Home improvements are not always fun. When trying to work miracles on a budget it can stop you in your tracks. Don’t get stuck – get creative. Try a home improvement group. Gather three to four friends and see if they will help you make your renovation dreams happen for the cost of some pizza and beer.
Propose that as a team you work on an improvement project for each person’s home. Lay out ground rules or guidelines. Everyone should help determine what those rules might be, something like; no crawl spaces, no roofs, no snakes, etc. The project should be doable in one day or two days, think over the course of a weekend. Meet once a month and by the end of summer everyone will have finished a renovation project that adds to the value and/or comfort of their home.
Other benefits of the group approach are to ask everyone to contribute ideas to the problem you are trying to solve. For instance, how to dress up the kitchen on a $500 budget? How to add a mudroom to the entryway that is not an eyesore? How to make your narrow family room appear larger and not so dark? Hearing ideas from others can be helpful by adding a fresh perspective and will offer ideas that you have not considered. Maybe you hadn’t thought to rearrange the furniture or to re-purpose an old dresser. Using your ideas and considering the suggestions of others will help produce a remodel project that makes a difference and gives you satisfaction.
Another way you might use this group of friends is to have a junk swap. If you have some good stuff that you are no longer using, donate it to the junk swap. Your friend might welcome that night stand you find clunky. Maybe he or she will paint it bright blue and put it in the mudroom. Someone else might have several old frames that you can envision displaying your kid’s artwork. These are just ideas but you get the drift.
On the other hand, maybe you can’t find anyone who wants to participate in home renovations by group effort. If the, “many hands make light work” approach does not make your hammer quiver there is the more traditional solo approach to home renovation. Regardless, here are some renovation ideas for the budget conscious.
The Dreaded Kitchen
Let us think about sprucing up this room without spending thousands of dollars. One way is to start with the cabinets. Door handles and drawer pulls can be changed, or added for that matter. If you are changing them out make sure the replacements match the screw holes from the old ones. That way you don’t have to fill holes, re-drill, etc.
Say goodbye to crusty hardwater stains and grime by getting a new faucet. This can be done starting at about $160 and moving upwards. There are all sorts of finishes and features to choose from. Make sure your final choice will fit the current holes, counter thickness, and have enough clearance from the back splash. If your budget will allow, replace the sink. Single basin, stainless steel, farmhouse style, etc. There are many choices and a wide range of prices. Plan to spend at least $220. Look for sales and read customers reviews. A new sink and faucet are exciting and will change the whole kitchen.
Add a back splash. Home improvement centers have peel and stick mosaics, individual subway tiles, heat resistant thermoplastic in different finishes, and other choices made for the DIY weekend warrior. 20 square feet will average $550- $725. Simply adding a back splash will update your kitchen, and transform it into a more modern version of itself.
Consider a new pendant light. These start at about $70 and can go up in price quickly. This is an easy area to go crazy, so make sure you stick to your budget.
If your counter has an overhang dress it up by adding columns. Solid wood columns are about $35 a piece. Since you are only buying two this is a $70 improvement. That is a lot of wow factor at a bargain price. This is an easy project with a big impact.
Choose one of these kitchen ideas or all of them. If you decide to take the big leap and tackle them all you will spend about $1200- $1600. This all in dollar amount is still way under the thousands that you could spend when replacing the cabinets, appliances, and flooring.
The Unexpected Mud Room
What does your entryway look like? Is there a pile of shoes, jackets, and backpacks too? Don’t keep tripping and stepping over them. Use that coat closet for more than just coats, transform it into a mudroom where all those extra shoes and coats can live without being in the way. This budget friendly home improvement idea will give you a bench to sit on and baskets to sort all of your stuff, and will look really nice, too!
Spruce up the Powder Room
Main bathrooms receive a different kind of use than a typical powder room. Wear and tear from daily showers, kids using the bathtub, shaving, make-up application, etc. means you have to consider different materials and design choices. If you were renovating or sprucing up the main bathroom you would want to think about flooring that can take a beating and how much storage the vanity offers.
Powder rooms tend to hold a sink and a toilet, and not much more. The powder room might not have kids jumping in and out of the bathtub, but it still deserves serious consideration. After all, it is the bathroom your guests see. Give this bathroom some pizzazz.
Paint three walls all the same color. Go through your old paint cans, you might already have a color you love. Make the fourth wall the accent wall. This can be done by using different paint colors or by using wallpaper. Papering one wall keeps expenses in line. Wallpaper has evolved and come a long way. There are many prints available and can be easily hung by the DIY champion you have become.
A new coat of paint will update your vanity. Replace the sink. Bathroom counter tops and sinks are often one unit seamless pieces. A basic 31” counter and sink with a new faucet thrown in can be achieved for about $160- $180 on the low end of things.
Add a statement mirror and a new towel ring. Look for accessories in your own stuff or a flea market. You'd be amazed what you can re-purpose with a can of spray paint. Consider this when looking for what you will furnish your powder room with. Before you know it, you will be admiring your new powder room for an affordable $350.
If you need design inspirations for your powder room renovation take a look at these 100 Powder Room Ideas.
You can use these ideas to start renovating or you can use them as a jumping off point to begin the home improvement projects of your dreams. Like what you're reading? Subscribe to our blog for updates sent straight to your email!