November 27, 2022

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If massive power tools, chaotic demolition, and lots and lots of money come to mind when you think of DIY home projects, you’re not alone. But ya know what? Sometimes the easier, budget-friendly projects can feel even more worthwhile than the bigger (read: expensive) ones.

Megan Batoon / Via giphy.com

Recently, u/scal369 asked Redditors to share the cost-effective investment that was a “total game changer for their home,” and I’m thrilled to report that I’m already planning on implementing several of these in my own.

The best part? Lots are renter-friendly, so you don’t have to be a homeowner to reap the benefits of some of these seriously brilliant ideas. These are some of the best ones. 🏠

1.“Installing a bidet toilet seat is truly so easy, and absolutely life changing. You don’t have to be a plumber to do it!”

“Your butt has never, ever felt so clean. Plus, the heated seat is amazing in the winter!”

u/gfunkdave

Sinisa Kukic / Getty Images

2.“If your floors are freezing, you can actually buy a thin, electric-powered heating mat to put under rugs.”

Woman wearing fuzzy slippers on a fluffy rug, with a dog lying on its back
Sara Monika / Getty Images/Image Source

3.“Install a keyless entry lock. We got one made by Schlage, and it’s incredible. Super easy to install, too! The battery life is great, and you get plenty of warning when it’s time to change out the AA batteries.”

“We no longer have to carry around house keys, and I can give workers, guests, and neighbors the other door code when they need it (and then change it after the fact).”

u/nunofmybusiness

Digital smart door lock security system with the password, close up on numbers on the screen.

Schwartstock / Getty Images/iStockphoto

4.“Updating cabinet hinges with slow-close springs is like moving to Beverly Hills.”

—u/Clarkkent435
Ryosha / Getty Images/iStockphoto

5.“I bought a four-pack of rechargeable lights, and they’re amazing. I have one in the hallway between the bedrooms and bathroom, one in the laundry room, one under the sink, and several under our kitchen cabinets. It’s the best $30 I’ve spent in years — and it’s been eight months since I’ve had to recharge any of them!”

Under-cabinet lights with caption "no electric work necessary"
Mtreasure / Getty Images/iStockphoto

6.“Install crown moulding! It may sound dumb, but crown moulding is a simple addition that can make the interior of your house so much nicer. It just adds some detail to what would otherwise just be a rectangular ceiling.”

“All you need is a saw and a nail gun — both of which are easy to rent at your local hardware store. When you do it yourself, it’s probably $100 (or less) for each room.”

u/Craigslistbox

7.“Buy a handheld shower head — you know, the ones that you can take off the stand — and install it yourself. You don’t even need a fancy one, and it’ll make showering (and cleaning the shower!) so much easier. You can do this even if you’re renting!”

Putting together a handheld shower head
Grigorev_vladimir / Getty Images/iStockphoto

8.“I bought an extra fridge, and it’s changed my life.”

“When we replaced our fridge, we left our old one in the garage with the intention of selling it on Craigslist. When we couldn’t find any takers, we kept it and decided to use it for bulk storage — now we take fewer trips to the grocery store, and we do WAY more home cooking.”

u/LA_Nail_Clippers

Super Deluxe / Via giphy.com

9.“I installed sliding shelves in all of my lower kitchen cabinets. Eventually, I’ll swap all of them out for drawers…but sliding shelves was a low-cost upgrade that adds SO much functionality. No more taking out every single item just to find that one thing in the back!”

Installing sliding shelves in a kitchen cabinet
Bilanol / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10.“This might be completely obvious, but it bears repeating. I painted the interior of the whole house (before moving in), and it feels at least 20 years newer.”

Hallmark / Via giphy.com

u/stardust_2001

11.“Slow-close toilet lids are the cat’s meow. You’ll never have to worry about slamming the lid ever again — even if you live with people who do it all the time!”

Someone closing a toilet bowl lid with an "x" through their hand
Rattankun Thongbun / Getty Images/iStockphoto

12.“Insulated the attic for $500 total, and I’ve easily saved $1800 in heating and cooling costs since. Plus, the house just feels so much more comfortable no matter the time of year.”

adding fiberglass insulation to the floor of an attic
Fokusiert / Getty Images/iStockphoto

13.“If you have an old toilet, you’re wasting SO much water. Depending on your water utility, you might be able to replace them for next to nothing…”

“My utility had a $75 rebate per low-flow toilet installed, so I replaced all of my old water-wasters. Bonus: Part of the contract was that you had to ‘disable’ the old ones so they couldn’t be reused — I got to put on my safety glasses and find out how many hits with a hammer until the toilet bowl shatters! The answer is one.

u/EduardDelacroixII

toilet flushing

Calvin Chan Wai Meng / Getty Images

14.“There’s nothing better than replacing one of those range hood vents (that just ‘filters’ any smoke) with one that actually vents outside. I can literally cook anything I want now, and it’s less expensive than you’d think.”

Turning on a range hood over a stove
Brizmaker / Getty Images/iStockphoto

15.“We installed automatic light sensors in our laundry room and pantry. Not having to fumble around while carrying a load of laundry with both hands?! Game-changer.”

“Even better, this upgrade was dirt cheap since we did it ourselves.”

u/Tricky-Juggernaut141

arrow pointing to lights over a laundry room

Pc Photography / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16.“I bought battery-powered lawn equipment instead of the normal gas stuff. No more gas cans! No more ‘tune-ups.’ They’re super quiet, and there’s also no stinky exhaust — plus, I promise they’re just as powerful as the old-school ones.”

