5 Quick and Easy Budget Upgrades
Improve the look and function of your home without spending an arm and a leg
If you’re an avid DIY’er, you’re already on your way to saving money. But with the right planning, you can transform the feel of a whole room with a single project that only costs you a few hundred bucks. Pick from a round-up of value-boosting upgrades that all come in under the $500 mark—some well under. Not only will they be soft on your wallet now, but some of these will even save you money in the future.
Refresh Your Rooms With Paint
You can give your drab, washed-out walls a burst of brilliant depth (or wash away your decorating sins with virgin white) just by picking up a paint can and having at them. That’s the power of a coat of paint: It rearranges your reality. Which is why painting is the most oft-tackled DIY home-improvement upgrade.
Add Crown Molding the Easy Way
Crown molding makes it to the top of most remodeling lists because it adds charm and value to a home, not because people enjoy spending a Saturday trying to get the corners just right. Luckily, there’s a simple way to beat miter-saw frustration. Click here for a headache free crown molding installation!
Protect Walls With an Easy-to-Clean Backsplash
If installing a traditional tile backsplash feels a little out of your DIY league, putting up one made from a single sheet of solid surface material may just be your saving grace. Shaping, cutting, and gluing up this inexpensive stock material is a weekend project most amateurs can conquer with confidence. And when you have your sleek backsplash in place, you’ll think it such a stylish protector from splashes and splatters you’ll wonder why you ever considered tile in the first place.
Cut Costs With a Programmable Thermostat
Going digital with a model that automatically changes the indoor temperature setting is fairly easy, and it can trim about $180 off your annual heating and cooling costs. Simple models that only control heat are sold at home centers for around $25. But units like the one shown here can handle many more functions, including cooling and humidifying. Typically they’re purchased through and installed by HVAC contractors, but you can get a good deal on one by buying online and install it yourself in no time.
Ceiling Fans for Summer (and Winter) Savings
The popularity of ceiling fans continues to grow as more and more homeowners discover dramatic, year-round energy savings. In summer, ceiling fans create cooling breezes, which reduce the strain on air conditioners. In winter, they circulate heated air to keep the room warm.
Installing a ceiling fan is relatively simple, especially if the space above is accessible from an attic. However, even when it isn’t, the job is still quite doable. Here, we’ll show how to replace an old light fixture with a new ceiling fan and light, in a room with no attic above. The advantage of this approach is that you don’t have to run new wiring. The fan connects to the existing cable from the old light.