Easy Upgrades: Cost-Efficient DIY Improvements

Easy Upgrades: Cost-Efficient DIY Improvements

Like many homeowners, you probably emerged from winter with a list of to-dos for your home interior. Spring just seems to cast into stark relief those dingy and rundown features that are screaming for an upgrade. If it all seems too expensive or time-consuming, take heart: There are many improvements you can do yourself without digging deep into savings or taking out a small loan. And they won’t eat up your weekends for the foreseeable future. They will brighten your home and help out when you get ready to sell. Most of these ideas come highly recommended by real estate agents who know what adds value and what’s not worth heavily investing in.


Your kitchen and bathroom usually stand to benefit most from an upgrade because they’re where most of your home’s value resides. And there are many low-impact, high-value improvements you can make to dress things up. Repainting or replacing cabinet doors is costly, but you can brighten their appearance by adding new fixtures, something with a little style and pizzazz. All you need is a good screwdriver and a few spare minutes. Think of it as accessorizing an old outfit; doing something new and fresh that requires no expertise. 

Kitchen Refresh

One of the most rewarding kitchen improvements homeowners can make is installing new countertops that look classy and expensive but can be done at modest cost and with relative ease. Replace those old butcher block countertops with a faux granite or Carrera marble look that will make your kitchen look brand new. Upgrade your backsplash by covering it with a copper or nickel overlay, or even reflective glass, which adds dimension and the impression of size. This is an upgrade that can easily be done for $100 or less.


A New Entryway

Consider updating the first thing people see when they come for a visit: your front door and entryway. An attractive front door can make a powerful impression on passersby. If you’re unable to replace your old one, give it a fresh coat of paint that looks good paired with your home’s exterior. If your home is on the older side, go with a stately red or cool turquoise. Bursts of sunshine or elegant indigo are great attention-getters. And don’t forget to repaint your foyer or hallway to complete the picture and impress guests.


This is the number one recommendation among most realtors these days. There’s just nothing quite like a fresh coat of paint to make a room or exterior pop and make it look like you’ve sunk a lot of money into your home. The right shade can turn a dingy room into a bright showplace or give it a classical feel. Fresh paint also makes your home look clean and attractive. A clean, well-painted interior is one of the things that home buyers really focus on.

Upgrade the Lighting

If you’ve had the same light fixtures for 10 years, it’s time to do something new. A dining room can be transformed by replacing the old candle-shaped bulbs with round ones. You can breathe new life into a dim and poorly lit corner of the family room with a slightly offbeat floor lamp, something with multi-colored shades or a stand in the shape of a small tree.


Decluttering is another highly recommended home improvement among real estate agents. Go room by room removing loose objects and papers, and look carefully for what can be thrown out and what could be donated. Get rid of any duplicate items and consider giving away any furniture that impedes flow and adds to the clutter. Old furniture, lamps, clothing, and other items can be taken to a thrift store or donated to Goodwill or the Salvation Army.

Making impactful yet cost-efficient improvements to your home just takes a little imagination and, sometimes, a willingness to try something different. Sometimes, the most eye-catching improvements are the ones that don’t cost an arm and a leg. Your reward is a fresh, new look and a home that’ll have friends and neighbors talking.


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