If you’re looking for home improvement projects that really pay off, you don’t have to go for a full renovation with a hefty price tag. Instead, there are plenty of home improvements that are affordable and can be wrapped up in just a few hours. From the kitchen, bathroom, and even unused spaces, we’re covering home improvement projects that will boost your home’s value.
Whether you’re looking to put your house on the market or you want to add value to your home sweet home, we’ve rounded up 10 of the most affordable and best ROI home improvements.
1. Focus on the Kitchen
A complete kitchen renovation isn’t always necessary when you’re looking for a sizable ROI. If your kitchen has good bones, work with what you already have and add a few upgrades.
“Updated kitchens and bathrooms provide the highest ROI when considering home projects. Assuming your kitchen cabinets are in fairly good condition, there are a few updates that provide a big impact that doesn’t require renovation and can be incorporated fairly easily into your existing [space],” says Shoshanna Shapiro, Owner and Principal Designer at Sho and Co.
Looking for a bigger project that can still be worked into a smaller budget? Consider painting or refacing your cabinets, changing out the flooring, upgrading appliances, or opting for new countertops.
2. Paint Refresh
The quickest and easiest way to get some bang for your buck is to give any room in your home a paint refresh. While the cost of a can of paint can vary based on brand and quality, you can expect to pay anywhere between $15 to $40 a gallon.
Interior Designer Jessica Love of Urbane Design says a project she always recommends to homeowners is adding a new color to their bathrooms. “Paint your bathroom walls or vanity a fresh new color,” says Love. “I like to stick with neutral, zen colors for the bathroom.
While painting, don’t forget to add a new coat to the trim and the ceilings for an all-over clean look.
3. Refinish Hardwood Floors
Breathe new life into your existing hardwood floors by resurfacing them or installing new hardwoods in your home to see an average ROI of around 70% to 80%. There’s no denying that beautiful floors make a great first impression, and with a variety of stain colors, your hardwood floors can be timeless or trendy.
Whether you choose to turn this into a DIY project or hand it over to the professionals, skip the wall-to-wall carpet and opt for hardwoods instead.
4. Update Mirrors
If the bathrooms in your home still have boring builder-grade mirrors, it’s time to evict them. Swap out the mirrors for ones that have frames that match your decor and hardware. From a high-end to a discount store, you’ll find plenty of mirrors that match your design aesthetic and budget.
If you’re changing out the mirrors, just make sure the hanging hardware can hold the weight of the new mirror.
Looking for an easy project? Love suggests adding some personality to your existing mirrors by adding a custom frame by using DIY framing kits. She says they’re easy to order, customize and assemble.
5. New Hardware
From the kitchen to the bathrooms and on every door—old hardware can make your home seem outdated. Another budget-friendly project that can make a big difference in the look of your home is fresh hardware.
“Switch out your current hardware for something more modern. Mixed metals are trending right now; we’re seeing black with brass and brass with chrome,” Love says.
Don’t stop inside your home, consider changing out the hardware on your home’s exterior as well.
6. Exterior Improvements
Make a great first impression with a front door refresh. Often a new coat of paint will do the trick, and don’t feel like you have to stick with the original color.
“For a home in need of an update, or simply to add personal style, a bit of paint can go a long way. For a shorter-term project, give new life to the front door with some paint,” says Mel Bean of Mel Bean Interiors. “When selecting a color, consider the style of your home and any materials you need to work with, such as original stone or brick that will not be painted, roof color, hardscaping, and the environment surrounding your home.”
If your front door has seen better days, replacing it with a new style is also a great and affordable option.
While you’re working on the front door, fixing cracked or broken siding and trim and tending to any steps, sidewalks or patios that have cracks, chips, or uneven pieces should also be on your to-do list.
7. More Green Outside
With all the focus on making changes to the inside of your home, don’t neglect the outside. Sometimes a good cleaning or power washing can breathe new life into your outdoor space. However, don’t forget to landscape and hardscape your area too.
“For outdoor patios, adding greenery gives the space a new look immediately,” says interior designer Brittany Farinas of House of One. “I love using planters made of stone, or ceramic planters with a fun color or design that ties in with the rest of the color scheme.”
Adding shrubs, flowers and trees can make your outdoor space more welcoming, create privacy and give you a place to entertain and relax.
When it comes to adding value to the great outdoors of your home, experts agree the one feature to stay away from is a pool. While fun during a warm summer day, a pool is not a feature that offers up a strong ROI.
8. Create Functional Spaces
From creating a mudroom, or a home office, or adding much-needed storage solutions, turning unused or underused spaces in your home into new functional spaces will make your life easier and be appealing to potential buyers.
When making these changes, just make sure you aren’t stealing the spotlight from another room, and instead, you’re adding useful spaces to your home. Meaning you don’t want to transform the only closet on your second floor into a small home office. Instead, find inspiration by using wasted space and giving it a new purpose by adding shelves for storage.
9. Finish an Attic or Basement
While these projects will take up more of your budget, if the attic and basement of your home are unfinished, you can personalize the spaces and transform them into bedrooms, a home office, or an additional living room.
Not only are you adding livable space to your home, but you’ll see an ROI for these new rooms.
10. Update the Bathroom
If you can’t commit to a full demolition in your bathrooms– there are still plenty of places to work your home improvement magic for a big return. Starting with replacing the tub, toilet, sink, or vanity. Even replacing the showerhead will make bath time more pleasant and add more value to your home. If you’re ready to take on a few DIYs, consider these projects.