Patty Connolly's Blog
When selling your home, you want to be able to get the largest return for your investment. And buyers are looking for their next place to call home. They are looking for a place that they can see themselves living and creating a future. And oftentimes, it’s very difficult for buyers to look beyond the cosmetics of a home, especially when viewing online. Therefore, if large investments are not in the cards for you or won’t bring a significant ROI, small home improvements are the way to go. These small improvements can take your home from blah to wow!
Let’s take a look at some of the best small home improvements that will certainly provide you with a return.
1. Fresh coat of paint: A fresh coat of paint can make the world of a difference in a home. It can instantly brighten up a space and make the home look and feel newer—an instant plus for any seller and buyer. But be sure to choose more neutral colors as not everyone will be a fan of bold colors.
2. Adding architectural touches: Architectural features like crown molding and a chair rail can add an elegant upgrade to any home. They can be fairly inexpensive and would only take a weekend to put up.
3. Update front door: Your front door is a large part of your curb appeal. And a home’s curb appeal can leave a substantial impression on buyers. You can go the inexpensive route and add a pop of color that compliments your home’s exterior and landscaping or purchase a new door if a coat of paint won’t do the trick.
4. Add a backsplash: Backsplashes don’t have to break the bank to catch a buyer’s eye. And there are so many options from subway tile to mosaic to antique tin.
5. New hardware: Updating the hardware in your kitchen and bathroom can make the world of a difference. Adding modern hardware to cabinet doors will add a refreshing, simple update.
6. Update fixtures: Replacing old, worn down bathroom and kitchen fixtures is a very simple home improvement. Although not the cheapest of these options, they will definitely make a big difference in those rooms.Think of a home built in the 90s that has brass fixtures. The home looks very outdated and therefore worth less in the eyes of a buyer. If you update these fixtures to pewter or brushed nickel, you are instantly bringing the spaces into the 21st century and catching the appeal of buyers.
The amount of time, effort, and money that you want to put back into your home is a decision that you alone can make. It may seem silly to put more money into the home you are trying to sell, but it’s quite the opposite. Be smart about your updates and improvements. Try to think like a buyer and make updates that the majority will like and want.
Giving your home that extra special touch of class usually requires some much-needed design retouches. However, to get your home looking picture perfect, there are some decorating "don'ts" you should try as much as possible to avoid. Interior design is highly personal, and this is in no way an attempt to clamp down your creative genius. It is a helpful design guide to make sure you get the best design results and also make sure that you don't go off the rails with your home decor.
Avoid repeating the same fabric throughout your space
Matching everything with the same material is quite old-fashioned. You should try spicing things up by choosing a beautiful mix of different colors for your throw pillows, upholstery, window curtains, and so on. A collection of varied upholstery and textures makes the design look unique and adds to its color and theme.
Mind the size of your rug
A small rug can get lost in the center of a big room. You should go for a center carpet that doesn't just fit the size of your coffee or dining table but if it is possible, slides under the furniture as well. It is advisable that you have no furniture outside the rug.
Never push up your furniture against the walls
This old-style setup is a huge no-no when it comes to home design as this doesn't make your room look any more prominent, but instead, it chokes up your space.
Never paint without testing a small area
Before you go on to paint the entire wall, you should first check the color on a small portion of the wall. Sometimes, light can cause some weird visual effects so make sure it suits what you want. Ask the painter to paint a small area with the colors you are considering. Let the small patches dry so that you can see the final look before making a decision.
Avoid dangling curtains
You wouldn’t want to have a curtain swaying aimlessly halfway between your window sill and the floor as this can easily offset the comfort of the room. Go for a curtain that reaches the floor to avoid “airborne” curtains.
Don’t go overboard with houseplants
It's no denying that a little green can go a long way in bringing a breath of fresh air to your home as it can set on a shelf, coffee table or anywhere suitable. However, overdoing it can make your home look like a greenhouse. Pick your favorite greens and position them around the house.
Avoid cluttered wires
One sure sight for sore eyes is seeing a bunch of wires dangling and hanging over your room. Hide these within a rod or tube against the wall or within a box hidden from view.Before deciding to put your home on the market, ask your real estate agent to evaluate if your style might hinder your home sale, and what to do about it.
