Upgrading a bathroom, living room, or kitchen is easy on an unlimited budget, but you can still get a lot done for under $1000.
A minor bathroom remodel can make a good do-it-yourself project. One of the least expensive and most DIY friendly items for any room including the bath is painting walls and painting trim. Due to the high humidity level in a bathroom, be sure to kill any mold or mildew that might be present before painting.
Another popular bathroom upgrade is replacing the vanity and sink. There are a number of inexpensive, prefinished vanities available at home improvement centers. Vanity tops today usually come with a built-in sink and are readily available in solid surface, cultured marble, and natural stone such as granite. Spending a little extra for a quality faucet with brass parts is a wise investment that will last for years.
Replacing bathroom accessories, such as towel bars and toilet paper holders, is another DIY friendly project. Accessories are available in a wide range of styles and finishes to match any décor. To save money, consider buying a combination set, rather than individual items.
Replacing the bathroom floor is another change that can have a big impact. Ceramic tile is the flooring of choice for bathrooms, and if you shop around, you may be able to find a bargain on patterns with limited quantities. While tiling a floor is a more difficult DIY project than painting, it’s a skill that can be learned by home improvement savvy homeowners.
Be sure to measure the floor carefully and order 10-15% extra to allow for waste and any mistakes so you’ll have enough tile to complete the project.
|Vanity and top:||$400|
Living Room Remodel
Painting is the obvious place to start a living room remodel, followed by replacing the floor. Carpet or simulated wood laminate are two of the more reasonable flooring options for those on a budget. While carpet cost less than laminate flooring, professional installation is usually required. Laying laminate flooring, on the other hand, is a DIY friendly project, making the total cost about the same.
Installing a fabric covered window cornice is another do-it-yourself project that can make a big difference in a living room. If you have anything left in your remodeling budget, consider replacing the light fixture in the room or installing a paddle fan to save energy.
|Window Valance:||$ 50|
Giving the kitchen a fresh coat of paint on the walls can give a big visual bang for your buck. Since kitchens receive a lot of wear and tear, choose a durable paint, such as kitchen and bath enamel, which will hold up to repeated cleanings.
Dressing up your kitchen cabinets with new hardware and paint can make an even more impressive change. Proper preparation is the key to painting kitchen walls and cabinets. Be sure to thoroughly clean and degrease surfaces before painting. Next, sand the cabinets lightly, or apply a liquid deglosser, to allow the new paint to bond to the old.
Since kitchens receive a lot of traffic, replacing the worn floor may be high on your list of priorities. Ceramic tile is available in a wide range of patterns and colors with prices ranging from $1 to $2 per square foot.
If your budget allows, consider replacing the countertops as well. Though granite countertops are expensive, prices have come down in recent years with basic granite counters now available for as low as $40 per square foot. Another option worth considering that’s more DIY friendly, is installing a granite tile countertop.
If granite doesn’t fit in your budget, consider plastic laminate tops which mimic the look of real stone at a much lower cost.
Whether it’s fresh paint, a new floor, or impressive hardware, if you budget carefully and do the work yourself, you don’t have to spend a fortune to make your home look like a million bucks!
Other Tips from This Episode
Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Painting Around Toilets
While it’s easy to throw a drop cloth over the toilet bowl when painting a bathroom, covering the toilet tank poses more of a problem. Wrapping the tank with adhesive backed food wrap, such as Glad Press’n Seal, is a great way to protect the tank when painting. Once the paint has dried, simply peel the plastic off for a toilet tank free of paint.
Best New Products with Jodi Marks:
Hunter Perfect Balance Ceiling Fans
While ceiling fans are a great way to stay cool in the summer and circulate warm air in the winter, they have a tendency to wobble when the blades are out of balance or improperly installed. Hunter’s innovative new Perfect Balance self-adjusting blade balancing system can put an end to annoying blade wobble once and for all. A shifting disk inside the motor housing automatically balances the fan each time it rotates. Hunter Perfect Balance fans are guaranteed to be wobble free for the life of the fan and are available at The Home Depot.
Thinking Green with Danny Lipford:
Water Saving Toilets
Toilets typically waste more water than anything else in the house. To combat this problem, check to be sure your toilets are working properly, and repair toilets that leak. Replacing water guzzling toilets made before 1992 (check the stamped date inside the lid), with newer models that use 1.6 gallons or less per flush, can cut the water they use in half. For even greater savings, consider a duel-flush toilet which uses less than one gallon per flush. For more on saving water, see our article on Water Conservation in the Home.
Power tools used on Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford® are provided by Ryobi.