Across America, homeowners collectively spend nearly 400 billion in property upgrades. Yet some of the best home improvement projects don’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, if you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, you’ll probably want to invest in the best home improvement projects that give you the most bang for your buck.
To help you give your house a fresh facelift without breaking the bank, check out 15 of the best home improvement projects you need to consider before showing your property to potential bidders and buyers.
Replace the Roof
Do yourself a favor right away and get a roof inspection on your home. Even if you put a roof on in the past 10 years, you should know if you have any problems. After all, anyone who’s seriously interested in purchasing your house will pay for an inspection that includes the roof.
What happens if you discover that you need a new roof? In that case, think about the different types. You could choose shingle roofing, metal roofing, or even slate roofing. Each type of roof will carry its own price tag. However, if you put a new roof on your house, you’ll definitely be tackling one of the best home improvement projects out there. Buyers love to hear that a home has a new roof. After all, roofs can last up to 30 years, or the length of the average mortgage.
Not sure you need to completely redo your roof to bring it to tiptop shape? No problem. Just be sure to get on your preferred roofing professional’s schedule before officially putting your home on the market. Roofers get extremely busy at the end of the summer and into the fall. It’s best to call one sooner rather than later.
Revive the Flooring
Take an objective look at your floors. Is the carpeting worn through in places, fraying along the pile, faded from years of use, or even stained? Does it smell old or musty? And is your vinyl in the kitchen or bathroom area looking like it’s on its last legs?
These are all indicators that you might want to pay for new flooring, at least for some areas in your house. For instance, one of the best home improvement projects you can undertake is to remove all old carpeting and replace it with neutral, good-smelling wall-to-wall carpets. On the other hand, if you’re lucky enough to rip up your carpeting only to discover beautiful, untouched hardwood underneath, you might want to have someone come in and clean and polish the floors.
Sparkling hardwood floors appeal to many people interested in purchasing a new home. Though you might not get much use out of them since you’re moving soon, you’ll at least get to enjoy them until you close on your home!
Repair Your Garage Door
Did you realize that one of the best home improvement projects involves your garage door? It might seem odd, but updating or fixing your garage door can make a huge difference in the way your home looks from the outside. A working garage door also ensures bidders that they’ll get the full function out of your garage.
When do you know if it’s time to fix your garage door? Obviously, if it doesn’t go up and down easily or consistently, you have a problem that you shouldn’t pass along to the next homeowners. Similarly, if the door makes loud sounds when it’s working, it probably needs a tune-up.
In the case that you decide to replace your garage door, consider one of the more beautiful models on the market. Many garage doors come in a variety of styles and colors, allowing you to revitalize your home’s curb appeal.
Spruce Up High Traffic Areas
The rooms that get most of the traffic in any household are usually the kitchen and major bathrooms. Basically, they’re the places that start to show wear and tear first. They can also become off-trend pretty quickly.
Be honest: Could your kitchen or bath areas benefit from a little TLC? Usually, upgrading these rooms falls into all the “best home improvement projects” lists because you get tremendous value and return on investment. Even if all you do is replace the appliances in your kitchen and the toilets, sinks, and tubs in your bathrooms, you’ll catch the eyes of potential bidders.
As a side note, be certain that you scrub your kitchen and bathrooms, too. Nothing’s worse than a kitchen that smells like last night’s onion meatloaf, or a bathroom that smells as if someone just took a shower, particularly during a house tour.
Have the Electrical Work Looked At
The best home improvement projects aren’t necessarily the flashy ones. To be honest, some of the best home improvement projects are downright behind-the-scenes, like paying someone to come and look at your electrical work.
Here’s why it’s important to get in touch with an electrical contractor: Potential homebuyers will be scared off if they believe your home has any chance of being an electrical nightmare. Even if they turn on lights, and the lights flicker a bit, they’ll wonder what’s going on.
Consequently, you’ll want to contact an electrician and initiate a walkthrough of all the electrical elements of your property. Your technician may recommend that you make upgrades, such as moving to a different electrical box. Don’t say “no” out of hand, even if it seems like a costly choice. Being able to tell possible homebuyers that your house is safe for immediate occupancy will go a long way toward helping your house get off the market sooner.
Paint the House Inside and Maybe Outside
Paint remains one of the most consistently important, best home improvement projects you can consider. A fresh coat of paint on newly cleaned and sanded walls can transform a room from tired to fantastic in about a day. Plus, if you’re willing to do the painting yourself, you can save a bundle.
