improve curb appeal

watering plants

Watering plants outside | iStock.com

Improving your outdoor space takes time, but you can do it for very little money (or even for free) if you are willing to put the hours in. Giving your home better curb appeal will make your home look better overall, and impress potential buyers. According to the DIY Network, painting the front door, trim, or shutters is a great way to up your curb appeal. Upgrading your mailbox, improving your lighting, and adding flower boxes can also help. It’s also a good idea to trim shrubs and unruly trees and regularly mow your grass.

Once you have your curb appeal up to par, then you can focus on your backyard. Mowing and trimming is still important, but you also need to consider the placement of flower and vegetable gardens; your best bet will be to keep both yards looking well manicured.

There are so many ways you can improve your home without spending a lot of money. In addition to painting your kitchen cabinets, if you have the time to paint other rooms in the house, this is a great way to give your home a facelift. Decorating your home in a coordinated or clear style can also quickly make your home more presentable and comfortable. You just have to choose which direction you want to go in, and you need to determine how much time you have.

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