12 DIY Projects That Boost The Value of Your Home

12 DIY Projects That Boost The Value of Your Home

Several years ago, you were in the market for a new home and fell in love with this one you’re living in now. But the time has come to move on and you’ve decided that this home is not going to be your place of residence for the next years of your life. Selling the house is making more and more sense to you.

But over the years that you’ve lived here, you’ve spent thousands of dollars updating its look and filling it with beautiful things. Some areas have taken quite a beating though, like those worn out hardwood floors and landscape that needs some TLC. Your bathroom may also need an extension, and your kitchen could use some renovations too. Heck, even the walls would look a lot prettier with a new and fresh layer of paint.

With the condition that your home is in and the fierce competition in your neighborhood, you know you need to perform some home improvement projects to increase value.

How Home Improvement Projects Increase Value

1. GET THE BEST PRICE. You can’t expect to sell right away at a price that you desire if your home admittedly needs various touch-ups. In fact, even if you’re not selling right now but contemplate that possibility of putting it on the market in the future, certain things need to be done if you wish to raise the value of your home and consequently, command the best price possible.

2. MAKE YOUR HOME A BLANK CANVASS. Understandably, your home has been your abode for several years, and the artworks, photographs, and trophies represent some of the best moments you had at that point in your life. However, buyers are not interested in your life – they want to see your home. A home improvement project allows you to remove those personal details in your home so that a potential buyer can walk in and instantly see how he/she might live there.

3.​ COVER UP FLAWS. Your home may have sustained chips, dents and discolorations over the years and somehow, you failed to fix or cover them up. If you want to sell your home, you need to cover up those flaws to make your house presentable again. Crayon drawings on the wall may look cute and memorable to you, but those won’t look pleasing to the eyes of a potential buyer.

4.​ MAKE YOUR HOME MORE APPEALING AND WELCOMING. Freshly-pruned shrubs, fantastic landscape and beautiful patio all make the best first impression, and hopefully, your potential buyer retains the same perception until he/she has finished the entire home tour. Small, cheap but thoughtful updates can give your home quite an entrance.

Now, look around you and see where your home might need some (or a lot) of work. You must do this before you contact a real estate broker and place your house up for sale. Buyers need to see your home in the best light, but it also doesn’t mean that you need to empty your entire savings account to do so. You must invest just the right amount to make your home presentable. Going overboard will make your home look more expensive than necessary, driving buyers away.

Tips for Remodeling Your Home

At this point, you are not remodeling your home for your own benefit. You are now focusing on how it affects a potential home buyer. With that in mind, it is important to move with your home improvement projects with caution so you can truly maximize and raise your home’s value.

1. Plan ahead. How soon are you planning to sell your home? You must remember that some home improvement projects do take time and it’s important to factor in the timeframe in your overall planning. For instance, if you wanted to improve your home’s curb appeal through the garden, you must make sure to time the planting of flowers so that they bloom just in time when you’re about to sell. Other projects like bathroom and kitchen remodels may take some time as well.

2. Know what you can do yourself. You’ll already be spending some money going forward with your home improvement projects and every little savings count. Consider what tasks you can take on so you can reduce the cost of labor. For instance, you can paint the walls, prune the shrubs or install hardware by yourself.

3. Consult an expert. This is especially useful if you’re unsure about what you want or if you’re too overwhelmed by options. For one, a real estate expert could already give you a lot of insights on what makes a home more marketable. You may also consult with other experts in the field like an interior designer and landscaping artist to make the smartest choices between designs and materials.

DIY PROJECTS THAT RAISE YOUR HOME’S VALUE

1. Floors

Floors instantly draw attention, whether they’re very pretty or hideous. It’s essential to make your floor look good and feel sturdy. If a potential buyer steps on a floor that squeaks, you might just have lost that sale.

A lot of real estate experts suggest that you give floors ample budget. This does not imply that you need brand new floors, but you do need to make the effort of making old floors look beautiful. Consider patching up dents or repairing floorboards that make awkward sounds. You might also consider taking out wall-to-wall carpeting.

If the floors have seen a lot of better days and you deem it’s better to get new ones, consider investing in more durable types like engineered hardwood floors. These floors aren’t as expensive as real hardwood, but they also require less maintenance and have a long lifespan.

For carpeted floors, consider cleaning them before you stage the home. In fact, it’s essential to regularly clean carpeted floors even if you’re not selling because dust, mites, and allergens could reside in between fibers and cause respiratory conditions.

