Want to upgrade the look of your home but can’t seem to fit it into the budget? Forget about big, expensive projects. Sometimes small changes can add up to make a big difference. Keep that in mind as you read about these ten budget-friendly upgrades for your home.
Create curb appeal.
It may sound cliche, but first impressions really are important when it comes to most things in life. This is especially true in the real estate business. Buyers approach a home with an appraising eye long before they set foot inside. Even if you’re not planning to sell your home soon, creating curb appeal can go a long way to upgrade the exterior. Mow the lawn, trim the bushes, and make sure the front porch or stoop is nice and tidy. Plant some colorful flowers, paint the front door, put out a welcome mat, and hang a seasonal wreath on the front door. A good power-washing is also a great, budget-friendly idea—and don’t forget the driveway and sidewalks!
Give walls and ceilings a fresh coat of paint.
Few things brighten up the inside of a house like new paint. It’s one of the least costly upgrades you can give a home, but it makes a big impact. Keep in mind the proper finish for each room (e.g. satin for the living room, semigloss for the bathroom). And don’t forget the ceilings! Old, dingy ceilings can cast an ugly light on a brand new paint job if you don’t freshen them up too. Bonus: you can also give old cabinets a new look with a simple paint job.
Install new hardware for cabinets.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Check your local hardware or big box store, or check for specials on Amazon for simple hardware. New cabinet handles and drawer pulls can go a surprisingly long way to update a kitchen. If you have a little more room in the budget, consider adding soft-close hinges and drawer slides.
Re-caulk sinks and tubs and regrout tile.
It might not be apparent at first glance, but your caulking and grout are probably bringing your whole bathroom down. Caulk and grout can get moldy or yellowed over time, and sometimes even the deepest of cleanings won’t make them look clean again. Re-caulk and add new grout to give the bathroom a cheap and easy facelift.
Get matching front panels for for any mismatched appliances.
Mismatched appliances can interrupt flow and make a kitchen feel less organized. Instead of having to cough up the money for brand new appliances, just replace the front panels. It’s much less costly and has the same effect as far as aesthetics are concerned.
Do a deep clean.
Better yet, hire someone else to do it. You’d be surprised at how different a home can feel after a little TLC from your preferred cleaning products. This is especially important if you’re about to put your house on the market. Buyers have a discerning eye and are easily turned off by houses that don’t look their cleanest.
This can be as simple as buying new shades for old lamps and replacing light switch plates. Switch plates and outlet covers can become dingy over time and cost mere cents to replace. If you have a bit more to spend, invest in new light fixtures for the main living areas in the house. Updated, on-trend fixtures do a lot to elevate an entire room.
Install new sink faucets and shower fixtures.
Dull, stained faucets and fixtures can make sinks and bathtubs seem older and dirtier than they really are. Installing new fixtures is the perfect way to help freshen the look of a bathroom or kitchen and give it a shiny new feel.
This doesn’t need to be an expensive job at all. Survey your floors with an unbiased eye and make a list of which areas need resuscitation. Steam clean the carpets, scrub the tile grout, and just replace whatever can’t be salvaged (e.g. very high-traffic areas and kids’ rooms). The replacement doesn’t have to be anything fancy when you’re minding the budget. There are lots of great basic, inexpensive choices available these days in carpet, tile, and wood flooring.
Upgrade doorknobs and handles.
Replacing interior doorknobs gives a home that “can’t quite put my finger on it” difference. It’s a detail a lot of people don’t think of when upgrading their decor, but it’s actually an important one. Especially if you have those basic brass knobs builders like to install. There are tons of inexpensive options out there in materials like glass, ceramic, wood, and metals of every color and finish.