Kitchen and Bath Projects for $100 or Less: Make a big difference with just a little cash and DIY time

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Updates to the kitchen and
bathroom can easily add to the value of a home and provide among the best returns
on investment, but they can also cost you a bundle of cash. Get strategic with
your DIY plans, however, and you can refresh a room with smart improvements that
don’t cost much at all. Here are the top tricks to try for great looks, safety

Updates to the kitchen and

bathroom can easily add to the value of a home and provide among the best returns

on investment, but they can also cost you a bundle of cash. Get strategic with

your DIY plans, however, and you can refresh a room with smart improvements that

don’t cost much at all. Here are the top tricks to try for great looks, safety

and water savings on a budget.

style='font-family:Arial'>In the kitchen…

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Re-accessorize

    cabinets: As many a

    clotheshorse will tell you, a great look is all about the accessories, and

    the same goes for an on-display room like the kitchen. Changing the knobs

    and pulls on your kitchen cabinetry is an easy, cost-effective way to

    liven things up, whether the approach is attention-getting color and

    styling or the subtle introduction of a coordinating finish and simple

    lines.

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Create

    colorful storage: Thanks to construction

    commonly involving composites, particle board and veneers, much of the

    cabinetry manufactured in the last 30 years has made refinishing

    impossible. However, if you’re willing to go over the grain with a few

    coats of paint, you can create a sharp new appearance that harkens back to

    the classic kitchen looks of yesteryear. Choose an oil-based finish, which

    is far more durable and forgiving of everyday kitchen grime than latex,

    and also pick up a coordinating primer. Then remove all cabinet doors and

    drawers, numbering or otherwise marking them with their locations for easy

    replacement later. A good cleaning, sanding and careful application of the

    primer and paint, and voila─you have a kitchen that looks brand new!

    style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Switch

    out the faucet: Another focal

    point in the kitchen is the faucet, and with a wide range of styles and constructions

    available in the neighborhood of $100, you can amp up the style standard

    while creating easy utility. Kitchen faucets bearing the EPA’s WaterSense

    seal are on the way, and you can also reduce your water use to a

    convenient and conserving flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute by adding an

    aerator to current faucet models.

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Get

    organized: Make the most of

    cupboard and drawer space by installing organizers, spice racks and

    specially sized lazy Susans.

    This may not initially seem to have the visual impact of other ideas on

    your list, but you’ll notice the difference in clear counter space and

    convenient access to what you need when you need it.

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Dress

    up décor: Ages-old accumulations

    of kitchen art, countertop tchotchkes and raggedy rugs can make a kitchen

    look dated and depressed, so take time to undo what all those years have

    done with a clean sweep and strategic new additions. Roll out new throw

    rugs in easy-care colors and fibers, edit displays of collectibles, and throw

    in a new decorative feature such as a designer bulletin board for display

    of kids’ art projects.

style='font-family:Arial'>In the bathroom…

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Add

    safety with grab bars:

    Incorporate the universal design basic of grab bars installed in showers,

    around tubs and adjacent to toilets. For optimum strength and safety, they

    should be 1 ¼ to 1 ½ inches in diameter and mounted a comfortable distance

    from the wall (usually 1 ½ inches from the wall; as a distance test, you

    should be able to fit your fist between the grab bar and the wall). Select

    grab bars that attach to the wall at both ends for horizontal or vertical

    mounting, or choose hinged styles that attach to the wall at one end and

    rest against it when not in use. You can also shop such specially detailed

    collections as those from

    href="http://csi.moen.com/catalog/brand.cfm?brand=Home%20Care">Moen to

    fla

    style='font-family:Arial'>wlessly coordinate with other fixtures in the

    room.

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Bring

    in a bench for the tub or shower:

    Yet another welcome safety accessory is a bench for smooth entry to and

    exit from a tub and stable seating in a shower. In addition to many varieties

    of adjustable benches and seats, there are folding models and wall-mounted

    collapsible seats that are simple to install.

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Let

    there be light: Generous

    lighting is a must in a bathroom for countertop tasks, illumination around

    mirrors and overall safety. If your present fixtures allow for more wattage

    than you’re currently using, amp things up with the next level in light

    bulbs. Also look into replacing older fixtures to brighten the room with a

    new look as well as better lighting.

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Be

    generous with water savings:

    Install a WaterSense labeled

    bathroom sink faucet or faucet accessories, and you can save more than 500

    gallons each year without a detectable change to your daily routine. High efficiency

    showerheads are also hitting the market, and are worth adding to your

    shopping list when you consider that showering represents about 17 percent

    of indoor water use.

  • style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>Furnish

    with fun finds: One of the

    current trends in bathroom design is furniture, whether in the styling of

    fixtures and storage or overall accessorizing of a room. Flea market finds

    such as small chairs, carts and stands can be refurbished and repurposed

    to add fla

    style='font-family:Arial'>ir to a space, and you can also find reasonably

    priced shelving and apothecary cabinets to bring in that furnished feel.

    style='mso-bidi-font-weight:normal'>

Note: Tom Kraeutler is the Home Improvement Editor for AOL and host of The Money Pit, a nationally syndicated home improvement radio program. To find a local radio station, download the show’s podcast or sign-up for Tom’s free weeklye-newsletter, visit the program’s website.

Read Full Story

Find a Home

Buy
Rent
Value
Powered by Zillow

People are Reading