Cheap House Upgraded

Cheap House Upgraded

7 Cheap Upgrades That Will Make Your Home Feel Like its Brand-New

By
Jamie Wiebe

If yourhome has you down in the dumps but you lack the cashto fix it up, don’t despair! Not every upgrade has to take a big bite out of your bank account.

Here are seven foolproof ways to make your home feel like atotally differentplace through small changes—and small expenses.

1. New hardware

Swapping out the boring chrome hardware the previous owners installed can go a long way toward making your home look likeyours—not to mention give the entire space an easy, inexpensive refresh. Depending on your style, new pulls or handlescan costmere dollars.

“The first thing I do to give the home more of the look and style that I like is swap out the hardware,” saysDoug Mahoney, who worked in construction for 10 years and now writes about tools and home improvement forThe Sweethome. “All it takes is a screwdriver, and it’s surprising what a difference it can make.”

2. Small paint jobs

Don’t have timeto repaint your entire home?Start by tackling smaller jobs such as yourfront dooror kitchen cabinets.Since these projects are quick, you can squeeze them in duringthe weekend (or even an afternoon). And you’ll use only a fraction of a gallon of paint (which costsbetween $15 and $30)—making for an ideal impact-to-expenses ratio.

“Personally, I can’t stand the look of polyurethaned oak cabinets, so I’d cover those up with a nice white paint,” Mahoney says.“It makes it look like a whole new kitchen.”

If you like your cabinets considerrepainting the trim in your living room or adding some fresh color to a small room such as your bathroom.

3. Sensor lights

Tired of scrambling for the light switch while yourarms are holdingbagsof groceries?Add sensor lights to yourfront porch and any otherregular entrances such as your garage door. Startingatjust $15, it’s a tiny costwith a big reward.

These lights won’t justimprove your visibility—they’ll also lower your electricity bill. And they’re a big home safety boon to boot; expertssay motion-detectinglightsdiscourage criminalsfrom lurking around your home.

4. Magnetic door catch

Speaking of those arms full of groceries: Adding a magnetic door catch (likethis one from Amazon, which costs $11) toyourprimary entrancedrastically simplifies loading and unloading. No more awkward sideways crab walks as you attempt to keep the door open while carrying a big package.You might even considerinstalling this before moving day to make yourmovers’ jobeasier.

5. Keyless entry pad

Ifyou’re always losing your keys, try investing in a keyless entry pad such as this simple$100 Kwikset deadbolt. It canmean the difference between spending a few hoursmoping in your car and enjoying ahot cup of cocoa in your living room.

Plus, you’re not the only onewho benefits: If you’re expecting guests but won’t be available to greet them, they can let themselves in—a huge improvement from hiding a key, whichmight be a safety risk.

6. Low-flow toilet

“It may seem intimidating to those not very interested in DIY, but swapping out toilets is afairly simple process,” Mahoney says.

Choose a high-efficiencyor low-flow toilet to save money on your water bill. While it does require some investment (expect to paybetween $100 and $325for the toilet itself), you’ll be making your money back soon enough—especially if you’re replacing an older model installed before 1992. That’s when federalplumbing standards mandated alltoilets use1.6 gallons or less per flush.

With a high-efficiency model, you’ll use about300 fewer gallonsof water per year—if not much more.

7. Fresh mulch

Jazzing up the outside of your home can go a long waytoward makingyou love where you live. While you could go all-out—landscaping the yard and painting the trim—there’s a simpler solution: mulch.

“New mulch in the flower beds can add a lot to the curb appeal,” Mahoney says.

Instead of grimy old dirt that’s beentrod on for years, a fresh new layer looks clean, fresh, and pretty—making a huge difference forjust $6.


Michele Lafortune Headshot
Author:
Phone: 972-978-4000
Dated: January 4th 2016
Views: 922
About Michele: Michele was born and raised in Montréal, Canada. She moved to the DFW area in the early 90’s, and...

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