There’s never a bad time to start fresh and give your home that much-needed makeover. Whether you want to go for a full remodel or just a few home improvements, the choice is yours. However, it’s important to note that the extent of your real estate home improvement projects should depend on what you hope to accomplish.
Best Home Improvement Projects On A Budget
It doesn’t matter if you plan to sell your home in the near future or you intend to live in it for years to come, keeping a property up-to-date benefits everyone. Unfortunately, what most people tend to do is wait until they can shell out tens of thousands of dollars for renovations when – in reality – executing smaller projects here and there can save them money in the long run.
We’ve compiled a list of the 30 most beneficial real estate home improvement projects for anyone’s budget. Commit to making a few of these changes, and not only will your property’s value likely increase, so will your happiness level. In fact, studies show that more than 50% of homeowners focus on smaller home improvement projects that increase their enjoyment of their homes, even if they don’t increase its value (although these upgrades will presumably do both).
It doesn’t matter if you appreciate a roll-up-your-sleeves project or prefer to recruit an expert, there are sure to be several ideas that appeal to you:
- Disguise clutter: $0 – $30
- Install mesh gutter guards: $5 per 20 linear feet
- Budget friendly water filter system: $10 – $30
- Wall decals: $10 – $100
- Update lighting: $20 – $1,000
- Deep clean your carpets: $25 – $75
- “Greenify” your backyard: $70 – $150
- Organize your storage: $100 – $400
- Install an under-the-sink water filter: $100 – $600
- Spruce up your entrance: $200 – $500
- Refinish floors on a budget: $200 – $600 per 200 sq. ft.
- Replace old toilets: $200 – $600
- Connecting your home: $200 – $2,000
- Modular shelving unit: $250 – $2,000
- Repaint kitchen cabinets: $350 – $800
- Secure your home: $300 – $1,500
- Power wash: $500 – $1100
- Replace your front door: $500 – $5,000
- Invest in new kitchen appliances: $500 – $5,000
- Restore your wood floor: $600 – $1,000
- Install dual-pane windows: $600 – $5,000
- Install a tile or beaded backsplash: $900 – $5,000
- Replace carpeting with hardwood: $1,500 – $5,000
- Update your crown molding: $2,000 – $4,000 per 500 linear feet
- Add a deck: $2,000 – $10,000
- Modernize the bathroom: $2,000 – $10,000
- Knock down a wall: $2,500 – $20,000
- Exterior paint job: $4,000 – $10,000
- Solar paneling: $4,500 – $20,000
- Artificial turf: $4,150 per 600 square feet
Home Improvement Projects Starting Under $100
If you’re on a tight budget and are looking for a quick way to spruce up the appearance of your home, try out a few of these cheap home improvement projects that are just under $100:
- Disguise Clutter: If you have an old bookshelf you aren’t using, use it in your entryway to hang coats, hats, and bags. Remove the shelving, put up stylish wallpaper, paint the inside, nail in a few hooks, and voila, a new piece of furniture for next to nothing.
Cost Of Project: $0 – $30
- Install Mesh Gutter Guards: Installing mesh guards on your home’s guttering ensures that no leaves or other unwanted material will fill up and clog your gutters, which could potentially save you a lot of money in the long run.
Cost Of Project: $5 per 20 linear feet
- Budget Friendly Water Filter System: Want filtered water on a budget? Invest in a water system that connects directly to a kitchen faucet. As long as you don’t mind it taking up a little bit of space, you will be able to save money on future utility bills.
Cost Of Project: $10 – $30
- Wall Decals: Want to add some personality to a few rooms, but aren’t ready to commit to installing wallpaper? Consider investing in wall art, which comes in a variety of colors and designs.
Cost Of Project: $10 – $100
- Update Lighting: If your home needs an update in the lighting department, you have a variety of options: replace old fashioned bulbs with the latest energy efficient ones, update traditional fixtures with on-trend chandeliers, or simply spray paint current fixtures in trending colors to satisfy your need for a change of scenery.
Cost Of Project: $20 – $1,000 depending on whether or not you decide to do the work yourself.
