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81 Home Improvement Tips With The Best Value For Money, As Shared In This Viral Thread

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One lesson many young adults have learned to their dismay is the reality that a living space can be expensive. Rent and mortgages are one thing, but the “real world” truly hits home when one has to consider what vacuum cleaner to buy and whether the living room actually needs a new coat of paint.

So one netizen decided to ask the internet to give them the best changes people have made. People responded with a variety of smart tips and good ideas, so prepare to take some notes as you scroll through and upvote the best pieces of advice you encounter.  


House plants. The amount of color and life simple and easy-to-care-for plants add when the days are dark is amazing.

Flowering trees. If you have a yard, plant some trees that add scent and color and encourage wildlife to visit. We get so many birds and our yard smells like heaven in June with our pink crab apple blossoms and lilac trees.

Image credits: KimBrrr1975


Silicone and felt pads for every cabinet and bedroom Door. That quiet little voice as they close is so nice. Makes even the cr*ppiest cabinets feel better.

Image credits: Mikeismycodename


Reflective film for the windows. Especially the light facing windows. 10 degree drop in the House. Electrical bill dropped by half. Few hundred bucks and an afternoon of tedious but not hard work. 

Image credits: Orange-Yoda


I made automatic curtains for my bedroom, and it was a shocking quality of life difference for me. Rather than wake up with an alarm, I just set my curtains to open in the morning, and I wake up softly a few minutes later. Add to that the not-depressed feeling that open windows add (but I’m somehow too lazy to consistently do manually) and it’s a solid addition to my life.

I made my as a diy project, so it was shockingly cheap (like maybe 30$). You can get commercial ones but I believe they are much more expensive

Image credits: Crazyjaw


Replacing the aerators in my bathroom faucets. We thought was had bad water pressure, but that didn’t make sense since other fixtures were fine. Turns out the aerator was just badly clogged with sediment. It was a night and day difference.

Image credits: ThatA**holeMrWhite


Under cabinet lighting. Less than $100 and it makes such a difference.

Image credits: raisingragamuffins


Black out drapes are amazing!

Image credits: Final-Substance1233


Best thing ever is my undersink Reverse Osmosis water tap with re-mineralization. I stopped using bottled water altogether and it only took 30 mins to install ourselves. We used the existing 3rd hole for soap as the new dedicated tap.

Image credits: PrinceBastian


Bidet. ~ $80. 30 minute install. Life changing! A must IMO.

Image credits: ganglyangler


When I bought my house (built in the mid-1950’s) the only thing that nagged at me were the old, rusty looking floor registers that lead to the duct work. I replaced them with new art deco style registers. They weren’t expensive and made such a difference. Took minutes to replace the old ones.

Image credits: hb122


Premium mattress. Paying for a quality mattress that actually matches you and how you sleep will literally change your life. I wasn’t a believer and thought it was all a gimmick until I took the plunge.

Image credits: MuffinDunking69


Upgraded skinny, deep box style kitchen cabinets by building in rollout shelves. Turned our deep cabinets that we always lost food in the back of into high volume; quick access storage.
Time: 3 hours, mostly sanding and painting.
Cost: $50, mostly splurging on nicer wood.

This is house specific, but having storage that functions smoothly, not just as a box, has felt like serious luxury. We also added fancy slides to the big wooden drawers on our built-in bedroom closets. Felt amazing to not heave a screeching drawer every day. I can access my stuff without disturbing everyone in the house.


Kitchen trash can in a drawer equipped with push to open. Just tap it and it opens itself. No more opening the trash with grimy hands.

Image credits: lyr4527


A motion sensing front porch bulb $5. It's great I never have to worry about leaving the light on. Anytime I come home or someone enters the front porch the light comes on. The only thing is your fixture can't block the line of sight between the bulb and the area below for the motion sensor to work.

Image credits: A_SNAPPIN_Turla


If you have cats, automatic litterbox. Only having to change out the bag every week or so and add litter every so often is a game changer compared to scooping multiple times a day.


