It would be great if our home could stay in the state it was in when it was originally built. Then we would never have to spend time or money on home repairs. But, as we all know, that is a pipe dream. Things get older and start to fall apart, or become severely dated with time. One of the best ways to combat major home repairs, and major costs, is to incorporate smaller DIY home improvement projects on a regular basis.
I have found this is one of the most budget friendly ways to keep our home up to date and in good working order. So I’m going to show you some of the best, and easiest, DIY home improvement projects that you we have incorporated to potentially increase the property value. And they can all be done within a small budget.
Take a look at all of the toilets in your house. With the advent of low flow toilets, which seem to get more efficient every year, this is an easy change to implement.
While you don’t necessarily have to replace the entire toilet (nor should you if there is nothing wrong with it), the guts are a different story.
The toilet guts start to go bad, or don’t work as efficiently, more often than not.
I noticed that a couple of our toilets were running off and on throughout the day and that the toilet guts in the tank aren’t even manufactured anymore. So it was time to switch them out.
The whole project took about 30 minutes per toilet, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. The new guts cost me about $15 per toilet, but we are saving water because they are now low flow and aren’t leaking. Bonus!
While our mailbox wasn’t ugly, per say, it certainly lacked curb appeal. Especially the post since the birds love to sit on top of it and poop. The brown color of the post just made it glaringly obvious how often the birds did their business up there.
Plus, the previous owners must have written something on the mailbox that we just couldn’t get off, no matter how much scrubbing ensued.
So it was time to fix both issues.
I had some Hammered Rustoleum Brown paint leftover from two other projects that I thought would work well for the mailbox color, so I used that. And for the post, I went and bought a pint of an outdoor off white color that I hoped would help mask the bird poop issue, and be a close match to our siding. It only cost me $8 and I was pretty darn happy with the results!
One of the best DIY home improvement projects we’ve found is changing out lighting. Not only was our lighting extremely outdated, especially in the foyer, but the bulbs weren’t efficient.
We ended up replacing all of the overhead lighting in our hallways, since what was originally there was from the 1970’s, as well as the lighting in the living room downstairs and some outdoor lighting. All of these fixtures were around $20 each and were either LED lights, or we could use LED bulbs with them. So our lighting fixtures are now updated and cost us less money annually. I love this!
The other lighting fixture that just had to be changed was the foyer fan/light kit combo. Yes, you read that right! It was from the late 1970’s, if I had to hazard a guess. And it was pretty darn ugly! Plus it kept flickering on and off randomly, which made me think there was an electrical issue somewhere.
We bought a new, more modern light fixture and painted the medallion that was on the ceiling to match. This was the first project that I used the Hammered Rustoleum paint on.
While the light fixture wasn’t as budget friendly as the others previously mentioned, we just loved it and it really fit our style. We were able to pick up the new foyer light for about $115. But it ended up being well worth it, in my opinion.
We are also really glad that we changed it out because we did find a loose hot wire when we took out the old fixture. They didn’t use any wire nuts or electrical tape when they put up the old fixture.
They must have been hoping and praying that it just magically would stay together for the rest of its life. Which did not happen! And we were lucky it didn’t catch anything on fire. So take this as a lesson to make sure you install all of your lighting correctly when you replace fixtures.
One of the first projects I tackled was to paint the front door. There was nothing wrong with the original white color, but it was pretty bland. Plus, it didn’t really give the house as much curb appeal as I wanted.
Something like changing the front door color can really change the look of a house. And painting the front door can be a pretty quick and easy change to boot.
The best way to do this is to remove all of the door hardware and make sure you tape anywhere you don’t want to get the new color. In this case, I taped the trim around the transom portion of this door since I wanted it to stay white. I also taped the hinges since I didn’t have any sawhorses to use, and ended up just painting the door right where it was instead of removing it.
Overall, the paint and tape cost about $15 and it took me a couple of hours to tape and put the first coat on. I applied a second coat about 4 hours later, which took much less time. The door was completely transformed in a matter of 6 hours, but the front of the house has some great pop now.
If you have a patio, some of the best things to give it a face lift are pressure washing and staining/painting. Pressure washing always gives any concrete surface new life and spruces up the area pretty easily.
Ours was partially painted when we moved in, but the paint had been chipping away slowly. It only got worse after I pressure washed everything, so I knew it was time to repaint.
We ended up painting both patio pads under our deck for more cohesion and were pretty happy with the results.
The paint was about $50, but I bought it when there was a rebate going on, so we got $20 back. This project definitely required more time (about 15 hours over 4 days) and sweat equity than the materials cost. But it was well worth it in the end because it turned out great!
We also spray painted (with more Rustoleum) the roof of the patio because it was originally green.
The color was not a good match for the rest of the deck and patio. So by caulking and sealing holes, which caused it to drip less when it rains, and painting it a matching brown, it has become less of an eyesore and blends better now.
The total cost for the caulk and spray paint was approximately $50 and took me about 6 hours to complete. But well worth the time!
DIY Home improvement takeaway
Overall, there are a lot of little things you can do to dramatically change your house. Whether it be just for appearances, for more energy efficiency or more friendly on your budget, it can be done. And it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to make these small changes one at a time.
What are some of your favorite DIY home improvement projects that are budget friendly and fairly easy to complete?