Cost-Conscious Home Upgrades

If you’re looking for ways to improve your home but don’t have the budget for a full-scale renovation, look at upgrades that add instant value with a smaller investment.

Projects that enhance existing features or add new functions to the home are smart ways to spruce up the aesthetics and improve livability without breaking the bank. In between extreme weather seasons is the perfect time to tackle home improvement projects, so this fall consider some small-scale projects that can make a big impact on your home.

Revitalize worn woodwork. Nothing ages a home’s appearance faster than tired, weathered woodwork on the front porch or back deck. These structures are typically major focal points of a home’s exterior, so sprucing them up can go a long way toward transforming the overall aesthetic. A fresh coat of stain or paint is a minimal investment to bring fresh life back into your entryway or backyard living space.

Pull out a new kitchen look. If changing out the cabinets isn’t an option, you can still create a new look with a minimal investment. Wipe down cabinets thoroughly and apply a coat of paint to make them look their very best, then look for subtle changes that bring a wow factor, such as new hardware. Simply changing out dated pulls for a more contemporary look in a new color can bring a new mood to the room. Clear away clutter and add some fresh accessories for a whole new look.


Before embarking on a home improvement project, there are several steps a homeowner can take to manage the time and expense while making the effort run more smoothly:

1. Regardless of the type of project you’re planning, research the possibilities before you get started. From comparing prices to evaluating styles and features, knowing all your available options will help ensure you make right choices for your needs.

2. When evaluating appliances or equipment, pay attention to variables that may affect the overall project cost. For example, installing a generator with a power management system like Symphony® II from Briggs & Stratton, can help meet your home’s backup power requirements with a smaller, more affordable generator. This can potentially knock hundreds if not thousands of dollars off a generator purchase with a little research ahead of time to find the right-size generator needed for a home.

3. Determine a budget, and stick to it. Be realistic and remember that a little more investment upfront may buy quality that will save money on repairs and replacements down the road.

4. Assess whether the project is something you can tackle on your own, and whether time or ability may impede your progress.

5. Set expectations for yourself and your family about how long the project will take. If you’re working with a contractor, get a time projection in writing.