10 Easy Budget-Friendly Tips to Improve Your Home’s Value
Home. It can be a place for one person or an entire clan. Whoever resides within the walls of a house loves to make it their own. If you are looking to improve curb appeal for your own likes or increase its attraction to a potential buyer, the following tips will help get you started. If you plan to remodel, concentrate your efforts on smaller projects like the ones we’ve listed below, that make your home more appealing to budget-minded buyers. Uber-luxury has become passé in these times of green-thinking and living with less.
The following ideas will build the value in your home while also pleasing your senses and keeping your budget inline. Focus on energy efficient upgrades and small improvement projects that add character and comfort to your home. Value can be obtained in many ways, and the little ones sometimes count as much, if not more, than the big ones.
Whether you live in a modern glass contemporary or a stone-built cottage, a home with curb appeal is worth its weight in gold. Not only does it give you a sense of pride as you pull in the drive, it also increases the value of your home and your community. Upgrading your home’s landscape is one of the most cost-effective home improvements you can make and will bring your yard and front door into show-stopping stardom.
Tidy Up – Creating a beautiful yard doesn’t mean a total upheaval of the old and replacing with the new. A well-tended lawn, trimmed beds, and several large trees can make any home more inviting. Maintenance help isn’t hard to find, and the costs will be minimal if you don’t have the time; it will be worth every penny for the look you’ll achieve. Add a pot or two of blooming flowers around the front door, and there you have it, instant appeal with little effort.
Painting or replacing your front door works miracles when improving a home’s value, and a well-chosen look enhances every aspect of its outside appeal. Red doors used to be the only ‘bold’ statement made when making a door the focal point of your porch. But nowadays, dusty aqua, grass green, weathered wood, or glossy grain-mahogany can turn a ho-hum porch into a show-stopper. Take some pictures of your home before picking a color or wood grain and go to your local paint dealer to ‘test drive’ a few colors. Pull paint chips of your favorites and drop them in on top of your home’s picture. If you are leaning toward a wood grain door, get some stain samples and see if dark, light, reddish, or grey works best. If you have shutters on your home, consider refinishing them in the same manner, repeating the look and completing your home’s new appearance.
￼New House Numbers can make a huge difference when designing your home’s first impression. Consider using them in a new fashion, such as attaching to a planter box placed on brackets beside your door or lighting from behind with an overlay cutout. Many projects are easy and can be completed in an afternoon. Even a small piece of a picket fence with new numbers on it and a hanging pot, set by an arbor or front gate can take the appeal of your home to a new dimension.
Yard Maintenance – a well-kept yard shows the world that someone lives there who is happy with their yard and tends to its needs. Keeping bushes and trees free of dead wood and flowers neat and trim is a sure sign the occupants are caretakers of their home and property. Your yard doesn’t need to be fashioned after a magazine cover, but if it’s taken well care of, it will look as if it should be on the cover. It takes less time than you think and does a yard a world of good.
If you find lawn is not your style, removing it and replacing with native and regional plantings will not only save you maintenance time in the long run, but will save on water consumption also.
Returning to a natural landscape is also environmentally responsible and will never be out of style. Take a look at your neighborhood and visit a local nurseryman to find the lowest maintenance and cost-effective plants. Once the initial design is completed and plantings are installed, the cost of upkeep is minimal. Consider too, the yard will look nicer year after year, as the plantings fill in and your yard becomes ‘natural’.
Repair or Replace – A broken rain gutter or a loose roof tile can speak volumes for your home, and not in a good way. Take a weekend or two to fix and repair any broken items which detract from your home’s appearance. Replacing broken stepping stones or uprooted bricks in a path can not only make things look better but will improve the safety of your occupants as well. Paint window frames and mend eves if necessary. Fix or replace the broken lock on the gate. These are small tasks to accomplish but make a world of difference in the value of your home, not to mention making your day to day life less stressful.
