Our houses are our largest expense. While you might not be able to make you home your smallest expense, you can do some little things to improve your home. You will save money and ideally, increase your selling price should you decide to sell one day.
I will walk you through 4 low-cost ways you can improve your home. I won’t be telling you to remodel your kitchen , add an addition or renovate the basement. The tips here are low in cost so you can get the most bang for your buck.
4 Low Cost Ways to Improve Your Home
This is probably the easiest thing to do to improve your home. You’d be surprised at how a fresh coat of paint makes a difference. The first thing to remember is that lighter colors make rooms feel larger and dark colors make rooms feel smaller.
The second thing to remember is to not go crazy with colors. What I mean by this is don’t do an entire room in hot pink. Maybe an accent wall, but not an entire room. Accent walls are a featured tip in 20 Thrifty Decorating Tips .
And don’t forget about the exterior of your house either. In our last house, I took one afternoon to clean the front entrance to our house and put up a fresh coat of white paint. It was like night and day. The difference was amazing.
I didn’t even tell my wife and when we went for a walk a few days later she said something looks different, the house looks better. And she rarely notices things like this.
Take some time to paint. If you are clueless for where to start, go to your hardware store and look at the brochures they have. Or check out pictures online to get an idea of what you like.
2. Change Hardware
This update is even less expensive and less time consuming than painting. Simply replace the hardware in your house. How far you want to take this is up to you. You can replace the handles on your cabinets in your kitchen. You can replace the door knobs throughout your house. You could even change up the plumbing fixtures.
It’s your call on how much time and money you want to invest. Anything you do will have a positive effect on your house.
At our house, I replaced all of the cheap, fake brass round interior door knobs for satin silver door levers. It was amazing the difference they made.
If you do decide to go this route, be sure to do some research when it comes to cost. You can go to your local hardware store to get an idea of cost and then check online sites to see if they offer better pricing.
If you are looking to change door knobs, consider doing one or two first to see how much of a difference it makes. If positive, try to buy in bulk to save some money on the rest.
3. Update Lighting
Another easy way to improve your house is to update your lighting. You can go about this two ways.
First, you can swap bulbs. Get rid of the incandescent bulbs for more efficient LED bulbs. They cost more upfront but save you a lot more in operating costs. You might even check with your electric company for coupons or rebates . I know my electric company offers discounts for upgrading.
When you do decide to change bulbs, know that there are many specialty lights now. You can project light down to one area and even choose the color of the light the bulb emits. It’s really amazing.
The second way to update your lighting is to update your fixtures. Again, there are many options here. You can go with track lighting, string lighting, you name it. You can even easily change out the covers for the lights you have hanging over your kitchen island.
4. Add a Programmable Thermostat
The last tip is to replace your thermostat with a programmable one. When you do this, you have more control over the temperature in your house. You can set it to cool your house just before you get home from work in the summertime and warm it before you return home in the winter.
You can even set them by the day so that you don’t waste money running your heater or air conditioner when you aren’t home.
Better yet, you can get a learning thermostat  so you never have to program it. It will learn your schedule and adjust automatically. See our review of the Nest learning thermostat: Nest Thermostat Review of Savings: One Year Later .
This will save you a ton of money and make your house much more comfortable to live in.
So there are 4 tips to improve your home. They are all low cost and easy to do. In fact, you could spend a weekend and knock out a handful of things they are so easy to do.
By doing these things, you improve your home now and might even be able to get more for your house if you decide to sell down the road.
More on Home Ownership
- 16 Ways to Lower Your Housing Costs 
- Bang-For-Your-Buck Home Renovations: What Pays Off and What Doesn’t 
- How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient 
- 6 Defects Our Detail-Oriented Home Inspector Missed 
- Don’t Overlook the Cost of Keeping Your House Up to Date 
- 7 Frugal Alternatives to Home Security Systems 
- The Basics of Home Ownership 
- 7 Ways to Save Money on DIY Home Renovations