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Most rewarding projects you can do yourself.

It’s time to sell show your home a little love. Prior to starting the first project you can find, let's take a look at which projects have the greatest return, in terms of dollar value and overall homeowner happiness.

 

You also don't always have to spend a lot to get a lot back. You can achieve some great results with just a little elbow grease on some of these easy “do-it-yourself” (DIY) projects.

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General Repairs

The most straightforward DIY repairs you can make start with general projects around the home. Here are a few to get some ideas flowing:

Painting

Almost anyone can paint their walls and it’s the cheapest form of a facelift money can buy. You wouldn’t believe the difference a new paint job can make. Just make sure you spackle any holes in the walls and prime them thoroughly. Don’t forget your rollers, drop cloth, and tape.

Lighting

Lighting can make a huge difference in a home. It can optimize a space and make it appear larger than life. A seller should strive for 100 watts every 50 square feet for optimal brilliance. It’s also best to have three types of lighting:

  • Ambient (overhead)

  • Task-specific (pendant lights, under the cabinet, reading)

  • Accent (tables or wall lights)

Investing in lighting can balance your space with very little cost.

Flooring

Although this sounds labor-intensive, today’s flooring is quite painless to install. In many cases, it can be laid over your old flooring in tile format. Laminate and luxury vinyl floors make a home look incredible and add to the resale value. If you already have hardwood, sometimes all it takes a few simple steps of cleaning and restoring the wood to get it looking new again! 

The Kitchen

The kitchen is where you spend a considerable amount of time in your home, whether you cook or not. Many homeowners think renovating a kitchen has to be a very costly and time consuming endeavor that requires a licensed professional. However, there are certain DIY projects that can really can make a difference.

Backsplash

Changing the backsplash can alter the entire look of a kitchen. There are hundreds of videos on how to accomplish this easy task, especially if you take proper steps in prepping and cleaning up.

Refinish Cabinets

Refinishing your cabinets is not as difficult as it sounds. Mid-toned and Honey Oak are very dated and can make a kitchen look smaller. Simply remove the doors of the cabinet, sand them down along with the frame, and paint them a lighter color. Be sure to use a stain-blocking primer first as oak has a tendency bleed to through the paint. Even changing the hardware is a small fix that can make a huge difference.

Flooring

Just like with general repairs around the house, updating the floors in your kitchen can make a drastic difference on the overall look and feel. Luxury vinyl makes a great waterproof and durable floor for kitchens, but hardwood and tile are also elegant and extremely popular. 

Outside

The outside of your home is the first thing buyers see. It’s also the first thing an inspector assesses. Therefore, when preparing to list your home, consider some of these outdoor DIY repairs:

Gutters and Downspouts

These often depreciate fast, but a seller can get highly docked on an appraisal if their gutters and downspouts are in disrepair. Copper gutters make for the best curb appeal, but as long as yours are clean and working, aluminum is just fine. Here’s how to get started on a DIY for gutters and downspouts.

Landscaping

A freshly mowed lawn, some mulch here and there, even a flower bed. Landscaping is uncomplicated, but one of the most important fixes a seller can make prior to listing. You don’t have to have a green thumb. Any gardening center can give you tips on indigenous plants, soil, and anything that needs little TLC—but has tons of appeal.

Roofing

This is for the more advanced DIYer, but if you have confidence, this repair will save you the most money if you do it yourself. This is not the cleanest or safest job so make sure you are plenty prepared prior to climbing on top of your house. If you need a good place to start, here’s a great video on a DIY roof.

Getting Started

Prior to taking the plunge, make sure you have everything you need. You don’t want to be mid-project only to find out you forgot an extra roller or the tile glue. If you need help, YouTube has thousands of DIY videos for every home renovation project you can think of.

Keep in mind there are some legitimate repairs you simply cannot do. Some require a certification. For those, you need a professional. Serious injury can occur and you can end up doing more damage to your home than good if you don't know exactly what you are doing. 

Do-it-yourself is always a challenge. Remember, this is to make your home more comfortable for you, but also to add value. If you feel you cannot complete the project, it’s best to hire someone. However, if you are ambitious enough, you stand to save a lot of cash and get a lot of great enjoyment from it. 

Additional Resources:

Down Payment Planner

Simple steps to help you save up for a down payment. 

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How much home can you really afford? 

Learn what the experts say you should be spending on your home.

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