If you are getting ready to sell your house, an easy way to boost its value is getting the family together to sweat it out and get dirty. Going from plain to pretty does not have to be expensive; it just takes some elbow grease.
Do you have nice landscaping around your house, or an overgrown mess? Is your front door newly painted or chipping? Is your siding dirty? If the answer to any of these are a yes, address them before putting your house on the market. If people enter your house thinking it’s not well loved, their opinion is already jaded. But don’t stop there. There are plenty of cheap and easy interior improvements that are just as valuable.
Below are nine cheap DIY Projects that will make your house pop inside and out, paying for themselves many times over when people seriously consider buying your property.
Outside the House
1. Paint Your Front Door Painting your front door only costs about $75 in paint and brushes. It’s also not a long job, yet it makes an excellent first impression. Consider choosing a bold color that accentuates and enhances your house’s existing palette.
2. Add Perennial Plants and Flower Beds If the edge of your house is surrounded by grass, or has an overgrown flower bed, grab the gardening gloves. Edging stones cost less than $2 each, bags of mulch cost under $5 and perennials that flower annually run anywhere from $20 a plant to $50 or more but turn your unkempt yard into a place of life. For about $500, people will notice your house, for the right reasons, when they drive by.
3. Hire a Landscaper for Free Yes, you heard us right. Not everyone knows how to combine plants to provide the right color and mix to keep your yard colorful all summer. But the experts do. Many garden centers will offer free landscaping advice if you buy all of your plants from them. Given that landscape architects charge $75-$150 an hour, getting free advice lets you buy a lot more plants.
4. Rent a Pressure Washer Vinyl siding is very common these days, but the weather takes a toll and leaves it dingy. The easy solution is to rent a pressure washer. For $95 -$195 a day, you can give your house a mini makeover that potential buyers are certain to notice.
5. Hide Your AC Unit People love having a house with AC, but they don’t want to see the unit sitting next to the house. Building a wood structure and adding some crushed stone both adds landscaping and eliminates an eye-sore.
Inside the House
1. Upgrade Your Bathroom You can spend thousands redoing your bathroom, and people will certainly notice. You can also spend less than a few thousand dollars and achieve the same goal. Handy people can do it all themselves; others may need help from a plumber or electrician. Changes like new faucets and sinks, tile, light fixtures, towel racks and a coat of paint can fit into most budgets.
2. Paint A gallon of paint costs about $25 and gives rooms a clean and updated look. If you have rooms painted dark colors, lighter paint will make the room seem bigger and lighter.
3. Change Out Your Floors You don’t need to be a home improvement pro to change your floors. A savvy homeowner can pull back carpet and put down laminate floors, which unlike woods, lock together like a puzzle and are less costly. Laminate runs under $3 a square foot, so if you install it yourself, you get a huge makeover at around $3,000.
4. Add Insulation to Your Attic If your attic isn’t insulated, you are wasting money. Adding insulation to your attic can cut your heating bill by 10 to 50 percent and keep your home a more even temperature. Potential homebuyers will find that very attractive. These days, home improvement companies rent machines to blow in insulation, so all you need is a protective suit and a friend or spouse to fill the machine while you blow it in. Renting the machine costs under $100 and the blow-in insulation costs about $2,000.
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