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5 Easiest DIY Home Improvements to Add Value to a Home

by Chantel Robillard | Dec 22, 2020
Person planting yellow flowers in a window planter box

Whether you’re about to put your home on the market or you have no plans of selling anytime soon, there are many DIY projects that can add value to your home. Not every home project needs to be costly or complicated to make a big impact, both for livability and eventually for resale. Learn more about simple and cost-effective projects you can take on yourself that will improve your home, increase its value, and make you proud of the work you put in.

Update Your Landscape

If you’ve been neglecting your yard or you’ve opted for a simple landscaping design, freshening it up with some new trees and shrubs may be just what your home needs. When you plant attractive trees and shrubs, you can increase your home’s curb appeal. Not only will it look great in your listing photos, but your new landscaping could also increase the value of your home and neighborhood.

Consider shrubs and landscaping that don’t require a lot of upkeep. This keeps your home maintenance efforts more manageable and may also keep your watering costs low. Homebuyers may be more attracted to low-maintenance elements that still increase curb appeal, such as mulch, rocks, or native plants.

To complete this DIY task, you’ll need gardening tools, plants, and other landscaping accessories. Depending on the plants and accents you choose, you may spend $100 to $200 updating your landscaping. Homes with attractive landscaping may sell for 5.5% to 12.7% more than homes without appealing front yards.

Update Walls and Ceilings

Ceilings that have a bumpy texture are referred to as popcorn ceilings. This construction technique was popular in the 1960s to dampen sound and add style to a room. While it’s considered vintage, popcorn ceilings aren’t usually desirable in modern aesthetics and may decrease the value of your home.

Removing popcorn ceilings is time-consuming but a simple task you can complete yourself. However, before you attack the bumpy ceiling with a scraper, have it tested for asbestos. It was used in the same timeframe that popcorn ceilings were popular so it’s possible this hazardous construction material is present in your home’s ceilings. If there is asbestos, have a professional remove it carefully for you.

If you’re safe to tackle this project on your own, protect your floors and furniture with drop cloths, wet the ceiling, and begin scraping. Eventually, the smooth surface of your ceiling will be revealed. You’ll need to prime and paint the ceiling if there’s discoloration.

This project could increase your home’s value by $2,500 to $35,000, depending on its size. If you don’t need to hire a professional, the supplies to complete this project, including scrapers and paint, should cost less than $100.

The design and paint on your walls are also important for the overall value of your home. Outdated wallpaper or bright, glaring colors can turn potential buyers off. Consider upgrading your walls by adding a coat of neutral or modern-colored paint.

Deep Clean Your Home

While cleaning your home from floor to ceiling isn’t necessarily a renovation, it can still improve its value and attractiveness to buyers. You may clean your home religiously once a week, but adding a deep clean every once in a while can improve your curb appeal and leave a lasting first impression on visitors.

When you opt to deep clean your home, take a few extra hours to focus on areas that are often ignored in your routine cleaning schedule, such as:

  • Baseboards
  • Walls
  • Cabinets
  • Appliances
  • Curtains and window treatments

If you have children, deep clean their play areas, toys, and accessories. Dogs, cats, and other pets make it tough to keep your home spotless. If you’re a pet owner, take extra care to remove hair from corners and crevices when deep cleaning.

All you need for this project are household cleaners and accessories, time, and elbow grease. It shouldn’t cost much but may make your home more appealing to buyers, potentially increasing how much you sell it for.

Add Lighting

If you’re experienced with home renovations, consider tackling an advanced lighting project, such as adding windows or a skylight to a relatively dark room. Hiring a professional to help install windows may cost between $3,000 and $9,000, depending on the project.

Bright and airy homes are often more attractive, so adding light may increase your home’s appeal and resale value. If windows or skylights aren’t an option, add track lighting or install new, brighter light fixtures. Stick to neutral, modern, and efficient lighting fixtures so you appeal to all types of buyers.

Outdoor lighting makes your home more attractive at night and may also deter vandals from targeting your home . With lighting at all entryways in your home, buyers who view your home at night may be more impressed with the tour. Bright lighting could also increase the price a buyer is willing to pay for your home.

Install Home Security

A home security system is one factor insurance companies consider when calculating your rate. Home security systems deter theft and vandalism, so your homeowner’s insurance company may be willing to give you a lower rate if you have one installed.

When choosing home security, you can opt for a comprehensive system that includes window and door sensors, motion sensors, and cameras. You may also choose certain home security features that appeal to you, such as motion-sensing lights or a doorbell camera.

The cost of a monitored home security system may vary from $200 to $600 for installation and $20 to $50 for monthly service. When calculating the value of the installation of a security system, consider if you also qualify for a discount on your homeowners insurance. If a home security system can deter thieves and save you money on your home insurance policy, it may be worth the investment.

Installing smart home technology for security may also make your home feel safer. While buyers may not be willing to pay more for a home with smart features, it may drum up more interest in your home if you have this technology installed.

Inexpensive DIY upgrades are worth the time and effort if they can increase your home’s sales price or buyer interest in your property. If you opt for upgrades, keep in mind, you may need to increase your homeowner’s insurance to ensure you have adequate coverage. By investing a small amount of money, time, and sweat equity, you can improve your home in big ways.

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