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"It Cost $4 And Changed Everything": Homeowners Are Sharing The Best Maximum-Impact Upgrades That Are Also Surprisingly Affordable

"It seemed so silly when my husband brought it home, but within one day, I was hooked."

When it comes to projects around the house, sometimes the smallest (and cheapest!) upgrades end up making the biggest difference of all. Recently, redditors and members of the BuzzFeed Community weighed in on the low-cost, high-reward home upgrades that ended up changing their spaces for the better — and as a homeowner myself, I honestly can't wait to try a handful of these. Here are the best ones.

1. "Instead of paying for new cabinet door pulls, I spray painted our current gold ones matte black on top of a spare piece of cardboard. It cost $4 and changed everything."

black cabinet door pulls on kitchen cabinets

2. "Getting a teak wooden mat for your shower or bath. It makes it feel like a spa."


3. "Change all your electrical wall plates to the ones without screws on the front. They don't cost that much but really modernize the look of your place."

wall plate for light switch without any screws on the outside

4. "Replacing bedroom light bulbs with Wi-Fi or remote control bulbs was a GAME-CHANGER. Instead of having to stretch up on my tippy toes to turn off the bedroom light without turning off the fan, we can just turn the lights off with a remote from the bed."


5. "Soft-close toilet seats and lids. We didn't realize how much we loved ours until we stayed in a hotel a few weeks ago and were constantly slamming the lid in our bathroom. They're so nice."

soft close toilet seat slowly closing

6. "Motion sensor light switches in strategic places help a ton. We have a fan and light in our laundry room but almost never use it because the switch isn't in a convenient place — we'd just use the hall light instead. The motion switch was a great quality-of-life improvement, and super cheap, too."


7. "I ordered a vinyl, textured adhesive backsplash instead of tiles when I bought my apartment. Much cheaper, and nobody realized it wasn't tile until I told them. It was supposed to be a temporary solution until I saved some money, but I like it so much I still haven't changed it, three years later."

vinyl hexagon tile behind washing machines in laundry room

8. "I replaced every doorstop with magnetic stick-on stops to keep them open without bulky or ugly doorstops. Now I can keep my windows open on windy days without hearing the doors slam every five minutes!"

—Sally, Syracuse, New York

9. "When I bought my house, I brought over my shower head that I installed in my apartment, and that thing is amazing. It was also only $30, and so easy to reinstall."

rain showerhead

10. "Just having consistent lighting throughout your home and individual rooms can feel luxurious. Get one brand, color, and wattage of light for all fixtures in a room. The consistency of color and brightness goes a long way."


11. "Bidet toilet seats. Best upgrade ever. If you still have some budget (the ones without heat are pretty cheap), get a nice stack of plush washcloths for drying. TP will quickly come to seem barbaric."

bidet toilet seat in bathroom

12. "I got a set of modern brushed steel adhesive wall hooks for $10. I stuck one in the kitchen by the sink and one in the bathroom. Now when I take my rings off to cook or shower, I have a place to put them that isn't susceptible to me knocking into them and sending them down the drain. I have no idea why it didn't occur to me to do this years ago!"


13. "I got a switch with a timer for the bathroom fan!"

switch for a bathroom fan with a fan timer for 5, 10, 20, or 30 minutes

14. "We installed LED landscape lighting on a dusk-to-dawn timer in both the front and back yards."


15. "I fell for some cabinet paint on those lists with '36 Amazon buys that will transform your house.' It shows up in almost every article, and let me tell ya, it WORKS. No regrets. Well, I do regret that I waited this long to try it. That paint transformed my kitchen. Five stars, would recommend!"

forest green painted kitchen cabinets with gold hardware

16. "If you have a door that goes from your garage to your house, just install a curved door handle instead of a knob. It's a game-changer when you have both arms full of stuff."


17. "Replace your kitchen faucet with one that has a high arc and a pull-down sprayer feature. I’m always surprised by people still rocking the old '80s flat bar faucet with a separate, weak sprayer. If you need to cover up any holes your new fixture leaves behind, most come with a plate to do just that — or you could even reuse one of the holes for a soap dispenser."

pull down faucet sprayer on a high arch kitchen faucet

18. "Curved shower rods. For, like, $30 or $40 you greatly increase the size of your shower."


19. "Smart plugs! Alexa controls three lights, which were $10 each on sale. I can call from another room to turn the lights on or off. No more fumbling for a light. I can even turn off the upstairs light with my voice when I get downstairs."

smart plug

20. "Adding a power strip for every inaccessible power outlet hidden behind furniture. No more bending, fumbling, reaching, or moving furniture just to plug and unplug anything — and less than $10 a strip."

—Dave, 63, California

21. "Under-cabinet lighting. I bought stick-on ones when I was renting. My kitchen looked amazing."

under cabinet lighting shining on counter

22. "For anyone looking to change their kitchen faucet, I would highly recommend getting one with a motion sensor. It seemed so silly when my husband brought it home, but within one day, I was hooked! It turns the faucet on and off like magic, and when your hands are a mess from working in the kitchen, it is so nice to not get your faucet handle all dirty. Sometimes it truly is the little things that can make a big difference!"


23. "Pull out shelves inside your kitchen cabinets. I cannot tell you how much this has changed my life."

pull out cabinet for various spices in cabinet

24. "Our 1947 beautiful all-brick home has small bathrooms. To allow two of us in it at the same time, we just reversed the door to swing out rather than in. It was shocking how fab this was with no cost! The whole bathroom became larger."


25. "Dimmer light switches everywhere. This solution allowed infinite lighting variations and upgraded ambiance in every room. Wonderful."

person holding up a dimmer switch

26. "Light switch covers. When we moved in, every single switch cover was different. So we chose one style and changed them all to match. Low cost, but a huge difference."


27. And finally: "We built a full addition on our home with a completely remodeled kitchen from top to bottom, but the biggest difference? The soft-closed kitchen cabinet hinges that I’m super thankful for every day."

soft close cabinet hinge on a cabinet door

What's the budget-friendly upgrade you did in your own home that made a world of difference? Tell us about it in the comments below (or through this anonymous form).

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.