Here are seven affordable home improvement projects that’ll help you enjoy your home more today and provide excellent financial return in the future, especially if you are looking to put your home up for sale soon.
1. ADD THE FINISHING TOUCH OF MOLDING
Crown molding makes rooms seem both bigger taller. It's an elegant addition to any home. Plus, wood moldings come in hundreds of options -- from simple to ornate -- that you can stain, paint, or leave natural. You can also find moldings in flexible materials, such as foam, that make installation easier. And at $1.50 per foot if you DIY it, it's a no-brainer in terms of personalizing your home while adding value.
Don’t forget entryways, doors, and windows: Bump up the trim around these areas to give rooms a completed and expensive feel.
2. HANG QUALITY CEILING FANS
If your ceiling fans are old and outdated, new ones (coupled with a fresh paint job and crown molding) could give your rooms a refreshing update while saving money. Here are a few tips:
- Hang 7 to 8 feet above the floor.
- If you’ve got a low ceiling, buy a hugger ceiling fan that’s flush-mounted.
- Go for the biggest Energy Star-rated fan that will fit the space.
3. PLANT TREES
Trees are moneymakers that get better with age. A mature tree could be worth between $1,000 to $10,000, says the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers. A 16-inch silver maple could be worth $2,562, according to a formula worked out by the Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service. There’s more. Trees also:
- Save $100 to $250 annually in energy costs
- Lower stress
- Prevent erosion from downpours and roof runoff
- Protect your home from wind, rain, and sun
4. INSTALL A PATIO OR DECK
Don’t go crazy and trick out your outdoor space with high-end amenities, like an outdoor kitchen — especially if you’d be the only one on the block with one. When it’s time to sell, you won’t get back much — if any — of your investment on outdoor kitchens and other high-end amenities. Instead, keep it simple and functional to see a return on investment.
A professionally installed deck costs about $10,000 to install, but if you DIY it, you'll save more than half that while adding to your equity. Don’t skimp on deck lighting. It can make all the difference in functionality and beautification.
5. UPGRADE YOUR INSULATION
It's not as sexy as a kitchen remodel, but it doesn't cost as much either ($65,000 vs $2,100).
Plus, you'll save all year long on your utility bills. Win-win!
6. ADD STORAGE
We don’t have to sell you on the value of storage and built-in organization. Since when have you heard someone complain about too much storage? Never, we bet. Adding storage is a no-brainer, but it does take a little brainpower to find your home’s hidden storage. Here are a few ways to think outside of the toy box:
- Open drywall to create storage cubbies between your wall’s studs.
- Install platform storage that hangs from your garage ceiling.
- Even stairs can give you more storage.
7. INSTALL LANDSCAPE LIGHTING
Exterior lighting makes your home shine in the evening, accents features you like most about your house, and helps keep burglars away. Installing motion-detecting lights can even lower some homeowners’ insurance premiums. Here's a few tips:
- Place accent lights under your favorite trees to show off your landscaping’s top earners.
- Put them on a timer so you don’t waste energy running them during the day.
- Choose a warm, white light. It'll make your home look and feel welcoming.
Even with smaller budgets, you can make changes that have a big impact. And when the time comes to put the house on the market, reach out to the professional agents here at Maurer.