DIY home projects on a budget

A home renovation is an expensive affair. However, if you go the DIY route, you can change the look of your home on a budget.

A DIY home project requires some work from you, but it can increase the value of your home — or at the very least make it a fun family project.

If that sounds appealing, the next question you may have is how to finance a DIY home renovation. The good news is that simple projects may not require a lot of financial or time investment. And for those that do, you have quite a few financing options.

Let’s take a look at a few easy DIY projects to consider — and how to pay for bigger ones.

Weekend home improvement projects

Some budget-friendly DIY projects can take just 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 in your home look can significantly affect the overall look of the place.

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

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

Give your kitchen cabinets a new look

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

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

Another thing you can do is change cabinet knobs and drawer handles. Such details, while seemingly insignificant, can have a huge impact on the aesthetics of your kitchen.

Replace bathroom fittings

Remodeling a bathroom can be costly and time consuming. Fortunately, certain upgrades can give your bathroom a new look and save your wallet at the same time.

For example, you can install new taps and replace the bathroom mirror. Even more little touches, like new drawers or a towel rail, can spice up the look and feel without draining your savings.

Add new window coverings

Those old blinds or plastic blinds that came with your house may be familiar and useful. Unfortunately, they don’t do your home any favors and they don’t look particularly good.

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

Rent a pressure washer

Let’s not forget the exterior of your home. Rent a pressure washer before committing to repainting it. You might be surprised how much of a difference a nice pressure washer can make.

While you’re at it, you can also clean your patio, driveway, and walkways. Your house shines like new!

DIY vs. hire a professional

With many home projects, the question is whether it makes more sense to go the do-it-yourself route or hire a professional.

Doing it yourself is especially attractive because of the money you save in labor costs. Sure, you’ll have to put in a lot of work (which can be a lot depending on the project), but you can save thousands of dollars on paying employees. If you don’t have the skills, you can easily find a book or YouTube tutorial to guide you. The result may not be perfect, but you can be proud of it – and how much you’ve saved.

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

How to fund DIY projects

If you’ve decided to tackle your home project yourself, but it still requires a significant investment, don’t worry. You have quite a few financing options.

Home improvement loan

A home improvement loan is simply a personal loan that is used for home renovations. It has a fixed interest rate and is paid in fixed installments. This type of loan is unsecured, so you don’t have to worry about losing your collateral.

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

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

You can also finance a renovation with a line of equity credit (HELOC). This is a secured loan that allows you to borrow against the equity you have built up in your home.

You will be given a draw period where you can withdraw money from your credit limit and pay only interest. Once that period is over, you can no longer borrow and must start paying back both the principal and interest.

This type of loan usually comes with low interest rates. However, these rates are not fixed and can fluctuate, affecting your monthly payments. Moreover, your house becomes your collateral and that is always risky.

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

Equity loan

Similar to a HELOC, a home equity loan is backed by your home and allows you to borrow against your equity. You get a certain amount and pay it back in equal monthly installments.

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

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


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

Unlocking can be a good option to pay for an expensive house project as it allows you to access a large sum of money without going into debt.

Why use a solution like Unlock?

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

How much you can get depends on your equity. Typically, you need a minimum of 20 percent of the home’s accrued value to use the program.

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

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

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

it comes down to

Home renovation can get expensive, but with enough skill and patience, you can complete many home improvement projects on your own.

If you are looking for financing 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 what projects might be DIY and what you’ll need to work with contractors on, especially if you’re renovating to sell your home soon.

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