In the spirit of keeping up with DIY through the colder months (although what I really want to do is wrap up in my cosiest blanket and watch Netflix all day), I thought I’d share some easy ways to make budget home improvements that require little effort for maximum impact. I struggle with the dark days and colder temperatures despite having not moaned too much so far this autumn and making little updates to our home really does make me happy.
Hopefully there may be one or two of these budget home improvements you feel comfortable having a go at and I’m more than happy to answer any questions or give any tips – just come and find me on Instagram or leave a comment below.
Painting Your Front And Doors – Inside AND Out
It’s amazing how transformative painting your front door is, really adding curb appeal and completely overhauling the look of your home. We have our original 1930s front door and painted it back in 2016 as part of our external home improvements. We went from being desperate to replace it to now loving it simply through painting. The external colour is Dulux ‘Gallant Grey’ and I’ve just painted the inside too in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Calamine’. The inside was white and got so dirty and just looked a bit uninspiring. Now it’s a warm pink and makes me super happy every time I walk down the stairs.
If your door is uPVC never fear! I’ve painted both the outside and inside of my uPVC back door too so anything is possible. For this I used the Al Fresco range from Frenchic, choosing colour ‘Swanky Pants’ for the inside and colour ‘Dusky Blush’ for the outside. It’s very easy on the budget home improvements scale, doesn’t require any prep and can be done in an afternoon.
Change Those Light Switches And Plug Sockets
When I was sharing my budget kitchen makeover back in February – a week of completely transforming our kitchen whilst my other half was away as a surprise for him – everyone loved it. But the one question people kept DM-ing me about was “are you changing your plug sockets and light switches?”. And I totally understood why because the standard white plastic ones just really bring down a finished look.
We’re working our way round the house replacing the light switches first with black nickel ones and at around £5 each it’s such a brilliant idea for budget home improvements. Yes, I would love something from Buster & Punch or Dowsing & Reynolds but we have a whole lotta switches and not a huge amount of funds so I’m really happy with our choices and how it just lifts a room. It’s those small details after all.
Cover Radiator Pipework
I love that radiators are factoring in to most renovators design decisions. Whether you scrap them completely for underfloor heating or choose to replace them to something super stylish, they’re no longer just a forgotten about element of a room. Replacing radiators isn’t always the cheapest option but you can give them a glow up with a lick of paint and a little attention to detail on the pipework.
We’ve replaced our living room radiator and picked up some pipe collars and cuffs from Screwfix to give it a sleek look. We’ve also used the same on our towel rail in the bathroom which we didn’t replace but had the ugly copper pipes sticking out of the floor. Now the pipes are all matching chrome and it looks so much better. A pack of 10 collars and 10 cuffs costs around £15 so this is a must-do on your budget home improvements list.
I won’t lie, the idea of replacing tiles and learning how to do them myself makes me a little nervous. Plus, when you’re just trying to do interim makeovers I’m not sure that it’s worth the faff of replacing tiles especially if you don’t have much time or budget. One of my favourite ideas on the budget home improvements front is painting tiles – I’ve done it twice now. The first time was in our main family bathroom which has had a budget makeover in many stages over the years. There was a strip of quite dated grey mottled tiles which I painted a clean black to really modernise the look.
Then as part of the kitchen I painted the beige tiles a bright white which really lifted the whole space in keeping with the work surface update and again made such a difference, especially coupled with the black nickel plug sockets update.
If you don’t like the idea of painting, I’ve seen some really amazing jobs done with vinyl tile stickers, either for wall or floor tiles and again it’s a super cheap way of making a really powerful impact.
Replacing Window Handles
One of the very first changes we made to our home was replacing the windows across the front of the house after our first super cold winter. But oh my goodness, new windows are expensive. We couldn’t do them all at the same time so again, it’s one of those jobs that we’re doing bit by bit as and when we can save up for it.
In the meantime, replacing window handles on the windows that are left gives them a modern update which works even on a period house. The ones we chose cost around £15 per handle and we’ve added them to the window in our main bathroom as well as the main kitchen window. I love how they look and definitely a huge plus for my budget home improvements.
I hope that this has been helpful and maybe you’ve done some of these things or will even have a go at some of them if you haven’t? Whilst this is our forever home and we take time to save up for the big renovations like installing our log burner or replacing the living room floor, there are so many smaller budget home improvements you can do in the meantime to add just as much wow factor.
Don’t forget, if you do carry out any home updates, come and share them with my new Instagram account @dailydiyinspo and tag #dailydiyinspo so I can share on stories and the grid. We’ve got to keep each other motivated!