Best DIY Affordable Home Improvement Ideas

Home Topics Remodeling

Updated: Feb. 27, How to get probably the most value in your remodeling dollar
Family Handyman These 10 projects—decorating, storage, lighting and more—cost little however yield great results. They upgrade loos, kitchens, living rooms, closets, the entryway, the laundry and other areas of your home.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

You might also like: TBD

Improvement 1: Bathroom mini makeover—$430
If you’ve long needed the elegance of natural stone in your house, consider a brand new granite rest room vanity high, which is a great, inexpensive way to get it. You can now find granite tops at Lowe’s, Home Depot and other residence centers. Prices range from $150 to $450 depending on the scale. Complete this bathtub makeover with a brand new faucet and mirror, and you’ll still keep the value beneath $500.

Begin by ordering your new gadgets and don’t start the project till you have them all readily available. Be positive to examine them for flaws (a widespread problem). Then tear out the old fixtures and repair the partitions as needed. Keep the old self-importance if it’s in good condition. But paint it to freshen it. Use a quantity of cans of spray paint to get a smooth end and avoid brush marks. And substitute the old pulls with new ones to decorate it up.

Next, paint the partitions and add the new mirror. If your old mirror included a recessed medication cupboard, make certain the new one suits inside the present opening. Enlarging the opening typically expands the job considerably!

Finally, mount the tap, set up your new granite high and join the plumbing. Whew! If all goes nicely, you’ll finish in an extended weekend.

Cost: Granite vainness prime, 31 in. long, $200; faucet, $130; 24 x 36-in. mirror, $60; paint and cupboard pulls, $40. Total: $430.

Time: Two to a few days.

For extra info sort “bathroom,” “faucet,” and “towel bars” in the search field above.

Simple Bathroom Makeover
Granite vainness tops price as little as $150 and come complete with an under-mounted sink.

Improvement 2: Wallpaper one wall—$280
Close-up of wallpaper Fine wallpaper is affordable if you solely paper one wall.If you haven’t visited a wall-covering retailer recently, you’re lacking a deal with. With the revived popularity of wallpaper, shops are offering an expanded vary of choices. The costs of a few of these may knock your socks off too.

But take coronary heart. You don’t should cowl each wall to make a dramatic change. Papering only a single wall will do, and that’ll make some of these fine, costly papers or fabrics affordable. It’ll additionally lessen the time, effort and mess of papering a complete room. This is an especially good solution for a room with plain partitions, slim baseboards and window trim, and no built-ins. You create instant character.

Begin by taking a photograph of your current room and measuring its dimensions. Take these with you to the inside design or wall-covering retailer. Ask a specialist to help type via options that’ll work well together with your existing furnishings. The specialist will also allow you to choose one of the best wall for the brand new paper and estimate the quantity to order.

Some papers can be exhausting to hold, particularly materials, rolls with uncut edges and different designer papers. Always verify the hanging instructions and ask the vendor in regards to the issue degree. If you’re a novice paperhanger or fall in love with a super-expensive paper, think about hiring a pro. The extra cost ought to be modest for a single wall, from $150 to $250.

Be positive to fill holes and clean your wall earlier than starting. Rough spots would possibly show by way of the paper. Then seal the wall surface with an acrylic primer. It dries hard and smooth. This allows you to slide the paper a bit more easily to tighten seams.

Cost: $122 for a double roll of the paper shown and $20 to $50 for supplies.

Time: Half to one full day, relying on the wall condition.

For more information sort “wallpaper” in the search field above.

Wallpaper on One Wall
Wallpaper on one wall provides drama to a boring room with much less effort and expense than overlaying the whole room. It additionally lets you select a bold pattern that may be overpowering on four walls.

Improvement three: Halogen observe lighting—$180
Halogen observe lighting Rail observe lighting is practical as well as decorative. Use spots to spotlight footage and objects.Halogen pendant option Hang pendants from the rail to brighten work surfaces. Photo courtesy of SeagullTrack lighting enables you to put mild exactly the place you need it—on counter tops, walls or objects—and brighten nearly any space. The tiny halogen bulbs emit a stunning white mild that illuminates colors brilliantly.

The price of monitor lighting has dropped lately. And many techniques now function on commonplace family voltage. That means you don’t have to install a Transformer—just connect to any current junction field within the ceiling.

