A thousand dollars may not seem to be a large amount of money to spend on home improvement, however, when it comes to remodeling, you can make some serious improvements without breaking the bank. Most experts agree that regularly setting aside money for home improvement projects is the best way to ensure that emergency repairs (like a new heating system) don’t seriously affect your finances. Keeping on top of monthly maintenance tasks is another way to make your dollars go further – regular maintenance can ensure that issues or problems are addressed before they become out of hand.

Here are some easy and $1,000 or less home improvement projects for you to try:

1. Update lighting

Switch out your old-fashioned lighting fixtures and update them with the latest and energy-efficient star rated ones. A visit to the most popular home retailer websites will update you with the latest trends in lighting like copper or bronze. Select the fixtures that match the style and decor of your room and think about the size and scale of your lighting pieces. Pendants or chandeliers in attractive metals and designs can create a great impact on the look and feel of a room. Remember that lighting can make a room look larger and more comfortable. Be sure you are using the right type of lighting for your rooms.

Expected costs: A quick DIY light replacement or addition (like lamps) can range from $20 – $1,000. If you need to hire an electrician, you may want to choose less expensive lighting to offset your costs. To put it into perspective, according to this electrician salary guide, an electrician’s hourly rate is $23 on average. Simply spray-painting your current fixtures can cost as little as $20. 

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2. Remake your entrance

The entry doorway gives an instant impression of your home, so change your dull looking entrance to an attractive and live one.  Try a new solid door with contemporary fittings and locks or you can update your existing door with paint and new handles. Purchasing a new door from the hardware supply store is a good way to spend your money – just make sure you are able to do the work or hire a handyman to help install it for you. If your front door is fine and you just need to spruce up the front entrance, potted plants, a new exterior light, new house numbers and a new welcome mat can instantly add charm to the exterior. Many of these projects are perfect weekend DIY tasks that don’t have to cost a lot of money.

Expected costs: the average price of a front door replacement is about $1,000. If you need to paint your front door, expect to pay around $30 – $100 for supplies. 

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3. Modernize the kitchen

Remodeling the kitchen can be expensive, however, if you choose your projects wisely you can make a great impact for $1000. Keep in mind that one project, like painting your walls, can go far in terms of updating the look and feel of the space. Even updating your accessories like dishware, linens or rugs can add contemporary colors and style to a neutral space. If you are fairly handy, try updating your cabinet fronts or retiling your backsplash.  If you have enough space, you can change the style and functionality of your kitchen by installing an island. It can serve as a breakfast bar, extra cooking area, or an all-purpose worktop.  If you do not have enough space, but still wish to have an island, then installing a portable one will be a good idea.

Expected costs: Paint and supplies can cost between $50  – $100. New cabinet hardware can cost between $5 – $20 per piece, or simply spray paint your current handles. New pendant lights can range between $50 – $500 per piece.

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4. Update the bathroom

Bathrooms are generally small rooms where $1,000 can go a long way. Even when hiring a plumber, you could still afford to replace the toilet and sink. Shop sales and look for discontinued models for the best price. New linens and curtains are easy to find on sale, and repainting this room may only take you one weekend to complete. The key is to choose what exactly you want to spend your money on and what will make the biggest impact. If you like to DIY, try updating your plain builder’s grade mirror, building a DIY ladder shelf or learn how to tile.

Expected costs: New toilets can be found for around $100 – $300, same with sinks. Vanities can cost more, around $500 – $900. 

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5. Hire professional cleaners

Nothing improves a home’s interior more than a good and thorough cleaning. You can certainly do this yourself however there sometimes good reasons to hire a professional. Carpeting cleaners, for example, use high tech and powerful machines that not only suck out more dirt than a hand-held version, they also suck out more water. You may also want to invest in a professional to clean difficult objects like windows. Professional pressure washers can also clean all the moss and mold off of driveways and walkways, making it cleaner in appearance and safer to walk on.

Expected costs: Professional carpet cleaners can get the job done for around $200 – $500, depending on the scope of the projects. Housecleaners will vary greatly by size of home and location. Professional pressure washing machines can be rented or you can hire someone to do this for you for less than $1,000.

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6. Decorate the walls

It’s amazing how much larger a room will feel with the addition of wall decoration. Using your vertical space, and giving the eye a reason to move up and down, tricks the eye into thinking the space is larger than it is. Not only that, adding decor like open shelving gives you a place to add splashes of color or decorative objects, instantly adding style to a room. Try adding simple shelves in a symmetrical pattern, or try moving your artwork from one room to another. Thinking outside the box can really leverage your investment. Taking a vintage piece of fabric and stretching it over a canvas, or framing bits of favorite designs on paper can add a lot of pizazz all over the home. Spending a few hours with a professional interior designer can help you pull it all together.

Expected costs: New shelving and frames can be purchased inexpensively from big box stores. Expect to pay anywhere from $20 – $100 per shelf, and about the same for frames.  

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7. Get organized

Sometimes just clearing away clutter can enhance a room. Once clutter is contained, it’s amazing how much more functional and beautiful a space can be. Sometimes organizing a room or closet is a great rainy-day weekend project and it’s easy for the whole family to be involved in donating unused items. Other projects may require help from new cupboards or cabinetry. The garage, for example, is usually one large open space so installing cabinetry is a great way to keep your items organized. Some cabinets are easy to purchase off the shelf and can be installed yourself. You can also consider hiring a professional organizer if the task at hand is too overwhelming. Professional organizers are good for when dealing with difficult to sort objects or for when you simply are too overwhelmed to do it yourself. They can also help set up a better system to keep you organized going forward.

Expected costs: Hiring a professional organizer will vary depending upon their level of expertise as well as your area but expect them to charge by the hour. Cabinetry, boxes, and bins can be purchased for less than $1,000 and customized if you want to add style. 

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