Top Home Improvement Projects for Under $100

You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg to make upgrades to your home. With just a little bit of an investment—under $100—you can make budget-friendly improvements to any room in your home. If you’re extra handy around the house, you may be able to get away with spending even less. Though, if you aren’t handy around the home, there are still several things you can do to improve the look and feel of your space by completing simple projects, extra or paying a little extra for some outside help.

Affordable and Fun Home Improvement Projects

Below we list our favorite home improvement projects that won’t cost you more than $100. When it comes to making your space a little more comfortable, it’s well worth the small investment.

Up Your Curb Appeal

Impress all your guests by spending a few dollars to enhance your entryway. Paint your front door, add some potted plants, replace your house numbers, and buy a new welcome mat—all for under $100. A home’s entryway is a perfect place to express your own personal style, so get creative!

A Change of Color

Paint is an excellent way to improve your home on the cheap. You can get excellent quality paint and primer for under $90 and a sandpaper block and patching materials will cost you under $10. Then, all you have to do is put in some elbow grease to make a dramatic change.

And, don’t feel obligated to only stick to walls! Paint your front door, an old worn piece of wooden furniture, your interior trim, or any other surface you desire. As mentioned, proper preparation is key, so be sure to sand and patch any areas before painting and do at least two coats of primer, allowing each coat to dry thoroughly in between.

Swap Out Hardware

Modernize your kitchen and bathroom by switching out knobs and handles on cabinet doors.  Even though it is such a small change, it can dramatically change the look of a room. Most cabinet hardware only costs a couple dollars, and is simple to install.  For a slightly bigger (but still simple and cheap) project, swap out the doorknobs on your interior doors for a subtle and practical change.

Change Your HVAC Air Filter

This project won’t make your home look any different, but it certainly will improve the comfort level of your living space. Your HVAC system’s air filter should be checked every month for debris buildup and changed whenever dirty. We advise never allowing your filter to go 3 months without a change. A dirty filter can significantly impact your home’s indoor air quality, which can compromise you and your loved ones’ health.

You can purchase enough basic air filters for a year for under $100, or you can upgrade to a HEPA filter, which will help trap even more airborne pollutants than a traditional air filter. These types of filters can run anywhere between $30 and $70, depending on your HVAC system, but are well worth the investment.

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The TOP Five Questions to Ask Yourself Before Remodeling Your Home

Home remodeling is a major undertaking. Most projects take up an incredible amount of time, can be a lot of hassle and mess, and cost major bucks. Fortunately, with the right amount of forethought and preparation, you can decide to take on a remodel at the right time, at the right price, and feel really great about your decision. What are the best ways to prepare for a major remodel so that the project can be peaceful and manageable?

There are tons of ways to prepare your house and its occupants for an overhaul but a lot depends on the project itself and what needs to be done. These are the conversations you should have with yourself, your significant other or roommate, and your contractor(s) if you have them:

Questions to ask before a big remodel:

What’s my budget?

Money dictates everything about a remodeling project, whether we like it or not. The fact is, many people get halfway through a big re-up before they realize the cash train has derailed. This is usually a product of failure to plan BUT even the most careful penny-pinchers can end up with sticker shock at the particulars of major renovations. The best way to think about budget is to round UP when estimating costs, talk to a professional (or a few!) you really trust to get the facts straight, and make sure you’re not spending every last dime you’ve got to make miracles.

What are my goals?

Are you trying to make your home prettier, more spacious, more modern, or more sellable? Whether you’ve just bought an old home and want to make it new or you want to change your home to fit the changes to your family or lifestyle, there are renovations and remodeling projects that can meet your goals. However, having a hazy idea of what you want will only lead to a big, fat disconnect. If you want to make aesthetic changes to fit your style, what are they? Draw out plans, make inspiration boards, and know what suits your #1 answer: budget. If you want this remodel to make you major bucks when you sell, do your research and determine the best bets for your investment before you cut into budget that could be saved for your next down payment!

How will this remodel affect my lifestyle?

Remodeling your home can really detour your usual routine. Consider this: If you want to relocate your kitchen, there may be a period of time where you aren’t really able to throw dishes in the dishwasher or cut veggies for dinner. If you plan on knocking down walls or demo-ing major parts of the house, there may be days (or weeks!) where you need to take the kiddos and stay somewhere else while work gets done. Whatever the plan is, it is important to take into consideration that work, sleep, and day to day tasks could be affected and plan accordingly before you pull the trigger on a new project. Are you ready?

Can I DIY?

Doing certain parts of the work for your new renovation can be a great way to save money. If you feel equipped to paint, tear out carpet, or install hardware into your home – great! If not, and in any case, there are certain types of projects you simply should not DIY. For example, if you need new electrical put into your home or a new HVAC system, it is best that you rely on the pros for a safe and reliable end result.

Who will I trust to do the work?

For those projects you just CAN’T do on your own, it’s important to find contractors who are affordable yet reliable and timely, but not rushed. With a Goldilocks paradox of looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right, it can sometimes feel like no one will ever make the cut. We recommend using services like Angie’s List, Thumbtack, and Yelp to find out what your friends and neighbors thought of contractors they used in the past, and make decisions based on reviews, information from their websites, and conversations you have with the laborers themselves. No question should go unanswered before you let someone do work on your home – security is just TOO important for something this big!

