Blueprint, small model home, and pencil marking compass

5 Budget-Friendly Home-Improvement Hacks

Did you know it's possible to boost your home's visual appeal and resale value without breaking the bank? Here are five budget-friendly suggestions to get you started.

BECU logo

Community Content Team
Published Aug 16, 2019 in: Mortgages & Home

Read time: 4 minutes

Get the most out of a gallon of paint.

If you're going to go the old-fashioned route and repaint your walls, a gallon of paint will likely take care of a single room. Brighten up a room by repainting a coffee table or end table. Add a splash of color to your dining room by painting your chairs. Add some personality and depth to a bookshelf by painting just the insets. Make your living room come alive with a vibrant accent wall. Or you can get really creative and weave a common color scheme throughout several rooms by doing all of the above. Whatever you choose to do, a single gallon of paint can go further than you think.

Create more curb appeal for less.

If you're trying to sell your house, you want it to catch people's eyes as they drive by. If you're trying to make it nicer for yourself, you want to feel good about your home's appearance. Either way, giving your house a facelift is easier--and less expensive--than you might think. A good pressure wash is one of the quickest ways to brighten up your home's appearance. Sure, you could shop around and hire a professional cleaning service. But if you're trying to pinch pennies, you can rent a pressure washer from stores like Lowes or Home Depot for less than $100. While you're at it, check the sale flyers at those stores to see if they're running a special on mulch or decorative plants. Nothing changes the look of a house quite like fresh mulch and new plants.

Freshen up the first impression.

When people come to your house, the front door is your chance to make a first impression. You'd be surprised how giving your front door a fresh coat of paint can improve the feel of your entire home. A strong, vibrant color can lift your guest's moods and make them feel welcome before you even open the door. If you're wondering which colors would look best, download the Front Door Paint app and try out digital options before making a physical paint purchase. Listing your home for sale? A front door upgrade can also boost your home's appeal. By replacing your tired old doorknob with a robust, stylish handle and lockset, you can give the house a comforting sense of security, a trait that is critical for capturing prospective buyers. Last, but not least, never underestimate the aesthetic power of a new welcome mat and a decorative door hanging. It's often the little touches that make a house feel like a home.

Kickstart your kitchen.

If you watch any of the most popular home improvement shows, you know kitchens are a big deal. For most floorplans, the kitchen is the focal point that ties all the rooms together. But if you pay attention to those same shows, you know that kitchen upgrades are expensive! Is it possible to makeover a kitchen without spending thousands? Absolutely. Rather than sinking money into new appliances, focus on the smaller details. Update old light fixtures. Replace dated cabinet pulls. And if you want to get the most bang for your home improvement buck, consider installing a modern faucet at the kitchen sink. Not only will new sink hardware reflect a distinct sense of style, that one upgrade can give your entire kitchen a contemporary feel.

Brush-up those bathrooms

Think back to when you were in the market for a house. While they weren't the most glamorous aspect of the houses you toured, you never left without checking out the bathrooms, did you? When it comes to making your house more livable--for yourself or the next family who will call it home--it just makes sense to spruce up the rooms you use every day--aka, the bathrooms. Dingy, old vinyl flooring? Brighten it with high-quality, peel 'n' stick tiles. Aged tile with grungy grout? Scouring that grout is a simple step that can make a dramatic difference. If your bathroom fixtures (towel bars, toilet paper holder, etc.) have taken on a mix-match motif over the years, you don't have to replace them to make them more visually pleasing. A fresh coat of Rust-Oleum metallic paint is all it takes to give your fixtures a uniform, good-as-new look.

When it comes to home improvement projects, ideas can be as unique as the homeowners making them. What about you? Have you uncovered any money-saving home makeover tips that we didn't list above? If so, we want to know about them. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments!

BECU logo

Community Content Team

BECU's community content team writes about personal finance topics like budgeting, saving and building credit to help you reach your financial health goals.