Paramount / Via giphy.com

u/darth-faader

17.“We love our smart thermostat. They have really amazing features, and it’s so much easier to know exactly how your system is working. We got ours for $180 at Costco during their Christmas sale, and installing it on our own was a piece of cake, too.”

nest thermostat on a wall
Gado / Gado via Getty Images

18.“We put an actual shelving system in our garage. The amount of space we freed up was worth every penny, especially considering the fact that we don’t have a basement or a useable attic for storage.”

Reaching for an item in garage shelving
Rosshelen / Getty Images/iStockphoto

19.“Buying a shade sail made our deck so much more useable on hot, sunny days. Even better — the shade itself only cost $40!”

Shade sail outdoors
Beekeepx / Getty Images/iStockphoto

20.“We replaced our bi-fold pantry doors with a French door-style one — then, we put spice racks on the backs of the new doors. We also added some storage bins to the inside shelves, and it just seems so much more useable and organized now!”

Grabbing items in a pantry with two French doors
Lyamport Galina Vyacheslavovna / Getty Images/iStockphoto

21.“Mesh Wi-Fi totally changed my life. It’s so worth installing one of these systems instead of the router your cable company charges you monthly for — now, I never have to think about where the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ Wi-Fi spots are. It’s just reliable everywhere, and you can forget about it entirely.”

IFC / Via giphy.com

u/captainvancouver

22.“We paired three new LED lights with a Maestro motion switch, so when the garage door opens, the entire garage lights up SUPER bright.”

“It looks incredible — and it’s so much easier to park now! It’s crazy how something as simple as better lighting can make an area look amazing…even a garage!”

u/400K_LBS_OF_FREEDOM

Overhead garage door LED light

Undefined Undefined / Getty Images/iStockphoto

23.“We live in a really bright house, and putting up some window film was a game-changer for all of our furniture that was getting discolored from the UV rays.”

arrow pointing to a bright window in a living room
Creativastudio / Getty Images

24.“Investing in some smart lighting with the ability to shift the color temperature was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

“Being able to adjust the brightness and temperature depending on the time of day (and what I’m doing) is something I truly can’t live without now! Having the ability to automate those changes made it even better.”

u/TechnicianOrWhateva

using a smart light app on a phone

Israel Sebastian / Getty Images

25.“When I remodeled my bathroom, I installed a space heater right above the toilet and put it on a 1 to 30-minute timer switch. Now, when I get out of the shower, the room is always perfectly toasty.”

Installing a bathroom heater into the wall

26.“After years of putting it off, I finally upgraded my 60/40 split kitchen sink to a nice, big single bowl sink. Let me tell you — I never thought I could love a kitchen sink, but here we are. Somehow, I actually look forward to washing dishes now.”

Washing dishes in a large, stainless steel sink
Grace Cary / Getty Images

27.“If you’ve always wanted a skylight (but don’t want to spend all of that money), look into a tube skylight or sun tunnel. It’s unbelievable how much light is able to come in through such a small opening, and it’s the perfect way to brighten up small rooms — like closets and bathrooms.”

Installing a sky tunnel sky light in an unfinished ceiling

28.“I’m no electrician, but I installed USB outlets all over my house. It’s easier than you’d think, and super cheap — plus, you can charge pretty much any device in any outlet without carrying around all those charging bricks. For something so low cost, it’s made a massive impact.”

USB Outlet charging a phone on a kitchen counter
Robin Gentry / Getty Images/iStockphoto

29.“The easiest DIY ever is installing timer switches for bathroom vent fans. Now I just hit a button, take a shower, and it turns itself off in 20, 30, or 60 minutes. They’re in every bathroom now!”

timer light switch built into a wall cover

30.“Installing ceiling fans in every room — even the kitchen and garage — helped significantly with our cooling bills in the summer. Why turn the A/C down when you can just turn a fan on?!”

“The $70 Home Depot ones look perfectly fine to me, and they make SUCH a difference in my everyday happiness.”

u/GokusSparringPartner

Installing a ceiling fan

Lifestylevisuals / Getty Images

31.“My adjustable closet shelving systems are the best. I’ve installed them in most of the bedrooms now. It’s amazing when your storage needs change, as you can switch up your space fairly easily. Your home will feel way less cluttered when everything has proper storage space!”

Installing adjustable shelving in a closet
Welcomia / Getty Images/iStockphoto

32.“I bought a Google Home Mini and a bunch of cheap, compatible smart outlets. I say ‘goodnight,’ and it turns on my white noise machines, turns off my lights (including the Christmas tree!), turns on my heated blanket, tells me the weather for the next day, and starts the sleep playlist I like on Spotify. All of that for just over $100.”

AwoX / Via giphy.com

u/OyHereWeGoAgain

33.“Putting a dimmer switch in the bathroom was the best decision ever. In the early mornings, it’s not blindingly bright — but when you’re cleaning the bathroom or want a bright shower, you have the option to turn it all the way up. Such a small investment, but I appreciate it every day.”

Dimmer switch on a wall
Renata Tyburczy / Getty Images/iStockphoto

If you’ve done some budget-friendly home improvements (that you appreciate just as much as the pricier stuff), drop ’em below! 🛠️

Note: Comments have been edited for length and/or clarity.

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/homeowners-renters-sharing-cheap-home-171602430.html