Thursday, May 25, 2006

5 Easy Home Improvement Projects for Less Than $500

5 Easy Home Improvement Projects for Less Than 500
It is possible to update a room and even remodel it without taking out a loan or raiding your savings. Here are five easy projects you can do yourself on the cheap for $500 or less.

1) Paint. A $35 can of paint (or two or three) can great a huge impact with minimal expense. In fact, if you've been ready My Home Redux at all, you've probably seen me write this, oh, say, at least a dozen times. Truth is, this is the easiest and best way to spruce up your house - inside or out - bar none.

2) New light fixtures. Whether it's a strip light across your bathroom mirror or an in descript ceiling fixture, changing light fixtures can make an immediate dramatic change. Check out online lighting fixture sites (my favorites are Lamp Depot , Lamps Plus, and Lighting Universe, but you can also get some nice fixtures at big box stores like Lowes and Home Depot.

3) Cabinet Facelift. I can't tell you how many kitchens could simply be made new with a good coat of paint on the cabinets. You'll need to prep them well and paint carefully, but you'll save THOUSANDS of dollars. (Read here for some good advice at:,,783875,00.html .) Finish off the facelift with new hardware. (You'll notice in the article linked here showing the picture above that they also painted, added new hardware and changed the light fixtures.)

4) Closet Organizers. Unless you have a really large closet, you can still do this for less than $500. Simply go to a home improvement store. They carry similar systems as Elfa but much cheaper. Add shelves, sliding drawers, and two-tiered hanging racks. You'll be more organized and your closet will also be sporting the latest style.

5) Shutters. Adding painted shutters - or changing the color of your existing shutters - is a great way to improve the curb appeal of your house. I'm surprised how many houses don't have shutters, and how many would look so much better if they did. Most traditional styles work wonderfully with these classic window accents. You can paint vinyl ones, but I prefer wood for this very reason. Ok, wood shutters could cost more than $500, but the key is the front of the house - save your money and skip the sides and back.

So before you look at getting a home equity loan or liquidating your savings, take a second look and see if some simple ideas and a little imagination couldn't go far in enhancing and updating your home.

Copyright: Copyright © 2008 Julie Lohmeier

About the Author:
Julie Lohmeier is the veteran of numerous home remodeling and building projects. From working hands on and doing much of the work herself to hiring contractors and construction managers, she has seen the entire spectrum of home improvement. She shares her remodeling tips, home decorating ideas, and other various rants at Subscribe to her free newsletter at: