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Home Improvement for Budget-conscious Homeowners


Our homes see a lot of abuse. Bad weather is constantly battering our home’s exterior, while use and the grind of everyday living wear away at the spaces inside it. Before long, a home can begin to look rundown, even when we try our best to keep up with essential maintenance. If you find that your home has started to look a little worse for wear, that’s when you know it’s time to make some upgrades to it.

But unless you have access to a tree made of money, the expenses associated with home improvement can make some projects next to impossible. If installing that new pool or building an adjoining sunroom is likely to take too big a bite out of your budget, consider some of the following ideas instead:

Install a Stair Runner

Adding a stair runner is a cost-effective way to add a touch of style to your home while also making it safer. Best used on wooden staircases within the home, these attention-grabbing pieces of nonslip surfacing are relatively easy to install. Some homeowners even elect to install these themselves; all the materials you’re likely to need will cost you around $150 to $250, depending on where you purchase your equipment from.

Add Some Crown Molding

Plain old walls and doorframes could do with some character and flair, with the relatively easy addition of crown molding. If you’re handy with a saw and have some experience working with your hands, you can try installing the molding yourself; expect to spend between $150 and $300, depending on how many doors you have in your home. Alternatively, you might want to bring in a professional to make sure the job is done right. If this sounds like the option for you, make sure the contractor you work with uses high-quality plasterboard tools in all their tasks.

Refresh Walls with a New Coat of Paint

Painting the doorway

This option is probably the simplest and cheapest home improvement option on this list. A bucket of paint usually only costs about $40; throw in a few wide brushes for another $20 or so, and you’re set. However, before you start slathering your walls in Day-Glo orange or canary yellow, consider the following first. 

Firstly, ensure that your walls are compatible with your selected paint. Some walls require treatment, stripping, or buffing first before being painted. You might want to consult a professional first and get their input on how to make your wall-painting project a success.

Secondly, make sure you don’t accidentally inconvenience yourself and the home’s other residents during your project. Paint takes time to dry, and while it dries, it can emit an odor that some people find bothersome or irritating. Try to schedule your painting project on a bright, warm, dry day and during the daytime instead of during at night. This will help your paint dry relatively quickly, while also reducing the likelihood that you end up having to sleep in a room with freshly painted walls.

Home improvement projects need not be expensive. With a little creativity and the willingness to find solutions, your home can look its best the whole year.

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