DIY house improvements can seem daunting. We get it. We need to save money for them, buy tools, do research, and sometimes they don’t turn out the way we want them to.
But if you’ve lived in the same home for a while and are thinking of selling it sometime in the future, you want to seriously consider making little upgrades that can add value to your home. And the best thing about this? They can be totally affordable.
There are small improvements, like a fresh coat of paint, power washing, and updating your fixtures, that can add dollars to your home estimation.
So if you have a free afternoon coming, here are 10 DIY house projects that will boost your home’s curb appeal within a budget!
Repaint the walls
When it comes to home DIY projects, a paint job can go a long way. If you’re considering selling your home, scratches on the wall or peeling paint can rub visitors and potential buyers the wrong way.
Choose a neutral paint colour which allows potential buyers to visualise the property in their own style. Avoid bright colours that can scare them off. Safe colours include light greys, blues and of course, white.
Some say nicely painted walls can boost your home’s resale value by 5%. In fact, a survey by Zillow showed that a bathroom painted light blue was enough to increase the offer price by $5,000 on a $290,000 home.
Upgrade your lighting
Lighting is a crucial factor in setting the tone for a house. Older lamps can make the house look dated while chandeliers can inspire luxury.
Take a look around your property and see whether there are any fixtures that need replacing, like in the dining room or living room.
You want bright light with warm hues that mimic natural sunlight. Dimmer switches are good upgrade for lighting and often impress buyers, as do simple and modern pendant lights in the kitchen.
This can be a DIY house project which starts with buying dimmer switches from Bunnings, but if you have a little more to spend, you can hire an electrician. They usually charge around $50-$70 per light but this can go past $100 per light if they need more special tools and time.
Add crown moulding
Crown moulding is a great way to give your property a more luxurious feel and add a little character to the rooms. A timber moulding is great for that.
Bunnings sells crown mouldings which you can cut into the size to fit your room. Using a nail gun, you can then nail it to the top of the wall space.
If you’re inexperienced with nail guns, make sure you do your research or hire a professional. It’s always important to wear safety gear as well. But all of this can pay off because it’s a very cost effective method to give your rooms a little decor.
Update your bathroom
Update the flooring
Sometimes the humidity can do some wear and tear in the bathroom. Mould can grow on the grout which, although harmless, can give it an unclean look.
For a quick re-do, you can re-grout the bathroom. Just remember to remove old grout before replacing it with new grout. Your local home improvement store will stock what you need.
For a bigger bathroom renovation, you can retile it completely. This a significantly larger job and not recommended for novices. A tiler can charge you between $75-$120 per square metre. Neutral colours are a good way to go.
Alternatively, you can find peel and stick tile which come in a range of colours and styles.
Check out our guide on bathroom renovation costs for more info!
Update the fixtures
Fixtures in your bathrooms are items like the vanity, faucet and shower head. All these things can be easily replaced and affordably as well. These small improvements make a big difference in the look of your bathroom.
If anything looks outdated or well used, you can go on the hunt for a good replacement. While you’re at it, you can keep in mind energy efficient appliances. A shower head with adjustable pressure can cost around $80. LED lights go for about $20 and a new faucet goes for around $50.
Modernise the kitchen
If you’re an avid cook, chances are, your kitchen has seen a lot of stains and grease over the years. You may not notice them, seeing them everyday, but those are visual signs that don’t impress buyers. Here are some ways you can modernise and clean up your kitchen.
Repaint your kitchen cabinets
Your cabinet doors can be given a total revamping with a soft colour of your choice, or white so that the new owners can give it their own spin.
You can spray paint your kitchen cabinets yourself as one of your quick, cheap DIY projects. Just remember to cover or remove all of the hardware on the cabinets so they don’t get painted as well. Give them a good clean to remove grease stains and dirts.
Change the handles on cabinets
It may seem like a small item, but the door knobs and handles can really age a home. A quick trip to the hardware store and you’ll have tons of options to give your kitchen a fresh, new look.
Improve the exterior for curb appeal
We hear it all the time but having curb appeal is a vital part of selling a house. It means the buyer is already more convinced before even stepping into your home. Have a look at our round up of gorgeous house facades around Australia for inspiration.
Out of our list of DIY home renovations for spring, upgrading your front door is one of the most fun. Repainting the door, adding some potted plants and a nice welcome mat is a good start. Try out different colours to give a welcoming charm to your entrance.
Next, you can get the power washer out and clean the exterior. It’s amazing what a good cleaning will do! This will make your house look great and increase its value in case you ever want to have an estate sale.
If you think a paint job is necessary, you can hire a painter, which will cost you around $2,000. Alternatively, it’s a relatively easy DIY project but it might take you more than a few days. Most of the spends are on tools like:
- Paintbrushes and rollers
- Quality painter’s tape
- Electric sander
- Drop cloths
- Filler for surface repairs
- Paint stirrer, scraper
- Ladder and scaffolding
- Sugar soap, mould killer
- Safety goggles and mask
You can find out more by reading our guide on how much it costs to paint a house.
Landscape your garden
If you have a garden or green space in your home, making it liveable is a great way to boost the value of your home. When potential buyers see a nice, manicured garden, they will be immediately impressed, especially after many of us have experienced lockdowns in tight spaces.
Green thumb or not, you can easily buy potted flowers from the store to give new life and add colour to your garden. Definitely mow the lawn, and if you have a outdoor seating, make sure it’s clean and presentable.
An easy DIY house project is to build an outdoor fire pit which is said to add 1.6% to the final sale price.
Got even less time? Buy some string lights or fairy lights and place them along the outdoor wall. It gives a real festive feeling to the space.
Fix small defects
When we say small defects, we mean the general wear and tear of the home. Indeed, these are superficial details which might not necessarily add value to your home, but if left untouched, they might deter buyers.
Here are a few touch ups you can do that are also easy DIY house projects:
- Declutter – a classic but necessary step in improving the look of your home. Old knick knacks can be given away. Rule of thumb? If you haven’t used it in two years, it has to go.
- Organise your storage space to give yourself even more storage. You can easily create a floating shelf to store things and give areas a bit more floor space.
- Squeaky doors or windows – a spray of WD-40 works well to lubricate old hinges.
- Worn sealants in bathrooms and kitchens can be caulked again.
- Fix any leaky taps in the house.
- Seal any cracks in the ceiling with a filler like Polycell.
- If there are any odd sewer smells that you’ve dealt with over the years, now is the time to trace them and fix them.
- Clean the windows.
- Makeover your laundry room – some sources say it can add a few thousand dollars to the final sale price. An easy project is to create extra storage with floating shelves. All you need is a few hours and one wall.
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It may take a little time and organising, but these DIY projects can really increase your home’s value. So, get the whole family involved, get the kids involved and set aside a single weekend for these easy projects. A little can go a long way.