10 DIY Home Improvements that Won’t Break the Bank

Do it Yourself TV, the Gods of home make overs. They all seem to be aiming at increasing your sales potential with a modest investment. So who says that investment should be for the next guy. Why not do it just for you and your family, it will feel like you moved into a whole new place and you didn’t even pack.

Here’s ten tips on how you can benefit from watching all that HGTV has to offer. Surprisingly a lot of what they say makes sense, even if you don’t want to sell.
Following the premise of shows like Trading Spaces and Sell This House, you can do an Extreme Make Over for only $2,000.

1. Do away with the excess STUFF. This won’t cost you anything, actually it can make you some money. With the old saying, If you haven’t used it in a year, you probably won’t ever use it. Get serious, and get going, from top to bottom clean out the junk. Garage sale, Goodwill, or the Dump, what ever works, just reduce the stuff. $0

2. Take a serious look at your house from the street, what does the passing public see? Is the shrubbery neat and manicured, is the lawn edged along the driveway, and sidewalk? How about the mulch around the plants in front. Colored mulch will dress up those perennials and perk up the look of your yard. Yes, it’s hard work, but it won’t cost you hardly at all, mulch is real cheap. Mulch- $20

3. Without doing a complete paint job, what can you do to spruce up the front of the house. Paint the front door, a nice accent color that will make it pop out. Paint the window trim on the front windows, maybe some shutters to accent the windows. Paint-$20 Shutters-$50

4. Lets go inside, starting with the living room, you say those heavy drapes have been there since the late 70’s. Grandma drapes for sure. Take them down and while their down buy a couple gallons of paint and give the room a whole new look. Now buy a nice set of shear panels and some fabric that goes good with your sofa or the painting from Aunt Esmeralda and make a set of drapes that hang nice when open. Window space is valuable space, don’t hide it. Paint-$40 Shears and Fabric $50

5. If you really want to bring your living room into the 21st century rip out that badly worn carpet and put down some laminated hardwood flooring. This would be the most pricey project in my list, at $3 a square foot a 20×20 room will run you $1,200. For the same look at half the price you can get the imitation stuff, just don’t drag a chair on it or the covering will be damaged.

6. Lets do the kitchen next, new hardware and paint those dreary dark cabinets. Some fresh paint on the walls and it looks completely different. Some new peel and stick floor tiles will complete the picture. Hardware-$100 Paint $20 Tiles-$100

7. The public areas of the house look great, now the bedrooms. Paint, maybe some new home made curtains, and new bed linens. Go crazy and get the carpets steam cleaned too. New from top to bottom. Clean out the closets, remember it you haven’t worn it in a year send it down the road. $200 per room will do it, if your a good shopper. We’ll use three bedrooms as our example, $600.

8. The bathroom, almost forgot it. A new shower curtain, a nice set of towels, and clean off the clutter on the counter. The biggest improvement you can make is lots of elbow grease. Nothing looks worse then a dirty bathtub or shower doors. Shower curtain and inexpensive towels-$50

9. More free improvements, laundry room, utility room, entry way closet. Clean, thin out, throw away. With that hall closet cleaned out you will have a place to put your visitor’s coats. No more piling them on the bed.

10. Out to the garage. You do know the car is supposed to fit in there. Buy some OX-board and put it on top of the roof trusses. Use the new found space for storage, get the stuff up off the floor. Hang bicycles from the rafters, put up some inexpensive shelving. With the floor empty buy some epoxy paint and give the floor a new look as well. Epoxy paint-$100 Shelving-$150 Ox-board-$100

There you have it, 10 easy steps to an Extreme Make Over. Including $1,200 for flooring it all adds up to $2,600. OK, by going with actual hard wood flooring I went over the $2,000, so shoot me already. The point is for a modest investment you have increased the value of your home by $10-15,000. And you get to enjoy it for yourself. The people from My House is Worth What?, would be proud of you, even if your not going to Flip This House. Now head off to Home Depot or Lowes and get your supplies, there’s no better time to add to the equity in your most valuable asset.

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