Cheap summer home improvements

Whether you are moving, moving out or just want to spruce the place up, renovating your home is a big job, and it can seem overwhelming.

However, there are a few ways you can make some cheap home improvements this summer without spending all that hard-earned cash.

Michael Pingel, president of Finer Point Renovations in South Bend, has been flipping homes in Michiana for more than 20 years. Pingel says he has learned several affordable ways to improve the value of a home by paying attention to the little things.

“There definitely are some things you can do to make it nicer,” Pingel says.

Things like painting your front and back doors are often overlooked. In fact, a fresh splash of paint almost anywhere in your home can go a long way, especially when you can get high-quality paint for a discount.

“You can find gallons of paint at your local department stores that are called 'mistints.' They are high-quality paints that usually cost anywhere from $18 to $30 per gallon, but because they are mistinted, you can get them for around $4 per gallon,” Pingel says.

Another upgrade Pingel says you should consider is adding tiles to your ceiling. It will not only give it character but it is another cheap way to give your home a unique look.

“Each tile costs, like, 50 cents apiece [depending on which tile you want],” Pingel said.

When asked about the kitchen, Pingel suggests adding new brush nickel handles to the cabinets.

“That’s a $3- to $5-per-handle upgrade. It’s quick and it’s easy,” Pingel said.

One improvement that may need a couple of hands on deck to complete but adds a new dimension to your home is adding a patio area to your home. On average, standard decking board can cost anywhere between $8 to $12 per section, Pingel says.

“For a 10-foot section, it’s going to run you $50, and if you add a nice, clean finish after installing it, it’ll look even better,” Pingel said.

Sometimes, improving the value of your home is not just what you do on the inside, but what you do on the outside.

Brent Campbell, landscape designer at Ginger Valley in Granger, has been designing landscapes for six years. One of his major projects included designing the landscape at Warren Golf Course for the U.S. Senior Open a few weeks ago.

“I don’t believe that you have to spend extra money for creativity,” Campbell said.

Campbell says one of the keys to improving your home without spending a lot of money is focusing on curb appeal.

“Homeowners, the do-it-yourselfers, will buy something that’s inexpensive if we have a lower budget, we will use the same plant but in a smaller pot,” Campbell said.

Plants add color and life to your home, but Campbell says you have to be careful with which ones you add.

“Today’s customer wants something that’s less maintenance. A lot of times, it really is about getting the right plant in the right spot,” he said.

Sometimes, spending the extra dollar, if possible, is the cheap way to go, long-term.

Campbell says he has seen customers add plants that may make the outside of the home look nice for now but end up being a problem in the future.

“We’re looking five years down the road and making sure that the trees that we plant are far enough away from the house that they are not growing into the roof, the foundation planting aren’t growing up past the window sills or into the walkways. It’s an inexpensive way to just do this once,” Campbell says.

If you want to make some cheap improvements to your home this summer, you can contact Finer Point Renovations in South Bend, Ginger Valley in Granger, or now that you have some ideas, you can do it yourself.