10 Small Home Projects That Pay Off Big

The home-improvement boom shows no signs of slowing.

(Image credit: Photo by Peter Gibeon)

The home-improvement boom shows no signs of slowing. Half of homeowners recently polled by Houzz.com (opens in new tab), a design and remodeling site, say they plan to start or continue renovations at a median cost of $10,000.

We’ve highlighted 10 small projects—most of which won’t cost more than $10,000—that can increase your enjoyment of your home in a big way. In most cases, you won’t recoup the full cost of the project (opens in new tab) when you sell, but it could help attract buyers when you put your home on the market.

Many of the projects come with kits and prefab components, so you can save money by doing the work yourself. The retailers we mention all ship within the continental U.S., and shipping can run from free to a few thousand dollars.

Patricia Mertz Esswein
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Esswein joined Kiplinger in May 1984 as director of special publications and managing editor of Kiplinger Books. In 2004, she began covering real estate for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, writing about the housing market, buying and selling a home, getting a mortgage, and home improvement. Prior to joining Kiplinger, Esswein wrote and edited for Empire Sports, a monthly magazine covering sports and recreation in upstate New York. She holds a BA degree from Gustavus Adolphus College, in St. Peter, Minn., and an MA in magazine journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University.