DIY home projects on a budget

Home renovation is an expensive endeavor. But if you go the DIY route, you can change the look of your home on a budget.

A DIY home project will require some work from you, but it can increase the value of your home – or at least become a fun family project.

If this seems appealing, the next question you may have is how to finance a DIY renovation. The good news is that simple projects may not require much of a financial or time investment. And for those who do, you have a lot of funding options.

Let’s take a look at a few simple do-it-yourself home projects you need to consider – and how to pay for bigger ones.

Weekend home improvement projects

Some budget-friendly DIY projects can only take a few days and significantly improve the aesthetics of your home (and even increase its value).

Here are some examples to consider.

Paint the walls

The way the walls inside your home look can have a big impact on the overall look of the place.

If your walls have old wallpaper, dirty paint or other cosmetic defects, it may be time for a painting job.

When choosing a new color, think about how it can affect your home value. Typically, a neutral color scheme that remains consistent throughout the house is the most appealing to potential buyers.

Give your kitchen cabinets a new look

Speaking of paint, consider upgrading your kitchen by painting the kitchen cabinets.

Installing new cabinets can be extremely expensive, but painting existing ones in a lighter color can also make a world of difference.

Another thing you can do is change cabinet knobs and drawer handles. Such details, even though they may seem small, can have a huge impact on the aesthetics of your kitchen.

Replace bathroom equipment

Remodeling a bathroom can be expensive and time consuming. Fortunately, certain upgrades can give your bathroom a new look while sparing your wallet.

For example, you can install new faucets and replace the bathroom mirror. Even more small details like new drawer pulls or towel rails can spice up the look without draining your savings account.

Add new window treatments

The old blinds or plastic screens that came with your house can be familiar and practical. Unfortunately, they do not make your home worth any services and they are not particularly nice.

You can upgrade them to wooden blinds, curtains or plantation shutters. If you are planning to sell, stick to neutral colors to increase your home value.

Rent an electric washer

Let’s not forget the exterior of your house. Before committing to repaint it, rent a scrubber. You may be surprised at how much of a difference a nice high pressure cleaner can make.

While you are walking, you can also clean your patio, driveway and walkways. Your home will shine like new!

DIY vs. hiring a professional

With many housing projects, there is a question of whether it makes more sense to go the DIY route or hire a professional.

Doing it yourself is appealing, primarily because of the money you save in labor costs. Of course, you will have to put the work in (which can be a lot, depending on the project), but you can save thousands of dollars on paying workers. If you do not have the skills, you can easily find a book or a YouTube guide to guide you. The result may not be perfect, but you will be able to be proud of it – and how much you have saved.

On the other hand, it may be a good idea to leave some projects to professionals. If a failure can pose safety risks, or if your project requires special permits, it may be a good idea to hire contractors. Of course it will cost you, but your home will be safe. Plus, professionals will save you time and perform the work that is more likely to increase your home value.

How to fund do-it-yourself projects

If you have decided to tackle your home project yourself, but it still requires a significant investment, do not worry. You have a lot of financing options.

home improvement loans

A home improvement loan is simply a personal loan used for home renovation. It comes with a fixed interest rate and is paid in fixed installments. This type of loan is unsecured, eliminating the worry of losing your security.

On the other hand, personal loans charge relatively high interest rates. In addition, you must meet the lender’s requirements to qualify, including credit rating, income and debt-to-income requirements.

Home equity line of credit (HELOC)

You can also finance a conversion with a home credit line (HELOC). This is a secured loan, which allows you to borrow against the equity you have built in your house.

You get a withdrawal period where you can withdraw funds from your credit limit and only pay interest. Once that period is over, you can no longer borrow and have to start repaying both principal and interest.

This type of loan typically comes with low interest rates. However, these rates are not fixed and may fluctuate, affecting your monthly payments. On top of that, your home becomes your security, which is always risky.

A HELOC also has credit scores, debt-to-income and other requirements.

Real estate loans

Like a HELOC, a home loan is secured by your home and allows you to borrow against your equity. You get a certain amount and repay it with equal monthly benefits over a fixed term.

How much you can borrow depends on your income, credit history and the market value of your home.

A home loan can be an option for expensive upgrades. However, you risk a forced auction if you do not pay as agreed.


Unlock is an innovative solution for your financing needs for home improvement. It is not a lender so you do not take out a loan. Instead, it is a real estate investor who pays you a certain amount in exchange for a percentage of your home’s equity. For example, Unlock may offer cash equivalent to 10 percent of your home value in exchange for 16 percent of the home’s value in the future.

Unlocking can be a great way to pay for an expensive housing project as it gives you access to a large sum of money without getting into debt.

Why use a solution like Unlock?

Unlock has a few obvious advantages over borrowing. Since it is not a loan, there are no monthly payments and no income requirements to qualify. The minimum FICO score required is only 500.

How much you can get depends on your equity. Typically, you must have at least 20 percent of the home’s value built up in equity to use the program.

With Unlock, you can get as much cash as the equity you have on your home at the time of the agreement – in addition to your first mortgage – without worrying about interest rates.

Unlock gives you 10 years to buy out your investment or sell the home.

This solution can be an excellent choice for many types of homeowners who are remodeling their homes. Whether you are looking for convenience, affordability or working to increase your home price, Unlock is worth a look.

The bottom line

Home renovations can be expensive, but with sufficient skill and patience, you can complete many home improvement projects yourself.

If you are applying for funding for such projects, you have a few options. You can go a more traditional route and take out a loan, or try a solution like Unlock to avoid adding debt.

Whatever you choose, be sure to realistically assess which projects may be do-it-yourself and which will require collaboration with contractors – especially if you need to renovate to sell your home soon.

Leave a Reply