Home improvement projects can be daunting, both in scale and in cost. But if you’re looking for small ways to make your home more comfortable, more efficient, or safer for you and your guests, you don’t have to go broke. Here are a few of our favourite home improvement projects that will yield big results, even on a small budget.
Add a smart thermostat
There are lots of smart thermostats available for less than $US100 (A$139), and they can save you money on heating and cooling costs. Not only can you cut your energy use, but you can also make your home more comfortable. A smart thermostat can learn your schedule and habits, turning the temperature up and down depending on your needs — and automating these adjustments can save you around 10% on home heating costs.
Make your stairs less slippery
If you’ve got steps inside or out that are slick, save yourself from potential falls by investing in some non-slip tape. This will run you well less than $100 per roll, a price worth paying to avoid accidents. Non-slip tape — also known as friction tape — comes in a variety of widths for different applications. Make sure to check how much comes on a roll so you buy enough for your staircase.
Brighten up your yard with solar-powered lighting
For pathways and porches, solar-powered LED lighting is a cost effective and safety-improving upgrade. You can have stylish porch or path lights that cost you nothing to power, and keep your yard well lit. With no need for an exterior outlets or wiring, these fixtures are a no-hassle install with instant results.
Re-caulk your tub
Adding a new bead of caulk around your tub or your bathroom sink not only freshens things up, it also keeps moisture from creeping into your walls and countertops. Sealing out moisture can help prevent mould and water damage — just double-check the directions to make sure you allow for enough drying time.
Upgrade your outlets
In addition to giving your light switches and outlets a face lift by adding new cover plates, you can upgrade them by adding new features like a built-in night-light, an extra charger port, or a motion sensor. There are also smart outlets that allow you to control on and off, and set timers through a bluetooth device. All of these features can be added without running any new wires and without spending a fortune. Make sure to follow all the instructions on the package for a safe install, and always shut the power off to your switch or outlet before performing any repairs.
Add a fancy kick plate to the front door
Doors in high traffic areas sometimes get scuffed and scratched near the bottom. You can save your paint and add some style to your entryway by adding a kick plate. Kick plates can be both practical and pretty with lots of designs to choose from — and they’re simple to install, making them a quick and cost-effective upgrade.