Updating the family home on a budget

We all want to live in a home that looks and feels modern and comfortable, but when times are tough financially, spending a large amount of money on upgrades and modernization can seem an impossible luxury.

However, the point is, your home is the biggest asset you are ever likely to have, so it makes sense to protect and enhance its value. You might be surprised at just how much you can do without having to pay a fortune.

A splash of paint can go a long way

The simplest yet most effective upgrade you can offer to your home is a fresh lick of paint. It can make things look like new, and will also make everyone in the household feel there is an atmosphere of new beginnings and fresh starts. Ideal if you’ve been through some tough times in life.

Anyone can learn to paint a room, and the whole thing can be done for less than $150. If you are painting several rooms the same color, go for the largest size available, ideally a 5-gallon drum. That might sound huge, but when you buy that size it is far more cost-effective.

Getting artistic with the paint does not necessarily mean getting out the brushes. A can of spray paint can bring new life to old furniture such as chairs and cabinets. For an even more unique look, you might even consider removing knobs and handles and painting them a different color to create a real talking point.

Add some shutters

It does not have to cost the earth to add a touch of class to your home, and the right window accessories are a perfect way to do exactly that. To give your home a modern, airy feel, consider investing in some plantation shutters for your windows.

These are a great alternative to traditional curtains, as they are far more hardwearing and easy to keep clean. They also bring additional benefits in that they help keep out noise and drafts.

The shutters are easy to install, and typically take no longer than an hour, even if you are a DIY novice. Some handy videos are available that give a step-by-step guide to installation.

Upgrade your dishwasher

Did you know a new dishwasher could save you more than $30 per year in electricity, plus hundreds of gallons of water? That is how energy-efficient modern appliances can be. They also make your kitchen look great and are more enjoyable to use.

Don’t have a dishwasher at all? Then it’s time to get one. You use on average 40% more water washing up by hand, not to mention all those hours spent standing at the sink.

A dishwasher is very simple to install, and you can do it yourself, so no extra costs there.

Smarten up the bathroom

There is no hiding a scruffy or dirty bathroom, How does yours look, and what does it say to guests about you and your family?

There are some simple things you can do for just a few dollars that will make all the difference in the world. By just tidying and cleaning the tile grouting and replacing some worn out faucets, toothbrush holders and the like, you can soon have your bathroom looking like new.

Don’t forget the floors

No matter what upgrades you make, the look of your home will never be perfect if you have floor coverings that are stained or damaged. Before you start searching for a replacement carpet, though, ask yourself when it was last given a proper clean? A carpet shampooer is a great investment and can really give an old carpet a new lease of life.

If the carpet really has reached the end of its life, it pays to shop around when looking for a replacement. Don’t assume the large companies are going to be cheaper, particularly when they offer free installation. In fact, this is often not the case, so check out all the options, particularly small independent suppliers, before you commit.

Solid wood floors look great and negate the need for a carpet, but can be very expensive. If a wood finish is for you, give serious consideration to laminate over hardwood. Some good quality laminate flooring looks very similar to wood but is a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

Treat yourself

Your home is an extension and reflection of yourself. You can make some real differences and revitalize both it and those who spend their lives in it without breaking the bank. So go ahead, and treat yourself!