Contractors say these are the cheapest & easiest ways to improve your home

A prettier, more efficient, and better-organized home is coming your way.

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Home improvement can be a daunting, overwhelming undertaking. Do you leave it to the experts or try your hand at DIY? Do you spend big bucks, or cut costs and risk a low-quality job? I have the perfect compromise: Muster the confidence to do it yourself but with the helpful advice of experts to guide you.

I’ve compiled a list of tips, tricks, and useful products that come straight from some of the best in the home improvement biz. From lighting inspiration to gardening tips, this list is designed to give you the confidence that you can improve your home affordably.


Change out your old doorknobs for newer, sleeker options

First impressions count for a lot, and your front door is the gateway to your home. Niki O'Brien, operations manager at exterior remodeling company Custom Exteriors says, “Replacing your builder-grade shiny gold door knob in favor of a more modern color choice and style can make a massive difference in the front door's appearance, a part of your home that literally every guest to your home sees!”

This Amazon Basics matte-black door knob is a durable, stylish choice for your front door. It has a brass body and steel internal structure, and the latch is adjustable. This set also includes a rounded steel faceplate, a zinc alloy latch bolt, and two brass keys so you always have a spare.


Switch up your shutters to add contrast around your windows

If windows are the eyes of your home, they deserve bold and beautiful lashes — aka shutters. “Exterior window shutters, particularly when color-matched to a bold front door, can make a house look completely different,” advises O’Brien. “A recent customer paired black shutters with a seafoam green door. It turned out stunning!”

This classic set of open-louver window shutters is available in various sizes. They’re also lightweight as well as waterproof and add a touch of traditional style to your home's exterior. Crafted from durable vinyl with a woodgrain finish, they mimic the look of wood without the annoying maintenance. Easy to install with included hardware, they come in a range of fabulous colors.


Add decorative window film for privacy & diffused lighting

Replacing your windows can mean a lot of money and time. Instead, O’Brien advises window film, saying that “using a decorative film on the sidelight window next to the front door can make a dramatic statement and allows customers to show off their personality or even just obtain privacy without having to deal with a curtain right next to the front door.”

This frosted privacy window film is an economical solution in your home or office for maintaining privacy and comfort without sacrificing natural light. According to the brand, it blocks 86% of infrared and 90% of UV rays, reducing glare and protecting furniture. The no-glue static cling design is easily removable and applicable multiple times.


Hang a chic wall clock for some functional decor

“If you're looking for an inexpensive way to add some style to your walls, consider adding a wall clock,” suggests Mark Buskuhl, founder and CEO of Ninebird Properties in Dallas, Texas.

For an affordable and stylish option, this wall clock features a minimal black face with rose-gold numbers, wooden hour and minute hands, and a silent, non-ticking quartz sweep movement for a quiet environment. It's battery-powered and easy to hang with the included hooks.


Revitalize your workstation by giving your feet a soft resting place

Home is where the heart (and remote work) is. “If you work from home, sprucing up your workspace is a great way to improve the look and feel of your space.” says Buskuhl. “Whether you need to buy new chairs or desks, hang artwork on the walls, or change out your computer monitors, making small changes can make a huge difference in the overall look and feel of your home office.”

Pump up the comfort in your home office with this adjustable footrest that goes under your desk. Designed to enhance your quality of life, it helps to alleviate back pain, improve posture, and boost productivity. Crafted from memory foam with anti-skid backing, it's adjustable for your needs with a detachable bottom to change up the height and a top part that can be flipped over for a rocking effect.


Replace your old light bulbs with energy-efficient LEDs

LED bulbs are a smart choice in more ways than one. “Old light bulbs are outdated and inefficient, so it pays to replace them with newer LED bulbs,” advises Buskuhl. “With the switchover to LEDs, even incandescent bulbs can be replaced without sacrificing any brightness or energy efficiency. LED bulbs also last much longer than their older counterparts, and you can save even more money if you buy them in bulk.”

These smart light bulbs deliver an impressive 810 lumens for up to 20,000 hours. Choose from 16 million (yes, really) vibrant colors to match your mood or set your ideal ambiance, as they connect seamlessly with smart assistants and an app for convenient control. With hands-free voice control via Alexa or Google Assistant, tons of customization options, and energy-saving features, they’re literally a smarter choice for modern living.


Replace your cabinet hardware to give your kitchen a glow-up

Renovating your kitchen is a huge undertaking. “If you want to improve the look of your kitchen without spending a fortune, consider replacing your cabinet hardware,” suggests Todd Saunders, CEO of FlooringStores. “This small, subtle change can add polish to your cabinets, especially if your current hardware is a very outdated style or color.”

