Some whole-house renovations can certainly increase the value of your Waterloo Region home, but there are other options for improving your home without going into debt or depleting your savings. Painting, re-grouting tile, and power washing the outside of your home won’t break the bank, but these do-it-yourself home improvements can add significant value to your property.
If you’re ready to sell, a little sweat equity, a DIY attitude, and a few dollars can help you list your home for more money. Even if you aren’t ready to sell your home just yet, you can benefit from having a more attractive living space. Consider the following lower-cost, high-value home improvement projects.
Seven Simple Interior Updates
Freshen Up the Walls
A little elbow grease and a few cans of paint can make a dramatic difference if your walls have scratches and dirty paint, an outdated color, or fading wallpaper. Choose a neutral color scheme that unifies the entire house, makes available space appear more prominent, and appeals to a wide range of potential buyers to increase the value of your Waterloo Region home sale.
Install Crown Molding
Installing crown molding can effortlessly enhance the aesthetic of your rooms and is quite straightforward. To begin, select your preferred molding design from a local home improvement store. Be sure to adjust the length to match your room's dimensions, either by doing so yourself or by having the store do it for you.
Attaching the molding to the top edge of your walls is a breeze with the use of a nail gun. It's worth noting that these decorative accents may come pre-painted, saving you an additional step. Though the project demands a touch of woodworking skill and the right tools, it's a cost-effective DIY endeavor that can significantly transform your space.
Switch plates, outlet covers, curtain rods, light fixtures, and doorknobs are all items that can be made to look more interesting for a few dollars. Metal switch plates and outlet covers can be purchased for as little as $5 each, but they appear to be much more expensive.
Light fixtures and decorative curtain rods can be pricey, but with a can of spray paint, you can make an inexpensive one look elegant. However, if you plan to sell your home, make sure to choose neutral colours and finishes that will appeal to a wide range of people.
Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are an attractive addition to any home because they allow you to save money on your electricity bills. Ceiling fans can help you save money on air conditioning by circulating warm air away from the ceiling, and they can also help you save money on heating by circulating warm air away from the ceiling.
A basic fan will set you back about $50, and a nice one will set you back a couple of hundred dollars. If you don’t already have wiring from overhead lighting, you’ll likely need to hire a professional, which will drive up the cost of this project significantly, but for most people it will simply be a matter of replacing the central fixture that's already in place.
Improve Window Treatments
The low-cost vertical plastic blinds, paper shades, or horizontal aluminum blinds that may have come with your home do not add value. Plantation shutters, wooden blinds, or drapes could be used in their place. If you’re selling your home, choose neutral options that will help you get a better price.
Reveal and Restore Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are more likely to be hidden beneath carpet in older homes. Squeaky floors indicate the presence of wood flooring. Pull up your carpet in an inconspicuous corner if you’re not sure. If you have wood floors, you may need to refinish them to bring them back to their former glory, but this will be much less expensive than installing new flooring from the ground up.
Clean Fireplace Brick
If you burn wood in a brick fireplace, some of the brick is likely to be stained with soot and creosote. Make your fireplace as appealing as possible because it can be a significant selling point in a home. Wipe away some of the soot with a damp rag, then clean with a creosote-removal fireplace cleaner. It’ll take some scrubbing with a stiff brush and possibly several applications, but once you’re done, that brick will look fantastic.
Basic Bathroom Upgrades
Redo the Bathroom Floor
Improving your bathroom floor doesn't have to be an expensive endeavor. One affordable and stylish option is vinyl flooring. Vinyl is not only cost-effective, but also resistant to water, making it a perfect choice for bathrooms. It comes in a variety of designs, imitating more expensive materials like ceramic tile, stone, or wood, and is easy to install, making it a popular choice for a DIY project.
Another economical way to refresh your bathroom floor is to paint over old tiles with a high-quality, waterproof paint designed for tiles. This allows you to experiment with colors and patterns without replacing the entire floor. Both options can dramatically enhance the look of your bathroom without breaking the bank.
Update Bathroom Fixtures
If your bathroom fixtures are generic, inexpensive, or outdated, replacing them with newer, more customized versions can make it sparkle and appear more high-end. You can replace a shabby bathroom vanity or ceiling light fixture with something elegant for about $40 to $100. A new sink faucet will set you back a similar amount of money.
