Articles, Renovation

30 Cheap & High ROI Home Renovations (And 5 Costly DIY Mistakes)

Written By: Megan Miller
Reviewed by: Mike Reyes
Last Updated January 11, 2023
Disclaimer

This content is not intended to provide financial advice; rather, it’s for information and entertainment purposes only.

Always consult a licensed advisor for investment decisions.

Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on a link, the affiliate may provide compensation to this site at no cost to you, regardless if you decide to purchase something. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Finally, this article has been written, reviewed, and fact-checked. Portions of this article have been written using assistive AI tools to help with tasks like research, spell-checking, grammar, and translation. Please have a look at our editorial guidelines for more information about how we create content.

girlfriends saving money on a renovation

Regardless of the project’s details, professional home renovations are expensive. Hiring a contractor is too much for many homeowners these days, especially with the high cost of living due to inflation and steep mortgage rates. More people are turning to DIY projects to save money on their remodeling projects.

30 Simple DIY Renovations

Thinking of doing a home renovation on your own? Not all are difficult, and some will increase the value of your home. Here are 30 simple home renovations to save money that homeowners can do on their own to achieve their dream homes.

Boost Curb Appeal

Brown and White House Near Green Grass Field Under Blue Sky

The front entrance is a home’s first impression. Boost its curb appeal with a fresh front door paint color, additional plants, a new mailbox, and other appealing accessories.

  • Projected cost: $150
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

Create an Outdoor Relaxation Space

Turn your backyard into a relaxation space with a meditation garden and walking trail. A flagstone path surrounded by greenery and colorful flowers will make the yard the talk of the neighborhood.

  • Cost: $200
  • Time estimate: Two days
  • Difficulty: Medium

Start a Food Garden

Food gardens are great backyard additions, helping homeowners improve their diets and save money on groceries. The garden doesn’t have to be huge or complex – a few rows of garden beds with fruits and vegetables will do the trick.

  • Cost: $200
  • Time estimate: At least two weeks
  • Difficulty: Hard

Power Wash the Deck or Patio

Patios, decks, and other outdoor hangout spaces get a lot of foot traffic and harsh weather. Homeowners should power wash the dirt and grime away from these areas to maintain their visual appeal.

  • Cost: $150-250
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

Clean the Gutters

a person cleaning gutters - an easy home renovation project

Our gutters accumulate lots of leaves, sticks, and other junk. They need a good cleaning about once a year, especially after autumn. Homeowners can knock out this project with a ladder, a hose, and some basic cleaning supplies.

  • Cost: ~$50
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

Repaint the Siding

Siding paint is susceptible to cracking because of its constant exposure to the elements. Give it a fresh weather-resistant paint job to seal up those cracks and keep the house’s exterior looking colorful and vibrant.

  • Cost: $100
  • Time estimate: Three days
  • Difficulty: Medium

Reinforce the Doors

Knobs and locks are two crucial door details homeowners can’t afford to ignore, for safety and design reasons. Reinforce the doors with strong deadbolt locks and install some new brass or chrome door knobs.

  • Cost: $150
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Medium

Organize the Entryways

Some houses are lucky enough to have mudrooms, but not everyone does. Homeowners without mudrooms must organize their entryways with strong floor mats, shoe racks, and coat hangers. A pleasant “Welcome” sign is also a nice touch.

  • Cost: ~$200
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

Greenify the Living Areas

The home’s communal areas – living room, dining room, hallways, etc. – need color to energize anyone who walks in. Plants provide both. Greenify these spaces with a variety of houseplants to bring the interior to life.

  • Cost: ~$150
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

Brighten Up With New Light Fixtures

The aforementioned communal spaces also need lots of light. Homeowners can brighten up the inside by adding multiple layers of lighting, such as pendants, sconces, and targeted light fixtures.

  • Cost: ~$300
  • Time estimate: Two days
  • Difficulty: Medium

Declutter the Closets

white wooden shelf with assorted items in order

Closets always seem to get messy. Declutter them and keep them clean with shelves, bins, and other organizing tools.

  • Cost: ~$100
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

Freshen Up the Fireplace

The fireplace is a living room’s centerpiece, so it needs to look sharp. Freshen it up with a new stain-blocking primer and high-gloss paint. Add some eye-catching decorations to the mantelpiece.

  • Cost: ~$150
  • Time estimate: Two days
  • Difficulty: Easy

Shine the Hardwood Floors

Hardwood floors are unmatched after a recent shine. It only requires a simple high-gloss polish, capable cleaning utensils, and some elbow grease.

  • Cost: $50
  • Time estimate: One or two days, depending on floor size
  • Difficulty: Medium

Purify the Home’s Air Quality

Air quality is an often overlooked part of a home’s living experience. Keep the house well-ventilated by replacing the HVAC system’s filters on time and routinely vacuuming the floors.

  • Cost: $50
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

Revive the Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets can make or break a kitchen’s visual appeal. Revive the cabinets with a new paint color or restain them to bring back their old shine.

  • Cost: ~$50
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

Install Sink Water Filters

Tired of drinking tap water? Install new sink faucet filters and get the pure, refreshing water that every house deserves.