Ideal for kitchen cabinets, dressers, bedside tables, and more, these gold cabinet pulls are a beautiful accent to just about any decor. Installation is a breeze, and they’re made from durable materials — a zinc alloy base and aluminum alloy handle — to ensure long-lasting use. Each package includes 10 cabinet handles individually packaged to prevent scratches.


Add some bold houseplants for a splash of nature in your home

“If you are looking to improve the inside of your home, I would recommend a fiddle leaf fig,” says Alex Kantor, owner of Perfect Plants Nursery. “These houseplants are quickly rising in popularity, and rightfully so. They can grow to be 10 feet tall and five feet wide and are an absolute show stopper. They have a thin, dark brown tree trunk with large, waxy bright green leaves that are shaped like violins. By bringing this bold but gentle touch of nature into your home, it can allow for tranquility and design to improve your home.”

This gorgeous fiddle-leaf fig is shipped directly from its home nursery in Florida. Thriving in low to moderate light, it's the perfect low-maintenance addition to your indoor or outdoor environment, requiring watering just once a week. Not only does it add a fresh splash of green to your decor, but its presence might calm and uplift your mood in the process.


Make your yard smell dreamy with this olive tree

Deceptively named, the tea olive plant grows neither tea nor olives — but it does smell good. “Another plant that makes a great addition to a yard is the tea olive tree,” says Kantor. “This tree is a beautiful vibrant green, and in the spring, large clusters of tiny white flowers will bloom and fragrance an entire yard. The scent is sweet and floral.”

This tea olive shrub brings beautifully fragrant flowers to your outdoor space. With its compact, bush-like frame, it works well around pathways and entrances, as well as gardens and patios. Thriving in full sun and partial shade, there is no pruning needed; just enjoy the vibrant pale flowers that infuse your landscape with a refreshing aroma.


Accent your space with unexpected lighting

Let there be light! “Bringing light into your home is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to brighten any room,” says Matt Little, entrepreneur and director at Festoon House. “Whether looking for chic fairy lights or festive festoon lights, you will surely find something that will instantly brighten up your home's atmosphere.”

This pack of six puck lights is a versatile addition to your home. They are easily installed using adhesive tape or screws (both of which are included), plus they’re battery-operated. Enjoy wireless control with a remote, adjusting brightness and setting an auto-off timer. These 55-lumen LED lights provide a warm white glow, perfect for kitchens, bathrooms, closets, and more.


Grow your indoor plant collection & display them in style

More than one expert pushed the pros of potted plants in your place. “Indoor plants are a great way to brighten your home,” Little agrees. “Not only do indoor plants add beauty to your home, but they also help to cleanse the air and improve your mental health. You don't need a huge garden to add some plants to your windowsill. A few potted plants will do the trick.”

You’ll need somewhere to store all your new flora. This mid-century modern plant stand offers a stylish blend of sophistication and vintage charm. Made from eco-friendly bamboo, this stand provides sturdy support for pots up to 150 pounds, helping you to create a plant paradise. It’s easy to assemble, blends with any decor, and is adjustable to meet the needs of your pot.


Make rooms feel bigger & brighter with light colors

A new coat of paint works wonders. “A paint job can completely transform a room. Choose lighter hues to make a room feel bigger and brighter,” advises Little. “Another great way to add personality without breaking the bank is by painting an accent wall.”

With a low-sheen finish, this high-pigment eggshell paint offers a smooth, silky wall surface that is suitable for every room. Formulated with acrylic resin, it boasts durability, easy maintenance, and professional-grade coverage. Additionally, no primer is required and it dries quickly.


Don't be afraid to DIY for some totally unique & personal decor

“Do-it-yourself (DIY) decor is a great way to get creative and create unique decor pieces,” says Little. “You can reuse old items or look for thrift store finds that can add character to your space at an affordable price.”

Preserve and display your cherished vinyl records with this album cover frame that functions as wall art. Sturdily designed, it offers protection without compromising style. The wooden finish subtly accents album art colors, while magnetic hinges make it easy to change or clean covers. With crystal-clear, shatterproof acrylic that resists fading, your LP's artwork will shine.


Try these bins to help declutter your space

It’s not always about adding to your space — sometimes taking things away is the solution to a better-looking home. “Furniture rearrangement and decluttering can sometimes be the best way to make your home more inviting,” suggests Little. “Get rid of things you don't need anymore to create more open and attractive spaces.”

