Summer Home Remodel Projects for Every Budget
The summer is a popular time for dusting off the paintbrush and hammer – or finding a trusted contractor – to work on home remodeling projects. Doing a home makeover can help you feel like you are living in a fresh, new space and increase your home’s value. Here are some projects that may give you the most bang for your buck.

Can’t spare a cent?
If you can’t afford to buy anything new, rearrange the stuff you have. Switch the side tables in your living room and bedroom. Move the painting in your kitchen to your office. You may even be able to bring friends or family into the swap. Perhaps your sister has been eying your sofa, and you would not mind having hers. Freecycle (, a network where people offer items for free, can also be a great resource for the money-strapped remodeler.

Have only a little cash to spare?
Paint is one of the cheapest ways to make a noticeable difference in your home. Remember, you are not just confined to the walls – furniture, cabinets, and ceilings are all fair game. You can even paint tiles. (Just make sure to get the appropriate paint for the job.) There are many items around the house that are fairly easy to change and don’t cost an arm and a leg, such as knobs, switch plates, curtains, and pillows. Adding plants is a great way to spice up the outside, and seeds are dirt cheap.

Have some savings built up?
If you don’t like the look of your kitchen cabinets, replacing or refacing the doors is a cheaper and less labor-intensive alternative to replacing the cabinets. You may be able to buy cover panels for your appliances too. Looking to replace your lime-green Formica countertop? Granite slab is pricey, but granite tile can give you a similar polished look for a fraction of the cost.

Have been saving for years?
Adding or extending a deck expands your living space, and you can save a little bit of money by using wood instead of composite material. Finishing a basement or attic is another way to increase your square footage, and if you skip extras like a bathroom or wet bar and focus on doing the basics to make the space livable (installing insulation, drywall, flooring, etc.), it does not have to a budget buster.

Return on Investment
Wondering what percentage of your costs you can expect to recoup when you sell your home? Here are the national averages:
72% Attic bedroom
70% Basement remodel
64% Bathroom remodel
73% Deck addition (wood)
73% Minor kitchen remodel
*Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report 2010-2011