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    High-impact home renovations don’t have to come with equally high costs. In fact, some of the most game-changing upgrades and improvements are actually some of the least expensive.

    Are you looking for some DIY projects that pack a big punch without putting a dent in your bank account? Here are 10 of the best:

    1. Add a front or back stoop. All it takes are a few bricks or pavers, a long weekend and some elbow grease, and you can completely transform your front and rear entryways. Once you’re done, add a few potted plants, a wooden rocker, and a seasonal wreath, and your curb appeal is instantly improved.
    2. Replace your front door. Another great way to update your exterior? Replace your door. If replacing is too big a job (or just too much of a hassle), consider refinishing or repainting it instead. You could even go super low-budget and just upgrade the hardware or add a kickplate instead. Sometimes, just the smallest change can make all the difference.
    3. Upgrade your light fixtures. Well-placed lighting fixtures can make a room seem bigger, more open, and even less cluttered. Consider removing old or heavy-feeling chandeliers and fixtures in the kitchen, bedrooms, and living areas, and think about adding pendant lights, track lighting, or carefully placed sconces to add more pop. To save cash in the long run, use LED or CFL bulbs instead of incandescent ones. These last longer and use less electricity.
    4. Add a new backsplash. Replacing your countertops might go over budget, but changing out that old backsplash — or better yet, adding a backsplash where there isn’t one? That can have just as much impact, if not more. All you need is some subway tile and grout, or you can even opt for stick-on tiles if you find a pattern you like. Both make the project a fairly easy and inexpensive undertaking.
    5. Upgrade the garage door. Many homeowners forget about their garage door, but it really plays a big role in the overall curb appeal of a property. If you’ve got a plain metal one with dents, dings, and scratches consider either replacing it or upgrading it. Wooden doors with glass and wrought iron accents can add a lot of visual appeal without requiring too much investment.
    6. Replace the fence. By the same token, replacing your fence can also have a massive impact on your home’s overall exterior. If your existing fence is leaning, broken, or even just a little weather-worn, you might want to give it some love. Consider painting it, staining it and fixing the broken slats, or go for a full replacement. If you have room in the budget, you might also consider an upgraded gate and hardware.
    7. Invest in professional landscaping. If you’ve got a large front yard, you might consider investing in some professional landscaping. Added rock features, islands and shrubbery can cut down on the amount of work and maintenance required, while also improving its overall aesthetic and curb appeal. That means savings on yard work (in time and cash) and a more marketable property on the whole.
    8. Get smart. Adding smart features — like a smart thermostat, security system, doorbell, or even lighting system — can both add convenience and lower your home’s operating costs. They’re also high in demand with homebuyers, meaning you’ll probably see a positive return on your investment in the long run.
    9. Install cabinet roll-outs. Are you yearning for more cabinet space? Can’t find your pots and pans in your already cramped cupboards? Instead of replacing your cabinetry completely, try installing roll-out shelves instead. These allow you to utilize your existing cupboard space to its fullest, while also keeping everything handy and easily accessible. The best part? This is a super easy DIY job, so there’s no need to hire a pro or handyman to handle the task.
    10. Create a laundry center. Have clothes, detergent bottles, and cleaners strewn about your laundry room? Never have anywhere to fold or iron? Consider creating your very own laundry center to spruce up the space. Install a small countertop, a few shelves or cabinet units, and a rod for hang-drying those more delicate items. If you really want to save on cash, skip the full cabinets and use a plain wire rack instead. For a more organized look, use a simple curtain and sham to cover up the shelf’s contents. You can also use a tension curtain rod as your hanging bar to reduce costs as well.

    If you’ve got equity in your home, remember that a cash-out refinance can help you cover your DIY and home improvement costs — no matter how big or small they might be. Want to make upgrades around the house without breaking the bank? Contact an Embrace loan officer to discuss your cash-out refinance potential today.

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