New curtains was such a game changer for me, brought the room to life and only cost €30 from Argos - makes such a difference to any room & doesn’t cost an arm.

Image credits: Tricky-Practice-9411


I did the hack where you hammer a very slight bend in the middle hinge pin of a door to our bathroom. Nothing in our house is hung straight and it kept closing on its own and hitting my back while I’m brushing my teeth. Cost $0. Time, 30 seconds. Life changing.

Image credits: tweedlefeed


Art - something that tells a story and is appealing to all at the same time - a photo you took, a map of your home town etc. Photos of you and your family and friends greatly add to the warmth of a home.


Touchless kitchen faucet is my new favorite thing, best thing we added to our new house!

Image credits: Dreamer1524


Quiet exhaust fans in the kitchen and bath.

People don't use the exhaust fans enough because they're noisy and annoying. Leading to black mold problems because of the humidity. Also add motion detector switches to the bathroom fans. People never run the bathroom fans long enough.


A little dehumidifier in the bathroom. $20 - $40 on Amazon Never touching a wet towel or stepping on a wet bath mat - priceless.

Image credits: anon


Came here to say “nice shower head” but I see everyone is already in the know.


Ceiling fans in all rooms. I’m in FL, it cuts down the AC use significantly. Cost varies by fan chosen, able to DIY since the house came wired for them (but only boob lights installed).

Image credits: Idgie-Threadgoode


Best one by far in my opinion living in a noisier city area would be double or triple pane windows. Not cheap but essential when you want to shut out the noise of the world for a while.

Image credits: consideration


Good quality wifi mesh starting around $150 Price keeps going up depending on brand and equipment quantity, the best wifi is the one no one complains about. I even have an access point outside in the backyard, full bars everywhere.

Image credits: mossyturkey


Dusk to dawn lightbulbs for my outdoor fixtures. $10. Lights are always on at night for security purposes. Never on during the day.


Timer switches on bathroom exhaust fans. Game changer for controlling moisture and odor without having to remember to turn it off. Saves energy too because you aren’t creating negative air pressure for longer than you have too.

Image credits: Mikeismycodename


So many great ideas here! I'll say additional insulation as we recently bought a house that I felt attic did not have enough and... what a difference! Temperature stays consistent, I can't hear planes overhead and road noise better. I feel like not only am I saving money immediately, but my qualify of life improved too.


Soft close toilet lid.


The best home upgrade, for the price, is fresh paint on walls and trim. If you paint youself, the paint and materials are relatively inexpensive.

Image credits: OldDog1982


I haven't seen in the comments yet:

-An over the sink dish rack. I gained so much counter space and made my general dish washing process a little more efficient. Bonus, use in combination with either an over-sink roll-up grate or in-sink grate for large articles. Paid $60 for mine, $20 for roll-up grate.

-Furniture slides. They make them both for carpet (hard smooth plastic material) and hard surfaces (soft smooth felt-like material, similar to stick-on feet). They work, and make moving large furniture around a breeze, provided you can lift it just enough to tuck the slide under each foot/leg. Keeping them permanently underneath say your metal bed frame makes rearranging cake. They're cheap, HD sells a variety pack for like 15 bucks.


Keypad lock for the front door, roughly $200, an hour to install.

Allows the kids to come home and unlock the door without having to worry about them being responsible with keys. Also allows us to lock/unlock the door remotely and to get into the house without fumbling with keys. The big improvement here was once we had a car with keyless entry and start. We no longer have to handle keys at all. 

Image credits: bhasden


A washer and dryer.

I lived in a small place that didn't have a washer and dryer. Added a small apartment sized WD. Not having to go to the laundromat was a life changer.


Probably not the cheapest upgrade at $30-50 each, but I changed all of our doorknobs to lever-style handles. Huge quality of life improvement, especially if you're carrying something with both hands. Plus, our dog can let herself in from the back yard (unless we deadbolt it to purposely keep her out for a bit). She still hasn't figured out how to pull open the door from the inside though.

