If you’re a Houston homeowner, you’re probably looking for ways to increase the value of your home without emptying your accounts. A $25,000 kitchen remodel or $10,000 outdoor living addition will definitely move the needle, but they aren’t necessarily affordable.
You don’t have to bust your budget, fortunately. Plenty of worthwhile home improvement projects are doable for $1,000 or less.
Six Affordable Home Improvement Projects
Just because a home improvement is affordable, that doesn’t mean it’s going to increase the structure’s value. The key is to be discerning and avoid cheap improvements.
You want inexpensive yet high-quality. There’s a fine line.
Here are several projects that shouldn’t cost you any more than $1,000. Pick and choose the ones that you believe will bring you the most enjoyment and simultaneously add maximum value to your home.
1. Upgrade Hanging Light Fixtures
You can change the entire look of your residence simply by updating the hanging light fixtures – especially in the kitchen, living room, and/or dining room.
Light fixtures can get fairly expensive, but they don’t have to be. Lighting stores often hold large year-end clearance sales where you can find tasteful and sleek options that would fit your space.
If you’re handy and don’t mind a DIY project, you can buy even less costly light fixtures and give them a makeover. This works especially well if you have a unique style and/or don’t care to overpay for a fixture that doesn’t quite fit your aesthetic to start with.
2. New Kitchen Backsplash
You can’t renovate your entire kitchen on a $1,000 budget, but you can install a new backsplash that totally changes the appearance of the space.
This will require a DIY effort to keep it under budget, but it’s a lot easier than most people believe. Here’s how you do it:
- Grab a hammer and flat bar to pry up existing tiles. Be careful not to poke holes in the drywall behind the tile.
- Scrape walls clean with a scraper and sand down any uneven spots. If you make any holes during the removal process, patch them with drywall spackling and sand down.
- Mix a thin-set mortar and apply a skim coat to the wall using a trowel. The goal is to create a totally smooth surface.
- Lay out your tiles on the countertop and measure the wall.
- Cut tiles to size using a wet saw or manual tile cutters/snippers.
- Apply thin-set mortar to the specific area you’ll be working on and press the tiles into place.
- Use tile spacers (if necessary) to achieve the desired thickness of grout lines.
- Allow mortar to cure and then fill with grout.
- Remove any unwanted grout from the tile using a razor blade and chisel.
- Wipe the tiles clean with cheese cloth.
As long as you don’t need a high-end backsplash tile and are willing to go with a standard style from a local hardware store, this project should cost you only a few hundred bucks and a Saturday.
3. Refresh the Paint
If your home’s interior has differing paint colors in various rooms and/or features lots of dark or bright color selections, the place could benefit from a new paint job. Something as simple as switching to a lighter color (such as a white, gray, or soft pastel) throughout the entire residence (or at least consistently within the main living areas) can add a sense of elegance and luxury to your home’s appearance.
Depending on the size of your home and how much needs to be repainted, this is probably a project you’ll have to do yourself. You might even be able to persuade some friends or neighbors to join in … provided you supply some pizza and beer.
4. Update Bathroom Flooring
You won’t be able to replace the flooring throughout the entirety of your home on this kind of budget, but why not pick a smaller room and go for it? Your master bathroom might be the perfect candidate.
If you have old/cheap tile – like the white octagonal tile of the 1990s – you can upgrade relatively inexpensively. The easiest option is to buy “luxury vinyl” and place it directly over the existing tile. These boards can be cut using nothing more than a utility knife.
If you have a little more experience with home improvement projects, you might try brick tile or even faux wood tile (which looks pretty impressive once it’s installed).
5. Spruce Up Outdoor Living
Buyers are absolutely delighted with outdoor living these days. (Perhaps this is fueled by pandemic shutdowns?) When Houston buyers give their agents a list of “wants,” good outdoor living space is almost always on the list.
So if you want to increase the value of your property, you might as well start here. For $1,000 or less, you seriously have to pick and choose.
You could re-stain your deck, build a small outdoor kitchen with room to insert your grill, upgrade your landscape lighting, or purchase some new patio furniture. Another great option is to buy a gas fire pit for your porch or create a natural fire pit somewhere in the yard.
6. Update Your Laundry Room
Whether it’s you or your spouse, chances are one of you spends a lot of time in your laundry room. So why not make it a space you can actually enjoy?
Because of its small size, you can usually renovate an entire laundry room for just a few hundred bucks. This includes adding fresh tile, painting the walls, and even installing a countertop above your washing machine and dryer.
If you have a larger laundry room, you might even create a little office nook that can double as a productive spot where you can escape to get some work done.
Buy and Sell With Green Residential
At Green Residential, we can help you buy or sell your Houston home. And when you work with us, you benefit from a flat-rate fee that could potentially save you thousands of dollars in commissions.