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May 11, 2017 | home-renovations

Renovation Revolution: 11 Ways to Spiff Up Your House for Less Than $5K

Are you noticing aspects of your home that could use repair, but finding yourself short of the funds needed to make major changes?

You’re not alone if you’re thinking about improvements. Nationwide, spending in home renovations and repairs is expected to continue to reach $327 billion this year, representing growth of close to 8 percent over 2016 figures. That amount hasn’t been so high since 2006, before the recession.

The trend doesn’t mean everyone can afford expensive repairs this season. But the good news is that many impactful and valuable home repairs can cost you $5,000 or less. Not only can such repairs sometimes lift your spirits and increase your sense of pride in your home, but in some cases they provide a tidy return on investment when it comes time to sell.

“There are certain cosmetic changes you can do (in which) putting in a little over $1,000 will probably get you $5,000 back in terms of a higher sales price," notes real estate agent Mia Simon on

Better yet, several of the tasks mentioned here require no particular skills and can be handled yourself or with free labor from family members.

A few suggestions for affordable projects:

  1. Overall Decluttering: Divesting your house and garage of unwanted items can make a huge difference in your home’s general appeal. A $2,550 expenditure would cover professional garage junk removal ($500), basement drying and dehumidifying ($430), four hours of labor to pack unwanted belongings ($320), a mold inspection ($300), professional organization of kitchen and bedroom closets ($290), transport of items to a storage unit ($260), removal of a large sofa or appliance ($180) professional pest treatment ($150) and professional house cleaning ($120), according to Jerry Kronenberg on
  2. Better Curb Appeal: This major selling point can be achieved for less than $3,000 on most homes. Ideas include painting trim and shutters; staining and sealing decks; fixing gutters; power-washing your house and driveway; sealing or repaving your driveway; trimming your trees and shrubs, and sprucing up your yard by mowing, weeding and removing fallen leaves. Rebuilt front entries can be impactful as well. High-end front doors can cost up to $3,000 by themselves, but they can add character and make your whole house seem richer.
  3. Natural Stone Countertops: These run some $4,500 for the average-sized kitchen and are available these days in a wide range of colors and grains.
  4. New Window Treatments: These can cost as little as $150-$200 or as much as $1,000 per window, with installation generally running $80-$250 for each. Consider fresher styles like wide-planked wood blinds or woven shades.
  5. Replacement of Light Fixtures: Old-style lighting can date your home very quickly, whereas today’s market features a huge variety of choices. Many can be installed with little expertise; otherwise, installation may run $80 to $200 per fixture including supplies.
  6. Upgrading of Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets: Some of the unique versions on the market make old-school styles seem boring. Plan to spend around $1,000 to refurnish an average-sized house.
  7. A New Shower or Bathtub: Consider a glass or tiled shower stall or a tub with whirlpool jets, any of which could cost $2,800 to $4,700 depending on their quality and intricacy.
  8. A New Kitchen Backsplash: Upgraded styles and colors can quickly convert your kitchen at an average estimated cost of $2,000 to $3,000.
  9. A New Deck: A basic, do-it-yourself wooden deck could cost as little as $1,000, while a small, high-quality deck might run $5,000 with installation.
  10. Interior Paint: A fresh new color can completely convert your rooms; plan to spend $1 to $2 per square foot on just the paint.
  11. New Carpeting: Simply cleaning your carpets can make a huge difference, but if they need replacing, count on spending about $4 per square foot.

With a little research and elbow grease, you may find that your relatively small investment gives a nice boost to the value of your house.

“While you won’t recoup 100 percent of your investment with every renovation, being smart about where you put your money can help add to the bigger picture, all of which can be helpful when it’s time to sell,” states a recent Forbes article.

Need funding before you can plan household repairs?

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