Five Low-Budget Home Renovations (That Can Actually Make a Difference)

Written by Meg Haley
Published February 6, 2019
These small home improvements are worth the investment These small home improvements are worth the investment

Did you know that the ROI (return on investment) on your home improvement projects is a variable estimate? It’s true. It’s about more than what’s on-trend. A lot of factors go into determining which projects are “worth” doing, if you’re basing your decision primarily on what you’ll yield when it’s time to sell. Factors like raw material cost, tax laws, and general health of the housing market will all play into the numbers.

One key takeaway from the experts about current trends is good news for your budget: the giant projects that skyrocketed home values in years past just isn’t holding water anymore. We’re not seeing the typical $40,000 kitchen overhauls on this list! This year (and likely for the next few years to come), it’s all about the low budget home improvements.

#5: Upgrade Your Thermostat

Give your budget the gift that keeps on giving. (The people who buy your house will thank you, too!) Investing in a programmable or smart thermostat and installing ceiling fans in every room are two easy ways to bring down your energy bills. And these small “green” improvements will help set your home apart from others on the market.

#4: Add A Little Elegance

Top sources recommend a weekend of elbow grease and several trips up and down a ladder. Designer paint and DIY crown molding can transform a bland room into an elegant experience. Spend just a few hundred dollars, get some friends to help and you’ll be amazed what you can do yourself.

#3: Build a Wood Deck

Following suit at number three: wood decks are bringing in a national average of 82% of costs recouped when it’s time to sell. (Just be sure you’re keeping up with painting or staining it, so it looks great after all those BBQs you’ve enjoyed out there.) Depending on the size and specific materials, you’ve got a lot of wiggle room on budgeting a nice deck.

#2: Consider Adding Stone Veneer

Next on the list for recouping cost on your lower budget home projects: getting manufactured stone veneer added to the front of your home. The national trends are favoring a fresh facelift for your home. You can probably get this whole job done for well under $10,000, and it’s a wonderful way to bring a sense of style and newness to any home.

#1: Get a New Garage Door

According to, the best value project is…. replacing your garage door! Sound random? Think about it: it’s a curb appeal aspect that’s probably overlooked a lot. But, if you drive around scoping out people’s garage doors, a really nice, new one, with some style elements added really sets that home apart from its neighbors. And the total cost is right around $3,500; a bigger investment than potted plants, but not impossible to consider!

Feeling inspired? Before you take off to your favorite home improvement store, be sure to check out Credit Union of Texas’ Home Equity Loan rates and options, which are much lower than credit card interest rates or store financing.

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