While you’re thinking about painting, talk about whether or not you want to paint the outside of your house, too. Painting the outside might not be in your budget, but it could transform your property to the nicest looking place on the block. Just make sure you choose an exterior paint color that falls into a more neutral or at least architecturally appropriate color scheme. Save bolder hues for your doors and shutters.
Insulate the Attic and Crawl Spaces
No one wants to buy a home, only to find out that it allows all the heat to seep out through a poorly insulated attic and crawl spaces. Investigate ways to add home insulation, such as having insulation blown into the walls and cracks.
You should notice a big difference in the way your home’s HVAC performs after removing and replacing your former insulation. Insulation traps the air inside, enabling it to circulate more efficiently.
As an added post-insulation boost, have your ductwork cleaned. Your home’s indoor air quality will get a much-needed lift.
Add More Storage, Or Make Storage Stand Out
Everyone wants an abundance of storage space these days. Therefore, make a mention about storage in your “personal best home improvement projects” checklist.
How can you show off your property’s storage? One of the best ways is to clear out any storage spaces currently being used. An empty attic or basement is a lot more appealing to homebuyers than seeing one choked with stuff. Spend time moving all your unnecessary items into temporary storage. That way, your closets and other storage places will be empty when people tour your home and sneak a peek at your storage.
What happens if you’re lacking storage? You could always consider adding more in the form of cabinets in the garage or built-in shelves on either side of the living room fireplace. Outdoors, you could add a large chest or even a shed to expand the storage possibilities to the exterior of the house.
Get the Plumbing in Order
Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be if home seekers were walking through your house and smelled mildew, heard dripping in the ceiling, or wondered why the basement smelled like sewage? These would all be plumbing and public relations nightmares for you and your realtor.
Just as you called an electrician, call a plumber to give your house a once-over. Have the plumber look at all the pipes that are exposed. Then, have the plumber take a gander at the faucets outdoors. Make sure you haven’t overlooked anything when it comes to plumbing.
Be sure to focus on the toilets and sinks, too. Toilet repair is one of those best home improvement projects that you’ll be thankful you did. You certainly don’t want your toilet to fail when you’re trying to get people interested in paying big money to take your home off your hands.
Have Your HVAC System Inspected
Even if your HVAC has been in great working order, have someone check it out. If you need HVAC repair jobs, get them done immediately. Even though you might not want to hear that you have a major furnace repair or replacement project on your hands, you can at least do something about it.
Take heart, too: If you have to invest in a furnace, water heater, or new air conditioning system, you can probably move to a higher asking price. New HVAC equipment makes a property more attractive to a lot of house hunters.
Repair Windows and Doors
Have a few sticky doors? A couple of windows with cracks? Don’t try to hide them, or try to sell your house with them. Instead, get them fixed right away.
You’d be surprised at how much home buyers notice when they’re walking around a property. A small spider crack on a basement window could be enough to send potential bidders looking for a different house. It’s much better and simpler to just think of window and door repair as a logical, albeit not very exciting, one of your best home improvement projects.
Invest in Curb Appeal
Interested in hearing about the best home improvement projects that are also fun? How about decorating, cleaning, and landscaping your yard?
Turning your property into a neat, clean place takes a little elbow grease. Yet it’s highly worth your effort. Laying architectural stone, adding colorful plants to your flower beds, and spending time edging your walkways can improve the curb appeal of your property overnight.
In order to make sure that you don’t overspend, set a budget upfront. Otherwise, you’ll end up splurging at the home improvement store when you see all the amazing possibilities!
Add Lights or Upgrade Current Lights
Lighting can make a room look bigger, brighter, and fresher. Go through all the rooms and hallways in your house and check out the light fixtures. Do they seem dated? Could they be replaced with something a bit more contemporary or aesthetically appealing?
Just switching the bulbs you’re using or even sconces can make a huge difference from the perspective of someone entering your home for the first time. Plus, good lighting will make later evening home showings go better.
Fix Your Gutters
Your gutters keep moisture from hanging around on your roof or near your foundation. If it’s been a while since you’ve cleaned or examined your gutters, pay for a gutter installation service or gutter inspection service.
Ideally, all your gutters should be in proper working order so home buyers will have peace of mind when placing bids.
Upgrade to Smart Home Tech
As a final suggestion for some of the best home improvement projects, you might contemplate adding some smart home tech to your property. You don’t have to dive in too deeply. Even adding a programmable thermostat that can hook up to your cell phone through an app might give your house an exciting feel.
Check out all the smart tech on the marketplace and be sure to hold onto the instruction books. You’ll want to pass those on to the new owners.
Excited to get started on the best home improvement projects for your property? Jump in and get your place ready for showtime!