Make over your house without going broke

Kitchen too small? Depressed by your rooms? No matter what your budget, there's a way to solve the problem.

4 of 5
BACKNEXT
Get a better bath without the tub
Get a better bath without the tub
Back in the day of huge credit lines, bathrooms were transformed into "spas" - and $30,000 would fly out the door. There are plenty of sensible changes that will give the room a whole new look for less than half that price.

1. Take it easy on tile
Handmade tiles are a budget buster at about $20 a square foot. Tile that costs half as much will shed water just as well. To save more, tile only around the shower, toilet, and sink.

2. Shine a light
For about $1,500, a skylight will transform a tight space. If natural light isn't an option, consider spending $1,000 for a mirror that covers an entire wall.

3. Put in a shelf
Instead of replacing the vanity, add a shelf along the wall over the sink. That will give you far more storage and cost only a couple hundred dollars.

4. Get a sweet deal on fixtures
At websites like faucetdirect.com and fixtureuniverse.com, you can find faucets, showerheads, and sinks for a third of the retail price. Caveat: If the item breaks during installation, you may have to pay to replace it.

5. Add a drain
An extra drain in the floor can prevent a far more costly flood disaster, especially if your teenage daughter can't manage to shower in less than 30 minutes. Cost: at least $1,000.

6. Switch to a shower
A new tub will cost you at least $2,000, vs. about $1,000 for a shower. Cut the cost even further by opting for a doorless opening with a showerhead facing away from it.

NEXT: Three smart splurges
Last updated March 20 2009: 9:25 AM ET
More Galleries
Our biggest money highs and lows How much money do you need to feel rich? What are your biggest money mistakes? Money magazine surveyed 1,000 Americans for the answers to these and other questions. See how your answers stack up. More
How we feel about our finances Participants in an exclusive Money magazine survey reveal how they feel about their finances. Although the Great Recession may be over, they're not all that confident about their prospects for the long run. More
8 ways to cut your tax bill To keep your tax bill as low as possible this filing season, you need to stay on top of all the ways the rules have changed. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.