Cheap Home Improvements: More Affordable Home Upgrades

In an uncertain housing market, dropping big bucks on complex home improvement projects isn’t always the way to go. However, with a little DIY know-how and a conservative amount of cash, there is a lot you can do to enhance both the value and enjoyment of your home.

Here are seven cheap home improvement ideas and suggestions on a $ 1,000 budget:

1. Replace kitchen countertops: Upgrading kitchen work surfaces is one of the most affordable home improvement ideas because there are several sleek, budget-friendly materials to choose from, including green options like stainless steel, cast concrete, and solid surfacing and terrazzo composites made from recycled materials. Complement the new surface panorama by adding new hardware to cabinets and drawers, and do a little revision of countertop collections for a clean, clear view and easy access to work zones.

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Accessorize the bathroom for comfort and safety: Run through AARP’s Bathroom Checklist to assess the current state of your bath, and then select home improvements that will make the space safer and easier to use. These can include installation of a wider entry door (32 inches is the standard for optimum access), easy-to-grasp door and cabinet hardware, rocker light switches, grab bars, and a shower fixture with a removable, hand-held shower head.

3. Brush on a new look: Painting is also one of the most transformative and cheapest home improvement ideas, so make it your go-to technique for updating a living space. Most manufacturers offer handy sample sizes for testing out new hues, as well as special formulations and tools for taking a faux approach. Adding crown moldings, chair rails and other trims is the next level in creating a custom look on a budget.

4. Spruce up an outdoor room: Warm-weather leisure is all the more enjoyable with comfortable outdoor zones for entertaining and relaxing. Building a small deck or a patio of brick, natural stone or cement pavers can expand both your living space and your home’s value. You can also update landscaping and add pathways to form outlying seating areas or hideaways in a yard of any size.

5. Enhance curb appeal: Take those landscaping home improvements around to the front yard, an instant register of perceived home value for every passerby. Then approach the entry with an assessment of its welcome quotient. A beautiful new door with high-tech toughness to withstand the elements is an affordable home improvement that will instantly ratchet up that perceived value, and a few well-placed planters of blooms add freshness and friendliness.

6. Improve energy efficiency: The climbing costs of home heating fuel make affordable home upgrades all the more valuable. Reduce waste and enhance home comfort by sealing all heating and cooling ducts along seams and connections with duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed tape (never duct tape, as it doesn’t have the required staying power), followed by insulation wrap.

The Money Pit is a publisher of home improvement content and the producers of the largest home improvement radio program in America. For more information about Money Pit and home improvement ideas please go to www.moneypit.com.