Before you enter into a time-consuming, mess-making, budget-busting reno project, consider the questions above and make sure your answers match up with your needs, your budget, and the expectations of others in your family. If you do your work upfront, this project will be smooth sailing!

If you live in the Bloomingdale or Western Chicago area and your renovation includes a new HVAC system, upgrade, or maintenance on your existing system, call the experts at Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning to bypass the mess and get the job done on time and under budget. Contact us today!

10 Best Blogs to Follow About Home Improvement

From direct assistance from a professional contractor to inspiration on room design, we’ve compiled our top 10 best blogs for home improvement. No matter the scope of your project or your confidence in your DIY building or design capabilities, these home improvement blogs will help keep your project on track and on budget!

#10 Get crafty with – Design Improvised

Haeley is extremely creative at making the most of what she has and revamping small and large spaces with quick and easy crafts for those on a budget or looking to spruce up their homes!

#9 Inspire yourself with – Domestic Imperfection

From floating military wife, to independent DIYer, Ashley of Domestic Imperfection is an extremely passionate and self-made home improvement expert. Take advantage of Ashley’s organization plans, project tips and step-by-step DIY projects.

#8 Get creative with – Drab To Fab Design

If you’re wondering why these two DIY enthusiasts look familiar, it’s probably because they are team black on HGTV’s Flipping the Block! Whitney and John help their followers make the most of their vintage or lesser quality furniture and everyday household items.

#7 Diamond style on a dime – Centsational Girl

With her motto, “Fabulous for less”, Kate Riley shows her visitors how to achieve high end without allowing their budgets to bend. Kate has a terrific eye for style and is an avid bargain hunter to keep her followers aware of the best deals for their DIY and design projects.

#6 Reduce, reuse, recycle, re-purpose, remodel – Remodelaholic

Working on their 5th remodeling project, Cassity and Justin Kmetzsch are certainly a DIY power-couple to keep your eyes on for any remodeling or design inspiration needs. They have a beautiful family and their goal is to help inspire you to create something beautiful in your home with detailed project plans, how-tos and before & afters.

#5 Get cozy with – Homey Improvements

It’s always great to get multiple perspectives in your blogs and that’s what you’ll find at Homey Improvements through married couple, James and Alicia. James works in construction and contributes to the bulk of the DIY and home improvement project posts, while Alicia provides a more domestic and green perspective with posts on topics like meal prep and how to make your wardrobe more eco-friendly. Followers will also get a touch of southern charm with posts on homesteading and helpful home advice.

#4 Get 4-in-1 with – One Project Closer

2 couples equals 4 inspiring DIY and home improvement experts for those who follow One Project Closer. Ethan (Multimedia and project guides) is married to Jocie (Style and home decor trend spotter), while Kim (DIYer and couponer) is married to Fred (The tool guy). All together, each person brings a different aspect to home improvement that keeps their visitors organized, informed, inspired and on-budget for their DIY projects.

#3 Get informed with – The Ugly Duckling House

From brutally honest DIY and lifestyle posts, to innovative dueling DIY projects, Sarah doesn’t hold back and that’s what her followers love about her. Sarah will make home improvement look easy, while telling you why it’s not and in doing so, help you avoid the many pitfalls that can occur during a renovation or even a simple craft project. Plus she has an adorable dog named Charlie that has her own section on the blog for those that just need some stress relief.

#2 Full service DIY advisement – Ask The Builder

The oldest active home improvement site on the internet, Tim has literally done it all with his own two hands. Ask the Builder started as a newspaper column in 1993, when Tim was already a nationally recognized remodeler. With all of his decades of experience, Tim still dedicates himself to helping everyday homeowners through his blog by producing helpful videos, project plans, Q&As and even calling those who submit project questions to consult with them for a small fee.

#1 Feel empowered by – Pretty Handy Girl

Brittany Bailey is a no-nonsense type of gal with a mantra to match – “If someone can do it, then there’s a 95% chance that you can do it too!” From plumbing and electrical to photography and gift ideas, Brittany is an ultra-talented go-getter that can’t be stopped. If you’re looking to get inspired to take on your first DIY project or trying to gain the confidence to tackle a bigger remodel, Brittany is your gal!

As part of your home improvements, don’t forget about your home comfort and air quality. If you live in the greater Chicago area, Bartlett Heating & Air Conditioning would love to improve your home by providing exceptional HVAC services. Allow us to inspect your furnace after a long winter or prepare your unit for the hot summer to come. Contact us to schedule your technician’s visit today!


Your Best Bets in Home Improvement Purchases

Let’s face it – home improvement projects can get expensive! With so many ways to improve your home, it is easy to go over your home improvement budget. The best way to focus your efforts and spend your money wisely is to consider which home improvement projects provide the best return on investment. These are the renovations and other home fixes that will help you get more money for your home when it’s time to sell. Below, we’ve put together a list of the top home improvement projects that help you increase resale value.

Home Improvement Projects That are Worth the Investment

Even if you are not planning on selling your home anytime soon, it is important to consider which home improvement projects are worth your investment. If you are wondering which home improvement projects you should focus your time and resources on, use the guide below:


Do you need to replace your HVAC system? Whether you are looking to sell in the near future or just need a new heating or cooling system to meet your current home comfort needs, we’re here for you! Bartlett Heating and Air offers quality Carrier HVAC systems and products, and we provide installation too. Call us today, and our team will help you find the right HVAC system for your needs that fits within your budget: (630) 504-7855.