First Person: 8 Home Improvement Options for Less Than $100

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As homeowners, we've come to the realization over the years that it isn't always about the amount of money we put into home improvements, but the overall impact those improvements make upon the look and the feel of the home. Sure, sometimes it takes hundreds or thousands of dollars for certain home repairs. This is just part of our role as homeowners. However, when it comes to our home's appearance, we've found that even seemingly simplistic or affordable improvements can make a drastic difference in our home's overall appeal. Here are a few of the super cheap home improvement options -- all under $100, I might add -- that we've made over the years to add value to our home.

Cabinetry Update

Probably one of the cheapest, yet most impactful ways in which we changed the kitchen in our previous home was through a cabinetry update. With a gallon of paint and new hardware that cost us about $90, we were able to make somewhat dated cabinets a part of a more modern kitchen.

Cost -- About $90

Window Updates

Sometimes it doesn't take brand new windows to make a space look better but just new treatments or blinds for around the windows. This can be a much cheaper option than complete window replacement. In both homes in which we've lived, we've taken the opportunity to make our window areas look more updated simply through low-cost blinds that we can hang ourselves.

Cost -- About $70

Trim Top Up

Speaking of windows, in our current home, we took the liberty of painting the trim around some of the windows. The previous trim color did not match the paint scheme of the home, and seeing as how the property came with a variety of paint color leftovers from the previous owner, this was a simple and cost effective way to make the rooms "pop" a little bit more.

Cost -- $0 (free paint)

Chandelier Removal

Sometimes it's the removal of an item that actually makes a space look better. This was the case with a chandelier in the dining room space of our current home. It didn't fit the space either in size or in design; therefore, we removed it. After the cost of a $3 fixture cover, we actually ended up making money from our efforts, selling the light at a local consignment shop.

Cost: Made $74.21 off sale of chandelier after cost of fixture cover

Doorbell Repair

In our previous home, our old doorbell didn't work; plus it was located in a place where it was hard to hear in our finished basement where we spent much of our time. Rather than paying an electrician to come out and look at it, not knowing if he would be able to repair it cheaply, and even if he did, if it would be worth it, we purchased a battery powered version for $20 that we could place where we wanted. It was a simple, yet cost effective update.

Cost -- About $20

Carpet Cleaning

Having worked in the hotel business for a number of years, I know my way around carpet cleaning equipment pretty well. Being able to rent a small carpet extraction machine from the local grocery store for about $30 a day is a great way to get our carpets back to looking fresh and smelling clean for a fraction of what it might cost to have a professional carpet cleaning company do it for us.

Cost -- Around $30

Refrigerator Removal

In our first home, the previous owners had left an old refrigerator. We used it for part of our stint there as an extra refrigerator in our basement. However, it used extra electricity and was somewhat of an eyesore. Therefore, we decided to remove it. Rather than pay someone to haul it away though, we used our electric company's offer to pay us $25 to take it, so we actually ended up making money on the deal and making out home look better in the process!

Cost -- Made $25

Re-caulking

I highly dislike old, dry, moldy, or discolored caulk. Whether it's around windows, sinks, bathtubs, showers, or whatever, it just has a way of making a space look dingy and uncared for. Therefore, one of my typical duties in a new location is to cut out and replace any such caulk. It's a cheap way to brighten these areas up and make them look newer and cleaner.

Cost -- About $3 for a tube of caulk.

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