From apartments to RVs, these multipurpose bins elevate your storage game so you can maintain a neat and tidy space. Crafted from clear, shatter-resistant plastic, this pack of two bins can slide under your bathroom or kitchen counter, your closet shelf, or anywhere you can use easily accessible storage. They’re also stackable with easy-grip handles.


Consider using removable wallpaper to spruce up a wall

“Our number-one favorite idea right now is removable wallpaper,” gushes Docia Boylen, owner of Handyman Connection in Golden, Colorado. “This is a great way for people, especially renters, to customize a space without committing to something permanent. Doing a great accent wall in the kitchen is a low-cost easy way to show off your individual sense of style.”

Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner with decor-commitment issues, you can transform your walls into a lush garden oasis with this peel-and-stick wallpaper. Inspired by nature, this pattern adds dimension to any surface. Ideal for accent walls, room makeovers, and DIY furniture projects, its easy peel-and-stick application makes it repositionable, so redecorating is a breeze.


Accessorize your garage door with some magnetic accents

Your garage door takes up a lot of visual space, so make sure it looks its best. “Our second favorite idea is magnetic hardware for your garage door. This gives you a high-end look for a low-end price,” says Boylen.

Immediately elevate your home's curb appeal with this magnetic garage door handles and hinges kit. Built with strong magnets, this faux hardware instantly adds charm to your garage door, creating an upscale look with minimal effort. It’s easy to install, and no screws or holes are needed.


Detail your walls with peel & stick molding

Decorative molding and trim on your walls can really elevate a space. Boylen says, “We also love this idea of peel-and-stick trim to add a chair rail or faux raised panels to a room, and add instant panache to a dining room!”

You can easily enhance your space with this hassle-free, self-adhesive rail molding. Made from PVC, these trims are moisture-proof, anti-corrosion, and easy to clean. No tools are needed — just cut, peel, and stick to surfaces like walls, doors, and floors.


Give your backsplash an antique feel with the right tiles

If your backsplash is looking dated, you can mix it up without having to rip out the kitchen sink. “Another awesome idea is a metal backsplash in the kitchen – you can achieve this with antique tin peel and stick panels,” says Boylen.

These peel-and-stick tiles are easy to apply and feature a high-shine finish and metallic accents, transforming your old backsplash into a stylish focal point. There are four tiles per package, each measuring 10 by 10 inches. Maintenance is simple, just wipe them clean.


Add some art to your stairs

Turn your stairs into a work of art. “We recommend peel-and-stick stair riser designs to give your stairwell a great design look,” Boylen advises.

Step up your decor with these DIY-friendly stair stickers. Made of high-quality vinyl, they can be cut and customized to whatever size you need. They’re easy to install and remove, designed not to damage your stairs, and come in a range of fun designs.


Create a custom whiteboard to match your home decor

Sick of losing your to-do list? Take a whiteboard and make it fashion. “Combine design trends by using peel-and-stick whiteboard and frame it with the peel-and-stick trim to create a custom whiteboard for your office or kids room,” suggests Boylen.

This magnetic calendar bundle includes two 17-by-12-inch boards and one 12-by-9-inch board, offering ample space to keep your monthly, weekly, and daily plans clear. All items are magnetic for your fridge, or can instead be framed with the trim Boylen suggests for a more decorative approach. With six marker colors and easy cleaning, it's a useful home and apartment essential for efficient organization.


Change your lighting to suit your needs

All the beautiful furnishings in the world are kind of moot if you can’t see them. “Lighting is often a neglected aspect of home improvement,” says Graham Hill, a senior contractor and founder of Find Hokkaido Agents in Hokkaido, Japan. “However, making small changes to the types of lights you use can make a world of difference. You need to consider both the quality of light (warmth, brightness) and energy efficiency when selecting lighting.”

The motion sensor in these wireless LED stair lights activates the light in dim conditions, turning it off after 30 seconds of no movement to save battery life. Easy to install with screws or adhesive tape, these lights are a long-lasting solution for stairways, closets, and hallways. Powered by three AA batteries, they provide over 125 hours of illumination.


Plant a garden to add to your home’s curb appeal

Don’t be a shrinking violet when it comes to gardening. “I absolutely love greenery on the pathway of homes. The plants increase the aesthetic appeal of the home and make it more attractive,” observes Jason Farr, founder and president of Aviara Pavers in San Diego. “I love homes with fresh gardens. The hues of green paired with colors of flowers create a perfect balance with an all-white home exterior.”

This bundle of wildflower seeds includes 23 different varieties of seeds carefully selected to attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. The pack comes with a comprehensive growing guide, assisting gardeners from germination to blooming. From charming baby snapdragons to vibrant red poppies, these seeds bring biodiversity and beauty to your outdoor space.


