5 home improvement projects under a grand

Updated: Jul 29, 2015 2:52 PM MDT

Photo ©iStock.com/Pamela Moore

July 28, 2015 – You would love to embark on a home improvement project that will spruce up your property and improve its resale value at the same time, but you only have $1,000 in the budget. What sort of projects can give you the best return on your investment (ROI)? We have five options below for your consideration.

Door Replacement – A recent Remodeling Magazinereport ranked front door replacement as bringing in the greatest value for cost, with more than 100% ROI for steel door replacements. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find an excellent replacement door for under $1,000, especially if you can install it yourself. In more expensive areas, it may take some bargain hunting to get under the $1,000 mark. The national average cost for a steel door (installed) is $1,230.

Garage door replacement also brings a high return on investment, but they should be installed by professionals and are generally going to cost more than $1,000 to be installed. Still, if your garage door is far more rundown than your front door, it makes sense to see if you can find a bargain on a garage door that meets your needs.

Appliance Replacement – As any viewer of HGTV knows, people will make decisions on million-dollar homes based on their impressions of kitchen appliances that cost one-thousandth of the value of the home or less. New appliances, especially stainless steel models, make a disproportionately good impression and there are many excellent and energy-efficient refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges, and microwave ovens available.

You will not be able to get top-of-the line products for under $1,000, but with some diligence, you should be able to find a model on sale that provides an upgrade over what you currently have. Even though you are not planning to remodel the entire kitchen, make your purchase as if you are planning to fill it in with the corresponding appliance upgrades. Someday, you probably will — even if it is one appliance at a time.

Landscaping – You can accent the exterior of your home with simple landscaping work that you can do yourself for well under $1,000. Look over your yard and see what needs the most work.

Do you have unruly areas next to the house that could be better defined as a garden with edging or landscaping blocks? Problem areas of the yard can be fixed up with strategic plants, from evergreens to ground cover, and sunny areas can be accented with a simple flower garden and some mulch. Shrubs can be used to block road noise in high-traffic areas. If you are not sure what types of plants do best in your area and soil type, consult your local experts (nurseries or university extension offices).

Lighting – If you have any drab areas of the house, look for cost-efficient ways to upgrade your lighting. The new generations of light bulbs are more energy-efficient and some are designed to mimic typical daylight conditions. You can change out fixtures or lamps yourself with relative ease, and kits are available at hardware stores to install track lighting and more advanced lighting systems. However, if you are not comfortable with doing the work yourself, hire an electrician. Otherwise, you may end up rebuilding (after a possible fire) instead of remodeling.

Bathroom Makeover – Depending on the amount of work necessary, you may be able to renovate a bathroom for less than $1,000. New water-efficient toilets are inexpensive and relatively easy to install, and a good bathroom vent can save you potential problems with condensation from showers leading to mold problems. Combine these with a new coat of paint, new shower curtains, towel racks, and faucets/knobs, and one of the highest-traffic areas of your home will look fresh and new.

While any of these projects may help you meet your goal, there are many other options available. Pick an area of your home that needs the most help, and do some online research to find inexpensive projects that you can do yourself (or where professional installation costs would be low). If all else fails, you can always use project inspiration as a reason to go to the hardware store. Just do not let your inspiration surpass your budget.