Among the upgrades most sought in a kitchen are new cabinets and appliances, granite, marble, or even concrete countertops, and the ubiquitous farmhouse-style sink top the list. If the expense of these renovations is out of reach, however, there are some simple changes that can give your kitchen a new look. Open shelving, for example, can breathe new life into aging wood cabinets.
If you spend much time flipping through decorating magazines or watching home-makeover shows on TV, you’ve probably seen kitchens with open shelving. As part of a kitchen remodel, it’s probably not the first thing we think about … but as an inexpensive way to upgrade the busiest room in the house, it probably deserves consideration.
The trend of open shelving creates an elegant place to display dishware, crystal, antiques, your cookbook or wine collection, dry goods, or even your canning jars. With a little time and effort, you can create this look in your kitchen.
Here’s what to do:
- Remove the doors to some (or all) of your upper cabinets. The look is especially attractive with cabinets that line a single wall. Note: you won’t want to do this to lower cabinets that store cleaning products or that hide plumbing.
- Carefully remove hinges. Fill any remaining holes or gouges in the cabinet faces with wood filler or a product appropriate for your cabinet material. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to achieve the best results.
- Sand and smooth the cabinet faces. Wipe them down with a degreaser cleaner. For primer and paint to stick, the surface should not have any oil or grease.
- Prime the entire cabinet (inside and out) with a high-quality paintable primer. Priming is important to cover darker colored wood or paint, stains, discolorations, and to hide any repairs you’ve made to the surface.
- Paint your cabinets with a paint designed for the surface of the cabinets. Use a satin, semi-gloss, or gloss finish. Apply your paint with a small flat roller designed for smooth finishes. You’ll probably need more than one coat, so give plenty of drying time between coats, and take care to avoid drips as they will mar your elegant finish.
- Create a new look with crown molding or specialty trim. Add a subtle geometric wallpaper to the shelf back for an interesting effect. For a farmhouse motif, use a print with fine, vertical stripes or chicken-wire design.
- Install lighting in the cabinets to highlight your special display. If there is no power outlet nearby, use battery-operated puck lights.
- Paint lower cabinets a complementary or contrasting color to finish out your look. Lighter upper cabinets with darker lower ones add depth and dimension to a smaller kitchen.
Finish out your look by filling the shelves with artful stacks of dishes or pottery, books, and jars of colorful nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.
If you’re upgrading your kitchen to place it on the market, seek the advice of your real estate professional on popular and trending color choices for your project.
When homes go ignored, issues start to develop and once easy to solve problems will become huge, expensive hassles. Every house will develop some item that you'll need to attend to, and there are steps you can take today to minimize or even avoid these problems. Heed the following do-it-yourself tips, and you will keep your house looking great and save money in the long run.
- Periodically Inspect Your Roof - Take note of areas where roofing shingles are damaged, loose or missing as well as shingles that are flapping in the blowing wind. These indicators tell you that your roof is in need of immediate repair so your home can maintain its protection from the elements.
- Choose roofing tiles that are fire-resistant and tough enough to hold up under the impact of hail. Polymer, slate and shake shingles are your best choices.
- Pressure Wash Your House Siding Annually - With time, algae and dirt build up on your house siding, making it appear old, cruddy looking and uncared-for. Wash any dirty areas of your siding with detergents and a pressure washer, taking care to thoroughly clean the areas where a lot of accumulation is present. Avoid using a pressure washer to clean your windows and trim, since the high pressure can easily damage these areas. While you are cleaning the siding, check for any warping, insect damage, buckling or paint cracking that may have developed over the past year. Quickly repair any damage you find.
- Check Your Gutters Often - Gutters are designed to direct rainfall away from your house, so keep them clean. Inspect your gutters regularly for any blockage (especially from leaves), cracks or even holes that may be hindering proper drainage. Your gutters should be appropriately sloped and firmly attached to your home as well. To prevent damage, ensure that the water that drains from your rain gutters directs away from your home and any landscaping you have around your house.
As any homeowner knows, when a home goes neglected for long, things will go awry. Don't wait until it's too late to deal with any small problems that develop in and around your home. Again, minor issues that are easy and cheap to fix will likely develop into big problems - ones that are difficult and expensive to fix - so give your home and your pocketbook a break and repair the small issues as soon as you find them.