Install a programmable thermostat

Hot one minute and cold the next? “A programmable thermostat is an excellent investment to save on energy costs and increase comfort,” says Roman Smolevskiy, owner of A+ Construction & Remodeling in Sacramento. “You can set it to adjust the temperature automatically based on your schedule, ensuring your home is always at the perfect temperature without wasting energy.”

This programmable thermostat allows separate weekday and weekend programs with four customizable periods per day. With precise temperature control, a backlit digital display, and an intuitive interface, it's user-friendly. Compatible with various heating/cooling systems, it offers easy installation and built-in reminders for battery and filter changes.


Create a vertical garden to maximize available space

Want to grow your own greenery but don’t have access to a yard? Smolevskiy has a solution for you: “For those with limited outdoor space, a vertical garden can be a game-changer. It not only adds a touch of greenery to your surroundings but also maximizes the use of space. Plant some herbs, flowers, or small vegetables in a vertical planter to create a beautiful and functional garden.”

Crafted from eucalyptus wood, this environmentally-friendly wooden planter display requires no screws or nails. Its sturdy design supports up to eight pots, so you can have a small botanical garden in your home. Customize the shape to your liking and create an interior garden with ease. The package includes all necessary components, including instructions, gloves, a wood hammer, and mini gardening tools.


Insulate your pipes & prevent costly damages

Insulating your pipes may not be as much fun as picking out a paint color, but it’s a vital task when improving your home. “It's a simple step that many homeowners overlook, but it can save a significant amount on heating costs and help prevent pipe damage during colder months,” says Logan Cox, assistant general manager of John The Plumber in Hamilton, Ontario. “In addition, a well-insulated plumbing system runs quieter, a small comfort that goes a long way in making a home more pleasant...”

This pipe insulation wrap has a tight, deformity-resistant design, and prevents moisture, condensation, freezing, and damage to pipes. You can easily adjust its size with scissors or cutters, and shape it to your needs. Simple to install and remove, it’s flexible and durable for effective pipe protection.


Install a motion-detection light switch near the foyer

Anthony Lara, the president and owner of Picazzo Painting in Miami, suggests installing motion detection light switches to make life a little easier: “You'd never have to go down and turn off a light that kids forget. These are so great when your hands are full coming in the door at night.”

The slim profile and modern matte finish of this motion sensor light switch blend seamlessly with contemporary decor. No neutral wire is required, making it suitable for homes of all ages. It is compatible with 300-watt LED, 300-watt CFL, and 600-watt incandescent bulbs, and has both automatic and manual on/off switches.


Install a condensate pump for your AC units

If you’ve ever been through a heat wave without a working AC, you know it’s the absolute worst. “If you are in hot locations such as Florida, your AC unit will cut off every few months if you forget to vacuum out the condensate in the drain line, which clogs up with white mucus and mold if you do not flush them out every three to four months,” warns Lara. “The solution to this is a condensate pump. I recommend getting the Little Giant one.”

A reliable choice for condensate management in HVAC systems, the Little Giant has a compact vertical-type switch and thermally protected motor. It efficiently handles condensate from air conditioners, boilers, and more, and it’s CSA-listed and built to last with a stainless steel motor shaft and thermal overload protection.


Upgrade your toilet with a bidet

Lara suggests installing a bidet. “This is easily one of the best value per dollar addition you can get. For less than $50, you can get an inexpensive one that you can hook onto your toilet. You can definitely have a good return on investment in terms of toilet paper saved, but honestly, it's simply a lot nicer to be clean when you're done. You can also just DIY and take 30 minutes to install this device even without real know-how.”

This bidet attachment gives you the option to choose between front and rear wash options with adjustable water pressure for a personalized cleanse. Cut down on toilet paper usage — embrace a cleaner, greener lifestyle. Designed for durability, it has a sleek, space-saving design. Upgrade your hygiene routine with a hassle-free installation process that requires no batteries or professional help.


Conserve energy by filling in the unwanted gaps in your walls

Don’t let money leak out of your home. “Use caulk and Great Stuff expanding foam,” instructs Lara. “You have to fill any gaps at the bottom of outside facing baseboards and foam any ceiling penetrations. This reduces drafts, and dust, and saves energy in the home. When all of those cracks and joints are combined together, they amount to the equivalent of a giant hole in your wall leaking energy. With improved insulation, it will offer value by allowing you to save money in the long run.”

This high-density foam ensures long-lasting results and flexible insulation. Bonding to various materials like wood, concrete, metal, and more, its easy straw applicator offers quick and convenient use. Usable for both indoor and outdoor applications, this insulating spray foam is designed to save you unnecessary energy drains.