Image credits: CoolHandMike


1. Eufy outside cameras - $90 each. Great for piece of mind when I travel for work and pleasure. You'll be amazed at what it catches. I've seen wildlife that supposedly doesn't exist around here (foxes and coyotes) and people taking shortcuts across my yard at 4am.
2. Anti-fatigue mat for the kitchen - $75. I can wash the dishes without my feet feeling sore.
3. Bed bug interceptors and high quality mattress protector. I hate to tell you but bed bugs are everywhere. I stay in high end franchise hotels and you'll see them all the time. After experiencing a minor infestation years ago, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. $$$ out the window and took years to mentally relax. The interceptors cost $20 (per pack) and guarantee they won't climb up furniture/bed. Also a great way to know they're there. The mattress protector costs $200 and will prevent them from hiding.


I installed Cat6 cables to every room in the house. Can't remember the cost off the top of my head, but for all the tools and cable it's less than $300. Probably more if you get really good quality tools. But the cable and outlets aren't super expensive on their own. Then $100-$200 for modem and router. Maybe $300 if you get a ubiquiti dream machine.

Having Ethernet in every room is the best. Every previous place I've been in and rented from, internet has been a pain in the a*s. Like a roommate that didn't know he was paying $10/month extra for a Wifi router from the ISP. Mesh routers have their issues in bigger homes. College roommates bought the cheapest $14 router on Amazon and say "it works for me" when it's 2 feet from their computer. Some places I've lived where I just stopped gaming online altogether. Last place the router was the complete opposite side of the house. Had to buy my own extender to get a signal.

So now that I have my own place, first priority was hard wiring every room. Working from home, streaming 4k, online gaming, downloading huge games. Everything is so much easier now. Of course this is only worth it if you have a fast Internet company near you.

Image credits: Travy-D


Smart Garage door opener. Typically an easy self install and added security that you know when it’s opened or closed.

Image credits: 77GoldenTails


Sunrise alarm clock. $14

I get up at 4:30 and work at 6. That sunrise alarm clock helps me wake up in the morning and makes the drowsiness go away.


Driveway sensor, $50
We have a long drive. It's solar-powered, when working from home it's nice to know when packages are arriving or when guests are arriving.

Good camera system $500 and up (if you can DIY) $1000 and up (have it professionally installed)
But a good hardwired system that goes back to a recorder. No worries about batteries, internet outage, or subscription fees for video storage.
Sure its peace of mind for security, but during the winter I use it to see if I have to get up to clean snow, check if the wife is at home, check for packages etc etc. I've even used to see how something got damaged during a storm.


For those in row houses.... storm door with sliding window. I cant tell you how much more fresh air gets through when you have a direct path on the same floor from front to back.


> Roomba Avg cost ~$150-650

I just spent $1200 on an auto map, mop, vaccum, auto-refill, auto empty robot vaccuum cleaner and this SOB is worth twice what I paid for it, it runs 3x a week and I f'ing love it.

Image credits: YoureInGoodHands


Putting in an additional bathroom when we only had one.


I LOVE the glass rinser I installed when I switched out my sink. I use it for everything, from shot glasses to my coffee machine portafilter.

Image credits: XFiraga001


For us, I'd add: - putting a washer and dryer in the master closet. (We also have one downstairs for the kids). - a separate pantry room (perfect for hoarding Costco supplies) - 'beer fridge' in said pantry (where we store beverages and over-flow items). Keeps the kitchen fridge manageable.


If you have lumps/rolls showing up in your carpet, you can get it stretched and it looks 1000x times better. Blew my mind when my realtor told me about it when I was selling my house. I don't even think it was 200 bucks.

Image credits: moondoggle


I’m converting most of my kitchen cabinet shelves to pull-outs. It’s absolute heaven having a place for everything and really being able to use the entire depth of the cabinet. My cabs are always neat now and putting away dishes takes about one minute. No more teetering stacks of cookware, it’s life-changing. Also made a two-tier silverware drawer organizer and hung the measuring cups on hooks inside a cab door, one cup per hook. So tidy. And built an under sink organizer with more slide-outs. 