The “rail” system that hangs beneath the ceiling like we present will maintain both spotlights and pendants. Rails sometimes run either four or eight ft. You can bend the rail for a extra decorative look and place the lights wherever on it.

Look for rail system kits (typically with three to 5 gentle fixtures) in residence centers, lighting shops or on-line. Check manufacturers’ Web sites or check the catalogs at a lighting specialty retailer to see all of the choices. This is particularly essential if you need to assemble your individual system or add extra lights to the rail. You wish to ensure you get all the proper parts.

Cost: $150 and up for a basic equipment.

Time: One to two hours in case you have an current electrical box in the ceiling.

For extra data type “ceiling lights” in the search field above.

Improvement four: Kitchen rollouts—$40 to $80
Installed rollout Rollouts flip wasted space deep inside cabinets into accessible cupboard space. Photo by Ramon MorenoTwo-level rollout This two-level rollout suits around the drainpipes underneath a sink.Rollouts are one of the best and most satisfying upgrades you can make to your kitchen. They convey every thing that’s tucked out of sight at the again of cupboards proper to your fingertips—you actually achieve usable storage space.

If you don’t want to make the rollouts yourself, you possibly can shop for moderately priced but sturdy rollouts on-line or at Lowe’s and Home Depot. You merely mount them to the present cabinets in your cabinets with four screws.

The biggest mistake is ordering the mistaken dimension. When you measure the opening in the entrance of the cabinet, be sure to account for the door, hinges and other obstructions.

Cost: $40 to $80 per rollout.

Time: quarter-hour per rollout.

For extra information type “rollouts” within the search field above.

Improvement 5: Trim and paint—$380
By adding two simple strains of trim—a chair rail and a crown molding—you create the perfect framework for any good-looking two-color wall combination. This is amongst the secrets of quick, simple redecorating.

To have the most important colour impact, paint your trim. This also simplifies installation. You don’t have to cut good joints, as a end result of a little filler and paint will leave them trying sharp and crisp. You also can use less expensive supplies.

The trim combination we show seems greatest in rooms with no much less than 4-1/2-in.-tall baseboards. If your baseboard is narrower, contemplate replacing it or selecting a unique wall adorning technique. (See “Wallpaper one wall” above.)

Then make the new chair rail 60 to 70 % of the width of your baseboard. Use a two-piece combination that mimics a windowsill (stool) and its apron (the trim underneath) when you have this kind of trim. Otherwise, use trim much like your window trim with a 5/8- to 3/4-in. strip on prime. Center your chair rail at about one-third the wall height. Choose crown molding that’s 30 to 40 percent of the width of the baseboard.

Finding colours that work properly together and go properly with the prevailing room furnishings can be challenging. We recommend that you simply take full benefit of pictures in magazines and the mixtures beneficial by paint producers that you simply find at each paint retailer. Take photos of rooms you like (or clothes mixtures you like!) and work with a paint dealer to match colours. Most house facilities and paint dealers now provide small paint samples. You can try them directly on the wall or paint a 2 x 2-ft. scrap of drywall or cardboard instead. That method you presumably can view the samples in several parts of the room. Then take a glance at the colors each in daylight and together with your lights on at night. (Some colours change dramatically under several sorts of mild.)

TIP: Prepaint the trim and paint the walls before you put the trim up. Touch up afterward.

Cost: 6 gallons of paint—$180; 80 ft. of chair rail and crown moldings—$200.

Time: Two to three days.

For extra data type “trim” and “paint” in the search field above.

Remodeled Dining Room
Painted trim requires less ability, time and expense than stained and varnished trim. To create wall stripes, apply easy-release masking tape over a lightweight base shade.

Right-Sized Trim
To accentuate—rather than dominate—colorful walls, choose chair rail that’s about two-thirds of the baseboard width and crown about one-third the baseboard width. For a more traditional look, select crown that’s about two-thirds of the baseboard width.

Improvement 6: Backyard oasis—$450
Canopy anchors Screw-in floor anchors are the most effective protection towards strong winds.Two elements make for a fantastic yard retreat—shade from the solar and safety from irritating insects. The excellent news: You can now select from a variety of screened canopies (also called gazebos) that deal with both sun and bugs. They’re simple to place up and keep, you can plant them in nearly any flat spot, and they’re moderately priced, usually $200 to $500, depending on the size. Typical sizes vary from 10 x 10-ft. to 12 x 12 ft. You can create a snug sitting area in just some hours. Look for screened canopies at house facilities and out of doors furniture dealers.

