Updates to do yourself
1. Revamp the front porch.
A fresh coat of paint on your front door does wonders for curb appeal but if your door is damaged, it should be replaced. Your front porch is the last thing buyers (or guests) see before entering your home, so adding a seasonal wreath, a few planters, or a bench if you’ve got the room for it makes a great impression. Also, take a look at your house numbers and doorknob. Can you read the numbers from the street? Does your doorknob require special instructions to get it unlocked? These are both easy and inexpensive fixes that can bring added character to the front of your home.
2. Let there be light.
Your outdated lighting and ceiling fans are going to be a problem with buyers. With lighting sets being so affordable, it’s hard to justify not replacing your shiny brass fixtures for something more contemporary like brushed bronze or polished nickel. Consider adding dimmer switches in certain rooms to create a relaxing mood throughout the home. Dimmer switches also save some coin on your electric bill and the average dimmer switch only costs about $31.
3. Install a new backsplash.
Flashy backsplashes have become quite popular and are incredibly functional if you choose your materials correctly. Consider something that gives a pop of color to a dull kitchen but try to resist anything that’s too busy or tiles with natural stone surfaces, as these tend to be harder to clean. A backsplash that comes on a sheet is going to be your best bet when it comes to ease of installation. You will need a tile cutter for this job, so if you can’t get your hands on one it’s going to pay off in the end to hire this one out.
4. Replace old hardware.
Replacing hardware on cabinets, knobs on doors, and faucets can really bring an older home to life. But this is a bit more expensive than you might think. First, take an inventory of how many hinges, door pulls, drawer pulls, etc. you’ll need. When you’re shopping for new pieces, remember to bring the old set with you to the hardware store; the holes will need to match up with your old set. Don’t forget about the hinges! Some older cabinets have a certain type of hinge that may come in limited color options.
Updates for the professionals
1. Create more space.
Buyers are looking for open layouts with the kitchen and living room joining to create one wide-open space. Consider knocking down a non-load bearing wall to achieve a more functional, spacious floor plan. While you’re at it, add in a few beams on the ceiling to showcase the now larger space you’ve just created. This job requires professional experience, so it’s crucial that you contact a licensed contractor to give you their opinion on whether or not it’s even possible and what the projected costs will be.
2. Resurface your cabinets.
It’s no surprise that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes and one big-ticket item in both is cabinetry. Just because your cabinets are out of date doesn’t mean you need to replace them. Re-facing, refinishing, or repainting them are all solid ways to bring these spaces up to date. Kitchen design trends tend to change quickly so it’s a safer bet to go with a classic look. Choosing to paint your cabinets a classic white is a good option but reviving your existing cabinets won’t be easy. There are countless tutorials floating around the web for painting cabinets yourself but this job is best left to a professional.
Regular maintenance like pruning and trimming are easy things to do on your own but when making major improvements to your landscape, it’s important to consult with professionals. Whether you decide to hire a designer and contractor or do the designing yourself, the actual work should be done by a licensed professional. They will be able to get you a better price on materials and messing up the grade of your landscape isn’t a road you want to go down. Something as small as leaving an area with too much loose dirt can create a tunnel for critters, water, and the like to get closer to your foundation and potentially inside your home.