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10 DIY Home Improvements You Can Do On a Budget

Summary

Your home is probably your biggest investment. But it's an investment that requires maintenance and improvements to keep or increase its value. Some home improvements and renovation projects are probably best left to professionals, but there are many worthwhile projects you can take on around the home that you may be able to handle yourself. Many of these projects can be achieved on a limited budget as well. In this article, we'll examine 10 DIY home improvements that you can do on a budget.

Contents

Add value to your home

Do you imagine that you need a big bank account and a general contractor on speed dial to add value to your home? Sure big projects, like additions and major remodeling, can add value to your old house, but so can smaller, budget-friendly projects that you do yourself.

Projects like painting, refreshing caulk, and others aren't expensive, but they can add value to your home. Check out the ideas we present below. Sure, you'll have to invest some time and sweat to do some of these jobs, but you'll learn a lot along the way. The key to better homes is to improve and maintain, so let's see how you can get started on your home improvements.

The benefits of DIY

If you're considering a home improvement project or renovation, there are some real advantages to tackling it yourself. Let's examine a few of these:

You control the entire process. No waiting on estimates from contractors and waiting for them to schedule you onto their calendar. As your own project manager, you decide when you'll do the work and how it fits into your calendar.

You learn new skills. Anytime you do a DIY project, you learn new skills that will help you keep your home in tip-top shape or act as a springboard for other projects. Not only is this a wonderful experience, but you'll be less dependent on a professional for minor repairs or future home improvements.

You'll save money. It goes without saying that taking on a project in your home or garden will be less expensive than hiring a professional.

In addition to these advantages, many DIYers report that they find that tackling home projects themselves helps relieve stress and provides a real sense of accomplishment, and even fun. When you look back at a completed project and the quality work you've done yourself, you may experience the same feeling of success.

Now that you're excited to take a new remodeling project or tackle some construction in your home, let's look at 10 popular home improvements that you can do on a budget.

Add new lighting fixtures

One remodeling project that yields big benefits is replacing your home's existing lighting fixtures. Many homes are built with generic-looking overhead lights and fixtures that the general contractor got a good price for. And if your home is a little on the older end of the spectrum, these fixtures can look dated and drab.

Replacing these fixtures with some up-to-date ones is a renovation that lets you add a stylish designer touch to your home without a lot of effort. And some new light fixtures come with built-in LED lighting, so you'll save energy and never have to worry about changing the bulbs! It's a smart way to remodel that'll save you money over time, plus add a touch of quality craftsmanship to your forever home.

For some extra curb appeal, be sure to replace your existing entryway light with something more distinctive as well. You'll make your front porch a much more inviting space and a focus for your home's style.

The nitty-gritty

To do this job, you'll need a few basic tools and basic knowledge of electricity.

Materials

  • Screwdriver
  • Wire cutters
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire nuts
  • Your new lighting fixture

Installation basics and precautions

New lighting fixtures will come with step-by-step instructions. Be sure to follow these, and work in a systematic fashion, proceeding one step at a time.

Always turn off the power to the fixture you'll be working on at your home's circuit breaker box before beginning the work.

Tips

If your house is old, be sure to inspect the wiring when installing the new fixture. If the insulation is cracked or peeling, consult with an electrician.

Install a water filter

Don't like the taste of your tap water or are concerned about its purity? There's a much more cost-effective way to enjoy fresh-tasting water than purchasing bottled water or having a water cooler taking up space in your kitchen.

Install an under-the-sink water filtration system and you'll have a ready supply of clean water ready to go. Plus it's a great value and something that everyone in your family will enjoy the benefits of.

The nitty-gritty

Installing a water filter is probably an easier job than you imagine it will be. In most cases, you'll just need to make a few connections and you'll be done.

Materials

  • Pliers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Drill
  • Water filter

Installation basics and precautions

Be sure to shut off the cold water valve under your sink before beginning. Confirm you've turned off the correct valve by checking the cold water faucet before beginning.

Follow the step-by-step instructions provided with the water filter. While the job isn't that hard, be prepared to spend some time on your back under the sink!

Tips

A battery-operated headlamp will make it much easier to see underneath the sink when you're working.