  • Cost: ~$200 per sink
  • Time estimate: Two days
  • Difficulty: Medium

Protect the Walls With a Backsplash

renovated kitchen high end

The wall behind the sink is vulnerable to water damage. Protect it with a decorative tile backsplash, or keep things simple with a solid surface material, like steel or stone.

  • Cost: ~$100
  • Time estimate: Two days
  • Difficulty: Medium

Replace the Showerheads

Few things in life are more enjoyable than a shower with strong water pressure. Installing new showerheads with different settings will dramatically improve the bathing experience.

  • Cost: ~$50 per shower head
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Medium

Upgrade the Bathroom Vent Fans

Tired of turning the bathroom into a sauna after every shower? Upgrading the bathroom vent fans will keep the humidity down and prevent the mirrors from fogging up.

  • Cost: ~$100 per fan
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Medium

Integrate Smart Home Devices

Video doorbells, voice assistants, programmable thermostats, and other smart home devices can improve a dwelling’s safety, energy efficiency, and comfort in one fell swoop.

  • Cost: $50-100 per device
  • Time estimate: Two days
  • Difficulty: Medium

Enhance the Walls With Crown Molding

This DIY renovation is a little risky, but it can make a huge visual difference to a home’s walls and ceilings. To simplify the project, use an easy-to-cut, lightweight polystyrene foam so you get the shapes just right.

  • Cost: $120
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Hard

Apply Removable Wallpaper

Painting can get messy and expensive. Removable wallpaper is a viable alternative, enabling homeowners to transform the texture of their living spaces in minutes.

  • Cost: ~$100
  • Time estimate: Two days
  • Difficulty: Easy

Upgrade the Window Treatments

white and blue floral comforter

Every window needs a treatment that accentuates its shape. Consider adding some DIY treatments with wooden shutters or an upholstery fabric that fits the room’s design.

  • Cost: $150-300
  • Time estimate: Two days
  • Difficulty: Medium

Add Window Boxes

Plant boxes and baskets are classic exterior window treatments. They bring more color to the windows and attract wildlife that can be viewed from the inside.

  • Cost: $80-100 per box
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Medium

Install Ceiling Fans

Fans can improve a home’s energy efficiency throughout the year. They reduce our reliance on air conditioning during the warmer months and circulate hot air in the colder months.

  • Cost: ~$250 per fan
  • Time estimate: Two days
  • Difficulty: Hard

Spruce Up the Stairs

A bare flight of stairs is uninspiring and offers little traction. Homeowners can spruce up their staircases with a custom-designed, non-slip DIY stair runner.

  • Cost: $100-200
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

Bring in More Artwork

Are the walls looking a little too bare? Fill up the empty space with inexpensive artwork from local thrift shops and craft stores. Copies of famous artwork are also available.

  • Cost: $50-200
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

Establish an Entertainment Zone

Turn that unused alcove or spare bedroom into a new entertainment space. Include a gaming station, bookshelves, and toys for the kids to enjoy.

  • Cost: $300-500
  • Time estimate: Two days
  • Difficulty: Medium

Create an Indoor Gym

Counterbalance the entertainment zone with an indoor gym. Low-end home gyms don’t have to be fancy. Exercise bands, a few sets of dumbbells, and a yoga mat are all you need.

  • Cost: ~$150
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

Increase Storage Space

Homeowners should always be looking for ways to increase their storage space. Add new boxes, baskets, and shelves around the house to keep the place organized.

  • Cost: $50-100
  • Time estimate: One day
  • Difficulty: Easy

5 Renovations NOT to Do On Your Own

Homeowners with little to no remodeling experience can tackle the above 30 DIY renovations without much risk. However, amateurs should NOT do these five projects on their own.

New Floor Installations

Floor installations are too complex for most homeowners. Many mistakes can derail the project, including choosing the wrong material and working out of the correct order. Even if the installation goes as planned, many people ruin their hard work by choosing the wrong cleaning products and damaging the new floor. It’s best to leave this job to the professionals.

Roof Repairs

DIY roof work poses too many safety risks for inexperienced homeowners. The consequences of a bad project are also severe. Leaks, heating issues, drooping gutters, and animal infestations could occur as a result of poor craftsmanship.

Garage Door Repairs

Garage door repairs often require specific tools that most homeowners don’t have, so the costs of this DIY project would be too high. Also, working around a 100-plus-pound door that could fall at any second isn’t the safest idea. It’s wiser and more cost-effective to hire a specialist.

Tree Removal

Tree removals are also too dangerous for amateurs. There have been far too many viral videos of people injuring themselves or damaging their homes trying to cut down trees by themselves. For safety and sanity’s sake, bring in a contractor who knows what they’re doing.

Replacing Windows

Window replacements are far too detail-oriented for most homeowners to successfully complete. The slightest measurement error can delay the project or lead to drafts, leaks, and constant window condensation. Not to mention, glass is fragile and requires the touch of a trained professional.

Become a DIY Renovation Expert

Some home improvement projects are too dangerous and complex for the average homeowner, but many smaller remodeling efforts are on the table. Try these 30 home renovations to save money, broaden your design skill set, and become a DIY expert indoors and outdoors!

Leave a Comment

15585

Stay in Touch With Us

Get latest from The Financially Independent Millennial in our Friday Newsletter

15856