A grass flooring is inviting, however it’ll wear out quick. If you don’t have an existing deck or patio that’s suitable, we advocate building a paver patio for the ground. Brick and concrete pavers are sturdy, good-looking, and available in many types and colors. And you don’t need special expertise or expertise to put them successfully. Even a novice can do a first-class job and complete a small project in a weekend. OK, it is onerous work. You’ll should dig a bit and rent and function a heavy plate compactor. Look for pavers at home facilities and patio and backyard facilities.

Begin by selecting a cover type and dimension. Then make your patio slightly larger to accommodate it. Or contemplate a fair bigger patio, leaving part of it open.

Cost: $150 and up for a screened cover; about $3.50 per sq. ft. for a paver patio.

Time: Two hours for a canopy; a weekend for a small patio.

For more info kind “brick” within the search box above.

Screened Canopy
Block out the recent sun and bothersome bugs with a screened canopy.

Improvement 7: Closet organizer—$100
You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a neat closet. Wire shelving systems are inexpensive, sensible and simple to put in. They improve your cupboard space and simplify cleansing too. Almost every little thing hangs on the walls, preserving the ground clear for simple vacuuming. And the wire shelving won’t acquire dust like stable shelving does.

A novice can install a system with only a drill, a stage, a hacksaw and basic hand tools. Begin by measuring your closet dimensions. At residence centers, you’ll discover primary kits with a full complement of cabinets and clothes rods priced from $50 to $75. If you want a extra elaborate system, both start with a equipment and then add equipment, or construct a custom system from readily available components. Visit a home center to see a complete selection of parts and get association ideas. Then plan your system by laying out all the shelves and different parts utilizing masking tape on the back of your closet wall. You can also draw up a plan on paper, but measure rigorously if you use this technique. Often manufacturer Web websites have planning guides.

Most manufacturers have solid, drill-and-tap-in wall anchors that work well even in drywall. Use a hacksaw to chop the heavy wire shelving to match your layout.

Finally, verify for accessories like shoe racks, tie and belt racks, and baskets to increase storage options and make the most effective use of leftover area.

Cost: $200 for the closet system proven.

Time: Half day to take away old shelves and set up the new system.

For more info type “closet” in the search box above.

Closet Organizer
Make the most of closet house with wire shelving and accessories. You can outfit an entire closet in a single morning.

Improvement eight: Laundry center—$480
Close-up of floor tile Bright, resilient ground tiles snap together for easy set up.Stand again and look at your laundry room. Chances are it may use higher organization, higher lighting and extra storage. These simple upgrades offer you all that.

Everything you want is on the market at house centers. Start with a inventory countertop (you can order colours that aren’t in stock, however you’ll pay two to 3 instances as much). Don’t forget to buy end caps to cowl the raw ends of the countertop.

To support the countertop, construct super-simple shelf items from 8-ft. lengths of 23-1/4-in. wide shelving. We selected Melamine shelving, which has a tricky plastic coating and doesn’t want portray. Size and house the shelves to go properly with your laundry baskets (we made ours 14-1/2 in. aside and 35 in. above the floor). Cut the elements and screw them along with 2-in. screws. Cover the screw heads with plastic caps (sold close to the shelving).

Next, hang a pair of cheap 18-in. x 30-in. utility wall cabinets over the countertop to carry detergents and other cleansing supplies. Fasten an adjustable clothing rod between them for garments hangers.

You’ll want particularly brilliant lighting that can help you type clothes and spot stains and different problems. Fluorescent tubes work nicely because they cast mild evenly with few shadows. We recommend a four-bulb fixture that’s four ft. long with a prismatic plastic cover for additional brightness. Make positive to buy fixtures with electronic ballasts to keep away from the annoying hum that goes with magnetic ballasts.

TIP: Equip the fixture with 90-plus CRI (color rendering index) bulbs to raised see the true colours of your clothes. These fluorescent bulbs are dearer ($8 to $10 each) and will drive you over budget. Order them online.

Finally, soften and brighten your flooring with rubbery plastic ground tile. Used principally in garages and industrial buildings, this flooring is tough, however straightforward in your toes. And it could be the world’s best to install ground: You merely snap the tiles collectively; you don’t have to glue it down. The 12 x 12-in. tiles are available a quantity of colours and floor patterns. Look for them at residence centers or on-line.

