If you plan to put your house on the market this spring then you’re likely already starting to think about that list of touch ups and repairs that need to be done in order to ensure you sell for the highest price possible. Some of those jobs are reasonably easy and inexpensive…a fresh coat of paint can do wonders, for example. Others require a little bit of an investment in order to see a good return. Before you spend time and money on home improvement projects, it helps to know which ones will add to the overall value of your home. If you’re able to complete these jobs on your own rather than hiring out the work, you’ll see an even stronger return on your investment. According to houselogic.com, an online compilation of home improvement tips and ideas, these are the 5 (potentially DIY) projects that will get you the most bang for your buck if you’re getting ready to sell.
#1 Replace your front door
If you opt for a pre-hung door that comes complete with jambs and you do a little research first, you might be able to handle installing a door unit yourself…or at least with the help of a buddy or two. A DIY front door can save you more than $1000 but you should do your research, plan for it to take most of the day if you’re new at this particular task and remember the three secrets to success: plumb, level, square. I’ve gotta be honest here, when we replaced our front door and sidelights, it was well worth it to us to pay for the company to install the unit. They were done in about an hour, there was only a 10 minute period when the entrance was open to the outdoors and we knew there’d be no issues with drafts or ill-fitting locks when the work was professionally done. Even though our return on investment may be less than a DIY job, the impact to curb appeal is undeniable and well worth it.
#2 Replace your garage door
Garage doors have come a long way since the 70’s and 80’s. Gone are the days of blank-looking uninspired metal doors that do nothing to improve the look of a house and can be heavy to open and close manually. These days, popular options are made of four panels of lightweight steel, come in a variety of colours and styles and can have a huge impact on the overall appearance of your home. Go one step farther and pick up an automatic garage door opener to really do the job right. Garage door panels are relatively easy to install but their size makes this a 2 man job that you and a buddy should be able to get done in one day. Installing the door opener units is a bit more complicated but units come with detailed instructions and there are good how-to videos available online.
#3 Install new vinyl windows
Replacing one or two windows on the first floor is a job a confident DIYer could tackle. You’ll increase the resale value of your home and may even see a reduction in heating costs if old windows were poorly sealed or had insufficient surrounding insulation. Accurate measurements are key when placing your order and you’re best to take your time with your first unit. You’ll get faster with any subsequent units. Experts suggest that if you’re replacing 4 windows or more, or if those windows are on the second floor, you consider hiring out the installation. Being up on a ladder with something as bulky as a window calls for a professional in order to get the job done safely and efficiently.
#4 Upgrade to wood flooring
Few projects provide as much immediate satisfaction and also recover such a high percentage of your invested funds as new wood flooring. Prefinished hardwood flooring and high quality laminates come ready to install, requiring only minimal previous experience (I know, I’ve done it myself a few times!) and can make all the difference in the world when it comes to resale value. Some estimates show a return on investment of as much as +200% when old-style carpeting is replaced with DIY hardwood!
#5 Upgrade your insulation
Granted, this is not the most glamourous job and it’s frankly not one I’d look forward to completing on my own. It is, however, a job that can have a very noticeable impact on both your comfort level inside the home and your energy bill, so it is a job well worth doing. Again, I know this from first-hand experience as it has been the first job we have tackled in a new home more than once. While it can be a messy and unpleasant job (make sure all skin is covered, wear safety glasses and consider breathing through a mask) it doesn’t require much skill and can be done relatively quickly and inexpensively.
Links to local business that can help you get these jobs done: