DIY

23 Cheap Upgrades That Will Actually Increase The Value of Your Home

Invest in your own future bank account.

1. Paint kitchen cabinets.

Adding new cabinetry can be super expensive, but a couple coats of new paint can make an outdated kitchen look much more modern and clean. See how to do it here.

2. Update cabinet handles.

Swapping out generic or older cabinet handles can make a kitchen look completely different. This company makes new handles that even fit IKEA cabinets.

3. Add extra seating areas outside.

Adding an outdoor dining table to a porch or yard makes it seem like there’s even more space, even if it’s a little crowded.

4. Get new outlet and lightswitch plates.

 

These get super dirty with use, but are really cheap to replace (<$1 each). If you want to go really ~fancy~, paint your plates the same color as the wall so they disappear more.

5. Add molding.

Once you get the hang of a miter saw, DIY moulding is pretty easy. See how here.

6. Bump up the curb appeal.

 

The front of your house is the first thing potential buyers see, so make sure it’s stately and welcoming. Add some extra plants to the porch or the entryway, paint the door.

Check out these other DIY tips for increasing your curb appeal here.

7. Make upgrades to your landscaping.

According to Century 21 realtors, landscaping and a good first impression can increase a home’s value up to 27%.

8. Turn any room into a bedroom with a closet or wardrobe.

Turn your office or den into a useable bedroom by either adding a closet, or a freestanding wardrobe. Or, use this Ikea wardrobe hack to create this DIY closet.

9. Get rid of the popcorn ceiling.

 

Just make sure to get it tested for asbestos before you try this one yourself—some homes built before the 1970’s have it in the ceiling. See how to do it here.

10. Add visible storage.

Hidden storage might be good for living in a home, but buyers want to SEE a lot of storage space without having to open everything. A few extra shelves in a blank space can make a big difference. See how to easily add some floating shelves to a tiny bathroom here.

11. Stow your personal tchotchkes.

Buyers want to picture themselves in your home, not your whole extended family. While you’re selling, stash the majority of your specifically personal heirlooms to make the space feel a little more like a blank slate.

12. Paint unsightly tile.

If you don’t want to fully replace any tiled floors, you can actually paint them to look fresh and clean. See how here.

13. Upgrade your fixtures.

Door knobs, faucets and locks are all fairly cheap to paint to make them look brand new. Check out this great tutorial here.

14. Swap out your lighting.

HGTV / Via hgtv.com

Upgrading lighting in the main rooms can make the whole space feel more expensive.

15. Go for neutral paint colors.

A brightly colored living room might be your cup of tea, but a neutral clean palette is much more palatable for most buyers. Designer Emily Henderson recommends these timeless shades for almost any space.

16. Update your window frames.

Make windows look larger by adding molding and a new apron. See how here.

17. Paint the inside of your window frames.

Most builder-grade windows are dark inside, sometimes even black. Painting the interior frames and transoms will make the window look bigger and more modern. See how to do it here.

18. Add mirrors.

Mirrors are the simplest way to make any space feel bigger and lighter. Learn how to make this giant sunburst version here.

19. Hide some of your home’s eyesores.

Some things necessary to a home’s function can be covered or hidden and still work perfectly. This trick lets you cover up a thermostat or alarm with just a canvas portrait and some hinges.

20. Paint older bathtubs.

If you don’t want to buy a whole new tub, older (or dated color) tubs can actually be painted. Learn how here.

21. If you’re really going to invest, start in the kitchen.

Vudhikrai / Getty Images

Kitchen upgrades like new appliances and countertops will usually give the biggest return on your investment.

22. Call an inspector BEFORE you list.

Potential buyers will hire their own inspector, but if there are problems you didn’t know about, it can cost you a lot off your asking price. Go through all the things your pickiest buyer will have checked, and make sure there aren’t any surprises.

23. Ask your realtor what people are looking for, then do those things.

Peter Parks / AFP / Getty Images

Before you make any major changes, ask your own realtor what people ask for the most in your area, and then make those updates yourself. They are a treasure trove of knowledge about what people are looking for at the same time you are selling, and they want to make the sale just as much as you do.

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