8 Easy Renovation Projects Every Homeowner Can Do Now

Give your house a makeover without spending a lot of money or time.

By Teresa Mears, Contributor |Aug. 11, 2016, at 3:02 p.m.

8 Easy Renovation Projects Every Homeowner Can Do Now

Slideshow

Projects can be simple and inexpensive.

Woman installing shelf

(Getty Images)

Perhaps your home is looking a dated. A major renovation is beyond your budget, but you can still perk up your home’s appearance. Luckily, a number of inexpensive do-it-yourself projects will give your home a whole new look. And some don’t even require DIY skills.

Decluttering and deep cleaning can freshen up your home without any cost but your time. Changing bedspreads, towels, shower curtains and window treatments can make a big difference with minimal time investment. Adding accessories such as throw pillows and art can also provide a new look.

Here are other easy home renovations you can do now.

Add a coat of paint.

Add a coat of paint.

Couple preparing to paint living room

(Getty Images)

It was true in your parents’ time, and it’s still true today: The simple home renovation project that gives you the greatest return is a coat of paint. The colors you choose can transform your home. If you’re not selling your home soon, don’t worry about what’s popular and choose a look you like – perhaps a deep red dining room or a striped accent wall. Or, if you’re tired of color, go for a warm neutral.

Cost: $200 to $300 for paint and supplies

Pro tip: Preparation matters, and if you do it right, the prep work may take more time than painting. Buy good brushes.

Organize your closet.

Organize your closet.

Wooden clothes hangers

(Getty Images)

We all drool over closets filled with drawers, shelves and cubbyholes. Start by checking for shelving and drawer units you already have that would work as closet organizers. You can buy kits at home supply stores that you can install yourself or pieces that require no installation. Don’t overlook simple tools that add an extra closet rod or hanging shoe bags.

Cost: zero to $2,000 and up

Pro tip: Less is more. Unless you have an enormous closet, you’ll find hanging space is more useful than many drawers and cubbyholes. One shelf unit or set of drawers can make a big difference.

Update kitchen and bath hardware.

Update kitchen and bath hardware.

Counter Top with Kitchen Drawers

(Getty Images)

Changing the knobs and pulls on doors and drawers can drastically change your kitchen’s appearance. Use these pieces to declare your kitchen modern, traditional, whimsical – there are many choices. While most hardware pieces are a standard size, there are variations so be sure to check the size before you buy.

Cost: $50 to $500, depending on the knobs you choose and the number needed

Pro tip: Shop online. The hardware selection is larger, and the prices are lower.

Spruce up your front entry.

Spruce up your front entry.

(Getty Images)

Painting the front door, installing a new mailbox and house numbers and planting fresh flowers in pots or in beds can vastly improve the look of your home – and for minimal money and effort. Doing just one or all of these projects can make a big difference. Shop online for mailboxes and numbers, where you’ll likely find more options.

Cost: $50 and up, depending on the projects you do

Pro tip: Changing the front door may require a permit in some municipalities. Know the rules.

Install molding.

Install molding.

carpenters installing crown molding

(Getty Images)

With crown molding you can completely transform a room, and it’s not that expensive or hard to install. In addition to installing molding in the baseboard area and along the ceiling, you can use molding to create custom designs on walls and ceilings and around mirrors and light fixtures.

Cost: $100 and up

Pro tip: Paint the molding before you install it.

Change faucets and showerheads.

Change faucets and showerheads.

Shower head

(Getty Images)

Nothing says 1985 like a gold bathroom faucet. Even if you have no plumbing experience, you can change a faucet following simple step-by-step instructions such as these from Lowe’s. Be sure to turn the water off in your home before you start. Changing a showerhead is even easier, and a basic shower massage unit is surprisingly inexpensive.

Cost: $25 and up

Pro tip: Make sure the new faucet has holes in the same place as the old one.

Add garage shelving and organizers.

Add garage shelving and organizers.

Many well-organized & well-used tools hang on a peg board in a garage.

(Getty Images)

How you store the items in your garage makes a significant difference in your total storage space. Instead of spending thousands for a custom system, you can create your own with off-the-rack shelves, bins and hooks. A couple of plastic shelving units and outdoor storage bins can provide a lot of storage. Add a piece of peg board to hang tools or sporting equipment on the wall.

