Low-Cost Updates that Add Value

Low-Cost Updates that Add Value

Custom details add character but can come with a big price tag. Follow these cost-cutting tips to personalize your home without exceeding your remodeling budget.

Skip Crown Molding

built-in bookcase

When working with a remodeling professional, purchasing molding materials and paying for installation can be tough on your pocketbook. Instead, go with less expensive wainscoting and a simple chair rail. Can’t live without the crown molding look? Save money by installing it yourself.

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Use Ceramic Tile


Ceramic tile is classic and widely available at home centers and tile stores. Its traditional look makes it the perfect fit for bathrooms, kitchens, and fireplaces. Budget tip: Mix ceramic tiles with a few decorative tiles to create a custom look for a lower cost.

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Install Carpet


Lay cozy carpet in a primary bedroom rather than more expensive wood flooring. Your feet will thank you on those chilly winter mornings.

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All About Carpet

Vary Light Fixtures


Choose pricier, eye-catching fixtures to highlight one or two main areas in the kitchen, such as the island or sink. Opt for less-expensive, off-the-shelf fixtures elsewhere.

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DIY Embellishments


Decorative brackets add an appealing blend of support and architectural interest to basic wooden shelves. Purchase unfinished wooden brackets from a local home improvement store and customize them with paint or small wooden accents.

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Pick Midrange Cabinetry


Select affordable, midrange kitchen cabinetry instead of top-of-the-line cabinets. That way you can spend the money you save on high-quality appliances that complement your kitchen’s design and layout.

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Pay Attention to Color

Ceramic tile

Color is a home designer’s cheapest and most powerful tool when transforming a room. Whether you’re adding a little color or a lot, make over any room in your home with a fresh coat of paint, or colorful tile, hardware, or accessories. Mustard-color paint energizes cabinetry in this home’s hardworking kitchen.

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Enhance with Woodwork


Architectural woodwork not only adds character, it disguises imperfections in old walls. Use simple woodwork, such as beaded-board paneling and corner rosettes, to dress up walls and add interest to rooms. Beaded board is durable, budget-friendly, and can stand up to splashes, making it a popular choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

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Create Multifunctional Spaces


Good looks and practicality are equal partners when implementing storage in heavy-traffic areas. Open shelves in the kitchen marry storage and display, providing easy access to dishware during meal prep and entertaining. The technique also works well in any small space around the house — from bookcases to bathroom storage — as the visual openness keeps the room from feeling cluttered.

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