Contractors swear by these cheap home upgrades on Amazon

Amp up your space with these expert tips.

ByLauren Moison
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If you’re looking for ways to improve the look and function of your home but don’t know where to start, there are a few small upgrades that contractors say can make a big impact on your space for cheap. Below, they’ve given me the low down on some easy swaps and additions that’ll give you the biggest bang for your buck. Plus, most of them are super easy to install so you can amp up your space in time for the weekend.


A pack of peel & stick tile sheets for a clean, fresh look

Anna Karp, a licensed general contractor and the CEO and co-founder of Bolster, tells Mic, “A humble white tile can look amazing,” and you can get the look for cheap with these easy-to-use peel-and-stick subway tile sheets. Simply peel the backing off of the faux-tile sheets and apply to any smooth or slightly textured surface for a durable, heat-resistant, and waterproof finish.


This set of adhesive backsplash sheets in a modern herringbone design

If you love the idea of peel-and-stick tiles, there are a bunch of different patterns available, and Karp suggests considering “a herringbone pattern to make it look more luxe.” These adhesive backsplash tile sheets come in four beautiful herringbone designs and can be easily cut to fit your space. They’re super easy to line up, and they’re scratch, heat, and water-resistant for use in any room.


A set of chic ceramic pots for your houseplant collection

According to Karp, “Plants always make a place look better, and plant pots are an affordable way to uplift a space. White ceramic plant pots go along perfectly well with the black and white trend this year!” This set of ceramic plant pots features three sizes (6.8, 5.3, and 4.3 inches in diameter), each with attached drainage plates, and the set is a steal at just $30.


These artificial succulents that look incredibly real

While real plants are nice, they do require a bit of work — so if you’re looking for a fuss-free option, these artificial succulents are a great pick. Each plant is housed in a round, wooden hanging pot and measures approximately 12.2 inches in length. A knotted rope at the top measures about 8.3 inches and is great for hanging in any room.


A roll of removable wallpaper to add a tropical accent

“Tropical wallpaper is a favorite in the interior design industry,” Karp says, and it “can be placed strategically in an area of the house that needs an accent.” This removable wallpaper is a fun way to add some flair to a room without a permanent commitment or messy wallpaper glue. It doesn’t leave any residue and can even be used on furniture and stair risers.


This striped shower curtain for a nautical theme

When it comes to decorating themes, Karp says, “A marine theme can make a bathroom look more ‘nautical', and as such, bathrooms can look more high-end.” To achieve nautical elegance, Karp suggests a blue striped shower curtain, and this one comes complete with rust-resistant metal grommets and a weighted hem. It measures 72 inches long and wide to accommodate most showers, and in addition to navy, it also comes in gray and black.


A fancy glass soap dispenser for your kitchen or bathroom

For another way to create a high-end nautical theme, this pretty glass soap dispenser is a thoughtful touch. It has a stainless steel pump and vertical striped detailing, and it can hold 16 ounces of soap. In addition to blue, it comes in clear, green, and orange, and you can use it for shower gel and lotion as well.


This memory foam bath mat for a spa-like experience

Sure, a regular bath mat might get the job done but stepping onto a soft and luxurious one can completely elevate your shower experience. This plush bath mat comes in 22 colors, including several shades of nautically-themed blue, and is made of a squishy memory foam material that cushions every step. It’s quick-drying to prevent odors and mildew and comes in a variety of sizes to fit your bathroom.


A set of floating shelves for storage & decorating

Floating shelves don’t just add interest to the room — they’re also a great way to keep things organized and clutter-free. This set of floating shelves features easy-to-install brackets in the back and a distressed, painted look that delivers a coastal vibe, per Karp’s decor suggestion. Each one measures 16.25 inches wide and 5.5 inches deep, and they’re available in four color combos to choose from.


This modern mirror that’ll complement any decor

While you may not have given your mirrors much thought, Karp says, “Round mirrors can make a space look fun and they also won’t break the bank. Spice it up!” This mirror boasts a modern gold finish and measures 16 inches in diameter — great for use in almost any space. Plus, there are additional sizes and colors to choose from to suit your style.


A set of small round mirrors with eclectic style

This set of wall mirrors is a great way to decorate small spaces and they can even be used to add interest to gallery walls. Each one has a unique sunburst design and a hook in the back for easy hanging, and they come in five colors to choose from, including champagne, gold, and silver.


This earth-friendly paint for a fresh vibe

Barry Gray, a contractor, woodworker, and founder of The Tool Square says, “You can easily pick up a gallon of paint for under $30 and have it shipped right to your door. Choose a neutral color to give your walls a clean and updated look, or opt for a bold shade to make a statement.” This eco-friendly interior/exterior paint comes in 23 shades and two finishes to suit the vibe you’re looking for.


