For those of you thinking about placing your home on the market soon, here are a few great tips for giving your home that competitive edge without depleting your pocketbook. Trying to finish up a remodel myself, I know firsthand how quickly making a few changes here and there can add up in cost. It's important to decide what changes are most important to you and your family and what changes will later benefit you when if you choose to sell. If you've already decided to sell but don't have a large budget for updates, this article talks about inexpensive ideas for making your home present its best to buyers.

Save Money on a Remodel

Low Cost Ideas for Home Improvement
Image: Inside of conservatoriumImage: iStock
Renovations to your home can significantly increase its value and bring major returns on your home improvement project. The expected financial outlay of renovating a home is generally determined by taking 25 percent of the value of the home. For example, if your home has been valued at $200,000, renovations would be calculated to reasonably cost about $60,000.
Saving money on remodeling ideas can take more time than the instant gratification of buying what you want when you want it. But your efforts to save money as you renovate will offer a terrific sense of accomplishment as well as a lovely home.

Not All Renovations Are Major 
Renovating the kitchen and bathrooms brings the greatest return on your investment. They are also the most expensive rooms to renovate. If you can't afford to invest in a full renovation, you can find inexpensive ways of improving these rooms.
For example, you could paint your kitchen cabinets instead of completely replacing them. If the flooring is pretty bad, linoleum is not only inexpensive but very attractive. Repainting the kitchen will brighten it up considerably. Lighting is important, though, and if your kitchen is dark, add better lighting.
Bathrooms can look like new if you re-grout the floor and tub. If the tub is in a bad way, rather than invest in a new one, check out the low cost methods of resurfacing or reglazing. Prices can be as low as $200. Replace the old medicine cabinet with a new one and hang an attractive mirror. These changes will give your bath a clean, new look.
There are many ways to give a home a renovation without spending a lot of money. A new paint job goes miles to improve the look of a home. The same goes with floors.
If you do not have the time or are unable to refinish wood floors, look into the new products available to restore the color and shine to floors without resanding. If you have carpeting in the home, it might only need a professional cleaning. However, if it really needs to be replaced, go to carpet factory outlets and see if you can find a remnant large enough to cover the floor.
This will be a big savings on the normal price for wall to wall carpet. By painting walls and cleaning up your floors, you'll be well on your way to enhancing the appeal of your home and giving it a fresh, clean look.
Clean Up 
Don't neglect the old "elbow grease" method of renovating. Buying new appliances can do serious damage to your savings. Simply cleaning your stove until it's spotless, washing down the fridge and adding spit and polish to your other kitchen appliances can make a huge difference.
Of course, putting effort into renovating your home might not accomplish much if you have a lot of stuff in your home that can be thrown away. That rickety old card table you've left in the den should go. Magazines, old clothes, junk in the garage, piles of paper in drawers--all of these items should go in the trash.
Be ruthless. Donate old dishes you no longer use to a thrift store--not the family heirlooms, of course, but the mismatched plates and cracked teapots. All the things that create clutter in your cabinets and closets should be donated or thrown away. Don't underestimate how much of a difference this can make in creating an attractive, comfortable home.
When rooms have enough light, it makes a world of difference. As important as it is to have good lighting, you may not have the money to have an electrician re-wire your house with new fixtures. Instead, invest in lamps: table lamps for end or coffee tables and standing lamps to place near the reading chair.
For additional savings, buy your lamps from lighting outlets or yard sales (but make sure they're in good condition) or you can look for slightly marred merchandise or floor samples at your favorite home store. Even if the imperfections are slight, the products can come with a huge discount.
Do-It-Yourself Projects 
The more work you can do for yourself, the more money you will be saving. Take advantage of the home products retail stores for advice on how to go about fixing something. These professionals can tell you how to install faucets, tiles or shelving and how to patch and sand walls, just for a few examples. You can bounce some of your own ideas off them to see if your ideas will work.
Consider replacing loose, leaky windows with new energy efficient windows. Whether you live in a hot or cold climate, new windows will save you a bundle on energy costs. Window specialists do offer good deals on replacing windows. If you keep an eye out for these kinds of sales, you will quickly recoup the money you put out through the energy savings such replacement windows can offer, not to mention the value that energy efficient windows will add to your home.
Necessity, as the old saw goes, is the mother of invention. As you make improvements to your home, you might find yourself coming up with other ideas to enhance and improve your home. A combination of cosmetic and structural renovations can actually look like you've invested a lot more money than you did, which also goes to prove that money isn't everything.