April brings many lovely things: warmer temperatures, flowers beginning to bloom, and hopefully a check from Uncle Sam once you’ve filed your taxes. It’s enough to make you giddy with possibilities — no matter the size of your refund. “While it’s typically not sufficient to fund major home improvement projects such as a new addition or a kitchen renovation, it can often provide enough cash to accomplish a wide range of home up-fits and improvements,” says Leigh McAlpin, principal of Dwelling Interiors & Design in Charleston, SC. Here’s how to use your refund to refurbish or enhance your home.
Your tax refund feels like found money, doesn’t it? Here’s how to use it to spruce up your living space.
Posted by Michelle Hainer on Trulia
Complete these projects and you may love your home so much you’ll want to hold onto it.
However, there are plenty of do-it-yourself projects you can accomplish with a few weekends of hard work. And don’t let the letters D-I-Y scare you away from efforts toward increasing your home’s value. Successful DIY projects simply require thorough research and preparedness.
Here are a few DIY updates throughout your home that could increase its sale price.
Kitchen: Add adhesive backsplash tiles
You can find self-adhesive backsplash tiles in a variety of styles and colors. A DIY backsplash tile project is both easy to install and practically mess-free.
First, clean the walls with warm, soapy water. The tiles won’t stick as well if the wall surface is coated with grease or dirt.
Be sure to follow the exact instructions for the brand of adhesive tiles you’re working with. Generally, you’ll be instructed to install the tiles from left to right, completing the bottom row first.
If you’re working around any outlet plates, take them off. Be sure to leave a bit of space when placing the tiles around the edge of the outlet so you can get the wall plates back on again with ease. If you need to cut any tiles, a razor knife will take care of the job.
If you need to remove or reposition tiles, they will peel off with heat from a hair dryer.
Bedroom: Install crown molding
Enhance your bedroom’s style with nothing more than a few strips of wood. Installingcrown molding may sound tough, but it actually doesn’t involve much more than picking up some molding (essentially, decorative strips of wood) from your local home improvement store, cutting it to size, and using a nail gun to attach it to the top of the wall.
A home improvement store can help you identify the exact tools you need, as well as cutting the molding to size.
Bonus idea: Install ceiling fans for added air circulation and lighting. You’ll both save on the electric bill by cutting A/C costs and gain a decorative element for the room.
Laundry room: Revamp and revitalize
Update your laundry room or closet by removing the builder-basic wire shelving and replacing it with more attractive wood shelving options or even cabinets.
Paint the closet, improve storage, and add decorative elements to make it a space you look forward to revisiting each week.
Bonus idea: Add an expandable rod between shelves for added air-drying space.
Garage: Clean and paint the floor
If your home is a few years old, chances are the floor of your garage and driveway may have a few stains.
Try blotting the stains with newspaper to soak up excess oil, then use liquid dishwashing soap, hot water, and a scrub brush to tackle the rest. Once finished, pour some kitty litter on the remaining stained areas to absorb any extra residue.
After cleaning the floor, consider filling any concrete cracks you see, then apply a specially formulated garage floor paint, which will help protect against oil and mildew.
Bonus idea: Install shelving or racks. You can use a pallet to store and organize sporting equipment and a pegboard to hang items like folding ladders and gardening tools.
Yard: Upgrade landscaping
You don’t need to start a garden to impress potential buyers. Add some greenery along walkways and patch up any bald spots you see with fresh sod. Be sure to trim and maintain trees and bushes, too.
Bonus idea: Use drought-friendly plants when updating your landscaping, and choose plants with a long lifecycle. Perennial plants are a good choice, as they come back year after year.
Other DIY quick fixes
- Clean your gutters.
- Power wash your sidewalks.
- Paint the front door.
- Change your light fixtures.
- Update your window treatments.
- Upgrade cabinet knobs and drawer handles.
While these tips for home DIY projects will get you started, don’t begin any project without additional research. From instructional DIY blogs to online video tutorials to classes at your neighborhood home improvement stores, there really are endless resources for you.
Posted by Sarah Pike on Zillow
Looking to update your home without spending a pile of cash? Here are three projects you can complete for just $1,000 each.
Whether you’re hoping to make your home more comfortable to live in or trying to broaden its appeal for a quick sale, small updates can be a win-win. But home improvement projects can be tricky because if you spend too much, you may not get the return on that investment.
To add value to your home, focus on two categories. First, adding function to the home is a given. You will love that update, and so will future buyers. The second is adding charm and character, which will make your home a happier place for you, and can be an advantage when it’s on the market.
For the relatively small renovation budget of $1,000, you can complete any one of the following projects, boosting the appeal and value of your home.
Add a wall of built-in bookshelves
Few things say charm and character like built-ins. Take them floor-to-ceiling on an empty wall in your living space, dining room, or even hallway. To really boost the appeal, add sconces in between or over each shelf.
Not only do built-ins create a beautiful focal point in your home, they also increase function. They’re perfect for book storage, but you could also get a set of pretty woven baskets to store and conceal items. You get more storage without compromising the tidy look of the shelves.
Create faux beams in your cased openings
Wood beams instantly add appeal to your home. While this is purely a cosmetic upgrade, it’s one that will have you, your friends, and future buyers swooning.
On any cased opening in your home, pop off the trim and use stained framing lumber to cover the sides. Run one long piece across the top and you’ve created the look of an actual beam for less cost.
Adding beams increases your home’s charm and makes a real statement. It’s a perfect addition to entry ways or living areas.
Build paired closets
Adding closets to your home has the obvious benefit of providing much-needed storage. The issue, however, is that building a closet usually means taking a corner out of a room. You get the storage, but you’re left with an awkward protrusion into the space.
Paired closets in each corner on a wall solve this issue — and you get double the storage. Paired closets look purposeful in a room, and their symmetry is visually appealing. This configuration creates a charming nook in between to place a table, bench, or even bed.
You’ll love having the extra storage, and any future buyers will, too. After all, you can never have too much closet space.
Regardless of which upgrade you choose, you can’t go wrong with these cosmetic and functional home updates. With a modest investment, you’ll immediately enhanced your home with charm and usability anyone would love.
Posted by Lindsay Jackman on Zillow