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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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