Making home improvements is a win-win situation for any homeowner. You could be selling, adding value or just craving a new look and feel. Either way, there are a lot of budget-friendly ideas to achieve the look you want.
Here we highlight 10 of the best home improvements that don’t cost a lot and are relatively easy to do.
10 Home Improvement Ideas
The following inexpensive touches can be done by anyone with a little creativity, a little money and basic handyman skills.
Fixing those little things that no longer work can improve and add value to your home. Torn flyscreens, leaking taps and sticking windows can all be repaired quickly and relatively cheaply.
Larger jobs such as blocked drains or electrical wiring should be left to the experts. But the small stuff matters and is the first thing a potential buyer would notice. If you are not particularly handy, there are plenty of YouTube videos on every type of repair.
When you’ve lived in the same house for any length of time, it’s easy to accumulate ‘stuff’.This can make your home look small and chaotic. Decluttering is a good way to improve the look of your home without any cost. And having a garage sale to get rid of unwanted items can actually earn you money!
The easiest way to declutter is to view your home as if you were a visitor. Look at each room in turn and identify those items that don’t ‘bring you joy’. These are the ones you can dispose of by selling, donating or dumping.
Adding some paint is one of the most effective ways to improve your home without costing a fortune. Whether you paint one wall, one room or the whole house is up to you.
A change in colour scheme can do wonders for a home’s livability. But keep in mind if you intend to sell, use colours that would appeal to potential buyers. Neutral colours don’t have to be bland and can include beiges, greens, and other earth tones which have universal appeal.
If your home has carpet or vinyl on the floors, have a look and see what’s underneath. If it’s timber, you could be in luck, as natural wood can look beautiful when restored. In fact, it’s highly sought after in older homes.
If the floors cannot be restored, a timber laminate can be equally appealing. Alternatives such as tiles or cork can also improve a room’s appearance. Bare floors are generally cooler underfoot and a few area rugs can make a house seem larger.
Upgrading fittings such as door handles, light fixtures and taps can give a room a facelift for very little expense. Keep the style consistent and seek advice if you are unsure. Your local home improvement store can help you choose the right fixtures.
Remember, if replacing taps always turn the water off at the mains before removing the old tap. If at all unsure, hire a plumber or local handyman.
Curb appeal is the number one priority when selling your home. It’s the first thing a potential buyer or guest will see and first impressions matter. So, if your front yard is a jungle or your lawn needs repair, now is the time to address it.
Flowers are a good, cheap way to beautify your outdoor areas. If buying new plants, consider buying local varieties that don’t require much maintenance or water.
If your backyard is rarely used, consider adding a patio, pergola or deck. This can be great for entertaining friends and family for relatively little cost. You might also include a spa, firepit or koi pond; whatever appeals to your taste.
Adding bi-fold doors is also a great idea. They can add an elegant yet practical entry to your home and help to bring the outdoors in.
If an addition or extension is not in the budget, converting unused space in your home can be equally valuable. If you don’t use your garage or you have a spare room, this can be converted into a livable space. Buyers pay by the square metre these days, so adding more living space adds value to your property.
With many people now choosing to work from home, having a study or workroom is also a valuable asset. Often all that’s required is adding furniture, wiring and additional light sources.
Adding environmentally friendly touches to your home is another way to give it a facelift for not much money. Eco-friendly additions can include solar power, insulation, weather stripping, skylights and tankless water heaters.
These not only save energy and money, but buyers look for such features in homes, so you also improve saleability. While you’re at it, consider solar-powered paths or garden lights for an extra boost to your home’s value.
Smart technology is becoming a popular trend in real estate. So including a variety of smart devices in your home can make your life easier and improve your home’s value.
Smart ideas to consider can include:
- Touchless doors and faucets
- Thermostatic climate controls
- Smart kitchen appliances
- Intelligent lighting
- Remote security monitoring
While these may cost more than some home improvements, the added value to your home can offset the expense.
If cost is an issue, here are some ways to finance your home improvement ideas:
- Savings account: The cheapest way to finance your project.
- Refinance: Take out a new mortgage for a higher amount so the balance is available in cash.
- Home equity loan: Taking out a second mortgage borrowing against the equity of your home. This basically acts as a revolving loan (the more equity you have, the more you can borrow).
- Credit card: Providing the interest rate is reasonable, this is another way to finance your projects.
- Personal loan: Depending on your credit score, an unsecured loan can be another way to pay for your home improvements
Whether it’s for your enjoyment or to make your home more saleable, home improvements can be both fun and profitable. Just remember to only tackle something if you feel confident enough. If in doubt, seek professional advice.