A few paint touch-up pens for quick fixes

Once you’ve painted, these touch-up paintbrush pens can keep the color looking fresh for years. Each pen can hold any kind of paint and has an airtight design that preserves the paint for at least seven years. Simply fill with the included syringe, and when you’re finished painting, just rinse the brush tip and replace the cap to store it for future use.


A set of sleek cabinet pulls to add a modern touch

When it comes to your kitchen, Gray says, “Simply switching out your hardware can give your cabinets and drawers a whole new look.” This pack of 5-inch stainless steel cabinet pulls features a modern bar style and comes in three finishes (black, satin nickel, and brushed brass), and all the installation hardware is included.


These hand-painted ceramic knobs for a pop of color

If you’re looking to switch up your hardware in favor of something more colorful, consider these vintage-style ceramic knobs with a hand-painted floral design. Each one has a ceramic glaze coating for durability, measures approximately 1.5 inches in diameter, and includes the hardware needed for installation. Choose from five pretty designs.


A set of soft, textured throw pillow covers

Gray notes, “You might also like to consider adding some new accents to your home, such as throw pillows, curtains, and rugs. These small touches can add color, texture, and interest to any room.” Case in point: these machine-washable pillow covers, which feature a plush geometric pattern and come in seven stylish colors. Choose from five sizes.


This floral accent rug that’s great for high-traffic areas

As Gray says, adding a new rug can spruce up any room, and this beautiful Persian-style area rug boasts an easy-to-clean design and is made of a durable polyester material that’s great for high-traffic areas. The lightweight rug is just 3.5 millimeters thick and has a nonslip backing to help keep it in place.


A set of luxe linen curtains to brighten up your space

These linen curtains are a great way to add texture to a room, and you can even use them to create a pop of color. The semi-sheer panels are made of a woven flax linen blend that delivers a natural and airy look while still providing some privacy. They feature a grommet design at the top and come in 16 shades and a variety of sizes to choose from.


This waterproof cover to protect your outdoor furniture

When it comes to keeping outdoor furniture looking good, Ben Kuhl, home remodeler and CEO of Shelf Expression, says, “A new cover can work wonders.” Kuhl recommends weather-resistant materials for outdoor furniture, and this waterproof cover offers protection from rain, UV rays, snow, and even bird poop. Choose from three sizes.


A stretchy slipcover to give your couch a new look

To protect indoor furniture and/or give it a refresh, Kuhl recommends a cozy couch cover. This stretchy, machine-washable option is available in 21 modern colors and five sizes to accommodate your couch. Plus, it’s made with strong elastic and comes with nonslip foam anchors to keep it in place.


A set of floral wall art prints with a minimalist vibe

Dressing up a bare wall with some new artwork can really upgrade the look of a space. “Choose from abstract or landscape styles, and consider grouping several prints together for a gallery wall effect,” Kuhl suggests. This set of pretty botanical prints can be placed in any 8 by 10-inch frame and is a total steal at just $12.


This collection of frames to create the ultimate gallery wall

Create an epic gallery wall without breaking the bank with this set of matching frames that come in four colors and eight sizes to choose from. Each durable frame has a painted finish, plus a kickstand and hanging hook on the back for versatility. The frames also feature a glass panel to help keep photos safe.


These wall sconces that are super easy to install

Jason Farr, an interior designer and founder of Aviara Pavers, tells Mic, “Wall sconces can be a great way to add a touch of luxury and elegance to your home.” These battery-operated wall sconces are so easy to install in your hallway or bedroom, and there are 16 color options you can select with the included remote control.


A kit to create a set of your own rustic mason jar sconces

If you’d prefer more of a rustic look, consider these cute mason jar sconces that use battery-operated LED string lights for a wireless design. This DIY kit includes everything you need to create the sconces, including pretty faux hydrangeas, mason jars, wood panels, twine, and easy-to-follow instructions. Choose from three wood colors and two sizes.


This set of solar-powered LED lights with motion sensors

Farr advises, “Outdoor lights with motion sensors are a great way to add safety and security to your home,” and these solar-powered LED lights are an easy, wire-free option. The two-pack features three lighting modes with motion sensors, an IP65 rating to stand up to rain, and can be conveniently attached to fences, decks, or siding for endless lighting options.


A set of blackout curtains with over 100,000 ratings on Amazon

“Blackout curtains are great for regulating the amount of sunlight that enters your home,” Farr explains. “They can also be used to help reduce your energy bills by blocking out the heat during summer months, and helping to keep your home warm in winter.” This highly rated set of blackout panels comes in 46 colors and 17 sizes to suit your space.