1953 house. In addition to most of these suggestions (switch and outlet covers, shower head, keypad entry, roomba), I lubed all our door hinges and tightened the front door hinges. Now they all work right and are quiet. Super nice to be able to sneak out of the baby’s room without waking her.


Hood vent that vents to the exterior of the home. Spent $600 on mine. Already had a vent installed but the hood was a recirculating one. Previously couldn't boil a pot of water without steam everywhere. Now I can sear steaks without setting off my smoke alarm. It's loud but functional.


For those of us in cooold climates where we need to drip water to avoid freezing pipes - a water bypass. It means no extra water bill from running faucets because the water cycles through the pipes but dumps back into the house supply. I don't know 100% how it works, it was here when we moved in and it's amazing. 

Image credits: KimBrrr1975


Depending on how they are when you move in, replacing bulbs. The house we bought last may had all old incandescent bulbs of mismatching tones. We replaced them with bright LED’s of a neutral tone (not the standard blue-white) and it made the home feel a lot more modern already.


* **Tools**. I'm able to fix a suprising number of things without having to hire someone using a small set of basic tools (and YouTube). Fix furniture, fix plumbing, car repairs, fix appliances.
* **Organizers**: Shelves, storage bins, racks, tool chest and other organizers. All my tools, electronics, documents and random things have their place
* **Easy Connectivity**: Power strips, extension cords and usb hubs. All my devices have a convenient place to be plugged into in each room (it's an old house which doesn't have outlets everywhere).


I hired a house keeper. My favorite $120 I spend every 2 weeks. No matter how bad money gets in my house, she’ll always be the absolute last thing to get cut.


I googled how to make my microwave be silent. As someone who is sensory sensitive, it's been so nice to not hear that obnoxious beeping anymore.


Water softener. 3-5k. Maybe not needed everywhere but sure makes a huge difference with Florida’s hard water. Use less cleaning goods. Like 80-90% less. Food is better. Clothes are cleaner. Water based appliances last so much longer.


Not in the “cheap” category, but soooo worth it:

Covered porches / porticos. No, really. No fumbling for keys while you are being rained on. Leaving? Deploy your umbrella outside but before you are in the rain.

No snow piled up against your door.

So worth it. I could never go back.


Painting kitchen cabinets or refinishing countertops.


 USB sockets in appropriate places for charging phones. 


My favorite that hasn't been mentioned yet is the motion activated light switch for the laundry room. No more fumbling for the switch with the basket.


Carpet runner on wooden stairs, $900-$2000 (depends labor and what kind of carpet you get).

Our footsteps are quieter so our small children are less likely to wake up when we go up and down the stairs. It literally helps the kids sleep through the night and my goodness I'd pay double for that!

Our elderly dog is no longer scared to use the stairs. Everyone is less likely to slip-slide in socks. We splurged for a nice wool design and it looks fantastic.


Not a homeowner, just someone in my 20s focusing on picking up trade skills-

Sealing your HVAC system makes a HUGE difference in the monthly expense. The jist of the process involves roughly sealing your vents / returns, hooking a machine up the ducts, then letting it heat up a substance very close to elmer's glue until it vaporizes. It's forced thru the ducts and quickly clogs any micro to ~0.75" sized hole. As far as I know somewhere in the 2000s it became code here in Michigan and installs range somewhere between like 2,500 - 4,000


Whole house fan. $1000-2000. Cools the house down in 15 minutes on a summer evening. Love it way more than my AC. I'm in the Bay Area of CA. Results will vary by region.


If you live in an old neglected house:

1. Replacing the valves on the sinks and toilets - $10 x # of sinks & toilets ~ 2 hours
2. Leaky tub spout - $10 ~ 5 minutes
3. New mat outside front door - $15 - 30 seconds
4. Re-caulk bathtub - $10 caulk, $5 caulk gun ~ 20 minutes


A long time ago when I replaced my father's washer/dryer, I demanded one feature - I wanted the dryer buzzer to have a switch to turn it OFF. So many times we've left the dryer running and gone to bed, only to have that f*****g thing buzz just as I was getting to sleep, waking me.

