To save money on my home improvement projects I did a lot of the work myself. I looked for solutions that would save me time and money. And I focused on DIY projects that would have the biggest impact on the space. Of my many home improvement projects, here are the five that offered the biggest bang for the buck, because the spaces were completely transformed thereafter.
1. Painting My Kitchen Cabinets
Of all my DIY projects, this one was a favorite with anyone who saw my home. To transform my plastic cabinets into custom painted ones, I first applied water-based primer. Then I used three shades of latex paint, which I brushed into each other as I painted the cabinets, smearing differences away yet leaving variegated streaks in the overall pale facade. Once dry, I sealed the paint with paint sealer. Because I used leftover paint from my garage, this DIY project cost less than $75, and my kitchen was never the same again.
2. Covering My Old Bathroom Floor With PVC Tiles
The old 1970’s linoleum floor in my basement bathroom was hideous. To transform it on a budget, I first cleaned the floor with a floor stripper. Then I stuck PVC tiles over it, starting at the far end and using a sharp utility knife when the tiles needed to be cut. To conceal the cracks between the glued tiles, I used caulk mixed with matching latex paint. This DIY project cost less than $100 and transformed the room from a dingy, old-fashioned space to a modern, clean bathroom.
3. My Garden Bark Makeover
To cut down the cost of this DIY project, I decided not to invest in flowers or shrubs. My garden was just too big for that. Instead, I ordered ornamental bark in bulk with a free delivery to my home. I covered my sea of weeds with weed tarp, forming garden trails and edges, which I then coated in ornamental bark. The garden now looked landscaped and was easy to maintain. The cost of this DIY project was $340 for my back, side and front gardens, upgrading the curb appeal of my home.
4. Wallpaper Removal
The easiest way to remove wallpaper is not to remove it at all. In my old house, I simply peeled off the decorative, upper layer of wallpaper, but left the glued paper on the wall. I then faux painted over the paper for a beautiful textured look. In my next house, however, only the bottom half of the wall was wallpapered, so I was forced to remove the paper entirely. I used a wallpaper removing chemical. The cost of this DIY project was $32, and the exposed wall looked like new, giving the whole room a modern appeal once I painted the upper and lower portions of the wall in the same hue.
5. Popcorn Ceiling Removal
Whenever professional contractors here of this DIY project, they think I’m crazy. And yet, I removed all the popcorn ceiling in my home using this simple technique that cut down the mess considerably. I bought returned paint from my home improvement store at $5 a gallon. I painted the popcorn ceiling, then while it was still wet, I scraped the popcorn off. It peeled away, straight into a plastic bag I was holding. I then primed the ceiling and painted it, creating a faux tray ceiling illusion for added beauty. The cost of this DIY project was less than $10 per room, banishing the 1970s look I hated so much.
Experience taught me that home improvement projects don’t have to cost a fortune. It’s all a matter of a little imagination and a great deal of determination not to live in an ugly home.