How to update your home on a budget

Written by Posted On Monday, 09 May 2016 08:35

Is your home looking a little dated? Not everyone can afford to undertake a pricey home renovation, but smaller-scale home updates can be a great alternative for freshening tired decor. Fortunately, there are plenty of smaller projects you can tackle on your own if you’re handy or with a minimal amount of help from a contractor. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

Paint it
Changing a room’s color or adding a vibrant accent wall can completely transform the look and feel of a room. If you’re uncertain about making a change, consult a couple of home decorating magazines or websites for ideas. And best of all, since painting is a relatively inexpensive project, if you aren’t in love with the result, you can experiment with different colors until you achieve the look that’s right for you.
Swap out old fixtures
From lighting to ceiling fans to faucets, many room fixtures are readily available at your local home improvement store and relatively easy to install on your own. Even changing up the towel racks in the bathroom or a room’s electrical switch plates can breathe life into your home for little expense.
Change your window treatments
Whether you opt for new shades or blinds or chic interior shutters, controlling the natural lighting in your rooms can give them an entirely different feel and increase your sense of privacy. Consider installing blackout shades in bedrooms to provide a restful atmosphere for sleeping.
Make over your cabinets
Older cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms can make rooms appear dingy or gloomy, especially if it’s a dark color. But you don’t necessarily need to replace cabinets if they are in sound shape. Instead, paint them a color you like or go with white to brighten a room. Take your makeover a step further with new hardware, swapping out handles and drawer pulls can completely change the look of your cabinets.
Put up some beadboard
You can freshen the look of your backsplash, bathroom walls or mudroom by adding beadboard, a great surface material that a do-it-yourselfer can install instead of contending with the mess, fuss and expense of tile. Beadboard comes in a variety of colors and patterns. And yes, I have even glued it over tile on the walls of a 1950s bathroom.
Add molding or trim
To add a decorative architectural touch, installing crown molding is something that you can do yourself or with the help of a contractor without spending a lot of money on materials. Molding comes in all shapes and sizes and you can choose a paint color or stain to suit your style.
While buying new appliances might seem a little expensive, today’s energy-efficient models of dishwashers, furnaces, water heaters, washers, and dryers can save you a lot of money in the long run. Look for the ENERGY STAR designation when you choose a new model.
Don’t forget the outdoors
Even if you don’t have a green thumb, planting some hardy trees or bushes on your property doesn’t cost a lot and can really beautify your lawn. Consult your local nursery about the varieties of plants that will grow well in your climate.Injecting a little new life into your older home can be as simple as a few quick and inexpensive upgrades. Whether you’re hoping to achieve increased energy efficiency or just spruce up your home or yard, you can find additional tips online or at your favorite home improvement store.
With a minimum of effort and expense, your home can have a fresh look and feel.Julie O’Neil Dolan is a Concord native, resident and realtor with Andrew Mitchell &


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