Cost: 6-ft. countertop, $70; 3/4-in. Melamine helps and shelving, $40; two 18-in. wall cabinets, $150; adjustable clothes rod, $10; light fixture, $54, plus $45 for 4 high-CRI bulbs; flooring, about $3.50 per tile.

Time: One or two days.

Cutting List for Shelving

* Four 3/4′ x 23-1/4′ x 34-1/2′ Melamine supports
* Four 3/4′ x 23′ x 22′ Melamine shelves
* Two 1/4′ x 23-1/4′ x 34′ plywood backs

For extra data sort “cabinets” and “laundry room” in the search box above.

Laundry Center
Equip your laundry room with a spacious folding desk, extra storage space, better lighting and a durable floor in one weekend.

Improvement 9: New bathtub accessories—$470
Pullout mirror A pullout mirror comes to you so that you don’t need to lean over the sink.Towel hotter A plug-in electrical towel hotter installs in minutes.Self-closing toilet seat A self-closing toilet seat eliminates the irritating seat banging.Replacing accessories like towel bars, light fixtures and towels, plus applying a recent coat of paint, is the absolutely best method to make your toilet feel new and clear. You don’t want particular expertise for achievement; it’s a screwdriver- and-paintbrush project you possibly can complete in a weekend. But keep in thoughts that this face-lift will solely work if your fundamental fixtures—the sink and tap, vainness, toilet, tub and tile—are all still in reasonably good shape.

Also understand that the whole cost of this makeover will vary extensively depending in your selections. You could spend as little as $200 or rather more than $500.

When you store for equipment, stick with a constant type and end. Manufacturers help here by providing matching sets of towel bars, shelves, cleaning soap dishes and different equipment.

Simply painting the walls a model new color makes a quick, dramatic change. But beware. If you choose the paint color first, you could spend days attempting to find matching towels, a rug and bathe curtains. To make color coordination simpler, shop for equipment first, utilizing paint samples as a guide. Then decide on a paint color.

TIP: Remove the old wall equipment, then repair, clean and repaint the walls earlier than including the new equipment.

Extra equipment we especially like (and that may blow the $500 budget!): a pullout mirror close to the sink; multiple-level towel bars (shown below); a towel warmer ($40 to $200); and a self-closing toilet seat.

Cost: About $340 for the accessories proven above. Add $30 for paint and $100 for a rug, towels and bathe curtain.

Time: One weekend.

For more info sort “bathroom” within the search field above.

New Bath Accessories
Revive your toilet in a weekend with fresh paint and up to date hardware.

Improvement 10: Add curb appeal—$200 and up
Brick border A brick border adds shade and allure to a bland concrete sidewalk or driveway. Photo by Shawn Nielsen and Craig McNittInstalling a border To install a brick border, lay bricks on a compacted mattress of gravel and sand. Lock them in place with plastic edging.Tired of a shabby, uninspiring entrance entry? Take heart. You can completely remodel it with a collection of small accents and minor adjustments that can impress your friends, please the neighbors and, perhaps most necessary, make your house a more nice place to come back residence to. All are straightforward to do and cost little.

Begin with paint. Renew your trim and siding (if painted) and take a tough take a look at your entrance door. If it’s the primary feature, contemplate portray it a robust shade. Color alternative could be difficult, so look in magazines and at different doors in your neighborhood for ideas you want.

Then buy new accessories, like the home number, mailbox and lightweight fixture. In most circumstances a screwdriver is the only software you’ll need to install them. Also exchange the door handles and latch if they’re worn.

Next, spruce up the strategy to the front door. If you might have a plain concrete stroll or driveway, select one of our favourite upgrades: Add a simple border of bricks, or different pavers, depending on the type of your home. Dry set them (no mortar) on a firmly tamped base. For lasting results, dig a trench about 5 in. deep. Add 2 in. of compacted gravel such as “class V.” Cover the gravel with an inch of sand and set the bricks.

Cost: Paint, numbers, mailbox, and so on., lower than $100 complete; bricks or pavers $3 per sq. ft. and up.

Time: One or two weekends.

For more information kind “paint” and “brick” in the search field above.

Simple Front Entry Upgrades
A fresh coat of colourful paint and up to date hardware in your front door give your own home a fast face-lift.

Originally Published: June 20, 2017