For around $80, a spa-style chrome shower head adds a touch of luxury. Towel bars are a relatively inexpensive and simple fix, costing between $20 and $30. An upgrade can sometimes be more energy efficient too, improving not only the aesthetics of your home but also “greening” it.
Quick Fixes to Keep Your Kitchen Current
Refreshing Your Kitchen Cabinets: Paint or Stain
Instead of investing in brand-new cabinets, which can be a costly and time-consuming project, consider painting or staining your existing ones. This approach can be a more economical and quicker way to give your kitchen a new look. Prefabricated cabinets are a less expensive option compared to custom-made ones if you're set on replacement, and they allow you to do the installation yourself. However, this route still demands more resources than simply refurbishing what you already have.
White is an excellent choice of color for your cabinets as it illuminates your kitchen, offering a timeless aesthetic appeal. Moreover, it allows for easy repainting in case a future change of preference or ownership arises.
Before you begin the painting or staining process, it's crucial to remove all hardware from your cabinets, including the doors. Also, thoroughly cleaning the cabinets is key to preventing any dirt or greasy residue from compromising the quality of your work.
Beyond the kitchen, you might want to consider using the same approach to rejuvenate the cabinets in your bathroom. The continuity of the color scheme can harmonize your home's overall look, enhancing its visual appeal.
Upgrade Cabinet Knobs and Drawer Handles
It’s amazing how a seemingly innocuous element like a cabinet doorknob can make your kitchen appear shabby or outdated. Whether you redo your cabinets or not, updating this hardware can give your kitchen a whole new look in a matter of hours.
Seven Ways to Save When You Refresh the Exterior
When you spend most of your time inside, it’s easy to overlook your home’s exterior, but it’s the first and, in some cases, only impression that others have of your home. Here are a few easy ways to improve its appearance.
Install a New Front Door
A basic steel front door costs around $100, but you can get a door with a lot more character and improve the curb appeal of your home for another $100 to $200. If you don’t want to install a new door, a fresh coat of paint in a pleasing hue might suffice.
Replace the Front Doormat
It’s easy to overlook how worn out or dirty a doormat has become when you’ve had it for years. This is one area where $20 can make a big difference because it’s one of the first impressions people have of your home.
Clean the Gutters
This task is more about maintaining rather than increasing the value of your home, but it is necessary. Rain may seep inside or pool around the foundation if your gutters aren’t working properly. This can lead to mould and mildew problems. Water damage can eventually compromise the structural integrity of a home, resulting in costly repairs.
Powerwash the Exterior of your Home
A good pressure washing can make your home’s exterior look almost as good as a fresh coat of paint for less time and money.
You might as well clean your driveway, patio, and any walkways too while you’re renting the power washer. You might be surprised at how new they look once they’ve been cleaned.
Repaint the Exterior
Consider a new paint job if washing the exterior of your home didn’t brighten it up as much as you hoped. This may not be a DIY project for everyone due to the ladders and heights involved, but even if you have to hire someone to do it, it’s still a relatively inexpensive home improvement that can make your house look almost new from the outside.
Upgrade Your Landscaping
Flowers and other plants are an excellent way to brighten up the exterior of your home. To draw attention to your home, plant greenery in front of it and/or along walkways. Choose perennial plants over annuals to get the most bang for your buck. Perennials come back year after year, whereas annuals only last a year or less. To complete the yard’s new look, fill in any bald spots with fresh sod (or plant grass seed if you have time) and trim existing trees and bushes.
The Bottom Line
Home improvements don’t have to be expensive or time-consuming, and they don’t have to involve contractors. A wide range of projects, suitable for all budgets and levels of skill and enthusiasm, can increase the value of your home, whether for future buyers or, perhaps more importantly, for yourself. Whether you plan to stay or sell, implementing a few of these home improvement ideas will help you get the most value out of one of your most valuable assets.
Planning to sell your home once you've upgraded it? Don't navigate the bustling Waterloo Region real estate market alone! Work with Team Pinto – your trusted real estate partners.
With our extensive experience and deep understanding of the local market, we ensure that you maximize the returns on your newly updated home. Leverage our expertise to unlock the true value of your property. Don't wait; reach out to Team Pinto today and make the most out of selling your home!