2. A/C & Heating Units

Air conditioning and heating units are essential to being comfortable in your home. Buyers will certainly look at the units before they decide to buy.

Some people may think that updating or replacing an HVAC system entirely is a frivolous expense. However, there are several points that you need to keep in mind like whether or not a new system is indeed required to improve the home’s selling value.

If you have an outdated heating and cooling system, you certainly need to get a better and more energy-efficient replacement. Buyers may not notice it right away, but they’re bound to at one point of the tour or another. Failing to upgrade the system could lose you that sale.

Another factor when considering whether an upgrade to the HVAC system is to determine the age of your unit. If it is more than 15 years old, chances are, you’ll also need to replace the entire ductwork which can be expensive. If not, you could get by replacing the unit with a newer, cost-effective model.

But don’t go thinking that a new HVAC system will not reap you rewards. In fact, a more energy-efficient system works in full performance while consuming lesser power. The amount that you can save on utility bills will soon cover the amount you spent on the new system.

Fortunately, the federal government awards 30% in tax deductions to anybody who purchases a new energy-efficient HVAC system. Or go green if you can. Alternative and cheaper energy sources like solar power allow you to save even more money on the upcoming utility bills. Green energy is also an excellent selling point and can be a compelling reason for the purchase of your home.

3. Roof

As an essential structure to your home’s overall protection against the elements, the condition of your roof needs careful consideration. Apparently, an old, worn-out and leaky roof is a major turn-off, so make sure to inspect your roofing and put up a plan of action addressing its current concerns.

According to HomeAdvisor, upgrading the roof can improve your home’s sale value by an average of $12,000. Additionally, if you install new roofing, you’ll recoup around 63% of the expense.

Better, newer and more durable roofing can raise your home value in multiple ways. For one, certain types of roofing materials like asphalt shingles have various color and texture options, giving your home a different, appealing and a unique look.

Also, new roof materials can help reduce your utility costs. Energy-star rated roofing deflects the sun’s heat, making it easier on your air conditioning system.

Lastly, roofing upgrades present the opportunity for longer warranties and bypass building issues. Since the roof is mainly visible, you can hardly hide its condition. The best way to make your home even more appealing is to ensure that your roof is in its best condition.

4. Kitchen

From homeowners to real estate experts, there’s a broad and standard agreement that investing on a kitchen remodel brings the most significant ROI and ups the home value to several levels.

It is not therefore surprising to see why many people invest heavily in their kitchens. After all, the kitchen is considered as the home’s central hub and making it look appealing, highly-functional and modern will surely grab a buyer’s attention.

According to Remodeling’s 2016 report, a minor kitchen update costing around $20,000 can bring a home’s selling value up by 83%. It will show if you’ve spent a great time and effort beautifying your kitchen and buyers are bound to notice. Also, because the kitchen is a favorite spot for a family huddle, it only makes sense that it should be “livable.”

Depending on the state and condition of the kitchen, you could shave out as little as $5000 and still enjoy enormous paybacks. You can perform small and relatively cheap makeovers like applying a fresh layer of neutral paint to the walls. When you do this, make sure to pick low VOC-paint to instantly freshen up the walls for a cheaper cost.

Next, consider the age of your appliances. Older appliances tend to be more wasteful of energy, resulting in higher utility bills. Consider replacing them with new machines that are Energy-star rated as these have been proven to be more power-efficient.

When choosing new devices, stainless steel appliances give your kitchen with a modern contemporary look that never goes wrong to any buyer. Without the need for construction, you can make your kitchen appear sleek and professional with stainless steel double-doors, cooktops and other cooking equipment.

It’s easy to go overboard when making over the kitchen so it’s best to stay away from projects that may seem great but won’t help increase value. For instance, getting extra kitchen appliances like a pizza oven isn’t actually a sensible investment. Statement lighting is also an additional expense that doesn’t improve home value.

5.​Counters & Cabinets

The look and functionality of your counters and cabinets are easy to spot, and buyers will take note of what you have in your home. If you want to make your home stand out, consider investing in better, more durable countertops.

Most people spend a lot of time in the kitchen – cooking, preparing food, eating and even reading. The countertop is the surface where all these take place, so it only makes sense that your countertop should be strong and durable enough to handle all these.

Quartz and granite are the leading options for countertops because can repel heat, scratches, and dents. Plus, they also require minimal maintenance. However, both options do come with a hefty price tag. If you want to save some money, you can opt for a concrete countertop which you can stain with the desired shade. Or, you could go for the reasonably cheap butcher countertop which is also durable.