A well-kept home on the inside is just as important as the outside. Clean and debris-free homes are easier to maintain and enjoy, making improvements easier to envision and plan. As you bustle around the house cleaning and arranging, consider the things you want to improve. Maybe the fireplace needs an upgrade, or the blinds replaced with wood shutters? Make a list, writing down all the thoughts of what you would like to change.
Then, consider the things which should be improved; a leaky faucet or a broken door hinge. After making this separate list, pick and choose the projects which will fit into your budget and time. Then, as your weeks unfold, plan a project or two for the time and money you have available, maybe one from each list. You’ll be surprised at how quickly the lists are completed and how happy your state of mind is when your home is spruced up.
Paint – This is probably the single most visible improvement you can do for the least amount of money spent, a value we are all looking for! A new coat of paint on the walls brings a fresh feeling to any room; nothing else has the same impact (aside from new flooring, which is generally 100 times the cost!). If you are thinking of selling your home soon, pick neutral colors to keep the appeal general and pleasing, light shades for smaller rooms, a bit more intense for larger rooms. Bold colors are fun at first but soon lose their appeal and tend to close-in a room, if not used in small doses. Better to keep the bold colors to tangibles such as bedspreads or pillows. They are easy to change around also, giving you options as your mood, seasons, and room-needs change. Matte finishes work best with textured and less active rooms, such as living rooms, adult bedrooms, and offices. An eggshell finish works best if you will be cleaning off fingerprints or have a high-traffic area, such as kitchens, children’s rooms, hallways, and baths. Gather lots of sample chips and assess them at all times of the day. A good paint color can transform dull and boring into comforting and pleasant in one afternoon!
- Fixtures – These are simple, inexpensive, yet noticeable upgrades to keep your home looking fresh and new. Perhaps a ceiling fan or new glass pendant lamp to brighten up a living room, or several hanging glass lamps suspended in the corner, can bring new appeal to any room. Or consider painting an outdated brass fixture with a brushed chrome or matte black finish. This gives your room the update it needs for a minimal cost. Look through your home improvement centers spray paint department for all kinds of options, some even faux stone! Changing out or upgrading basic home fixtures are often overlooked but can have a huge impact. These common fixture changes will give you a sense of having a new home, as well as increase the visual appeal.
Kitchen Hardware – Kitchens are the most expensive upgrade in a home, and often, the most scrutinized room when a buyer is contemplating a purchase. If you are remodeling or upgrading your kitchen, keep it neutral and similar to what your neighbors have in their homes. To give a little facelift to your kitchen, try replacing the cabinet hardware or adding under-cabinet lighting. Be sure to keep the decor the same throughout your home; if you have a contemporary look, don’t pick out drawer pulls with a fancy scroll. The same feel should move easily from room to room, continuing your decorating scheme and grounding a cohesive look. These small kitchen upgrades are noticeable and appealing to purchasers. If you are looking to improve your surroundings for yourself, these changes will not only satisfy you but will make you feel pampered as well.
Faucets – Consider replacing your kitchen and bathroom faucets with new ones. The look will update your bath or kitchen tenfold, making these possible damp and distasteful rooms, inviting. The replacement can be expensive though, so do your shopping and pick faucets which are compatible with your existing plumbing and your budget. Keep in mind, quite often you can find a lesser faucet which is similar to its expensive counterpart!
￼Switch plates and Heating Vents / Returns – After you have painted your rooms (see above!), consider putting on new switch plates, socket covers, vent returns, and heating covers. These are relatively inexpensive if you replace them a room at a time and give a huge return in updating looks. If your home had the regular boring styles, take a look at brushed chrome switches or scroll cut vent covers. Keeping the look the same throughout your home ties the rooms together, the look all reputable interior designer use. Each time you turn on a light or pass by the wall, you’ll smile at the upgrade you’ve given yourself and your home.
By updating your home with a few of these changes will make your home a show-stopper and will improve your home’s value. It may also give you a new perspective if you have an older home. And if you’ve just purchased a home and are improving a few things, realize this is the personalization which will take you from buying your new house to making it your own home.