18 cheap and easy DIY home improvement projects

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.

You’ve bought a new home and the list of projects to get done is bigger than your bank account. Or the house you bought years ago is looking a little dated and you don’t have the cash to hire someone to give it a much-needed facelift.

Many simple do-it-yourself projects that will greatly improve the look of your home can be completed by an amateur in just a weekend.

Not sure how to do something? For almost every project you can find detailed instructions online and probably a video showing step-by-step how it’s done.

If you’re ready for some easy and inexpensive home improvement that will make a world of difference in your living spaces, read our tips and choose one of these home improvement projects to get started.

Getting started with DIY home improvement


What seems like a simple project can often turn into a more complicated one when things go wrong — and even professionals are often faced with unpleasant surprises when they land a job.

Start with simple projects and know your skill. Many projects that seem simple at first, such as replacing the towel rail in the bathroom, become more complicated when a piece of plaster is ripped off the wall when removing the old towel rail. Plumbing in particular is often more difficult than it looks.

Before you get your hands dirty, you should have a basic tool kit: hammer, tape measure, X-Acto knife, utility knife, adjustable crescent wrench, and both flat and Phillips screwdrivers.

A cordless screwdriver, for example, makes a huge difference when assembling furniture from Ikea or elsewhere. For projects that require expensive tools that you only need once, consider borrowing or renting what you need.

Do the calculation for each tool. Will you use it once a year or once a year? Then buying second hand would be a good idea.

Ideas are easy to track down as decorating and remodeling projects are everywhere. The internet has practically become a catalog of DIY remodeling and decorating ideas.

Some of the most popular websites are Pinterest, Houzz, and HGTV, and there are also many decor blogs and websites. If you’re looking for step-by-step instructions, you can probably find a video on YouTube or elsewhere.

Just type your project into a search engine and you have everything you need. With Houzz, you can create vision boards for every room in your home and collect photos of rooms or products that you love.

You might also find some useful apps, e.g. B. one that turns an iPhone into an instant level. You can also find apps to help you design or decorate a room.

Ready to start? Here are 18 cheap, easy do-it-yourself projects that will improve the look and usability of your home.

1. Paint

Couple paints their house
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You can paint your entire home, or just paint the interior or exterior siding. Or paint an accent wall inside.

Can’t afford new kitchen cabinets? Paint the old ones.

The key to painting is in the prep work, including taping around the windows and cutting in around the ceiling. Keep this in mind when budgeting the time a project will take.

It’s important to use the right color. For example, if you paint latex paint over oil paint, it won’t last long. Good brushes also make a big difference.

Research the right type of brush before you buy a new one – good brushes are expensive so choose wisely.

2. Change your kitchen or bathroom hardware

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This is one of the easiest projects you can do to freshen up your kitchen or bathroom.

Before you begin, make sure the new hardware will fit the existing holes, or the project will expand to fill old holes and drill new ones.

To ensure the new parts fit snugly, measure the distance between the cable holes and take an old knob to the hardware store for comparison.

Before buying hardware from a store, do some research online. You may find a significantly better price.

3. Reorganize a closet

A woman takes clothes out of her closet
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You can purchase and install a closet organizer from Amazon or a hardware store, or you can create your own system using shelving that you purchase or already have.

4. Increase your curb appeal

Exterior of the house with landscaping.
Artazum / Shutterstock.com

Paint your front door or go all the way and also paint all the trim and the garage door.

Add fresh house numbers and a new mailbox.

If you want even more appeal, plant new flowers and shrubs. A fresh new doormat can also make a big difference.

5. Turn a closet into a de facto dirt closet

evening shoes
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Many homes have hall closets where homeowners hang coats. That doesn’t take care of the backpacks, shoes, sports equipment and other items that your family brings home and discards at the entrance.

Consider removing the closet doors and adding hooks and shelves to create a space that better suits your family’s needs.

If you don’t have a closet, look for a freestanding entryway unit.

6. Install updated lighting fixtures

Woman changes lightbulbs
Yury Ryzhenko / Shutterstock.com

Swapping out one chandelier for another of the same size is surprisingly easy, although some modifications to the fixture are best left to professionals.

An even easier project: replace all your outlet and switch covers with clean new ones.

7. Build a stone or brick walkway outside

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In many cases, all you need is the rocks and some sand. Look for bricks on Craigslist to reduce material costs.

8. Replace your shower head

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A rain shower head is a quick way to add a spa look to an everyday bath. You also reduce your water consumption with a more efficient model.

You will need plumbing tape to wrap the threads before installing the new head.

9. Add drawers, shelves and other organizational tools to your kitchen cabinets

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Adding pull-out drawers takes some skill and tools, but inserting wire shelves or a lazy susan for spices requires no skill and greatly increases your storage capacity.

10. Roll out the pressure washer

Workers pressure washing a deck
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Pressure wash the exterior of your home, driveway, and sidewalks to remove mud, dirt, mold, and other grimy debris. You can rent a pressure washer at a hardware store.

11. Do little kitchen updates

Kitchen with retro furniture
David Papazian / Shutterstock.com

Many steps before a full kitchen makeover can still make a huge difference.

Consider painting old cabinets or adding new doors. Use the right brush for a smooth, finished look.

You can also change or update your countertop.

12. Install new plumbing fixtures

Artazum / Shutterstock.com

New fittings can significantly modernize a kitchen or bathroom, for example.

13. Refresh your bathroom

Spacious bathroom
Artazum / Shutterstock.com

A new shower curtain, towels and carpets instantly freshens up a bathroom. You can also take steps other than a gut remodeling, such as: B. change the washbasin or re-cover the bathtub.

14. Repeat your entrance

Exterior of a house with stone veneer
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If you can’t replace your front door, you can paint it.

15. Improve your outdoor space

Outdoor grill on a terrace
Arina P. Habich / Shutterstock.com

Options include adding a patio or deck or beautifying the one you already have. Adding low voltage lighting is another easy project and you can add landscaping.

16. Change up your window covers, throw pillows, and other accent pieces

bed with pillows
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Less is more when it comes to window coverings these days. If your larger pieces of furniture have neutral colors, throw pillows and other accents to add new pops of color.

17. Wallpaper an accent wall or on a bookshelf

Workers wallpaper a house
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You can also paint the accent wall.

18. Get rid of excess furniture and clutter

Living room furniture set in purple and orange.
Parvin Maharramov / Shutterstock.com

We often think of projects that add storage space, and there are many creative ways to do it.

But first, take a good look at what you want to store and see if you really need it. Removing half the furniture from a room and clearing surfaces can give the room a new, clean look for free.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links in our stories.

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