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12 Most-Bang-for-Your-Buck Home Improvement Projects

Home improvement projects don't always have to have big-budget price tags. If you're looking to sell or just want to make your home more comfortable, there are several updates you can do, big and small. Here are 12 of the most bang-for-your-buck home improvement projects.

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9 Best Paints For Interior Walls Gettyimages 958154544kitzcorner/Getty Images

Add Paint

Choose a paint color and give a room a fresh look. Be sure to choose a high-quality paint, which will cost you $30 to $60 a gallon, but is totally worth it. While you have the painting supplies out, brighten trim with a light-colored, high-gloss paint.

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Kitchen Chandelierchuckcollier/Getty Images

Give the Kitchen a Simple Update

You don’t have to go big when it comes to kitchen projects. Install new kitchen cabinets or give current cabinets a refresh. Upgrade old kitchen countertops and add a kitchen backsplash for a new look.

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Bathroom with beautiful pendant lighting fixturesarchigram/Getty Images

Update the Bathroom

When it comes to projects with a great return when you sell your home, look no further than a minor bathroom remodel. Give your bathroom vanity a makeover, replace the toilet and faucet if needed, update the showerhead for a better shower experience and re-caulk the bathroom tub.

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Peel And Stick Flooringyanyong/Getty Images

Upgrade Flooring

If the carpet in your living room is looking worn, remove it and install hardwood flooring. Quality hardwood flooring can cost anywhere from $3 to $8 per square foot and you can save some money by installing it yourself. Try tile in the mudroom and give bedroom carpet a good cleaning.

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finish attic vaulted ceiling kitchenImageFlow/Shutterstock

Finish the Attic

If you have an accessible attic that is unfinished, try turning it into a bedroom or an awesome man cave. If the attic is connected through a stairway and has a ceiling height of at least 7 feet, it is one way to add livable space to your home without breaking the bank.

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landscaping juefraphoto/Shutterstock

Improve the Landscape

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to outdoor projects, here are simple landscaping ideas. Build a wooden planter box to add some color to the front of your home, plant some strikingly colorful shrubs and add some bee-friendly plants to your yard.

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Replace Windows

When it comes to home improvement projects, window replacement will help your home’s energy efficiency throughout the year. In addition, if you live in a colder climate, you’ll recoup nearly all your costs when it’s time to sell your home.

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kitchen lighting colander bowlsStratos Giannikos/Shutterstock

Update Your Decor

Take a good look around—could some of your fixtures use an update? Hang a new light fixture, replace electrical outlets and covers, install crown molding for a classic look and upgrade any outdated window treatments.

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modern home from the front lawn; able to see into front room through the windowsirina88w/Getty Images

Make Exterior Improvements

One of the easiest projects you can do is paint your front door. Also, replace vinyl siding that is cracked or broken, paint exterior trim and window shutters and fix any sidewalks that are chipped or pitted.

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Charming newly renovated home exterior, natural wood and grey siding create a beautiful curb appeal. Detail view of a nice walk out deck with wooden handrails.alabn/Shutterstock

Add a Deck or Patio

Build a deck with these modern deck building tips and shortcuts or build a stone or brick patio quick and easy. A DIY fire pit will give you a great place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

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outdoor deck lightingIrina Mos/Shutterstock

Add Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting projects don’t have to be complicated. Try some solar lights along a path or add some smart security lights.

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Remodel the Basement unfinished basementDavid Papazian/Shutterstock

Remodel the Basement

Consider finishing the basement (if it’s not already), or you can always go with remodeling your basement entirely which will add living space. If your basement is finished, build a DIY bar!

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.