These days,, saving money is more important than ever. That certainly does not mean that we have to let our homes go however. There are budget friendly home improvement projects that you can do around the home that will not break the bank but will make a big impact. Take a look at my to 5 picks.
1) Painting A Room
Nothing has quite the impact as a fresh coat of paint. It can totally alter the mood of a room and it is one of the most affordable home improvement projects that you can do. Best of all it is easy to do. The key to success is being patient and doing proper prep.
Here is what you need to paint the average room.
- Gallon Of Paint – $30
Good paint is a must here, so do not skimp. Cheap paint does not spread as far and will not last as long. If you want to save money on paint, you are better off looking at the clearance shelf. There you will find quality paint that people simply did not pick up. The only catch is that you have to take what you can get, no color choices.
- Brushes – $20
You will need a roller and one or two hand brushes. If you do not plan on painting often, the disposable hand brushes will for for around a dollar each.
- Tarps & Tape – $15
Do not even think about not tarping the floor. You might think that you are neat, but drips will happen. Plastic tarps run a couple of dollars each or you can substitute old sheets for free. As far as painters tape goes, get the good blue tape. Cheap tape will either not stick or not release when you are done. Either could be a disaster.
That is it. For well under $100 you can paint just about any room in your house. Just be sure to take the time to tape and tarp well. You should ideally spend just as much time prepping your room as you do actually painting it.
2) Planting A Tree (Or Two)
Do you know how much a mature tree can add to the value of a home? It can add thousands of dollars. That makes planting a few trees one of the best investments that you can make. For well under $100, you can easily add over $5,000 to the future value of your home. Don’t have a green thumb? NO problem, it is easier than you think.
Here is how you plant a tree or trees.
- Purchase Your Supplies.
A five foot Live Oak, Maple or Cleveland Pear will cost about $20 to $30 at most home improvement stores. On top of that, you will need a bag of mulch per tree ($5) and a shovel ($10). That sets you back $60 to $80 for the supplies to plant two trees.
- Dig a Hole.
Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Making the hole wider will loosen the soil so that roots can easily spread in the first few months.
- Place Your Tree.
Remove any bag or canvas around the root ball and place your tree in the center of the tree. Refill the hole, making sure that the tree is not in the hole lower than the top of the root ball.
- Cover in Mulch.
Now, all that you need to do is add mulch around the base of the tree and you are all set. Just water it every day for the first few weeks and your new tree should thrive.
That is is, pretty easy right. Now you have 2 trees that you can enjoy for years and that will pay dividends in the future.
Notice that I do not include stakes in the cost. When planing a small 5 foot (3-5 gallon) tree, there is no need to stake it. Staking is only needed for larger trees with canopies big enough to catch the wind. Staking a smaller tree can actually slow down trunk thickening.
3) Make Your Front Door A Focal Point
Ever drive down the street and catch a bright red front door out of the corner of your eye. The color sets off the house and makes it a focal point. This is not saying that you need to go as bold as red, but you might consider it.
Here is what you will need to make your door pop.
- Quart of Paint – $20
A quart of self priming paint should be sufficient to paint the outside and even inside of your door. In fact it should allow for multiple coats.
- Sandpaper & Hand Brush – $10
The outside of your door will likely need a light sanding after years of enduring the weather. Choose a variety pack that will let you start with medium grit and finish up with fine.
- New Lock Set – $60 to $80
Why put that same, tired lock set on. Since you have to take the old lock off in order to paint, why not put a new one back on. If you want to save on your lock, check out a “seconds and surplus” store.
Like with painting a room, preparation is key here. Thoroughly clean both sides of the door and then remove the lock set. Give the exterior of the door a light sanding and put some floor protection down. Then, just give the door a couple of coats, waiting the manufactured suggested time between each.
4) Add A Light Fixture
Yes, some light fixtures are extravagant and are certainly not budget friendly forms of home improvement, but there are lots of inexpensive fixtures as well. If you bought a tract home, or really anything short of full custom, your home is probably loaded with boring contractor lights. Maybe now is the time to change that.
Changing your light fixtures could not be easier. All that you have to do is cut the power, unscrew the old fixture, undo the wiring from the old fixture, transfer the wiring to the new fixture and then screw the new fixture back to the ceiling. It is simple. beginner level home improvement stuff.
In the scheme of things, it might not seem like much to simply change a light fixture, but it can actually make quite a big impact.