Spruce Up Your Home for Spring and Increase the Value

Affordable changes can be minor but still make a big impact on how you feel about your yard and home. You’re likely to be more comfortable inviting neighbors and prospective buyers to come in, too. The value of your home could go up. Here are some small tweaks that will bring spring to your home and your step.

You’ve probably been stuck inside for months, so going outside and assessing winter damage and what can be done about it might be just what the doctor ordered. Visitors and potential home buyers will see your house from the outside first. Why not make sure anyone who comes to visit gets a great first impression. See our article Getting Your Yard Ready for Summer Fun & Curb Appeal for ideas on how to get started and then keep your lawn, gardens and foliage maintained all summer long.

Once you have the yard work under control, you can also give the outside of your home more appeal with a few inexpensive upgrades like these:

  • Make sure your house numbers are visible. You could even put big new numbers across the top or the bottom of your door.
  • Paint your front door. If the garage door faces the front, paint it to match.
  • Put a colorful rug under your door mat.
  • Spray paint any outdoor stair railings.
  • Buy a new mailbox or paint your old one.
  • Add new outdoor light fixtures and entertainment lighting. Hung over a patio, porch or deck railing, strings of small lights make an outdoor space look like you’re having a party and increase your usable square footage.

Add a mirror to an entryway to make it look larger. Have a basket for umbrellas or an eye-catching coat rack. Restore the floor to good shape or buy a new rug to cover up any spots that are aging. Update the light fixture just inside the door. Add plants. If the entrance goes right into the living room, make sure the first thing a visitor sees invites them to come-on in.

Take a good look at your walls. A fresh coat of paint or a pop of color with peel-&-stick wallpaper on even one wall can make a whole room look new. If you’re going to completely repaint a room with a new color, get some advice from professionals. Certain colors can drastically open up a space. Crown molding is easy and inexpensive to install, or if you’re even more ambitious you could create a farmhouse look with shiplap wall covering of interlocking wood panels. You can even take up the carpet and install inexpensive self-stick vinyl, interlocking laminate, or large plank tile with just a little help from You Tube. Area rugs are also popular and can bring your furnishings together.

Recessed LED lights save electricity and give more light to the room. Under-cabinet lighting is also eye-catching and easy to install. If you like the popular farmhouse look, add a farmhouse sink. Add some farmhouse accents with reclaimed wood or a salvaged dining table and chairs. You can incorporate the popularity of Shaker-style cabinets by replacing only the cabinet doors or you can custom create them yourself. Even cleaning, sanding and painting your existing doors can give a whole new look to your kitchen. This is another room where you can DIY relatively inexpensive new flooring. One couple painted their floor in a checked pattern. New hardware is inexpensive and easy to install. Add baskets to your pantry.

When it comes to a home’s value, bathrooms are important. Something as simple as changing the toilet seat cover can add to the appeal. The look of cleanliness in your bathroom is paramount. Regrout any tile that looks dingy, caulk around the edges of the shower or tub, and replace any chipped tiles. An updated light fixture is also easy and inexpensive to install. Consider framing the bathroom mirror. Again, paint or paper will do wonders for the walls. Even a new shower curtain and matching towels will give the whole room a new look. Consider additions for aging-in-place, like grab bars in the shower or tub.

Over time, carpets reflect the wear and tear of daily life. Do yours have stains, concentrated dirt or worn patches? Do you have pets who have been hard on the carpet? Most carpets do not need to be replaced before selling, but carpet cleaning can be worth the cost. Get some quotes from companies in your area to give your carpets some affordable deep cleaning.

Pick up a new lamp from your local department store or find an eye-catching and relatively cheap chandelier at a home improvement store. Upgrades on fan blades and other light fixtures can change a room’s entire look.

Add a welcome mat to make your home seem more inviting from the outside. Floor runners can be a great aesthetic and practical upgrade for stairs. They can prevent any slippage as buyers navigate the house and create an easy accent touch in the process.

Older homes are especially limited in their storage space. Installing shelving or getting pieces for your home that are both attractive and practical can make a space seem more functional for a potential buyer. A simple bookshelf can help to maximize your space. If possible, turn a small, adjacent bedroom into a walk-in closet.

These time and energy-saving devices are being added to many buyers’ wish lists. Almost anything can be made “smart,” but start with a smart thermostat that turns your heat and AC on and off at times that you specify, increasing comfort and cut costs. Smart lights or plugs can do the same thing. A home security system can be DIY or installed by a company that provides 24/7 monitoring. Other “smart” features can be integrated with it. Even a simple doorbell camera that connects to your phone adds convenience and safety.

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