While it’s not necessary, or even feasible, to take on a full-blown remodel, there is still plenty you can do to add value to your home without breaking the bank. Many homeowners think they have to spend a lot of money to see a substantial difference and they really don’t. A couple hundred dollars on a few of the right things could increase the value of your house by thousands of dollars. Most of these at home projects can be completed over a weekend, go a long way toward adding value and all are under $500.
Value Begins at the Front Door
One of single best home improvements to increase the value of your home is a new front door. Despite being one of the best returns on investment, it’s also one of the most overlooked.
I see it all of the time. Homeowners that have spent tens of thousands of dollars on updates and remodeling, but have completely ignored the front door. Do you really want the first things potential homebuyers see to be a dirty, dinged door with chipping paint? It not only adds to the curb appeal, but sets the tone for what buyers see when they enter the home. A new steel prehung door can be had from a home improvement store for under $250. Even for high-end wood door the cost is less than $500.
Sprucing Up the Front Lawn
I’m sure you have heard of the term “Curb Appeal”… it all starts here. While the growing season is past us, there’s still hope when adding some pizazz to your front lawn. Adding or maintaining existing flower beds can help add major curb appeal so if you’ve got leftover weeds or dead plants, now’s the time to clear those out.
If you’re looking to help sculpt the look of your flower beds, pavers are a great way to add some elegance and are friendly on the wallet. Add some fall color with a variety of mums, small boxwood bushes and finish it all off with a fresh layer of colored mulch or bark.
Old Kitchen Cabinets Made New Again
The kitchen is the single most important room in the house for adding value. Just about any kitchen update equates to increased value and the cabinets are the best place to start. No matter what era your cabinets are stuck in, there is a way that’s relatively simple compared to the good old sanding and painting.
Rust-Oleum now offers a DIY friendly four-step kit that comes with everything you need for giving your cabinets a makeover. There are two kinds of kits available so depending on what you’re working with you can go lighter or darker. Once you’ve given your cabinets an update, add some bling by updating the pulls and knobs.
Looking for more ways to add value to your to your kitchen? Homebuyers number one purchase, after buying a home, is new appliances. As a quick rule of thumb, if your appliances are any color other than black, white, stainless or more than ten years old, you will more than make back the cost. $2,000 will get you a top-performing refrigerator, range, and dishwasher with a stainless-steel finish. New, modern, high end looking countertops and wood laminate floors won’t cost much more.
Updating Door Hardware
Goodbye to dated brass and hello modern pizzazz! Talk about instant gratification your interior door knobs are something you look at and touch daily, why not give them a makeover? Door hardware, including cabinet doors, is one cheapest way to add value to your home. Depending on your tastes you can replace every doorknob in the house for about $10-15 apiece. If you’re looking to replace the exterior knobs on your front or back door- those do come at a higher price but kits start out around $50.
New faucets address the two most important rooms in the house, kitchen and bathrooms. Installing new plumbing fixtures will make both spaces look cleaner and more modern. Replacing these fixtures takes a bit of skill and finesse- luckily with awesome sites like YouTube, this has put the power of DIY in every homeowner’s hands. We found a great Kohler model for just $170, pair that with a few bathroom faucets which will run about $80 a piece and you have yourself an updated look throughout the whole house.
Replacing Outdated Light Fixtures
You can never have too much light in a home. No one ever complains about a home being too well lit or wishes there were still the light fixtures from the eighties. Home improvement stores offer a wide range of inexpensive, but modern looking light fixtures.
If you haven’t replaced a lighting fixture before, this would be another good time to consult a how-to video. For standard bedrooms, flush mount lighting fixtures are a great choice and are affordable for around $10 a piece. For bathrooms, switch out the old school “Hollywood” strip bulbs for something more ornate and modern. We found this one that would look great in any bathroom for $140.
The key to adding value with selves and built-ins is to create better organization, add more storage and create visual appeal. I don’t know about you, but I have been drooling over the pins on Pinterest lately that highlight the addition of faux built-ins by using Ikea shelves. Perfect for that entertainment center or large bookcase you’ve been obsessing about.
Not only does this update add massive amounts of convenient storage that can be used to keep tidy but also fun to decorate. Many have suggested adding crown molding to seamlessly adjoin multiple boxes, but also adding molding to the top portion for a more finished and stylish look.
Easy Closet Hacks
Many of us are not blessed with ample amounts of space in our closets, especially if space is hard to come by in your home. While we may dream of massive two-story closets- the reality is it just isn’t going to happen.
In most homes, it’s nearly impossible to make closets bigger without a major remodel. Although, you can make your closets look, feel and function better with a small investment. Nowadays you can customize your space with prefabricated shelves, storage cubes, shoe racks and sweater racks. Most home improvement retailers offer mix and match pieces that are easy to install and require little to no specialty tools. Instructions are easy and in no time you’ll be on your way to organized bliss.
Whether you love them or hate them, they’re more or less a permanent fixture in your home. Chances are if it’s dated and tired it’s bringing down the whole vibe of your space. Taking the time to revamp your fireplace will not only bring it to the current decade but can also become a total conversation piece. If you’re working with brick, paint comes cheap and while it will take more than one coat, your color choices are practically endless.
In the event you’re having issues due to broken pieces and a damaged façade, consider tiling over it. This is easiest and works best if the front of the fireplace is completely flat. The mantel can also be a new focal point and luckily some home improvement stores carry prefab wood mantels that require an install and a coat of paint. If all the above sounds a bit much, you can opt for an easier approach and ditch the good old brass doors and replace with updated, modern doors in many different styles.
The Forgotten Garage
The garage is sometimes the most overlooked space in the home. Make the most of it by taking it from a free for all dumping ground for holiday décor, bikes, recreational items, etc. and consider adding adjustable shelves and storage as needed to meet your family’s needs.
Most garage shelving units are easy to assemble and the beauty of it that you only have to buy what you need. If your family has bikes, considering the top hanging hooks which will allow for more space. There is no need to spend big money, it’s simply about making a small garage look bigger or standard garage look big enough to park a car in after accounting for some basic storage. You would be surprised at the difference a cleanup and some well-thought-out shelves or cabinets can make.
A new garage door will more than pay for itself. If it’s damaged or sagging, consider a replacement or repair. In all but the most entry-level homes, buyers have an expectation of a functional garage door opener. If you don’t have one or yours isn’t working a replacement is a must. When it comes to resale, most homebuyers will expect that one to be there.
It doesn’t always take a pro or deep pockets to make great improvements on your home. Knowing what updates are most important to you and your family makes all the difference in where you decide to devote your time and attention. At the end of the day, if it makes you love where you live even more and adds a little bounce to your home’s value- that’s a good day! For more great home ideas and design inspiration, connect with me on Pinterest.
Lisa Kohl is a full-time real estate professional in Boise, Idaho. Lisa’s experience as a Realtor helps her clients successfully complete real estate transactions without a hitch. Questions about this post, send us and message. We love receiving questions from our readers. They allow us to focus our content on issues that are important and relevant to sellers and buyers in Idaho.
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