4 Easy (and Smart!) Home Upgrades You Can Start This Weekend
Do you feel like your home could use a little pick-me-up, but you don’t want to put too much effort into it? You’re not alone. Homeowners everywhere want a prettier, more practical living space, but they don’t have that much time to get the job done. Luckily, there are plenty of home upgrades you can do that are not only simple, but offer an impressive return on investment.
Before you get too far, there are some things you need to consider. Of course, you want the improvements to stick with your desired aesthetics, but you also want to remember that at some point you are going to be selling your home. In order to get the most money back, you want to choose renovations that are commonly sought after (so a home office is probably out because not everyone needs one). Not only that, but you need to select neutral styles and colors that appeal to most people.
The good news is that no matter what upgrade you decide on, This Old House reports that the average increase in a home’s value is 5 percent per year, so you are bound to recoup the costs if you live there long enough. So what are the top home improvements that are easy enough to get done in a weekend (or two) while still offering a strong return on investment?
Replace the Front Door
According to U.S. News & World Report, switching out your front door offers the most impressive gain for your dollar. In fact, you can get back as much as 96 percent of what you spend. If your door is already in decent condition and just requires a fresh coat of paint, you can actually gain money on the deal. So how can a front door make such a difference? It increases your curb appeal, which is everything when trying to sell a home. Bold colors, such as deep orange and apple red, are popular choices, as are black and navy blue when a more sophisticated look is desired.
Opt for a New Deck
Now that the front of the house is covered, why not take your attention to the back? Of course, an upgraded deck holds more clout in warmer climates, but almost everyone enjoys barbecues and sunbathing at some point during the year. And you may as well do the same, considering a new deck can net you 85 percent of your investment. HGTV offers a simple-enough tutorial if you have a little bit of experience with woodworking. If not, you can always hire someone who does, just plan on a slightly lower ROI.
Make Use of the Attic
You know that space above your home that you visit twice a year to pull down and put away the holiday decorations? Well, it turns out that if you put that space to good use, not only will it increase your livable space, but you can also get a decent return on the dough you spend. If you do it the right way, you might be able to get 83 percent of your cash back when it comes time to sell. So what is the correct way? Again, keep your potential buyer in mind and create a space that is useful for you but also practical for the average family. For example, an extra bedroom is always a plus, and even a TV room offers a general appeal. Just make sure you use carpet flooring to minimize the sound of footsteps from below, and don’t try to stuff the space too full of furniture. A light color paint on the ceiling can work wonders for making the small space look larger.
Spruce Up the Kitchen
You have probably heard that kitchens are always a smart choice for home upgrades because they tend to hold their value very well. But guess what? It’s not the major overhauls that are the best bet; it’s the minor ones. Add a new coat of paint to the walls, refinish the cabinets, replace the hardware, and make sure your appliances match (and are in decent shape) and you just gave yourself a renewed kitchen that will get you back as much as 82 percent of what you spent.
Even though you want to make any home upgrade with the future homebuyer in mind, it is more important to concentrate on your happiness. After all, you are the one paying the mortgage. So while you do want to choose high-quality materials and neutral designs, at the end of the day, it’s all about you and your family. As long as you love every day in your new and improved home, does it really matter how much money it will get you when you go to sell?
Darryl Crosby is a home renovation blogger and the Senior Director of Marketing at Case Design/Remodeling, Inc (www.casedesign.com) . Darryl loves to write on home improvement and remodeling projects, as well as providing tips for designing your home just the way you want it.