The best money-saving “Do it Yourself” projects for your neighbor may not be the best money-saving DIY projects for you. But wouldn’t it be nice to know what kind of projects Americans are doing that actually have the best return on their investment?
We can help.
Every year Remodeling Magazine posts its “Cost vs. Value” report, where it lists home categories that bring the best return on investment. While “Doing It Yourself” will always be less expensive than hiring a contractor, there are some projects that the average homeowner should never attempt—like installing anything with natural gas or any other project that can go “boom” in the night (or day)!
So we took the Cost vs. Value report and gleaned the top DIY projects that will bring value, not medical bills.
1. Replace the entry door.
It’s the first thing people see when they walk up to your home. And if you do a straight door-to-door replacement, and not mess with installing new jambs, it’s a pretty straightforward project.
CADET SUPER TIP: Have the door manufacturer cut the hinges at the precise location as the existing jamb and you can replace just the door and not the entire jamb. Easy, fast, affordable. Here’s a list from Porch.com of the top home repair projects in your state and across the US.
2. Install a deck if you don’t already have one.
A deck can be as simple or as complex as you want. Either way it’s a great money-saving DIY project because—when the weather is warm—you’ve added usable square footage without the infrastructure investment of interior rooms.
CADET SUPER TIP: Work with a deck company to have them install the deck structure and you nail/screw down the boards. You’ll have a pro-built structure but save a bunch of cash.
3. Give your bathroom a minor facelift.
If you figure most bathrooms are 5’x7’ then you don’t really have a lot of material to replace. Most home improvement box stores offer free classes on tile installation for both the countertops and floors. Keep the cabinets—just paint or “scuff and stain”. Setting sinks is pretty basic, but hire a plumber to hook up the faucets and drains.
CADET SUPER TIP: Want some extra heat fast? Install a Cadet Com-Pak Bath heater. It’s a fast, stylish, and affordable to say goodbye to those chilly mornings.
4. Spiff up your kitchen.
In the remodeling industry it’s called a “Pull and Replace”, and as far as money-saving DIY projects go, this one can make a big difference in your homes’ livability. Since cabinets account for 70% of the cost of a kitchen remodel, we’re going to keep the cabinets and either paint or re-stain. Finish them off with new pulls. Using tile countertops cuts down on cost, and has an elegant look and feel.
CADET SUPER TIP: Smaller grout lines are better—and NEVER use white grout. Even when it’s sealed grout can stain easily. And stains show up more on white grout. Small grout lines are less likely to show stains as well. Consider “clickable laminate” flooring for a durable, low-cost alternative. Throw on some new paint, sinks, and faucets (again, hire a plumber for hook-ups) and you have a new look that won’t break the bank.
5. Add heat to a cold room.
1). “Re-heat” cold spaces: Maybe it’s the bathroom at the end of the furnace run. Maybe it’s the bedroom above the cold garage, or maybe it’s that new room you just added upstairs. Either way an affordable, easy way to improve your cold space is with a built-in wall heater. And this is one of the best money-saving DIY projects you can tackle. Whether it’s a baseboard or a wall heater, Cadet Heaters are the hot products for cold spaces. Yes, we are a heater company—so we have a bias. But we have a very good reason to believe in our product. It’s been installed in American homes for more than 50 years. And—our heaters are American made.