Its spring! Yay! If you drive past any local home improvement store, you’ll probably notice a packed parking lot and busy shoppers. People throughout our community are definitely catching the spring cleaning bug. Because of this, we wanted to give you some tips on choosing home improvement projects that will add value to your home.
Home improvements & staying home
Even with mandatory business closures and a stay home order in effect, home improvement projects and gardening are in full swing. Hardware stores are such as Lowes, Ace, and Home depot are considered essential businesses. In fact, upon issuing the stay at home order, Governor Inslee specifically encouraged gardening.
Many stores, including Ace, Lowes, and Home Depot, are offering options for curbside pick-up so that customers do not have to go inside the store. Ace (on the South Hill and select other locations) is even offering free delivery for member purchases over $50.
Since, it seems home improvement projects are still a go, what projects are going to add value to your home?
Enhance Curb Appeal
You’ll probably hear a lot of real estate agents talk about curb appeal. What makes curb appeal so important? Well, the front of your home and the front yard is the first thing a buyer is going to see. While you may not believe in love at first sight, it can happen with homes. You can make a great first impression with the front of your home.
Curb appeal is also important because it indicates that the home has been well cared for.
1. Touch up paint or pressure wash
The first way you can improve curb appeal is by touching up paint or pressure washing your siding. You don’t have to re-paint the whole exterior to make a good impression. Just touch up spots where the paint is peeling.
Or, if the siding is looking a little shabby, try giving it a pressure wash. This is a good idea especially for homes with vinyl siding. If your home has a different kind of siding, you may want to do a little research before you take a pressure washer to it.
2. Complete Landscaping Projects
Simple landscaping projects can also go a long way in enhancing the curb appeal of your home. The first step would be edging the lawn and keeping it mowed regularly. According to the National Association of Realtors, it costs about $3000 to mow the lawn, prune shrubs, apply mulch, and plant about 60 perennials or annuals over about 2,800 square feet. The association estimates the return on investment is 100%.
Make Simple Updates
A lot of times, when you think about home improvement projects, you envision major remodels. However, there are a lot of minor updates you can make to modernize the look of your home and increase its value with a lot of expense.
3. Update all fixtures to match
It’s super easy and relatively inexpensive to update fixtures in your home. While it may not be top of mind, if you look around your home you may notice that light fixtures in different rooms represent numerous different eras and maybe the hardware on your cabinetry is starting to look a bit dated or shabby. Updating all the fixtures and hardware to match can make a huge difference.
New, matching drawer knobs, pulls, faucets and light fixtures can give a room a cohesive, flowing appearance. If you’re going for a contemporary style choose brushed nickel or matte stainless steels. If your home has a more classic look, consider oil-rubbed bronze.
4. Complete minor remodels instead of major ones
Another thing to consider if you’re updating your home is completing minor remodels rather than major overhauls. For example, you can do simple things like painting or re-facing cabinetry to update your kitchen rather than gutting it and starting from scratch. This type of remodeling will provide a greater return on investment. You’ll be able to give your home an updated look, without massive expenditures.
5. Install Hardwood floors (Or re-finish existing ones)
Wood floors are a lot easier to maintain than carpet. They also look really classy and last for a long time. Because of this, wood floors can be a major selling point. According to the national association of realtors, installing new wood floors can provide a 91% return on investment. If you already have wood floors, however, re-finishing them is likely to bring a 100% return on investment when you sell.
6. Paint with neutral colors
Another simple, but powerful home improvement project is painting. We can probably all picture cringe-worthy children’s bedrooms with pink and purple walls or cute animal murals. And, while colors like that, might be your child’s dream, they are not a buyer’s dream and are usually a major turn off.
Bright or strong colors, evoke an opinion. And, for many buyers that might not be a positive one. Painting neutral colors throughout your home not only provides a cohesive look, but it also offers a great return on investment.
If you already have neutral walls throughout your home, you might consider updating all your trim to match and painting it with a washable, gloss paint.
Another way to add value to your home, when it comes time to sell, is by taking measures that will help reduce maintenance cost for future buyers.
7. Replace Roof
One of the biggest ways you can reduce maintenance costs down the road is by replacing the roof. If you have a roof that is fifteen years old, it is probably nearing the end of its lifetime. When you go to sell your home, an older roof could affect the value. If you replace the roof, however, you make the home more valuable and appealing to buyers when they’re given the choice of similar homes.
Make your Home Energy Efficient
Another way to increase the value of your home is by increasing its energy efficiency. Increased energy efficiency results in lower energy bills long-term. This is certainly appealing to buyers when they’re considering the costs of purchasing a home.
8. Energy efficient windows, thermostat, etc.
There are a lot of ways you can make your home more energy efficient. Some of these include installing energy efficient windows or smart thermostats. You could also consider installing energy efficient appliances.
Maximize square footage
Finally, one thing almost all home buyers look at is the square footage of a home. Realtors and buyers alike, frequently set up home searches based on the square footage of a home. So what can you do to improve your home in this area?
9. Finish your basement
First, if you have an unfinished basement, finish it. Buyers particularly in the Pacific Northwest like basements. Their great in the summer because they stay cool even if you don’t have air conditioning.
By finishing a basement, you are adding heated square footage to your home. Finishing a basement can automatically bump your home into a different price bracket. According to Homelight.com, a finished basement can increase the value of your home by up to $50,000.
10. Open up your floor plan
Another thing you can do to maximize square footage is open up your floor plan. While, this doesn’t necessarily add square footage, it can make the interior spaces more appealing. A Survey by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), shows that buyer’s favor homes that are open are partially or completely open around the living room, dining room, and kitchen.
When it comes to altering your floor plan however, you should consider hiring or at least consulting contractor rather than trying to DIY it. A contractor will know how to preserve the structural integrity of your home while still making changes to increase value.
If you’re stuck at home with extra time on your hands, you might want to consider doing some home improvement projects. These projects in particular, are a good investment in your home.
If you have any questions about home improvement projects or need a recommendation for a handyman, we’re here to help.