Meanwhile, cabinets in your kitchen and bathroom may also need an update. When you can’t spend for brand-new cabinets, you can make the old ones seem like new. You may paint them with a semi-gloss finish for an instant, fresh look. Also, swapping out hardware can give your cabinets a more modern look at a small cost.

6. Water heaters

Hot water is a convenience we’re willing to pay for. Water heaters have become a permanent fixture in most US homes, allowing the residents to use hot water to bathe, wash, and do laundry.

But over the years, more and more people are coming to appreciate eco-friendly means of delivering water to our households. Homes with tankless water heaters are easier to sell, especially if you’re making your home “green and eco-friendly” as your unique selling point.

As compared to the traditional water heater, a tankless water heater is more economical because it only releases warm water on demand. A conventional water heater holds around 40 gallons of water at any given moment, but the tankless water heater system removes the tank from the equation, and simply gives releases hot water whenever needed.

Apart from the convenience, a tankless water heater is also way more practical, safe and apt for the demands of the modern living. Since it doesn’t hold water in a tank, it is also less likely to cause flooding. It is also more energy-efficient and helps you cut down your utility bills to hundreds of dollars each year.

And if you’ve installed solar panels and uses energy-efficient appliances, going tankless will contribute to your cause of making your home “green.” In fact, some states award tax deductions to homeowners who purchase and install tankless water heaters in their homes.

7. Fence

Outside your home, the fence is your boundary-marker. But beyond that function, fences also help give you security and privacy. The fence keeps pets and young children within the property and can double as a decorative hardscaping feature for your exteriors.

In most homes, a fence is necessary to mark where your property begins and ends. And most real estate experts agree that when a fence is needed and practical, it is most likely to bring value to your home.

The cost of fencing installation depends on the material and construction. A simple chain link fence may require minimal labor and material costs, but it also hardly impacts the value of your home. On the other hand, you can recoup as much as 50% of expenses on fences made of hardwood and cast iron.

It must be noted though that home buyers mostly look at fence beyond the financial value. They like the security and privacy the fence can bring should they live in your home, and these two are their top considerations when looking at the fence on homes for sale.

In the aesthetic sense, your fence should aptly match the design and look of your home. You cannot depend on the fence as a selling point if it doesn’t look and feel right to your home. If your home looks modern and contemporary, cast-iron and stainless steel fences should match. On the other hand, wood makes the perfect fence for homes with a country charm to it.

8. Landscaping

Landscaping is one of the best ways to improve your curb appeal. Landscaping works can require minimal cost likes pruning and trimming, while high-value projects like installation of a new landscape design, building a deck or patio and putting up lights are also great ideas to improve your home’s curb appeal.

Curb Appeal

According to HGTV, “an ugly front yard brings the home value down.” As the first thing to welcome guests into your home, your yard should be clean and pretty. Overgrown bushes hardly make the best first impression. Additionally, not only will unappealing landscape bring down your home’s value; it also affects the overall housing market in your neighborhood.

Fortunately, spending for your landscape is one of the best investments you ever make for your house. According to American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), you can invest 10% of your home remodeling budget towards landscaping. When done successfully, you can raise your home value by 20% more.

For a low-cost landscaping project, you can pick plants that are appropriate to your region’s climate. This ensures that your plants will thrive and won’t require as much maintenance.

Trees

Additionally, you can plant trees in strategic locations around your house. Trees can block the noise from the streets and give your property some shade. Trees can also shield your home from the harsh sunlight that causes your air conditioning unit to work on the double, therefore allowing you to save some money on utility bills.

It is also essential to maintain the upkeep of your landscape through regular pruning, trimming, weeding and mulching. These fixes are easy to do and relatively require little to zero cost. But with some budget, you can consider “softscaping” by incorporating flowering shrubs. The blending of colorful blooms can easily attract attention and improve your home’s curb appeal.

Backyard

It must be noted though that landscaping is not limited to working with plants in your yard. Additional installations like patio, deck, and gazebo can create a significant visual and functional impact to your landscape.

The National Association of Realtors reports that a patio is a perfect addition if you like to spend a lot of time outdoors while admiring the beauty of your landscape. Plus, a patio converts into a functional area for outdoor barbecues. Fortunately, installing a patio and a wooden deck allows you to recoup 102-106% of your expenses.

Lastly, don’t forget to give your lawn some love. This is an inexpensive project that requires weeding, raking and fertilizing; yet these can earn more than 300% in ROI. A beautiful and well-maintained lawn, after all, effortlessly pulls attention from buyers to passersby.

