Home Improvements: What to Do and What to Avoid

Shopping cart in a hardware store

Planning on updating your home? Before you make changes, consider if the updates will bring value to your home when it’s time to sell. Here are some tips to consider:

If you have a kitchen that has seen better days an update may be the right thing to do. A total renovation can be expensive so consider cosmetic changes before committing to any major updating.

Budget Friendly Changes:
1. If cabinets are in good condition, paint them and add new hardware. (If the cabinet face needs updating, have them replaced and then painted.)
2. Update the hardware and/or sink.
3. Missing a backsplash? This is an easy update to make. See how to here.
4. New appliances can make a big change in a kitchen. Just do not go overboard with the brand.

Bathrooms are one of the most popular home-improvement projects for home owners. And, it’s a project that can pay off! Keep your renovation simple with paint, new lighting and fresh caulk. If you keep your update under $5,000, you might turn a profit when selling.

If you need more extensive work in the bathroom, do not go overboard with the tub, shower and floor.

Avoid fancy “to taste” lights and chandeliers. Trendy lighting can be “in” one day and “out” the next. New lights can be relatively inexpensive and make a large impact. Consider replacing light bulbs with brighter, more efficient ones. While you are at it, purchase new light switch covers.

Although you may love your wallpaper selection, the next home buyer may not. Stick to paint – it’s safer.

Over-personalized tile may be a mistake for a home renovation depending upon the taste of the next homeowner. Keep your tile installation neutral. Then add a colorful or quirky rug to place on top.

The number of bedrooms is important when selling a home. If you have been considering converting a bedroom or widening a bedroom into another, think again. It might be better to put renovation dollars into another project.

If the windows are efficient and in good shape, consider adding trim to give that wow factor. Molding works wonders.

Interior Doors
Have your doors and their hardware seen better days? Think about replacing doors them. Having matching doors will make your interior spaces feel more cohesive and appealing. (Consider fire resistant materials for bedroom doors.) Watch this video and follow instructions from the Family Handyman if you enjoy DIY projects.

Before installing wall-to-wall carpet, think about using hardwood or laminate flooring instead. People prefer these type of materials over carpeting. A new carpet will only remain “new” for a short period of time.

Front Door
New doors can be expensive. If your front door is in good condition, consider updating the hardware. Add a new welcome mat and you will be set.

Curb appeal is very important when selling your home, but there is a fine line of overdoing landscaping projects. High-maintenance gardens could be daunting to prospective buyers. Keep it simple: add new flowers and plants and be sure to pull weeds. Add walkway lights.

Sun Room Addition
This type of home addition can be expensive and you usually only recoup half of what you spend.

Hobby Rooms
Rooms converted for hobbies (ie: sewing rooms, man caves, home gyms, themed bedrooms, etc…) take a generic room and change its focus on that single hobby or interest. What you spend for your enjoyment may leave few interested buyers in the future.

If you do want to pursue having a hobby room, consider changes that are easy to remove when you sell.

Built-In High-Tech Installations
Customized electronics and built-in technology can quickly become outdated and bring down the value of your home. A home theater is a safe bet, but avoid adding a custom fish tank or expensive techie items.

New Deck
A new deck costs an average for $17,000 (per Remodeling’s Cost vs Value Report.) If your deck is in good condition, consider staining or painting it to freshen it up. Add lighting to your deck to create ambiance. This can be a DIY project.

Garage conversions will not work in your favor. People want garages for their cars and storage. If you make it into a bedroom, study, gym or other type of room, home buyers will want it converted back. Simply paint the garage floor to freshen it up and add storage shelves if needed.

Pool/Hot Tub
A luxury item such as a pool or hot tub are great to enjoy during hot summer days, but when selling your home, they might not pay off. In-ground pools are expensive, require maintenance and treatment. The same goes for a hot tub. Remember, not everyone wants to take care of a pool or hot tub.

Ultimately when making changes to your home, you need to ask: “Am I remodeling for my quality of life or to increase my home’s value or resale price?”

Need assistance with your home update project? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They have vetted pros who can help!