Many times when moving into a new home or wanting to sell, you know there are home improvements that you could do to increase your home’s value and comfort. Getting the most value and making home improvements that are sure to be noticed are not always obvious to families that have lived in their home awhile, or to new homeowners moving in with atight budget. Starting from the outside in, these are small home improvements that have big results in value and appearance.
Replacing Decks and Porches
When it comes to entertaining guest or relaxing in the afternoon, everyone loves a superb deck. When browsing real estate or selling your home, the first thing people are going to notice is the front of the house. Nothing provides would-be buyers or owners more satisfaction than the possibilities to be had when walking up on a new deck and out the back on an even grander one. A great deck provides luxury and a service to the house. It provides the home with additional function and gives it character. The best part is a deck has endless options and can be improved on or expanded upon at any time. You could have a modest size deck built for you for about $5000. If you aren’t afraid of a hammer and nails you could get the help of a friend and knock one out for about $2500 or less. Often times the homes current deck could be improved greatly by pressure washing and staining it. There are many home improvement and deck building tips on the DIY network.
Driveways serve many functions, and if your driveway doesn’t accommodate your needs it can be very challenging for everyday life. The blacktop of your driveway will wear off after so many years and if it suffers from cracks, puddles and cavities you will greatly improve curb appeal by adding a more functional or nicer looking driveway. Resurfacing will cost you around two dollars a square foot, but other options are available with concrete if you are willing to pay a little more. This Old House has a couple of good tips on resurfacing blacktop yourself and other home improvements.
Carport and Landscaping
I know for a fact that many people don’t enjoy a day working in the yard as much as I do, but spending a couple of days outside could improve the curb appeal of your home significantly. Planting some evergreen shrubs around the front porch and flowering trees with a few annuals from your local nursery, create beautiful springs and even provide a little shade to help keep the sun out of the house. Carports are another home improvement that adds function and have many varieties to choose from including height, color, and width. Personally I would go for something higher than the standard 5′ legs, unless you drive a smart car; otherwise it will be on top of you. Carports are relatively cheap and easy to work with given the right tools. We raised ours an additional five foot in one day, but most companies will assemble them for you in no time. There are many sites available and a good chance someone is selling carports down the road from you.
Replace Your Front Door and Door Handles
From family to friends, nothing says come in like a wonderful front door. For buyers standing on the welcoming mat, it’s hard to look past a dilapidated door in front of you. Replacing a front door isn’t cheap, but there are many beautiful doors with tons of options in glass, color, material, and just as many awesome door handles from keyless deadbolts to antique brass when it comes to this great home improvement option. In addition to the front door, it does wonders to replace the standard door knobs throughout the house with better handles. Replacing your door handles is a simple home improvement that anyone at any age can do.
Replace Your Countertops and Cabinet
Most home improvement stores provide some type of basic countertops and cabinets. You could really blow your budget right here, so be careful. A person wanting function and improved appeal would be happy with replacing ugly or worn counters and re-staining the existing cabinets. Even simpler is replacing the existing cabinet handles with premium handles that really stand out. Some great ideas to get you started on countertops are at the DIY network where you can learn about the many materials also available.
Replace Your Light Fixtures
Probably the easiest of home improvement after door knobs is to replace your homes existinglight fixtures. After you replace the first one, being sure to always switch off the breaker, you will have it down path. I love the power saving options out there with newer fluorescent lighting and ceiling fans that change the effect of an entire room.
I live in a mobile home and have done everything on this list except resurface my blacktop, which I will do soon. These improvements have really improved the comfort and the equity of my home, plus I get to tell the stories from doing all of these improvements myself. If you enjoyed this article and are looking to purchase a home or have credit problems and would like to increase your credit score please check out my other articles. If you are renting a home or apartment be sure to ask about payment credits for your work and make sure it is okay before starting any home improvement on a rented place.
Here is a link to some of my other articles on home improvement