Cost: $100 and up

Pro tip: Don’t forget that garage floors can get wet. Keep items that aren’t waterproof off the floor.

Replace light fixtures.

Replace light fixtures.

Man replacing light fixture

(Getty Images)

Swapping out a crystal chandelier for an abstract metal fixture, or vice versa, can improve the look and feel of a room. Changing a light fixture isn’t hard, as long as you are careful and turn off the electricity while you are working. Rather than swapping out the entire fixture, another option is just replacing the cover.

Cost: $20 and up

Pro tip: Check salvage yards and thrift stores for fixtures, but make sure the wiring is in good shape.

Read More

Teresa Mears writes about personal finance, real estate and retirement for U.S. News and other publications. She was previously the real estate blogger for MSN Money and worked as the Home & Design editor for The Miami Herald. During her journalism career, she worked on coverage of immigration, religion, national and international news and local news, serving on the staffs of The Miami Herald, The Los Angeles Times and the St. Petersburg Times. She has also been a contributor for The New York Times and The Boston Globe, among other publications. She publishes Living on the Cheap and Miami on the Cheap. Follow her on Twitter @TeresaMears.

Recommended Articles

22 Sustainable Building Materials

Devon Thorsby | Nov. 15, 2019

Explore the green building materials that can make your house more environmentally friendly.

How to Fix What You Hate About Your Home

Wendy Arriz | Nov. 14, 2019

You can make your home feel new again with a quick remodel or by adding the right lighting.

Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

Devon Thorsby | Nov. 13, 2019

The right professional help, asking price and coat of paint can make selling your house easier.

15 Mudroom Ideas for Your Home

Devon Thorsby | Nov. 11, 2019

These design and organization ideas will keep shoes, jackets and bags from piling up at your door.

The Best Apps for House Hunting

Devon Thorsby | Nov. 6, 2019

With photos, maps and property history, these apps make searching for your next home easy.

Types of Roads That Impact Home Value

Devon Thorsby | Nov. 1, 2019

A double yellow line could kill a deal, but a cul-de-sac could bump a home's value.

How to Winterize a House

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 30, 2019

Keep your house warm and disaster-free all winter with these tips.

How to Sell Your Tiny House

Deanna Haas | Oct. 29, 2019

Here are some helpful tips to make selling your tiny home easier.

9 Things To Know About New York City

Steven Gottlieb | Oct. 28, 2019

Here's what aspiring New Yorkers can expect about life in the Big Apple.

How to Choose Energy-Efficient Windows

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 25, 2019

Improve your house's energy efficiency by choosing the right windows.

How to Navigate a Lease Takeover

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 23, 2019

A lease takeover may be your best option if you need to break a lease – if your landlord allows it.

Do's and Don'ts of Buying Vacant Land

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 18, 2019

Buying a home can be complicated, but purchasing land to build on is a whole new ball game.

Decorating and Design Tips From Experts

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 17, 2019

Interior design and renovation professionals weigh in on the best practices for home design.

How to Buy a House Before a Recession

Dima Williams | Oct. 17, 2019

While an economic downturn can tank a home purchase, financial prudence and local market knowledge should guide homebuyers.

Home Architectural Styles to Consider

Lisa Larson | Oct. 16, 2019

Consider how different architectural styles change the way you live in a house.

How to Buy Your First Home

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 11, 2019

What you need to know about going from full-time renter to homeowner and the process in between.

6 Real Estate Agent Resources to Tap

Wendy Arriz | Oct. 10, 2019

Beyond the process of buying and selling your home, your real estate agent can be a resource for finding other professionals needed to make your move seamless.

How to Save Enough for a Down Payment

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 9, 2019

For most first-time homebuyers, securing a down payment is the biggest hurdle to homeownership.

10 Laundry Room Organization Ideas

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 4, 2019

Make doing laundry easier and more enjoyable with these tips for making a better space.

Affordable Metro Areas on the West Coast

Devon Thorsby | Oct. 2, 2019

If the Pacific Coast is for you, consider these more affordable options.