Whether you are looking to sell your home or just want to increase its value, there are probably some quick fixes that can do the trick. Often, people think the only way to add value to their home is through big projects, such as updating a kitchen or bathroom, but there are many smaller things that could positively impact your offers. These projects often take little time or money and no specialized skills.
Rent a power washer if you don’t own one — they are relatively inexpensive. Power wash the exterior of your home, as well as your decks, porches, and driveways. You will be surprised at the amount of grime that builds up on these areas without you noticing. Once you start, you will be amazed at how fresh everything looks, and it might even highlight some spots that could use additional sprucing up.
High-touch items, like switch plates, often look dingy even when washed. Replacing builder-grade switch plates and outlet covers with nicer versions can quickly refresh the look of your rooms. You can even find covers that match your wall color and have no visible screws. This is a quick and inexpensive project that can really step up the apparent worth of your house.
A fresh coat of paint will make any home look more polished and feel cleaner. A common mistake many people make before selling their home is leaving bold wall colors. No matter how good you think it looks, a fresh coat of light, neutral paint will make the home easier to sell. The chances of buyers wanting to keep that bold color are low, and all they will see is the challenge of covering the paint with a lighter color.
It is easy to become blind to areas of the home that aren’t clean. Bathroom exhaust fans, baseboards, and window casings are just a few of the spots that may get passed over during routine tidying. Check ceilings for cobwebs and clean behind all of your appliances. Occasional deep cleaning sessions will also help you notice any small problems, such as peeling caulk or dampness under the kitchen sink, before they create bigger — read, more expensive — issues.
Not having enough storage is a common mistake in many homes. Existing storage may be co-opted for a larger bathroom or to open up a hallway. These changes worked for you and your family, but they can make resale a challenge and reduce the value of your home. There is an expectation that each bedroom will have a closet, there will be available storage in the laundry area, and perhaps even a pantry. If you have converted any of these spaces for use in another way, hunt down options for adding back storage options. Built-in benches, drawers, and other additions are easy to assemble and can replace lost storage.
One mistake many homeowners make is learning to live with poor lighting. Many homes lack an overhead fixture, which makes it challenging to have ample lighting when it is dark or overcast. Having an electrician wire the room for an overhead light is an inexpensive way to boost your home’s appeal. If the lighting in your bathroom is limited to a harsh overhead choice, adding sconces on either side of the mirror makes the room more appealing.
Sliding doors that stick when opened and closed, and peeling paint around the base of the door frame, give the appearance of a home that isn't well-maintained. Clean and lubricate sliding doors to get them moving smoothly. For exterior frames, poke around with a screwdriver to look for any soft spots in the wood. Replace the whole frame if necessary. If not, a fresh coat of paint will make it look as good as new.
Dropped ceilings may cover a problem or be a design decision. Unfortunately, a home with dropped ceilings automatically looks dated. Pop a few tiles out and check the condition of the original ceiling. If it looks decent, removing the rest of the tiles and giving the ceiling a fresh coat of paint can make the room feel and look more spacious.
Converting the garage into a low-effort playspace is a common remodel in many homes. If that works for your family, great. The location is often ideal, and it provides an informal area for the family to hang out, but the lack of a covered parking space reduces the value of your home. Most buyers would prefer to have a place to park their car rather than an extra room that they may or may not use. If the conversion was relatively low-tech, and the garage door wasn’t totally closed off, returning it to its original condition will add value.
Overzealous weatherproofing and a lack of exhaust fans can create an uncomfortably airtight home. Sealing drafts prior cold weather is a smart idea, but before being too aggressive with the caulk gun, make sure air is still able to circulate. Heating sources such as wood-burning stoves can also hurt air quality. Make sure your home is not only energy-efficient but also has healthy air by using a HEPA filter in your heating unit and having properly-sized exhaust fans in all bathrooms.