If you’re talking about a potential home renovation project, it’s important to know if the money you put into the project will translate into more money down the road when, or if, you sell your house. Some projects will pay off handsomely while others will not. And, sometimes, it’s how you do the project that makes the difference.
Do you DIY? One of the keys to making a remodel or renovation project pay off later is keeping costs down. For most homeowners, this means doing the project themselves. Hiring a contractor means paying for labor and markups on materials. The question is, can you do the project yourself? Does it require special skills and tools?
Today, the greatest resources available for DIY projects are Youtube and Vimeo. Search their databases for the DIY project at hand and you are almost assured of finding the right videos. Detailed tutorials on laying tile, refinishing cabinets, painting techniques — you name it — can all be found online. For special tools you may need, check with the rental department of your local home improvement store. Don’t buy expensive tools you may only use once.
With that in mind, let’s look at several projects you can probably do yourself and reap the rewards when it comes time to sell.
- Updating your kitchen. The kitchen is the most popular choice for a remodeling job. It can also be one of the most expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. While gutting a kitchen would most likely involve hiring a contractor, modest upgrades can be handled by many a DIY-er. With the help of online videos and rented tools, homeowners can sand and refinish cabinet facings and doors, re-tile floors and back splashes, replace sinks and faucets, and install new appliances. Doing it yourself translates into a much bigger payoff at resale.
- Freshening up bathrooms. Do-it-your-selfers will likely reap a good return on a bathroom project by refinishing cabinets and tearing out old tile floors and replacing them with a fresh new look. Replacing tile in a shower is a little trickier, however. New fixtures and fresh paint are also well within the repertoire of a DIY-er.
- Improve curb appeal. Replace overgrown shrubbery, trim trees, weed flower beds and reseed your lawn. Seek help from a landscape design specialist at a local home improvement store, regarding plant choices and proper placement. Fresh paint or power washing, shutters, a new front door, or a new garage door are all modest investments that could also pay off big later.
- Energy efficiency projects. Improving energy efficiency by adding attic insulation, re-caulking windows, installing a programmable thermostat, installing low flush toilets and low volume shower faucet heads are all examples of modest home-improvement projects that will pay off handsomely when you sell your home. They will also slowly pay for themselves through monthly utility savings.