How to Fix Up a House Cheap

by Judi Light Hopson ; Updated July 27, 2017

Items you will need

  • Design books
  • House magazines
  • Lumber boards
  • Drywall
  • Joint compound
  • Interior paint
  • Exterior paint
  • Kitchen sink cabinetry
  • Bath vanity cabinetry
  • Mirrors
  • Linoleum
  • Carpeting
  • Recycled light fixtures
  • Landscaping plants
  • Mulch

You can fix up a house inexpensively if you use design and color as your primary tools. Since building materials can be costly, use your imagination to improve the look of a house by cleaning and painting. Cover large floor areas with inexpensive materials and recycle some materials to help stretch your budget. Look for building supplies and materials you already have in your basement or garage. Visit garage sales to obtain additional materials at bargain prices.

Step 1

Improve the look of exterior and interior walls by painting them for a fresh look. Plan carefully which colors to use. Don’t use leftover paint to avoid spending money. The wrong colors can worsen the look of a house. Use neutral colors such as white, beige or pale green if you are in doubt about colors to use. Assess any areas that are in need of repair before you start to paint.

Step 2

Replace any flooring or walls that are rotted or stained as you remodel. Install linoleum in bath and kitchen floor areas versus tile or costly wood flooring. Linoleum can be used on bath or kitchen walls as well. Choose a different pattern in linoleum for the walls and floor of the same room. Buy leftover carpet at warehouse sales in remnants to install in bedrooms, hallways and closets.

Step 3

Buy new kitchen and bath sinks at close-out sales. Install new cabinets beneath the sinks if you can afford it. Look for those cabinets at a close-out sale or in classified ads. Add mirrors and artwork to fresh up kitchen and baths as well.

Step 4

Install drywall in rooms that have old paneling. Pull off old paneling carefully, since walls may have electric wires running along studs. Place wood trim and crown molding in certain rooms to give an upscale look.

Step 5

Paint the exterior trim of a house only if you can't afford to paint all exterior walls. Paint all of the exterior if your budget will allow. Remove overgrowth in landscaped areas and replace with mulch to improve the look of the yard. Install a lamp post at curbside or plant a few flowering shrubs to give the house curbside appeal.

Tips

  • Buy used light fixtures to rewire and recycle to make living and bedroom areas look updated. Fixing up a house to enhance its appearance or resale value is directly connected to how you give attention to the smallest details. Focus on improving something in every room of the house and every section of the yard area, if possible.

Warnings

  • Inspect the roof area of the house to check for leaks. Don’t attempt to revamp a house that has structural problems without correcting those problems first. All of your investment in fixing up a house can be lost if the house has serious leaks or structural damage.

About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.