Do you have the itch? You know, the one when you’re just looking around your house, dreaming of all the renovations you could make. Every room could use a little freshening up, but your account balance hardly says, “We can call a contractor.”
The truth is, there are plenty of small, budget-friendly projects you can do yourself that go pretty far in terms of making an overall more positive impression. Spend your weekend – but not all of your money – sprucing up with some of these fabulous home DIYs that won’t break the bank.
1. Paint the floors.
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Old linoleum and damaged hardwood don’t mean you have to spend thousands on having new flooring installed. With some stencils, paint, and a certain amount of skill and concentration, you can create something truly breathtaking.
2. Crown molding made easy.
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Crown molding is a detail we consider somewhat expensive and best left to the pros. But these days, there are plaster-coated foam pieces that are easy enough for beginners to install. Once your pieces are cut to the appropriate length, the rest is taken care of by joint compound.
3. Caulk that tub.
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Does your bathroom look a bit…off? If it’s been a few years, your tub might be looking a little dingy thanks to the old caulk. Get a fresh, brand new tube, scrape off the old stuff, and spend less than an hour making your edges bright white again.
4. Get a new light fixture.
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Your dream project costs $3,000, but you only have $30. That’s enough to get yourself a new light fixture. If you already have the wiring, it’s as simple as screwing on an attractive, brand new point of interest.
5. Brighten up cabinets.
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Brown wooden cabinets can really drag some spaces down. If yours are looking dated, lighten everything up with a few coats of paint. It’s not as intimidating as it seems; you just need to make good use of sandpaper and primer first. All told, you can do this for under $100!
6. Get a new backsplash.
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The DIY revolution has really inspired a lot of great, beginner-friendly product offerings. Among these are do-it-yourself backsplashes that can give your kitchen a clean, shiny new look. From adhesive tiles to entire, pre-fab pieces, you won’t need any grout, and it’ll cost you way less money than you might have anticipated.
7. Focus on the front door.
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Sometimes the best strategy is to do what you can in only one area at a time. The front door is an obvious place to begin, as it’s what you and everyone else sees first. Cover scratches and smudges with a coat of paint in a shade that adds contrast from the rest of your home. Update door knobs and locks, and replace any battered old weather stripping for better energy efficiency.
8. Switch those switch plates up.
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New switch plates and outlet covers are dirt cheap, and can make things look more clean and tidy in just a few turns of the screw. Take this up a notch by recycling picture frames with paint and fixing the end result around the plates. It makes an ordinary utility look special and well-appointed.
9. Add interest to shelves and consoles.
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Are the backs of your bookshelves and other shelving units visible? You can cover these spaces with fabric to make your possessions pop. Or if you prefer, paint just the back space in a designer color – it’s cheaper and easier than painting entire walls.
10. Make good use of hooks.
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It’s always worth asking why your house isn’t up to snuff. Are there coats piled in the entryway? Are kitchen towels and potholders piling up on the counters? If you’re super short on funds, get some hooks and start organizing and displaying things more neatly.
11. Redo a wall with wooden pallets.
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If you collect pallets for DIY projects, you’re good to go with a wooden accent wall. Before you begin, make sure the wall you’re putting the boards on is painted a dark color to hide gaps. Don’t worry, it can be sloppy, as you’re covering it up with your pallet boards.
12. Paint an old sink!
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Boy, those old bathroom sink vanities came in some really interesting colors and finishes. Refurbish, don’t replace, when you get a tub and tile refinishing kit. Clean well, sand, and prime. When you apply your acrylic epoxy, do so in thin coats to make sure you don’t get drips and bubbles. The end result feels (and looks) nothing like paint, and it’s another project that takes less than $100.