This 2-pack of voice & app-controlled smart bulbs

Kim Abrams, CEO of Abrams Roofing, says, “Think about making an investment in energy-efficient equipment, such as LED light bulbs or smart power strips, which may help you reduce the amount of money you spend on your monthly energy bills over time.” These feature-packed smart bulbs make the switch fun with voice and app control, color-changing modes, and more.


A smart power strip with individually controlled outlets

Don’t settle for any old power strip — this smart plug power strip and surge protector can work with Alexa and Google Home to control your devices via voice or the app. You can even set schedules and timers to turn individual lights or devices on and off at specific times, and it has two USB ports for broader charging capabilities.


An Alexa-compatible security camera with two-way audio

When considering home upgrades, Abrams says it’s “possible to make your house more practical and energy-efficient by installing smart homes technology,” such as smart outlets and security cameras. With night vision, two-way audio, Alexa compatibility, and other helpful features, this outdoor security camera is a great option with nearly 2,000 five-star reviews.


These smart plugs that’ll provide voice & app control for virtually anything

With over 82,000 ratings from Amazon reviewers, this two-pack of small but mighty smart plugs is a popular way to make your home a little more user-friendly. Simply plug in any electronic to turn it into a smart device that can be voice- and app-controlled via Alexa or Google Home. You can create schedules, set timers, and control all your appliances from anywhere.


These modern house numbers to elevate your home’s curb appeal

Jeff Miller, owner of McHenry Roofing says, “Most homes feature boring, contractor-grade house numbers that are more utilitarian than aesthetically pleasing,” but “metal house numbers are a cost-effective way to add a modern twist to your home's exterior design without breaking the bank.” These cool floating house numbers feature a contemporary style and come with installation hardware. Size options range from 4 to 8 inches.


A 6-pack of solar lights to highlight outdoor features

According to Miller, "Homeowners spend a fortune on their landscaping, but they can only enjoy it during daylight hours. Exterior landscape spotlights can be set up to highlight a homeowner's favorite gardens and trees so they can be enjoyed all day long.” These solar stake lights are easy to install, waterproof against rain and snow, and emit a bright, cool light once it gets dark.


These solar-powered pathway lights that cast a pretty glow

You might also like these decorative solar pathway lights which create a pretty pattern on the ground and turn on automatically when the sun goes down. The pack of 10 can provide up to 12 hours of light on a single charge, are waterproof against rain and snow, and come in cool or warm white light options.


A dryer vent closure to keep critters out

One home upgrade you’ve probably overlooked? Your dryer vent closure. According to Miller, most options “are PVC pipes that are open to the elements,” which “can result in bird nests blocking your exhaust or mice entering your home.” To protect your home from critters, Miller suggests attaching a dryer vent closure like this one which has a floating shuttle that closes when the dryer is off and pre-drilled holes for easy installation.


These whimsical outdoor string lights

“Spending a warm summer night on the patio under string lights is one of the best experiences you can have as a homeowner,” says Miller. “These string lights are easy to install and require very little electricity to run.” The 24-foot string has nine Edison-style LED bulbs that are dimmable, waterproof, and shatterproof, and you can connect multiple strands to create your desired look.


A set of vintage-inspired outdoor lamps with solar-powered lights

Also consider placing a few of these solar-powered lamps strategically around your outdoor space for a moody glow. Each one has a cool vintage look with a distressed finish and is filled with tiny LED string lights that turn on once it gets dark. The lanterns measure 5.5 inches tall (not including the hanger) and are rain, frost, and heat-resistant.


This under-grill mat to protect your deck or patio

To keep your deck or patio clean, Mathias Yuzdepski, owner of MN Fence + Deck, suggests using a BBQ mat to prevent drippings from staining deck boards. This under-grill mat has an absorbent top layer and a waterproof bottom layer to trap oil and grease. It can be thrown in the washer or hosed off to clean, and it comes in four sizes.


A classic wooden planter box for herbs & flowers

Yuzdepski also suggests using deck planter boxes to decorate your outdoor space, and this 17-inch acacia wood planter fits the bill. It comes ready to assemble with easy instructions, has two drainage holes, and is great for growing both flowers and herbs for your culinary masterpieces.


This set of colorful hanging pots to liven up your outdoor space

If you’d prefer a more colorful option, consider these fun flower pots that come with detachable hanging hooks. Each one is made of a durable iron metal, has a drainage hole in the bottom, and measures just under 4 inches tall (not including the hook). There are also options for black and white pots in the listing.


These small solar lights for your steps

Yuzdepski also suggests adding lights to deck stair risers to make it easier to navigate steps in the dark. This set of six solar-powered lights will turn on automatically when it gets dark, features a warm white glow, and measures 3.2 inches high to fit small spaces. They’re also heat and rain resistant and come with everything needed for an easy install.