5 Affordable Home Improvement Ideas
By Barbara Pronin
It would be nice if we could always afford to remodel the kitchen or add another bedroom or a covered patio at will. But if expensive projects have to wait their turn, there are many smaller projects—many of them do-it-yourself or with friends—that can vastly improve the look of your home on a very small budget.
Sienna Beard at the Wall Street Cheat Sheet, an online consumer guide to saving time and money, offers five suggestions for tackle-now projects well worth their time and effort:
Snazz up the kitchen – Reface or replace the cabinets if you can, but if that’s not in the cards, then paint the kitchen, update the hardware, and/or establish a cool color scheme with kitchen linens and accessories for a fresh new look without spending a lot of cash.
Add baseboard and crown molding – For a classic look in the living area, add wider baseboards painted white to set off the color of the walls. If you can afford it, consider crown molding at the ceiling line to make the room appear more polished and finished.
Improve the lighting – Few people like to enter a dark room. Take stock of the areas where a ceiling fan with lights, some simple wall fixtures, or a few inset ceiling lights would considerably brighten a room.
Change the entry – Painting or replacing an old front door improves the curb appeal immensely. Consider redoing a cracked walkway, painting the front porch, or simply adding pots of flowers near your bright, new front door.
Add some landscaping – In the front yard, plant flowers leading up to the entry, or add some hedges or attractive shrubs. In the back yard, create an attractive oasis for friends and family with a brick grilling area, an inexpensive fire pit, or some new outdoor furniture set off with attractive pots of spring and summer blooms.