If you’re like me, you only enjoy spending money on things you enjoy, and for me, home improvement or repair is not one of them. So obviously, I like to get the job done as painlessly as possible. Fortunately for tightwads such as myself, you can do quite a bit of home improvement even on a budget that would make frugality gurus like Clark Howard wince.
So a few ideas to spruce up and improve your home without breaking the bank:
The kitchen and living area are the two areas of a home that make a first impression on visitors. Resist the urge to tear out your cabinets and replace them. Instead, opt for new doors and hardware; these can be purchased, painted, and installed for a fraction of the cost. Remove the plates from appliances and replace them with different colored plates. Some plates may already be reversible, allowing you to make some rather dramatic color changes with the turn of a few screws.
You can also make sweeping changes in appearance by changing out light fixtures, doorknobs, handles, and other hardware throughout your home. Consider eco-friendly fixtures to help lower your electric bill.
Display a lot of photographs. Framed photos on wall or shelving make a very dramatic impact.
Install track lighting or accent lighting. This creates a warm, inviting atmosphere that you just can’t get with a large overhead light blaring away.
Decrease room clutter by one third. Removing one third of furniture or other items will instantly make any room look more spacious.
Relandscape your yard. All you need are a few simple tools and an understanding of what plants or shrubs work best at what time of year.
Replace flooring. I know a cash register rings in your head when I suggest that, but there are several different do it yourself flooring kits available. I have a very nice wood floor in my home office that was installed by me and my wife. In one day. It looks good, too!
Rent a shampooer and shampoo your carpet. You’ll be surprised at how much better even old carpet looks after a good cleaning.
Add a new toilet seat or a new sink (or both) to your bathroom. These plus a few new towels and other accoutrements will really help your bathroom stand out.
Paint your front door. This is the absolute first impression visitors get of your home when they walk up, so make sure it is presentable, attractive, and inviting. Place two large planters on either side of the front door, with a profusion of healthy plants spilling out. Install new bulbs in your front porch light.
New curtains or drapes can completely set off a room and create a totally new image. Consider hanging a new set.
See how easy it is? You just transformed the appearance and comfort of your home and didn’t have to take out a second mortgage to do it. Even the most notorious Scrooge can still beautify their home with a minimal outlay of funds.