Whether you’re selling a home or have just moved into one that appears to need a little TLC, the idea of hiring a construction contractor to do real home improvement work can be daunting. Who wants to worry about a bunch of strangers tromping through your home or the hassle of haggling for parts and labor costs? The good news is that even if the house seems a little shabby at first, if there’s nothing structurally wrong with it, you’re perfectly safe to make improvements the DIY way instead. With these five easy to accomplish tricks, you can drastically improve the quality of your listing or coziness of your new home without the troubles that come with contractors.
1) New Coat of Paint
Inside or out, shabby paint can make an entire home seem older and more run-down than it really is. In fact, professional house flippers often find their best opportunities with homes that simply haven’t been repainted in over a decade so look much worse than they really are. If you’re selling, choose soft neutral colors like white, beige, and warm pale pastels for the interior and something that fits well in the neighborhood for the exterior to make the home more appealing to a wide variety of buyers. If the house is yours for good, paint any color you want, just make sure to use long-lasting sealed exterior paint on the outside and an easy to clean gloss as your final indoor coat.
2) Spruce Up the Garden
Want your home to look and feel better from the outside in? Try putting a little work into the garden. If you have flower beds, tidy them up, add a new layer of soil or mulch, and re-line them with something attractive like painted rocks or a little bamboo fence. Trellises for climbing vines and roses also make lovely decoration even before planting and a few planters or hanging flower pots can add charm even to a small garden. To finish the new welcoming environment, consider a swing bench or hammock.
3) Shiny New Fixtures
You don’t need full renovations to make your home look shiny and new. Often, all it takes is replacing a few things that appear (and probably are) outdated and worn down. While walls are timeless, your water and light fixtures are not. If your lamps hearken back to the home’s construction in the 70s, for instance, you can seriously change the impression of your home with new modern fixtures. Vent covers are sometimes never updated, but new decorative vents can be used to add beauty instead of detracting from it. Faucets, handles, and even drawer knobs can be quickly and easily replaced with shiny matching items that will make your entire kitchen and bathrooms look updated without replacing a single tile.
4) Handy Home Appliances
While a home with power and hot and cold running water is a wonderful thing to have, it’s the appliances that make modern living truly luxurious. If the home you’re selling hasn’t been getting many bites or the one you live in feels like a hassle, consider the value of a new washer and dryer set, dishwasher, or range stove and oven. The nicer these things are, the more enjoyable your home will become. For sellers especially, the cost of a few appliances will update the apparent luxury of your home, make it more move-in-ready for buyers, and the cost can easily be recouped by the profit from a successful sale.
5) Update the Drapes
After paint, nothing makes a house look shabby or dated more than the window treatments. Unattractive old curtains are the worst, followed closely by dingy white mini-blinds that seem to be the standard. Consider a few modern shades or drapes for your windows based on the room and style of the home to not only update your look but also make the house more pleasant to move around in during the early morning and late afternoon and more cozy at night when the windows will be dark.
Home improvement doesn’t have to mean strangers in your house ripping out and reinstalling walls, counters, and plumbing. If there’s nothing wrong with your house but the appearance, you can make drastic improvements with a few modest DIY projects that won’t break the bank, leave a mess, or include any surprise fees.