Top Home Improvements To Complete on a Budget in 2021

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Thanks to COVID-19, many of us are spending a lot more time at home than ever before. That laser focus on your living space might reveal little issues that you’d like to improve but frustrate you with the fear that you won’t be able to improve them.

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Of course, home improvements can be costly, but they don’t have to be. What better time to jump on freshening up your living space with affordable home improvements than the new year? Here are six simple ways to improve your living space at reasonable prices, most of which you can do yourself.

Last updated: April 9, 2021
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Install Crown Molding

The smallest additions can change and brighten up a room. Take crown molding, for example — decorative trim typically made of wood (though sometimes other materials) that you can put up around the edges of a ceiling or as baseboards at the bottom of walls to add a little texture, ambiance and class to any room. It’s pretty easy to do yourself if you have a saw of some kind, and it isn’t too costly. According to This Old House, it’ll cost about $120 per room to add.

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Lay Down New Paint

The simplest and perhaps most effective way to quickly improve any interior or exterior in your home is a fresh coat of paint. A new color can change the way light reflects off surfaces, brighten a dull corner or refresh old cabinets. Peeling old entrance ways can enliven with a fresh coat and make any space feel revived. Of course, it’s good to be prepared with painter’s tape and drop cloths and the right kinds of brushes so that you do a good job. This Old House offers step-by-step instructions for painting a room right. You can expect to spend $150 or less per room.

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Refresh Your Deck

If you live in a home with a deck that’s more than a few years old, you’re probably looking at faded, chipped or peeling wood somewhere along the way. Renovating that wood is an easy fix. You can refinish your deck with a lot of elbow grease and a little bit of investment in either renting or purchasing some power tools. Deep stains in the wood can usually be power washed away, while chips and peeling wood can smooth away under the steady hum of a good sander. Renting an electric power washer from a home improvement center will cost you about $40 to $100 per day, according to Consumer Reports. Or you can buy one for about $150. An electric or battery-operated belt sander will start around $60 and up.

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Shine Up Old Hardwood

If you have the luck to have true hardwood in your home, don’t forget to polish and shine it up once a year or every four to six months in high trafficked areas. A good polish, and maybe the addition of a throw rug or new runner, can make a dingy floor look elegant all over again. Floor polish prices vary but run around $18 to $48 for a two-pack of 32-ounce bottles.

More Inspiration: 26 Home Makeover Ideas That Each Cost Less Than $500


New Light Fixtures

Small changes to a room can have a dramatic impact, especially when it comes to light and light fixtures. A new fixture can not only increase brightness, it can add style, texture and ambiance to a room. There are numerous considerations, such as finding a focal point in the room to place a light, choosing light bulbs for their specific effects or just changing out an old light shade, but this is a quick and easy fix for home improvement that won’t break your bank. Light fixtures come in any number of sizes and prices but for a few hundred dollars you can light up a room in a whole new way. 

Good To Know: Home Renovations That Will Pay You Back

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Add a Backsplash

If a bathroom or kitchen area feels a little lackluster, it might be time to change up or add a little tile backsplash. Popular subway tiles, which come in any number of colors, run from about $7 to $13 per square foot and are durable and classic in their appeal. Of course, you can go as fancy as you like, with pricey Italian tiles or handmade artisan tiles but if you’re looking to keep costs low, there are numerous options within almost any price range.

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