- Deep Clean Your Carpets: A vacuum can only do so much. Revive your carpets, get rid of stains, allergens and dust mites, while also preventing mold and mildew growth.
Cost Of Project: $25 – $75 per room depending on size and location of the home.
- “Greenify” Your Backyard : Building a backyard garden is a perfect addition, and the National Gardening Association reported that the average household experiences a $530 return on a $100 investment in a garden.
Cost Of Project: $70 – $150 (Initial investment + minor annual costs for upkeep).
Home Improvement Projects Starting Under $500
If you have a little more room in your budget to spare, consider tackling one of these weekend home improvement projects:
- Organize Your Storage: Nothing is worse than a cluttered entryway or storage closet that is so unorganized it’s impossible to find what you’re looking for. Turn clutter into decor by investing in an adjustable closet/storage organizer.
Cost Of Project: $100 – $400 depending on how big the area is that you are organizing.
- Install An Under-The-Sink Water Filter : Get better tasting water by installing a water filter. Find one that is installed under your sink, as to not add additional clutter to your sink.
Cost Of Project: $100 – $600 depending on capacity, and how many and what type of contaminants they remove.
- Spruce Up Your Entrance: The entrance of your home makes the first impression so it’s important that its style matches the rest of the house’s personality. Replace old light fixtures, update your address numbers, or invest in easy to maintain potted plants.
Cost Of Project: $200 – $500
- Refinish Floors On A Budget: If you want to re-polish your floors but are on a tight budget, consider the cheaper option that involves scuff-sanding (instead of sanding down to bare wood) and applying a fresh finish coat.
Cost Of Project: $200 – $600 for 200 sq. ft.
- Replace Old Toilets: Installing new toilets will not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also financially pleasing. Toilets installed prior to 1995 use up to six gallons of water per flush, while newer ones use as little as 1.2 gallons.
Cost Of Project: $200 – $600 depending on the appliance and plumber fees.
- Connect Your Home: In the age of technology, there’s not much we can’t do. Wire your home’s systems to a single remote: control your heating and AC, lighting, or monitor your home via video sensors.
Cost Of Project: $200 – $2000 depending on how many appliances you want wired.
- Modular Shelving Unit: If space (and storage) is limited in your humble abode, fill up a blank wall with a modular shelving unit. Display knickknacks, store books, or fill baskets, boxes and bins with odds and ends – making them accessible yet out of sight.
Cost Of Project: $250 – $2000 depending on the size of the unit.
- Repaint Kitchen Cabinets: If you want to re-polish your cabinets but are on a tight budget, consider the cheaper option that involves scuff-sanding (instead of sanding down to bare wood) and applying a fresh finish coat.
Cost Of Project: $350- $800 for 130 sq. ft, which includes paint, labor, supplies and other (i.e. job related costs of specialty equipment used for job quality and efficiency).
Home Improvement Projects Starting Under $1,000
There are plenty of projects that start under $1,000 that can add a serious “wow” factor to your property. Some are easier than others, but all are sure to please:
- Secure Your Home: Regardless of the ROI, installing a home security system is good idea for any homeowner. If that doesn’t convince you, An NAHB survey states that 50% of homebuyers put a home security system — particularly security cameras — at the top of their list for most-wanted technology features.
Cost Of Project: $300 – $1,500 depending on the company/whether or not they require professional installation.
- Power Wash: If you really want to get serious about cleaning, consider pressure washing and your house will shine like new.
Cost Of Project: $500 – $1100 depending on size of home. Price includes house, siding, driveway, deck/patio.
- Replace Your Front Door: Replacing your front door is an easy way to refresh your home’s curb appeal. According to experts, steel is currently the trending material. A new steel entry door has a 101% return on investment.
Cost Of Project: $500 – $5,000 depending on the cost of the door and installation.
- Invest In New Kitchen Appliances: Modernize your kitchen with trendy, decorative, or energy efficient appliances. Whether that means a stainless steel refrigerator or a sensor operated sink, the choice is up to you.
