Upgrading your home doesn't have to be expensive. Instead of dipping into your savings, why not tackle one or two of these do-it-yourself projects this weekend. You'll save some cash, improve the look and feel of your home, and have a lot of fun in the process.
For complete instructions on any of these projects, just click each link. We'll kick these off with some easy projects before moving to more challenging ideas for the more ambitious among you.
You don't need a lot of extra square footage to have a practical and attractive home office. For under $100, you can easily turn a guest bedroom closet into a functional work space. ThisOldHouse.com explains how in this blog post -- and as a bonus, the website lists 99 other easy DIY projects for under $100.
There was a time when popcorn ceilings were common place in many U.S. homes. Those days are over. Get rid of them, for yourself or for a potential buyer when you decide to sell your home.
The removal process may seem daunting at first, but with the proper tools and a little help from Instructables.com user Sonata85, you can get the job done in no time and for less than $150.
One thing to remember, though: If your home was built in the 1970s or earlier, make sure to check for asbestos. If you find some, have a professional handle the job for safety reasons.
For those whose home is an apartment, condo, or townhouse, it can be tough using the available outdoor space while maintaining a sense of privacy.
Instructables.com user EYSpace solved this problem by constructing these easy-to-assemble privacy panels. The end result is a sense of privacy that looks great and still takes full advantage of the balcony's cityscape views.
When a neighbor, appraiser, or potential homebuyer approaches your house, they will undoubtedly notice the front door first.
Make that first impression a positive and lasting one with a quick upgrade to the door. Like the door you have? Spruce it up with new paint, new trim, upgraded lighting, or fresh address numbers. Taken together, these changes add up to a big first impression and a whole new look for the front of your home.
For the more ambitious
These next two projects are a bit more involved, but if you're up for the challenge the results can be amazing.
From Instructables.com user antagonizer, our next project is for the real craftsman. Using a standard wooden pallet, a small variety of tools, and a few additional easy-to-find supplies from your local hardware store, you can build a very handsome outdoor bench and table set.
This project is not for the faint of heart, as it calls for working with steel studs to frame the kitchen, pouring concrete for the countertops, and custom fitting the entire kitchen to your propane grill.
But for those of you up to the challenge, there isn't a cheaper -- or more rewarding -- way to add that highly sought after outdoor living space to your yard. With some hard work and maybe a flat-screen TV, you'll be ready to tailgate in plenty of time for football's opening weekend.
Now that you've built all this new sweat equity in your home and saved all this cash by doing the work yourself, you'll need to find another smart use of your cash. For a balanced, value-based approached to investing, check out more content from The Motley Fool.