Home Improvement Ideas Under $500

by James SheaDecember 21, 2018

Home improvement can be expensive, especially when you hire a contractor. A bathroom or kitchen remodel can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but many homeowners cannot invest that type of money in a project. Luckily, there are a lot of inexpensive home improvements projects you can do. You don’t have to knock out a wall or install new cabinets to add to style and livability to your home.

Often, a good place to start is your local Habitat for Humanity Re-store. When people complete home improvement projects of their own, they donate the old sinks, lights and other material. You can buy the gently used items for significantly less than what someone paid originally.

Red Front Door

Bathroom Makeover

We spend a lot of time in the bathroom. It’s where we bathe every day and brush our teeth. Why not make it look nice? You can add a faucet, mirror, new cabinet handles and paint to the bathroom. That will give it an inexpensive makeover and is something you can easily do on your own. It’s a trouble-free way to make improvements to your home. You are not doing complicated carpentry work or applying any technical skills.

Replace and Paint the Front Door

The front door is the entryway to your home. A new front door can add a nice touch to your home. You can purchase the door new or used. Once you have the door, you can paint it a unique color. Don’t be afraid to be a little wild. Purple, yellow and other bright colors can add a little pop to your house.

Install Track Lighting

Track lighting is a great way to modernize a home, and it is not that complicated. Often, you are just using the existing ceiling fixture and replace it with the track lighting. The process usually only requires a few tools. You can decide to cast the light against the wall or into the room. Both give a different look and feel. It is a quick way to improve the ambiance of the home.

Add Crown Molding and Paint

If you want to add some accent to a room, crown molding is an option. Originally, crown molding was used to cover up blemishes caused during the construction, but now it is a decorative feature. The molding is placed in the transition between the wall and the ceiling and can be a great way to draw the eyes around the room. The molding is often painted a different color than the room to add contrast.

Backsplash

Install a Backsplash

A backsplash helps protect painted walls from water damage, but it also is an easy way to add some color and texture to your kitchen. A backsplash is usually made of individual tile pieces, but pre-made backsplash products are available at any home improvement store. If you select tile, you can choose from a variety of colors and patterns. Many people like to add bold colors to a backsplash, but the exact look is for you to decide.

Add a Dog Door

Do you have furry friends in the house? Do they need easy access to the backyard? A dog door is an inexpensive home improvement project that is not difficult to do yourself, and it will appeal to other dog owners if you decide to sell the house. They usually have an aluminum frame and a plastic flap for the dog to go into and out of the house.  Some companies offer doors with the pet door already installed, but you can install a pet door yourself with the right equipment. The key is making sure you select the right size door for your furry friend and cutting a hole in the door correctly.

Add a Built-in Bookshelf

A built-in bookshelf adds style to a room and is the perfect way to display pictures, books, and other memorabilia. It can completely transform a room. The style of a built-in bookshelf varies greatly depending on the type of wood you select and whether you add some type of molding. The end product can look so much better than a bookshelf you buy at a furniture store or department store.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Thermostats are a lot more sophisticated these days. The technology allows you to automatically set the temperature to different levels at various times of the day. You might want to turn the heat down slightly in the winter when you are away at work and turn it up in the evenings when you return. That allows you to save money on your energy bill. Some devices are even connected to the Internet and allow you to control your house’s temperature remotely.

ceiling fan

Add a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling fans add texture to a room and make it easier to circulate air. It’s not that hard to install a ceiling yourself, and they can be purchased at any home improvement store for under $150. The key is properly mounting the fan, as it will create a lot of force when the blades spin. As well, you need to understand how to properly wire the fan. There are numerous online tutorials that can help.

Install New Countertops

These days, people have moved away from the traditional laminate countertop. Granite and other materials are now used on countertops and can be a relatively simple project. A new countertop generally ranges in price from $40 to $100 per square foot installed, but specialty materials can run a little higher. If you have the skills, you can always do the work yourself to keep costs down.

Create a Gallery Wall

A little art on the wall is a simple and inexpensive way to transform a room. A gallery wall is a collage of different artwork, plant, and memorabilia on a wall.

You can purchase quality frames at a reasonable price, and you can add anything from photos to poster prints. Small shelves are also easily obtained, and they can be used to display a variety of objects. It’s a simple way to add color and style to a room. The only limitation is your imagination.

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About The Author
James Shea
James Shea is an award-winning journalist and author. He owns Media Lab, a content marketing and search engine optimization company is Richmond, Virginia.