So, after a long week of work you’ve finally found yourself with a free weekend and what do you do? You go looking for more work? I like your moxie, friend.
Whether you’re planning on selling or you just like keeping your house in order, taking on a small home project every now and then is the perfect way to spruce up your property without subjecting yourself to the madness of a full blown renovation. It’s not only the best way to maintain your sanity, but by taking on more bite-sized tasks over longer periods of time, your bank account will also thank you for not squeezing it dry all in one go.
One question you might have is, “where the heck do I begin?” — If you really start to think about it, I’m assuming you could probably come up with a small novella of home projects that either need to be done, or at least, could be done. So how do you decide where to put your time and your money… or your blood, sweat and tears for that matter?
One word: value
Quite simply, if you’re going to make any improvements to your home, then why not take on the projects that will increase the property’s value? This is a win-win situation for everyone involved. You drop a bit of cash over here, spend half the weekend fixing something up, and boom — your house just went up by $2,000. Sounds nice, huh?
Here is a list of some super simple DIY home projects that you can easily do in a weekend, and won’t break the bank — or your back for that matter.
Put in ceiling fans
If your home already has ceiling fans then let me be the first to say, “congratulations”. Everyone loves a good ceiling fan, and those who don’t, just haven’t come to realise how brilliant they are. The most appealing benefit of installing these wondrous little spinning contraptions is the amount you’ll save on electricity bills — which won’t go unnoticed by valuers and prospective buyers.
Not only will having ceiling fans reduce the use of air conditioning but they can also cut down the use of heating by blowing the rising warm air back down to the ground. Ceiling fans are relatively cheap to buy and can fairly easily be installed if you already have the existing wiring connected for an overhead light. Obviously you will want to take all the necessary safety precautions when working with electrics but you don’t need to be a professional sparky to do this successfully. If, however, you feel like installing a ceiling fan is more akin to wandering into a field of deadly electrical jellyfish that you would much prefer to leave to said professional sparky… maybe we should move on to the next project!
Give your kitchen cabinets a makeover
This is one of the most chilled out and relaxing DIY jobs you can do over the weekend. Kitchen cabinets are often one of those things that go overlooked. They’re extremely useful, you use them every day, you guys have probably been through a lot together… but if someone asked you to describe them you’d likely draw a blank. You might not want to admit it but you probably take them for granted. Those poor little cabinets have been there for you from the get-go, storing your tea cups, late night dinners and pretzels-a-plenty; all while asking for nothing in return. Well, the time to show your true appreciation for all their hard work has finally come.
Those kitchen cabinets are about to get the pampering of a lifetime. A new coat of paint will go a long way towards freshening up your entire kitchen and by finding the right colour to complement the rest of your home, you can add a significant amount of perceived value just by doing this one little job. Are they still in need of a little love? Why not attach some new hardware? Head on over to your local hardware store and you’ll find tons of very appealing handles and fittings for next to nothing that you can stick on in no time at all. Adding these small upgrades might seem fruitless but all together, the impact can be dramatic — especially to a valuer.
No need to install a whole new set of cabinets — unless you actually need to (in which case… do) — adding a fresh lick of paint or a stain and finish will give your kitchen a seriously simple but highly effective makeover.
And when you’re done with the kitchen, head on over to the bathroom! Same logic applies.
Deep clean your carpets
If your home is solidly decked out with hardwood floors, this project will be of little value to you — although I would commit it to memory for if ever there may come a time you live with carpet again, because this is a job that will benefit everyone, on so many levels, quite literally.
For those of you who live in carpeted realms, you likely know what I’m talking about. Giving your floor a vacuum once a week might make you feel better… but deep down… deep, deep down, you know that your carpet is probably about as clean as the bottom of your bin. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but if we’re talking microscopically, I’m probably not far off. Dead skin, dust mites, pathogens, pet hair, bug feces, bacteria. Not really the type of guests you want over for dinner.
By shampooing and deep cleaning your carpets, you’re refreshing the very fibers you walk on from the inside out, and this is going to make an entire room look, smell and feel as fresh as a daisy — a really clean, sparkling, and aromatic daisy.
It might seem like kind of a strange DIY project to add value to your home, but if you think about it, the first thing a home buyer is going to see when they walk into your home is probably the ground that they’re standing on. If your carpet is fresh, clean, bright, and clearly being looked after, this is going to have a huge impact on how the rest of your home is judged.
Sell them a lemon… scented home!
Have you ever walked into someone’s home and the first thing that hits you isn’t the giant feature wall of hunting trophies or the psychedelic wallpaper, but the smell? Every house has its own unique smell — some more agreeable than others — and you might be surprised to learn that when it comes to adding value, the scent of a property can increase (or decrease) it’s worth by many thousands of dollars. An experiment that was run by realestate.com.au where 44 home buyers separated into groups that were taken on a tour of the same home with each group being exposed to different smells, had a significant effect on the property’s perceived value. The scents were as follows: baked bread, freshly made coffee, brownies, citrus, and dirty socks.
The winner? Citrus. The smell of citrus actually increased the perceived value of the property by a whopping $100,000.
Before you go running to the air freshener aisle of the supermarket, it’s worth mentioning that you need to have an odour neutral home to begin with. Adding new scents on top of old stagnant smells is kind of like putting lipstick on a pig. The pig is adorable and delightful but it probably hasn’t showered in a while. So the key to this trick is to start fresh!
Deep clean your carpets, wash all the bedding, mop all the floors, scrub down the shower, basically concentrate on the heavy hitters that are likely to contribute to the smell in your home, and THEN you can bring in the citrus. The best thing we can do here is to avoid chemical citrus scents at all costs — so avoid the air fresheners and chemical cleaning agents no matter how many fruits they put on the bottle.
Instead, go natural. Either shake up some orange or lemon essential oils in a spray bottle or lightly simmer some citrus fruits in water on the stove and let the scent gently waft throughout your newly fruited home.
Install a new front door
Last but not least, let’s head to the front of the house. What do you see when you walk up to the entrance of your home? Why, the front door of course. A seriously underrated feature that can — but often doesn’t — make a unique and memorable first impression, is the front door! It makes perfect sense when you think about it. A front door holds the key (as it were) to everything that a potential buyer will come to expect from the rest of your home. A boring, dull, outdated, or even dilapidated front door is not the best way to start a tour. On the other hand, a stunning, interesting, bold-coloured, shiny-handled door primes everyone who enters your home to expect good things from there on in. A simple job that will pave the way to adding more value to your home.
Final thoughts — First impressions count.