5 Best Home Investments for Less than a New TV

by Jon Nunan

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Flat screen TV prices range anywhere from $150 to over $3,000, with an average cost of $1,200 for good screen size with HD quality. This does't including the cost of installing a flat screen TV, which is around $360 nationally. There are other hidden costs accompanying a home entertainment upgrade like additional cables, blu-ray player, cable subscription prices and so on.

Though we can't help but love our TVs, the fact is there are quite a few things you can do with your home for under $2,000 that will enhance its function, improve your living space, and may even increase your property value. Here are 5 fantastic improvements you can have for around the price of a TV upgrade.

Repair a Toilet: $240
There's no doubt that a TV can provide hours of enjoyment, but how many TVs have you seen that won't be obsolete after 100 years? Toilets need to last for a long time, and why not have one that endures rather than replacing it? You can repair your toilet so that it's almost brand new! If it has a leak in the plumbing, plumbers can usually find where the problem is and fix it. If there are cracks in the commode, they can fix that, too. You don't usually need to replace a toilet unless you want to upgrade to a low-flush toilet, or it's just too old or broken.

Install Faucets: $290 each
Remodeling shows have Americans in a hurry to create the space they've always wanted. Unfortunately, many of the remodels you see on TV are too much for many budgets to handle. For those who want a new look in their kitchen or bathroom without spending thousands of dollars, you can make the first steps by putting in new faucets. They will give a revitalized look to the kitchen or bathroom, and they can also be environmentally friendly if they're low-flow faucets.

Refinish Appliances: $300 each
When your appliances get a lot of use and start looking a little worn down, you can have them refinished to look brand new and get rid of scratches or hand prints. This can be especially useful if your appliances aren't stainless steel. Professional refinishers can come in and put a stainless steel finish over older appliances to make them look like stainless steel, so the kitchen looks newer and modern, which increases its value on the market when you go to sell it. It saves you on buying new appliances for a new homeowner and might increase the sale value of your home.

Repair Cabinets: $440
Your cabinets go through a lot of wear and tear over the years, but it's way too expensive to have them pulled out and replaced. It's also pretty expensive to have the refinished or refaced. So get them repaired to look mostly new. Cabinetry professionals know how to get the doors working properly again at the hinges, and they might know how to get cracks or scratches out so they look mostly new. You want the cabinets to look good for buyers, and you don't want to spend money on new ones. It's efficient and keeps the old cabinets looking new.

Repair Countertops: $840
When properly maintained, countertops can look just as good as they did the day you moved in. While they handle a lot of damage with cooking and dishes hitting them, having them regularly repaired after such damages keep them in good form. Just get a countertop professional out when they're starting to look bad, and they can make your countertops look new in most cases without having to pull them up and replace them.

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.