Fewer homeowners are going bigger and better, but they are improving what they have more cost effectively.
"A big thing is tile, they might not immediately go into a project to do an entire bathroom or kitchen, what I advise people is to maybe just start with a backsplash cause it will change the whole look of the kitchen," says home improvement specialist Robert Settimo.
He says people are also investing in energy-efficient improvements.
"Another way to save a lot of money is to replace all of your light bulbs with efficient light bulbs."
Here are a few more bright ideas: pour a cup of baking soda down a clogged drain, followed by a cup of vinegar and then follow with boiling water. You could also try a plunger.
Mint leaves and peppermint oil are natural repellents to mice and other rodents.
Toothpaste doubles as a cleaning agent to help shine up faucets or clean glass-top stoves.
White vinegar is good for pet stains and washing windows and mirrors.
Squeaky floors can be fixed by sprinkling baby powder in between the floorboards
A lot of people have been going to the tool rental. Don't need to buy a wet saw but need to use one?
Rent it stores like Home Depot give you that option.
"We also have a section where people bring back their paint or we have an issue and we call it oops, that oops paint goes anywhere from a dollar to five dollars for an entire gallon."
Recession or not, brushing up on your do it yourself skills can come in handy.