Refresh your kitchen cabinets

If you've priced out kitchen cabinets you know that they're not cheap. But if your kitchen feels like a dark cave you've probably been itching to do something to improve the look. Fortunately, there's another way to brighten up a dark kitchen, and that's painting your existing kitchen cabinets.

If your existing cabinets are structurally sound and you don't mind expending a little elbow grease, this is a great way to breathe new life into the kitchen in your old house. And it's a job that's well within the reach of most homeowners, and it won't turn your kitchen into a construction zone.

The nitty-gritty

A patient approach will yield the best results with this project since careful preparation of the cabinet surface is vital. Be sure to budget enough time to get the job done. Before you begin, realistically assess your cabinets. If the surfaces are delaminating, or the wood is deteriorating your paint job will only do so much.

Materials

  • Latex paint
  • Sandpaper (various grits)
  • Quality paint brushes

Job basics and precautions

The key to getting a good paint job is to work with a clean, lightly sanded surface. Clean the cabinets thoroughly and then sand the surfaces using progressively finer sandpaper until they are smooth. Clean all residue off before painting.

Tips

Remove the cabinet doors and all hardware before you paint them. While you'll spend some time doing this, you'll find it much easier to paint them properly when the doors aren't hanging on the cabinets.

Do some bathroom remodeling

If there's one room in your house that gets a lot of use, it's the bathroom. Not surprisingly, perhaps, bathroom remodeling is often at the top of the list for home improvements. Remodeling your bath doesn't have to be a complete rebuild, however. There are many smaller jobs you can do in the bathroom that are excellent home remodeling projects for the DIYer. Here are a few ideas to consider:

Replacing your toilet

A modern toilet is an attractive addition to your bathroom, and newer models can save a significant amount of water, compared to older models.

Installing new fixtures

New faucets, showerheads, and bath fixtures can create more beauty in your bathroom.

Replacing your vanity

An updated vanity is a great way to spruce up your bathroom. And off-the-shelf models are often a great value. Once you've removed the old one, just assemble the new vanity and your bathroom will have a great new look. Do several bathrooms at the same time for maximum impact.

Add tile backsplashes

Installing tile on the walls behind your bathroom vanities is a great bathroom remodeling project. And it's probably not as hard to do as you think it is!

Fix that floor

Some flooring projects may be best left to a professional, but there are a lot of opportunities for the DIYer with floors. If your next home improvement project involves fixing up a mudroom, laundry room, or family room, adding new flooring can give that room new life. Here are some easy-to-install flooring ideas.

Carpet tiles

Peel-and-stick carpet squares are a durable and easy-to-install way to soften up the floor of a family room or other space at a reasonable cost.

Peel and stick vinyl tiles

You'll find plenty of cost-conscious style options with these, and they're a great way to remodel a variety of different rooms.

Vinyl plank flooring

Vinyl plank flooring provides a durable surface that is durable, waterproof, and stainproof. And the cost is attractive, particularly when compared to real wood flooring. Installation of vinyl plank flooring is a bit more involved than carpet tiles or vinyl tiles, but installing them is a great project that'll bring beauty to your home.

Save energy with ceiling fans

Did you know that ceiling fans can help keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter? And they also can add a nice touch of style to your house as well. Installing a ceiling fan is probably easier than you think.

The nitty-gritty

If you have existing overhead light fixtures, installing a ceiling fan is a relatively uncomplicated task. In cases where there is no existing fixture, new wiring will need to be run to the fan location. This is a more complicated installation project and will require the services of an electrician.

Materials

  • Screwdriver
  • Wirecutters
  • Electrical tape
  • Wire nuts
  • Ceiling fan

Job basics and preparation

Always be sure to measure the size of your room and match the fan to it. You want the fan to be able to move a sufficient amount of air to gain the full effect.

Be sure that the electrical box in your ceiling is rated to hold the weight of the fan.

Always turn off the power to the circuit at your home's breaker box.

Spruce up your front porch

Nothing creates a better first impression of your house than a well-decorated and attractive entryway. Here are some easy and inexpensive ways to create a great space to welcome visitors to your home.

Dress up the front door

A fresh coat of paint and accessories like an attractive door knocker or seasonal wreaths add a touch of style.