Cost Of Project: $500 – $5,000 depending on quality and number of updated appliances.
- Restore Your Wood Floor: If your floors are regularly exposed to dirt, dust, and high foot traffic, consider hiring a pro to refinish them. With a new shine, people will assume they’re brand new.
Cost Of Project: $600 – $1000 for 200 sq. ft.
- Install Dual-Pane Windows: Sick of street noise and inefficient air conditioning and heating? Dual-paned windows will not only make your home look better, it will make it feel better too.
Cost Of Project: $600 – $5,000 depending on how many windows you want to replace.
- Install A Tile Or Beaded Backsplash: Updating your kitchen’s backsplash can give it the modern vibe you’ve been looking for. Both tile and beaded backsplashes are relatively easy to install yourself, and you will save between $700 to $1,800 dollars in labor if you choose not to hire a professional.
Cost Of Project: $900 – $5,000 for 129 sq. ft. depending on the retail price of your materials (Price includes waste coverage, materials, and delivery).
Home Improvement Projects Starting Under $5,000
Once you start entering the $1,000 – $5,000 range, you’re potentially getting into some investments that’ll have some serious ROI for your property. Find out which of the following you find yourself ready to tackle:
- Replace Carpeting With Hardwood: Experts agree that hardwood flooring is a “wow” factor that can, conservatively, bring back 1.5 to 2 times its cost when you sell.
Cost Of Project: $1,500 – $5,000 depending on quality of materials and number of rooms that need updating.
- Update Your Crown Molding: Looking for a fun weekend project? Replace your home’s crown molding. No one wants to look at cracked or chipped trim, so spruce up your living room or entryway by making it look classy and finished.
Cost Of Project: $2,000 – $4,000 for 500 linear feet.
- Add A Deck: HGTV claims that homeowners get back 65 to 90 percent of their investment by adding a deck. If that doesn’t give you reason enough, picture yourself enjoying a sunset on a from your own backyard.
Cost Of Project: $2,000 – $10,000 depending on design and quality of materials (expect costs to reduce by 45% if you choose to do this without the help of a professional).
- Modernize The Bathroom: Bathrooms are the smallest room in any home, so a little money can go a long way. Replace your vanity, update water stained mirrors, improve ventilation, install sconces, or invest in a luxury shower head; the options are endless!
Cost Of Project: $2,000 – $10,000 depending on whether you choose to do a full renovation or just make minor updates.
- Knock Down A Wall: An open floor plan is the key to any first-time homebuyer’s heart. Removing a load bearing wall is often cheaper than most assume because the structural component of the house can often be preserved by simply leaving a beam at the ceiling.
Cost Of Project: $2,500 – $20,000 depending on if you live in a one or two story home, and whether or not the wall is a load bearing one.
- Exterior Paint Job: Nothing gives a home that much needed facelift like an exterior paint job. Chipping, cracked, or old paint will not appeal to potential buyers, nor is it a pretty site to have to come home to.
Cost Of Project: $4,000 – $10,000 depending on size of home, quality of materials, and labor costs.
- Solar Paneling: Although solar paneling is initially pricey, the benefits outweigh the costs. Not only will your electric bill decrease dramatically, you will also be eligible for some major tax breaks (Tax deductions cover about 50% of the total project).
Cost Of Project: $4,500 – $20,000 depending on how many panels you choose to install.
- Artificial Turf: Are you fed up with costs and time it takes to maintain a well-kept lawn? Beautify your front and/or backyard by installing artificial turf. Not only will it save you money in the long run, but you’re sure to be the talk of the neighborhood.
Cost Of Project: $4,170 for 600 sq. ft. ($6.95/sq. ft.).
There are plenty of home improvement projects you can choose from, regardless of your budget or skill level. Some are easy and can be done in the matter of minutes or just in one weekend, while others might take longer and require a bit more commitment. There is no wrong decision, as long as you are happy with the result. And if you’re lucky, you’ll have even added some significant value to your home. If you’re looking for more inspiration, HGTV provides a treasure trove of project ideas and how-to’s.
Which home improvements projects will you consider making on your own property?