If you’re still staying close to home during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, do-it-yourself home improvements can make for great feel-good projects. After all, you can learn a new skill, use your hands and take pride in something you create yourself. But know that your DIY project needs to pay off when it comes time to sell your home. F
or example, additional bells and whistles like a high-tech home theater might mean lots of fun for you and the family, but it probably won’t pay for itself when the time comes to sell. Instead, if you’re looking to roll up your sleeves and tackle a project that will offer serious bang for the buck, try one of these small improvements that can really impact buyers.
1. Refresh the kitchen cabinets
If your cabinets already are in good shape, try adding a fresh coat of paint or stain to dramatically transform the feel of the entire kitchen. Note: Although painting isn’t very difficult, it still can be time-consuming because you’ll need to remove doors and drawers to ensure a clean finish.
In terms of skill level, however, it’s something even novice DIYers can handle. And remember, you could lose some buyers with a shoddy paint job. If you truly want to increase ROI, a good paint job takes time and patience.
2. Create curb appeal
One of the best ways to boost your home’s value is to make a great first impression on potential buyers. Landscaping and gardening rank as some of the biggest DIY projects that also are quite simple.
Aside from adding tasteful foliage and keeping your lawn manicured, a few strings of café lights also can go a long way toward improving your home’s outdoor space and curb appeal. Also, don’t forget to paint old fences and prune overgrown plants.
3. Give your front door a makeover
Want to boost your home’s curb appeal even more? Spruce up your front door with a few coats of paint to enhance curb appeal using a small amount of both your money and time. Just work slowly and carefully to avoid drips and roller marks.
4. Create a backyard deck
Outdoor living has become even more popular during the pandemic, as people look to expand their home’s usable living space. Creating a new deck is possible to do yourself, but it’s not always easy, especially if you’re putting in concrete footings for the deck posts.
This project is best for intermediate to advanced renovators, and it helps to have a few friends on board to help. Keep the design simple (avoid any tricky changes in elevation, for instance) and work with pressure-treated lumber rather than hardwoods that are difficult to screw into and cut.
5. Brighten up the basement
You don’t need a fully finished basement to appeal to prospective buyers. You can make a big difference simply by spraying the basement’s unfinished ceiling and walls with flat black latex paint.
Take your project to the next level by adding carpeting and adjustable lighting. Cleaning up the basement can help prospective buyers envision a space that will fit their needs, whether it’s as a rec room, play area or gym.
6. Add storage
Adding usable living space always increases value, and that’s true now more than ever given all of the time people are spending at home. While making an addition to your home might not be realistic, you still can make smaller improvements, such as adding a pantry in the kitchen, a new storage unit in the garage or even closet organizers. These options will add valuable storage space to your home and pay off when you’re ready to sell.
7. Make small repairs and keep up with maintenance
Staying on top of your home’s basic maintenance is important and promises serious ROI, especially since many buyers today are trying to stay away from fixer-uppers in favor of move-in ready homes that don’t require frequent repairs. Seemingly small problems like a leaky faucet, loose gutter or missing light fixture can be a red flag.
When buyers see things like that, they think to themselves, ‘What else is wrong with this house that I can’t see?’ That’s why spending a few hundred dollars on these small repairs will let the buyer know that your house has been well-maintained.