12 Easy and Cheap Home Improvements You Never Thought Of

Sam Levy
Published on October 29, 2016

12 Easy and Cheap Home Improvements You Never Thought Of

Do you want to get some home improvements done quickly and inexpensively?  Here are a dozen ideas that just might get you into a home

improvement state of mind.

 

I.  How about some easy to install crown molding?

Crown molding can really add some panache to your home.  Those folks on HGTV are always adding it to their fix-ups and then making big bucks on their flips.

When I think about molding, I think about all those 45 degree angles in the corner and how I always mess them up. The trick is to buy styrofoam or polystyrene molding.  Styrofoam molding products are easy to cut with a handsaw and you put it up with joint compound.  

You can find them at many home improvement stores.  The coolest part is that you can hide mess-ups with joint compound or mud. Watch a you-tube video about it and you will be on your way.

II.  Caffeinate your cabinets!

Getting new kitchen cabinets can be an expensive undertaking.  If you go to a cabinet design store or a big box home improvement store, you could be set back anywhere from $4,000 to more than $10,000. 

If you are adventurous and want to try a weekend home improvement project, how about painting your kitchen cabinets?

You have to make sure you follow all the steps that a careful painter would like cleaning the surfaces, sanding, fixing dents, priming, and then painting.  With a little elbow grease, you can have a beautiful kitchen which is one of your best home improvements without busting the budget.

An even easier way to update your cabinets is to just freshen up the hardware.  Buy some new knobs.  Or if you want to be creative, paint the old knobs.  You could paint them black, silver, gold, or go for one of those really trendy colors like rose quartz or peach echo.

III. Let’s apply some new bathroom caulk!

Hopefully you haven’t looked too closely at your bathtub lately.  If you have, you are sure to notice the old and ugly caulk lining the tub wall.  Luckily for

us, caulk is inexpensive and it is easy to fix. 

It should not take too long to complete this home improvement.  However, it is important to do it correctly or it could end up looking sloppy.

There are lots of great articles and you-tube videos about how to do this.  When you are done, it will look great as long as you take your time and do this home improvement job properly.

 

V.  Spruce Up your entryway

Will Rogers said “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  That is true of your front door.  If yours is a little tired or maybe even exhausted, how about investing in a new one or possibly even just investing in some paint?  Some popular colors for doors today are

turquoise, bright yellow, lime green, and powder blue.

You don’t have to take the door off to paint it.  To paint with the door on, you will need a dropcloth to protect the floor and masking tape to protect everything else.  You need to find out if your door was painted with oil paint or latex paint.  You also need to pick a day that is not too hot or too cold because you are going to have to leave the door open for a few hours to dry.

Prep the door by sanding it.  First, paint the edge.  Then follow proper painting techniques for the rest of the door.  Make sure you use a good brush.  It will look great!

Go online and find some modern numbers for your doorway.  There are home improvement websites that have hundreds of unique numbers ranging from distressed aluminum to rustic carved wooden to industrial metallic.  You can add potted plants to your doorway to add color and depth and then change them from season to season.

V.  Back to the future with a new backsplash

The backsplash can really change the look of your kitchen and it is not as hard to install as you may think.  The first step is to figure out how much backsplash you want.  Do you want to cover the whole wall or just a quarter of the wall or maybe somewhere in between.  Once you know, get our your tape measure and figure out how many square feet you need.

Now, it is time to decide on the material.  The easiest and cheapest route is to use paper.  You will be able to wipe it clean because you are going to varnish it.  You can use newspaper clippings, wall paper, or magazine pictures.  You could also use fabric or pegboard.

I personally like tile.  Most big home improvement stores that sell tile have classes on Saturday where they will teach you how to install a backsplash. There are also products that make it easier for you to do the installation.  Some of the easiest ones are where you just peel and stick.

VI. Make your floor shine

Wooden floors are beautiful but after time passes, traffic, children, and pets take their toll.  You can get that rich color back by polishing your floors with the right products.  Wooden floors should be polished every year and the highest traffic areas should be shined two or three times a year.  Rather than get your cleaning liquid from the local home improvement store, drive
the extra mile to the wholesale flooring supply store where they have a bigger selection of the best products.

Get a big mat for the front door so people are more likely to clean the dirt off their shoes.  Pretty throw rugs should be placed in the busiest spots so your finish does not get worn off.  Use area rugs without a rubber backing because the backing can hold moisture which can harm your floors.

VII. Green up your house with plants

With these next three home improvements, you don’t need to open your toolbox. Place varied plant containers throughout the house like clay pots and glass containers.  Terrariums add a nice touch.  Shop at flea markets for homemade and vintage containers that strike your fancy.  Air plants have a distinctive and sophisticated look.  Don’t forget to soak your air plants in water on a weekly basis to keep them thriving.

Succulents are nice because they only need to be watered once every one or two weeks.  House plants that hang and grow long vines are very effective at cleaning the air.  However, they do require more watering.  Have lots of vases that you can fill in with plants and flowers from the supermarket.

Add some color to your bedroom with ferns.  They are pretty sitting on the bed stand.   Ferns add a peaceful feeling to the room.  When looking for ferns, it is often wise to pick the ones that are hanging in a pot.  Hanging ferns are often very healthy and they can be moved to a sitting pot where they will flourish

VIII. Don’t sleep on the bedroom

Your bedroom embellishments don’t have to cost a fortune.  How about putting some extravagant wallpaper or reclaimed wood behind the bed rather than a boring headboard?  Place a bunch of pillows on your bed and mix up the patterns.  You can have subdued designs and popping designs and your favorite colors and pillows with stripes and others with floral prints and lace.  Wall lamps can save space on the nightstands.

IX.  You can be a stager too

When going to open houses, the staged houses always have such beautiful touches and color palettes.  You can do it too.  Always be on the lookout for cute items that will add a pop of color or a different texture to your décor.  A wicker basket full of fruit or a small inspired art piece from the salvage store or a colorful throw rug can really give a room an inspired feeling.

X.  Paint a room the smart and easy way

Think of one room you would like to transform.  Pick your favorite out of the box color from the home improvement store and just paint one wall.  You will save money on paint and you will also save time but it will still be exciting!

XI.  Slap together your own raised garden bed

The easiest way to acquire a raised bed is to buy one.  Most farmer’s markets have handy people with several different, already made, beautiful raised bed kits for sale.  The home improvement stores also sell kits. 

If you want to make your own, buy three eight foot wooden boards and have the people at the home improvement store cut one of the boards in half for you.  Now you just attach the boards at the corners. 

For your garden to be a foot deep, use boards that are eight feet long, twelve inches high, and two inches in width.  Shovel in your potting mix and you are ready to plant.

XII.  Vinyl Tile might be your answer

Does your flooring look tired and worn?  Are you worried about the massive undertaking that comes with installing a new floor?  You should investigate vinyl tile. 

The new styles at the home improvement store resemble tile, stone, or even distressed wood.  It is not the vinyl from the nineties that you remember peeling up in the corners.

You can buy vinyl in tiles, planks, or sheets.  It is great for pets because it can withstand scratching and resists stains.  Vinyl can generally be installed over most flat surfaces.  The manufacturing techniques have improved so that it is more like the real thing without some of the hassles. 

These tiles and planks are so attractive that they are called LVT and LVP for short which stands for luxury vinyl tile and luxury vinyl planks.  Some of these products also involve grout.  This project can be a do-it-yourself project or if you feel more comfortable, you might want to hire a professional installer.

There you have it.  A dozen home improvement ideas that you can complete in a weekend or two and won’t break the bank.  Head on over to your home improvement store and have some fun!