9. Bathrooms

Like the kitchen, the bathroom is one of the most critical areas buyers look into when touring a home for sale. The state and condition of your bathroom can gravely influence their decision to purchase, so it’s crucial to ensure that your bathroom is neat, clean and presentable.

While bathroom remodels can cost thousands of dollars, you can start with minor fixes that you can perform yourself to save on labor costs. You can clean up the dirty grouts and clean up the tiles. You can paint the walls with a new and fresher color and replace fixtures like showerheads. You may also add some accessories to spruce the place up.

However, if your bathroom is in dire need of repairs and renovation, you can expect to spend at least a couple of thousand dollars. Fortunately, spending for a bath remodel can pay off near to the original amount spent.

Your existing bathroom can benefit from a variety of updates, such as replacing the sink and mirror as well as lighting and cabinetry. New and more durable fixtures are bound to get noticed, plus, they won’t cost as much as building a new bathroom from scratch.

However, it may also make financial sense to build a second bathroom than splurging most of your money on the only bath in the house. Although a new bathroom is more expensive than remodeling the existing one, it also tends to raise your home value to staggering levels.

Often, an unused space in your home could convert into a second full bath or half bath. This lessens the cost significantly than making new space. According to HGTV, you can recoup at least 80% of the amount spent on the new bathroom.

Just remember that when undertaking a bathroom makeover, put into mind the combination of cosmetics and functionality. You don’t have to get all the fancy things, but a few beautiful and eye-catching decors can give your bathroom an appeal of its own.

10. Neutral Paint Color

If you’ve lived in your bright orange most of your life, now that you’re selling, it’s time to re-think the shade. Buyers want to envision themselves living in your home, and the bright and bold color of choice could come as a hindrance.

Real estate experts suggest that you make your home seem like a blank canvass so that potential buyers could easily imagine how to decorate your house should they live there. And in most cases, going for a neutral paint color typically works. In this case, white, taupe and eggshells are your safest options.
However, color preferences do change over time, and it’s best to stay updated with the trend. According to Zillow’s survey, homebuyers’ tastes in home colors are shifting. Bathrooms colored with periwinkle and powder blue sells faster than any other color and increase the home value by over $5,000.

Painting your home with a layer of fresh and new tint has an instant effect. It’s also a relatively less expensive update which you can DIY, therefore, allowing you to save some money on costs of labor.

11. Basement

The basement is probably the most overlooked and underestimated rooms in your home. But little did you know that remodeling your basement into a more desirable and livable space could bring your home’s value several notches higher.

The basement has a lot of potentials, but because it is not instantly visible to the guest, could get abandoned. Over the years, your basement could look dark and creepy and smell musty.

You can revive the basement into a more useful space by converting it into a playroom. On a cold day, a heated basement equipped with mats and toys can serve as your children’s playground.

For people who work at home, the basement could also transform into an office or gym. It is more feasible to work in the basement when you’re away from the distracting television and conversations.

According to the report of the Remodeling Magazine, reusing your basement into a livable room can bring back 70% in home value. However, before you go ahead and remodel your basement, you need to address all the existing foundation issues to prevent future problems. Make sure to look into the conditions of your pipes, insulation and cooling and heating systems.

You can add functional lighting fixtures, carpet, and furniture. Also, painting the walls of the basement can easily cheer up the space. When done correctly, the basement could quickly become your most favorite spot in the house when you need some privacy.

12. Create Storage Space

Storage space is an essential element in keeping a home organized and neat, and naturally, this is one of the best features you can boost inside your home. It isn’t surprising for a family to amass an overwhelming amount of stuff while living in the home. Soon enough, the house could get cluttered, making it look less appealing.

According to experts, the lack of storage spaces can affect the marketability of your home. Buyers naturally want a lot of space to store their stuff in, so without adequate storage, the buyer could get discouraged.

You don’t have to extend your home to make way for new storage. You just need to be creative enough to spot potential areas where new storage spaces could be located.

The garage is the most popular area to store most stuff, but an unused room, the attic or even the basement could also work. If you need to keep things presentable, you can build custom storage spaces and shelving to hold books, photographs and other things that you can put on display.

Recap

Putting your home up for sale is easy, but getting it sold at the right price is tricky. You need to raise the home value by spending some money in hopes that you’ll recover the amount, or more, when someone purchases your home.

To put simply, home remodel projects are an investment that you need to make if you need to market your home. With the right planning, you can go ahead with these projects within the stipulated and get the desired results.