Home renovation shows have mastered the art of the reveal — it’s what makes them so darn addicting. Within a one-hour episode of Property Brothers, a fixer-upper on the verge of being demolished is transformed into a magnificent estate. An hour or two of such television magic kindles the inner carpenter in all of us; visions of gleaming kitchens and cozy dens take flight.
However, it isn't long before reality squashes home makeover aspirations. Tearing down walls, rejiggering the plumbing, purchasing new fixtures and hiring a small army of subcontractors to put it all together can turn a dream into a nightmare of dollar signs.
But reinventing your home needn’t break the bank. In fact, you can make some eye-catching improvements with the cash sitting in your (virtual?) wallet. Here are 10 home improvement ideas that’ll cost less than $30 and a weekend to accomplish.
1. UPDATE YOUR CABINET HARDWARE
Toss out plastic or outdated hardware and swap in something a little nicer to give your cabinets and furniture pieces a simple, eye-catching upgrade. You can get 25 classic (or decorative) knobs or 10 pulls for about $25. All you'll need is a screwdriver to complete the project.
2. ADD PANELING TO A DOOR
Create a more upscale look by adding bead board and trim (plus a new coat of paint) to a standard hollow door. While this project is a bit time- and labor-intensive, it's far more cost-effective than swapping out your existing doors (and, potentially, the jambs, too).
3. REPLACE AN OLD FIXTURE
An aging faucet or vanity light can really date your bathroom. A full-scale bathroom remodel is a big job, both in scope and in expense. Instead, swap in a simple upgrade for your sink or your lighting and you'll bring new life to the entire space. If you decide to remodel someday, these new pieces can be easily incorporated.
4. SLIPCOVER A CHAIR
Instead of shopping for pricey, new furniture, create an accent chair out of a piece you already own by slipcovering or reupholstering it. Typically, the bones of old furniture are in good shape and a simple swap to the exterior can make a big impact for minimal cash.
5. ROLL SOME PAINT
There's nothing like paint to give a space, or an object, new life. Paint a boring room an energizing color or give a piece of furniture some love. If you’re feeling bold, change the hue of your front door for extra curb appeal — black is back, by the way. Buying a gallon of quality paint will set you back around $30, and painting does take time, but the effort will be worth it.
6. REVIVE THOSE VENT COVERS
Vent covers aren’t typically top of mind when it comes to improving a room, but they can be eyesores. Either they're yellowed and dingy, or they're paint-speckled because someone didn't take time to remove them when those walls were last painted. Give vents a sharp look with a coat of spray paint. Use a color that blends in with your walls, or make them stand out by using a contrasting color.
7. ORGANIZE YOUR CABINETS AND CLOSETS
Bring order to chaos in the places you use every day, such as your kitchen cabinets or your clothes closet. Holders for pot lids and cutting boards keep you from playing Jenga with messy stacks. Shelf dividers in the closet keep sweater and pant piles neat. Both ideas will run you about $15 for a set of two holders or dividers.
8. A WELCOMING FRONT PORCH
New address numbers and a fresh doormat can really spruce up the entry of your home. Just be sure that your old numbers can be easily removed (as to not disturb the existing siding) and that the new ones you choose will cover any fading in the paint that the old ones may have created.
9. CREATE YOUR OWN ARTWORK
Tap into your creative side to make an abstract piece of art for a place in your home that needs some extra love. There are tutorials online that even novice artists can follow, and the abstract style fits pretty much any type of home. Plus, you'll create an excellent conversation piece the next time you have guests over. Who knows, maybe you'll even get commissioned to make more!
10. RESTYLE A BOOKSHELF
Simply reorganizing the stuff on a bookcase in a decorative way can freshen a room without spending a dime. You can easily search for online tips on how to turn a cluttered shelf into an eye-catching focal point. However, try not to get distracted by all the books you told yourself you’d read someday!