Budget-Friendly Home Renovation

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EASY UPDATES YOU CAN DO YOURSELF – MOST FOR UNDER $100

So you've been dreaming of updating your home, but the cost of new flooring or a kitchen remodel isn't in your budget? Don't despair. There are plenty of ways to revitalize and update your home without breaking the bank. Check out these simple updates and fixes that'll give your home a fresh new look, inside and out. Once your project's complete, you'll be dying to show off your beautiful abode to family and friends.

REPLACE YOUR FRONT DOOR. This is the first thing guests see when they walk up to your home, so it's an excellent place to begin with your updating. A higher-end wooden door will add beauty to your entrance. But even installing a new steel door and painting it an inviting color will add a lot of curbside appeal to your home.

REPAIR WINDOW SCREENS. Torn window screens detract from your curb appeal. Fortunately, they're inexpensive and easy to fix. Buy a package of replacement screen and a screen rolling tool to do-it-yourself. If you're not up to the task, many hardware stores do screen replacement for a reasonable cost. Just drop off your damaged screen, and they'll have it ready for you in a couple of days.

CURE DIRTY OR CRUMBLING GROUT. The great thing about tile is not only its look of luxury but also its longevity. Unfortunately, filthy or broken down grout can spoil the look. Make your tile floor or shower look new again by freshening the grout. If it's just dirty, you can easily clean it. For instructions, visit www.bobvilla.com. If the grout is broken down and needs to be replaced, find grout removal instructions at www.thespruce.com.

UPDATE SWITCH & OUTLET COVERS. This is a super easy way to update a room, and there are so many choices for every decorating style. If you like the look of metal plates but don't want the expense, pick up some metallic spray paint in bronze, brushed nickel, or silver. Just remove the covers, spray paint them, and in an hour they'll be ready to put back on.

REPLACE CEILING FAN BLADES. Do your ceiling fans look a bit decrepit? The blades often age faster than the fixtures. So buy new ceiling fan blades to make your ceiling fans look new again.

LIVEN IT UP WITH PAINT. Fresh paint goes a long way toward updating and freshening a room. With hundreds of shades to choose from, there's plenty of room for creativity to give your room the designer look you want. Pick up some paint brochures at your hardware store for color scheme ideas, and notice how unexpected colors are paired together to create beautiful designer looks. Then play around with different colors against the color of your room's flooring and décor. You might be pleasantly surprised how an unexpected color pairing can create a beautiful new look.

FRESHEN TRIM & DOORS. Paint the trim and doors throughout your entire home in a single color. This will not only freshen your home but will give your home a cohesive look. If your home is small, white or a light grey paint will keep your home bright and make your rooms feel more spacious. In a larger home, get more creative with a medium or dark color. This will add richness to your home. Medium grays or tans or dark charcoal or coffee colors are good choices. Before getting your paint mixed, pick up plenty of sample cards with various undertones, and hold them against the walls in each room to find the color that looks pleasing against the wall colors in every room.

WALLPAPER A SMALL ROOM. Wallpaper is back again and can transform a small room such as your bathroom or foyer. Neutrals are the current color trend along with geometric patterns, textures, and metallics.

REPLACE VENT COVERS. Over time, banged up and painted-over vent covers become an eyesore. So new vent covers will go a long way toward making your home feel like new.

FRESHEN BATHROOM CAULK. Old stained and deteriorating caulk makes a bathroom look unsightly. But it can be removed and replaced relatively easily with a bit of patience. Visit www.houselogic.com to find simple removal instructions and how to correctly apply fresh caulk.

CLEAN HARD WATER STAINS ON YOUR TOILET & TUB. If you live in an area with very hard water, your toilet bowl and bathtub may be hideous. Fortunately, there are several options to remove hard water stains. CLR calcium, lime, and rust remover does wonders on porcelain. If your bathtub is vinyl or acrylic, the CLR must be diluted and can remain on the fixture for only a couple minutes. So read instructions carefully. For tougher build-up on porcelain, buy a handled pumice stone to sand the buildup away. Don't use pumice stones on vinyl and acrylic though because pumice is too abrasive.

UPDATE CABINET HARDWARE. New cabinet knobs and pulls can give your bathroom or kitchen a facelift, and there are tons of styles to choose from.

REVITALIZE OR PAINT CABINETS. If your solid wood bathroom or kitchen cabinets look worn, you can revitalize them by rubbing them down with Old English. Otherwise, painting them is a good alternative since white or gray cabinets are the trend. You can also get more creative, and choose a bold color to liven up your kitchen or bathroom.

INSTALL A KITCHEN BACKSPLASH. A tile backsplash will add richness to your kitchen. Find do-it-yourself instructions at www.diynetwork.com. If that's more work than you want to invest, choose from a wide selection of faux tile backsplash panels that'll add dimension and character to your kitchen.

UPDATE DOOR KNOBS. Do your doorknobs look shabby or dated? This is another easy fix. Brushednickel is the latest trend in hardware. Doorknobs come complete with instructions and are easy to change out with just a screwdriver. You might also consider replacing the hinges to match the door knobs.