Whether you’re intending to sell your home at some point in the future or plan to live in it your entire life and eventually pass it down to your heirs, all homeowners stand to gain when they make investments in their spaces that amp up its overall value. Depending on your budget and timeline, there are myriad ways you can enhance and improve your space. From major, large-scale landscaping efforts to simple hardware changes, how big or small you go is truly up to you.
Thankfully, even if you only have a weekend or two to spare and are working with a budget that is more DIY than designer, you can easily make affordable, cost-effective upgrades to your home that add instant value. Today, we’re going over a few that are as doable as they are effective. Most of these are obtainable for under $1,000 or so, making them easily achievable and a great project for the upcoming fall.
1. Water Filtration System
Increasingly, an in-home water filtration system is becoming less of a nice-to-have-feature and more of a necessity as homeowners and buyers place a greater emphasis on drinking water safety and sanitation. While the process to install a water filtration is relatively simple, the payout could be huge. Designed to eliminate harmful pollutants and other chemicals from your home’s water, these systems make it easy to serve everyone in your household clean water.
If you’ve been relying on cumbersome pitchers with built-in filters to do the job so far, or have been purchasing bottled or filtered water jugs from your grocery store, you’ve likely already shelled out the price it would take to install an in-home filtration system. Those avenues can also lead to excess waste and should be curbed if at all possible. Instead, a simple filtration system can be hooked up to your main water supply, meaning that water from any faucet, from your bathroom to your mudroom or kitchen, is filtered, clean and ready to use. This step might sound simple, but it is an unexpected luxury and worth every penny if you’re looking to sell your property and impress house guests.
2. Programmable Thermostat
Smart home technology is all the rage at the moment and for good reason. Modern innovation has made it possible for us to more closely control our home systems, saving us time, energy, money and other resources in the process. From washer and dryer units that can sense when a load of laundry is done to smart HVAC systems, there is a plethora of solutions to pick from and the level of automation you choose to implement is up to you.
One smart move, especially when you’re attempting to increase your home’s value, is to install a programmable thermostat. This is one of the most simple and straightforward smart home systems to install, but it packs the biggest punch. Designed to integrate seamlessly with your existing HVAC system, a smart thermostat can be set to adjust the temperature when you are away from home, reducing both your carbon footprint and your monthly electric bill. It can also be designed to pump extra heat or air in high-traffic areas, turn on or off at a designated time, or slowly increase or decrease the temperature based on the time of day. Potential home buyers want a home that is connected, up-to-date and modern. They also want one that is as energy-efficient as possible. You can achieve both ends with this solution and bring your home into the 21st century in the process.
Most are simple to install and mount to the wall just as a traditional thermostat does. While you will have to program a smart thermostat at first, most can quickly pick up on your habits and can self-adjust with ease, taking the legwork and the guesswork out of operation.
3. New fixtures and hardware.
Light fixtures are elements of your home that you might not think about too often, but when they’re changed out for something new and more dramatic, they can make all the difference in a room. If your current home is relying on can lights and lamps to illuminate your spaces, you might want to consider taking it up a notch by installing a few high-impact chandeliers in spaces where they are appropriate.
Or, maybe it’s time to update that outdated ceiling fan that has been cooling your living room for the past three decades. A simple trip to the local hardware store can reveal plenty of modern options that can be both functional and fashionable. Along the same lines, while you’re there, check out the hardware section. Chances are, the cabinets in your kitchen and bathroom could use a face lift. Consider switching out old-fashioned brass fixtures for stainless steel or oil-rubbed bronze ones.
This is one way to dramatically transform the look of your space without spending major bucks. If you can’t afford new cabinets in your kitchen, for instance, you can simply change out the knobs and pulls and suddenly, it feels like a fresh space. The same goes for your faucets. Wouldn’t a shiny new one look fantastic at your sink? You might not think about it, but the smallest details can make or break a room and if you’re still using the same fixtures and hardware that came with the house when you built it 30 years ago, even if they’re still perfectly functional, it’s likely that they’re run their course.
4. New window coverings.
Nothing screams “outdated” like dusty mini-blinds that haven’t been turned or dusted in years. Along the same lines, no one wants to buy a home that is completely devoid of window coverings, especially if yours is in the middle of a crowded neighborhood! Take a look around your rooms. How are you ensuring privacy to your rooms and adding style to your windows? If you’re still rocking pleated, puffy mauve curtains with sheer panels underneath, it is time for an upgrade.
Consider upfitting your windows with wide wooden blinds or plantation shutters. Doing so might cost you more up front than you paid for those plastic mini-blinds in the eighties, but the result will be more than worth it.
Not only do plantation shutters give your home a neat, pulled-together feel, they also instantly add resale value to it as well. You can view here for more reasons why they’re the ultimate home improvement. Depending on your window size, you may be able to order your new window coverings at your hardware store or you may need to special order a custom size. Either way, this is a simple step you can take today to transform the look of your entire home from both the inside and the outside. As a bonus, most homeowners today look for plantation shutters when buying a home, and having them already installed can be a great conversation (and selling) point.
5. A decorative sidewalk.
Any real estate agent will tell you that curb appeal is everything. In fact, research reveals that most prospective homeowners will make up their minds about whether or not they want to buy a house based on the feeling and impression they get walking up to the front door!
Especially if you are interested in selling in the near future, it is worth the time and effort to really spruce up your landscaping. While you might not have the budget or resources to completely overhaul your existing setup and add a ton of new shrubbery and flower beds, you can create a decorative sidewalk or make yours more aesthetically pleasing. From stamped concrete to brick and even pavers, there are many materials you can choose from when working on your sidewalk.
Ideally, choose a sidewalk location that leads to your home and can become a new focal point for your exterior. Then, landscape it with a simple flower border and stand back to admire your handiwork. One rule of thumb is to make sure whatever elements you use make sense with the style and existing features of your home. For instance, if you have accented with stone throughout your chimney, a stone pathway would make sense. Or, if you have stucco or other neutral tones in your exterior, a stamped concrete sidewalk could look stunning.
Ultimately, the upgrades you choose to make to your home are up to you, though there are some that can add value quicker than others. Before you begin any project or call any contractors, it is important to determine your budget for these renovations. You will also want to keep in mind exactly why you’re interested in making the changes. If your motivator is to sell your property, you will have a more urgent timeline and may want to focus on the projects with the most wow-factor, such as the plantation shutters. Or, if you are just looking to enhance your curb appeal while you stay put, the decorative sidewalk is a great place to start. Regardless, you can’t go wrong when you pour love into your home!