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Home improvements that cost less than $100 from HGTV’s Cousins

The average homeowner spends about $3,000 to remodel their home. But there are plenty of instant upgrades you can do for a lot less. To find out how, we invited cousins and HGTV hosts Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri to join us in our New York studios.

Don’t underestimate the power of paint

With their custom look and feel, colorful appliances are popular now. But they’re generally more expensive than white or stainless steel options. So rather than painting just your walls, think outside the box and use bold paint for things like your fireplace, your appliances and tabletops.

On an episode of “Cousins on Call,” Carrino and Colaneri updated the look of a midcentury fireplace with a bucket of white paint and some reclaimed wood. When the new space was revealed, the homeowners were surprised to find out their contemporary fireplace wasn’t completely brand new.

In another episode, the cousins bought some sandpaper and a bucket of $15 chalkboard paint for a fun update to a refrigerator. “This is a great fix to get an on-trend look and not spend on-trend money,” says Carrino. And paint supply companies now make chalkboard paint in any color so you can have more fun and choose the color that best fits your décor.

Built-in multi-use furniture

Open-concept living spaces are among the most sought-after in properties, but there’s a way to do it without tearing down walls. If you don’t have the money to reconfigure your space with a full remodel, consider built-in multi-functional furniture.

For example, in an earlier episode of “America’s Most Desperate Kitchens” the cousins created a wooden table that you can fold down from the wall, with legs that fold out and lock into place with room to seat four people. When it’s secured back onto the wall, it looks like a piece of artwork in a picture frame. To create more space, they placed the chairs onto the wall as well. And the price for this custom project was about $75, not including the tools.

Investing in smart-home technology

Everyone wants to save money and have their home run in the most efficient manner – and one way to do this is to invest in smart-home technology. Smart technology includes devices like Nest thermostats and smoke alarms. “When you leave your home and get far enough away that your GPS tells Nest ‘he’s not home anymore,’ it’s going to shut off the A/C or turn down the heat and you’re not heating or cooling the space that you’re not in,” says Carrino. Both Colaneri and Carrino have decked out their homes with monitoring devices that provide security and cost-savings throughout the year. While it can cost $250 for the thermostat, you can save up to $100 by installing it yourself and you’ll be recouping that money by saving 10% to 20% on your heating and cooling bills throughout the year.

For more of the cousins’ secrets to saving on home improvement, tune into HGTV Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

And share some ways you’re saving on home improvement projects. Use #WAYSTOSAVE and share them with us on Twitter, Facebook, or email us and we’ll feature some of your best tips at the end of the month and share them with our viewers.


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