Homeownership comes with its fair share of headaches, sure — but that’s what DIY projects are for. And while some might ultimately feel like more trouble than they’re worth, others can make spaces feel brand new, or solve some seriously annoying problems.
Recently, u/hobovirginity asked homeowners to share the “relatively cheap” home improvement projects they completed that were worth every penny, and people had a lot to say. These were the upgrades, big and small, that were totally game-changing.
“The $25 it costs to buy those garage door magnets, just to make it look fancier, is the best money I’ve ever spent.”
“Finally installing a bidet. For less wipe, it’s worth the hype.”
“I quickly installed Wi-Fi dimmable and color-changing lightbulbs for the outside of the house. I got a two-pack for $20. I have a schedule set so they turn on and off automatically daily. And I can even set special colors or even strobe effects for the holidays. I love them.”
“I spent $50 per closet to get the hardware that would allow me to convert bi-fold doors into French doors. They open so much wider and quieter now, and after putting the new hardware on, it truly feels like I have fancy closets. “
“Converting my existing porch into a screened-in one by myself was well worth it. It’s seriously not that complicated; the materials add up, but considering you’re adding an entire room, it’s worth every penny.”
“Induction stovetop: $800. It’s so mind-blowingly fast to heat up that we almost had a few fires in the first week while getting used to it. Chucking the cast iron on the old gas top would take a few minutes to get up to temp. Now, it’s hot to the touch in under 5 seconds and reaches steak-cooking temperature soon after.”
“Do some thinking on which non-windowed rooms you walk into most over the course of a day and buy motion sensing light switches. I added one to the bathroom, as well as another to my main bedroom’s closet. Those rooms are always so dark that the auto-switches have been a total blessing.”
“Replacing the knobs and hinges on our doors from the original, ’80s peeling brass to a more modern black matte made a massive difference, and it probably cost about $400 all in. Even though we’ll eventually have to refinish the doors themselves, it’s a great Band-Aid until we get around to it!”
“Adding in under cabinet lighting only cost $150, and it was 1,000% worth it.”
“Paying $750 for DIY-friendly laminate flooring in the kitchen. It completely changes the character of the house.”
“We replaced all of our light bulbs last winter, and it’s crazy how much better my mood can be in our Northern climate with bright lights — when I want them. I finally realized that we weren’t using the lights enough to even make a difference in our monthly electric bill. So, when it’s time, let them SHINE.”
“A whole house fan! It got any smells and smoke in our kitchen out fast, brought in so much fresh air, and the total cost to install was just about $500, including labor.”
“The best thing we ever installed in our home was the touch-operated faucet in our kitchen. It’s such a life-changer.”
“I changed my light switches from ‘flips’ to ‘paddles.’ Having all of them be brand new and the same color and type made a huge difference, and probably cost around $50 or less. Even better, it wasn’t nearly as hard as I was expecting.”
“We added outlets to closets, drawers, and cabinets so we could charge our vacuums, batteries, and even toothbrushes and electric flossers in the place where we store them.”
“I completely renovated an upstairs bathroom by myself, keeping the same tub but removing everything else. I scoured the return area at IKEA for weeks until I found two matching sinks, a floating vanity, and faucets, all at a 50% discount. I used large-format tiles on the floor, along the back wall, and around the tub, and added cheap molding to the frame of the existing large mirror above the sink. I also found half-priced backsplash tiles and a new toilet on sale. After painting the bathroom, it looked like a luxurious spa.”
“Programming our garage door with a smart garage door opener. I can operate it remotely, and the best part is that I can make sure it’s closed by 8 pm After having kids, we found that we were always accidentally leaving it open a lot, and this has solved that issue.”
“Insulation and air sealing. There was a cold window with a tiny draft that I eventually pulled all the trim off to investigate. I could see outside! Ended up spraying foam around the window, and the room was significantly warmer all winter. I ‘m working through all the other windows doing the same thing for $30 a window in materials.”
“Adding a laundry chute. No more carrying baskets of dirty laundry down the stairs!”
“I rehabbed my fireplace. First, I just painted the old brick, which instantly made it look more modern. After a year, we put in a new mantle that we bought secondhand from Facebook Marketplace, and the whole aesthetic changed.”
“I installed Wi-Fi plugs in every room of the house. I live in a two-story townhouse, and there is nothing worse than getting comfortable in bed only to realize you didn’t turn a light off downstairs. Now, I say ‘goodnight,’ and everything is off. Those lights were the catalyst for so many other smart devices in my home.”
What’s a home renovation or upgrade you did that was 100% worth the cost? Tell us about it in the comments below.