On the original washer from early 80's, we did some surgery to remove the buzzer, because we f*****g HATED IT.

But I was afraid Dad wouldn't realize this was a great feature, so I made absolutely sure the new dryer buzzer had an OFF switch. it has 3 settings - OFF, soft, LOUD.


Programmable digital wifi thermostat.


This is probably too expensive, but insulated garage doors! During some recent cold snaps, my garage reached 5° F. Swapping doors and over the last winter it never got below 45!


Life changing home things : regular prepaid scheduled maintenance on furnace and A/C. Has saved our butts over the years more than I can add up!


Also take the water flow regulator out of your shower head. It's a little piece of metal mesh. You can thank me later.


Not quite life changing but nuisance-removing: we bought a house where the previous owner had replaced all the hardware except for the door hinges. Replacing all of those super old brass hinges with matte black to match the doorknobs has given me peace.


Wall-mounted wireless switch for the living room which lacks a hardwired light fixture: $15. It's a stopgap until we get around to wiring in a light, but it's a huge improvement over fumbling in the dark. 


Heated bathroom flooring. We redid the bathroom and in the process put in a ditra heated floor system. My wife and our cat love it. I am happy about it as well.


Ring alarm. You don’t need any subscription pay at all to self monitor. Just for the cameras if you wish. Arm & disarm with door chimes. If the siren goes off, remote into the cameras to see if you know the intruder, NO SUBSCRIPTION for all this!! Also good wifi by Unifi or eero


Motion wall mounted soap dispenser. Helped my elderly mother remember to wash her hands. I think it has helped her not get any more UTIs
Was 50 dollars


If you are remodeling and having some electrical work done, add an outlet into any of your closets, and one in any long hallways. Outlets in closets are great for things like cordless tool battery chargers, cordless vacuum chargers, AA and AAA battery chargers, et cetera. The outlet in the hallway is great because you can plug your vacuum into that, and hit multiple rooms without needing to re plug it in anywhere behind furniture, under desk, etc (if you're not into Roombas).


Zoned AC was worth it. It’ll probably take years to pay off, but I can keep the office at a different temp on the weekends from my bedroom at night from the living room in the early evening. $1500 I believe.


Towel warmer. About $60 for a cozy warm, dry towel out of the shower every day.


Expensive but hear me out - hot tub. We spend so much time in there, and our water bill went down because my husband as a water baby took baths all the time. We all get away from our electronics and it’s a fun reason for the family to hang.


Belt drive wifi garage door opener. ~$300 2 hour install.
Belt drive is so much quieter, and the wifi is so nice. You can assign one-time codes to delivery divers or friends if they're dropping stuff off or picking up. It also shows who opened the door and open/closed status on your phone for when you can't remember if you closed it on the way out.


On demand water heater for my kitchen sink. Cost about 200 but it's a game changer not having to wait 5 minutes for the water to heat.


We just got a new construction home and are trying to do everything right to take care of it. One of them being sealing all the grout/granite/stone before we moved in. It’s amazing how well it keeps everything clean even if it’s only been a few months. 


Switch from an electric furnace to gas… I live in North Dakota. 3 year buyback and then I’m saving $1500/yr on heating.


An entry door directly into my garage. $1500 parts and labor, I recognize many homes might come with one, but ours didn't and to add one was only possible in one spot (where we didn't want it). Great access to our extra fridge during get-togethers, a place to let in the dog and wipe her paws when she's dirty, less impact on our plants that we put in the garage in the freezing winter weather by limiting how often the full garage doors need to open, etc.

Industrial racking (ex, Costco Whalen racking). ~$200 each (have gone up in price recently), easy to modularize in the garage, basement, etc. Super safe and great use of storage without having to build anything or anything less durable.

This post first appeared on How Movie Actors Look Without Their Makeup And Costume, please read the originial post: here

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81 Home Improvement Tips With The Best Value For Money, As Shared In This Viral Thread


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