Give your gardens a facelift with fresh mulch

“One of the cheapest and easiest ways to give your garden beds a facelift is by adding fresh mulch,” says Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal. “Not only does it make your garden look neat and tidy, but it also suppresses weeds and retains moisture. Think about it: For just a couple of bucks per bag, you get multiple benefits. I've tested this on countless properties, and the transformation is always remarkable.”

These 100% natural cedar shavings serve as a moisture-retaining medium for both indoor and outdoor plants. The natural cedar scent acts as an air freshener, making it perfect for refillable sachet bags. You can also use it in animal bedding, such as kitty litter, to absorb odors.


Light your walkway at night with solar lights

Want a quick and budget-friendly way to add some charm to your yard after sunset? Clayton has the answer: “Invest in LED solar pathway lights. They're easy to install – just stick them in the ground – and they charge during the day, illuminating your paths or garden beds at night. Plus, no wiring needed! Most people don't know this, but these small lights can make a massive difference in a yard's ambiance.”

These solar pathway lights feature an integrated lamp head design and an enchanting diamond-patterned transparent lampshade. Emitting a cool white LED light, they subtly illuminate your garden, yard, or driveway. Designed with IP65 waterproof technology, they are durable, weather-resistant, and heat-resistant, automatically charging during the day and providing 8-10 hours of illumination at night. Easy installation requires no wiring — simply attach the battery box, push the stake into the soil, and let the lights shine.


Add a few power strips around the home to lower energy costs

Ever hear of a phantom load? Me neither. Thankfully, Thomas Hawkins, electrician and founder of Electrician Apprentice HQ, explains: “It's when any sort of device is plugged in but not in use. It still consumes energy.” The solution? “[...] if you purchase a power strip or two and plug the majority of devices you don't use all the time into them, you can cut them all off at once and save big time on your energy bill.”

Whether for small appliances, TVs, or electronics, this pack of four power strips expands the outlets in your home with practical mounting options. With illuminated on/off switches and a 24-inch heavy-duty power cord, they conveniently fit into outlets. Boasting six grounded AC outlets, they offer 300 joules of surge protection, guarding against power surges and spikes, helpful for homes, offices, and workshops.


Upgrade your smaller appliances

Buying brand-new appliances might seem like an unnecessary expense, but your older, works-just-fine gadgets may be costing you more than you think. Hawkins suggests upgrading. “So obviously purchasing an energy-efficient fridge will drastically reduce your energy bill, but for the cheap and easy stuff — think microwave/toaster oven, a mini fridge in the garage, or even an air fryer — even these cheaper purchases will help improve your home in terms of a cheaper energy bill.”

This mini air fryer has an incredible 4.7-star rating, and is perfect for snacks or small meals. The quick-set timer and easy temperature dial help ensure precise cooking. The nonstick cooking basket and crisper plate make cleaning a breeze. This 1,000-watt unit includes everything you need for healthier air-fried favorites.


Change up your hand towels

Sometimes it’s the little details that really go a long way. “Something really easy that you can do, but that makes a big difference, is replace all of your towels, curtains, and other cloth/fabric items in your bathrooms, kitchen, and even living rooms,” says Jeremy Yamaguchi, CEO of Lawn Love. “Most of us stick to the same ones all year round, but switching up the colors/patterns is a super easy and cheap way to completely change the feel of these rooms.”

Sized perfectly for all your cooking tasks, these decorative woven cotton towels are highly absorbent and quick-drying. Coming in a set of three, their stylish designs add a touch of rustic charm to your kitchen or home bar. They look good during any season, and they’re easily cared for by tossing them in the wash.


Replace the pulls on older furniture or secondhand finds

Do you have an old bedside table? “Upgrade it with some new pulls or handles,” suggests Kat Christie, licensed contractor, DIY Expert, and founder of She Fixed That LLC. “While it can be costly to perhaps upgrade the handles on all of your kitchen cabinets, you can still upgrade the handles on smaller pieces of furniture, like hope chests, closets, drawer sets, etc. Replacing old handles with new ones can give furniture a fresh and revitalized look, extending the life of the pieces and reducing signs of wear and tear.”

Forged from durable zinc alloy, these rust-resistant dresser pulls feature a romantic ivory rose design with a silver edge. Installing these single-hole knobs is a breeze — just drill a hole, secure the screw from the back, and tighten the knob. With included screws of different lengths, these knobs are perfect for cabinets, drawers, and furniture, adding a touch of antique charm to your decor.