Add furniture and accessories

Even if you have a small porch, a bench or chair creates a welcoming atmosphere. Add cushions to the chair, some artwork, and flowers (or more flowers) and you'll create a wonderful experience for guests.

Add some privacy

Add a wooden lattice or blinds to the side of the porch to create a sense of privacy. It's an easy way to remodel that will help welcome visitors to your house. It's one of the many ways to use outdoor spaces to your advantage.

Install a programmable thermostat

If you're still using an old-school "dumb" thermostat, it's time to move into the 21st-century. New, internet-connected programmable thermostats let you tailor your heating and cooling automatically, keeping you comfortable and letting you save money at the same time. And while installing a new thermostat may sound like a job for a professional, thanks to step-by-step instructions, it's a job that's well within your reach.

The nitty-gritty

There are a lot of different models of programmable thermostats available. Choose one that meets your needs. If you travel a lot, you may prefer a model that lets you make remote adjustments via an app. If you're at home most of the time, that might be a feature that you won't use.

Materials

  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Marker
  • New thermostat

Tips

Be sure to turn off the power to your HVAC system before beginning the job, and label each of the wires as you disconnect them from the old thermostat.

Refresh your deck

A deck is a great place to relax or entertain. But if your deck hasn't been maintained properly it may not be a very attractive sight. Peeling paint, graying wood, and mold all can make your deck a place you'd rather not spend time. Fortunately, with a little elbow grease, you can do a lot to put it back into shape. Here are some handy ideas on how to refresh your deck.

Power washing

A good power washing will remove old dirt and debris, as well as mold and mildew. You can rent pressure washers at home improvement stores and tool rental businesses. Make it an annual tradition!

Staining

A fresh coat of stain will revitalize almost any deck. If your wood is particularly old you may want to choose a bright, vibrant color that complements your house. Or you can bring out the natural beauty of the wood with a wood-toned stain.

Add a privacy wall

Keeping your deck away from the prying eyes of neighbors really makes this outdoor space feel more private. Adding a wooden lattice privacy wall is inexpensive and easy to do. And it will make your deck a much more inviting space.

Lay down some fresh caulk in the bathroom

Replacing the caulk in your bathroom may not sound like a very exciting project. But this home remodeling project is an essential bit of maintenance that will not only make your bathroom look better, but it will also help prevent unnecessary water damage that could create expensive and unnecessary home remodeling work in the future.

The nitty-gritty

Caulk is used to line and fill the gaps between areas such as your tub and floor, your sink and vanity, or a vanity top and your bathroom backsplash and walls. It performs the important function of keeping water out of these spots, preventing mold and mildew from growing in these hard-to-clean areas. If your caulk is peeling, chipping, or has become brittle and discolored, it's time to replace it.

Materials

  • Caulk and caulk gun
  • Putty knife
  • Utility knife
  • Razor scraper
  • Mineral spirits
  • Masking tape

How to do it

Use your utility knife or razor scraper to peel the old caulk away from the tub edge or other surface.

When the tub edge is free of caulk, clean the area thoroughly with soap and water, then do a final clean with mineral spirits.

Use masking tape to outline the gap on either side. This will give you a clean line and make clean up easier.

Using your caulk gun, lay down a thin line of caulk at the gap between the surfaces. Be sure the caulk fills in the cracks completely.

Drag your fingertip along the seam to smooth the caulk.

While the caulk is still wet, pull the tape away. Let the caulk dry completely before using your tub.

Team Enoch is ready to help

We've talked about many home improvements for your house that are within your grasp. And we've seen that the entire process is often something that you can do yourself.

While doing your own home remodeling and home improvement projects yourself is gratifying, not every project is suitable for the average homeowner. That's where Team Enoch enters the picture. At Team Enoch we have extensive experience in HVAC, plumbing, roofing, electrical and more. We're ready to take on these major home improvements while providing excellent customer care throughout the entire process.

Maintaining and improving your home is important. If you're in the Dallas Fort Worth area and you're in the market for a major home improvement, Team Enoch has the expertise to help your out. Contact us for all your home remodeling needs. We offer free estimates and free consultation to help you get your projects off the ground.

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