We get asked by clients all the time what kind of DIY projects will help sell their home. Here are just a few projects that anyone with time, a little bit of extra funds and access to youtube can handle that will greatly increase your chances of selling with a nice return on your investment.
Replacing that old carpet, vinyl sheeting or old laminate is an incredible value add. With so many new and amazing products hitting the market, the options are almost endless. The easiest DIY project for floors is going to be a laminate or vinyl plank product that looks like wood and stands up to wear and tear. A very experienced DIY’er could handle real (glue down) hardwoods and tile, but this is meant for the novice.
Wood laminate: this product is durable, looks and feels great and is incredibly easy to install. It’s a tongue and groove, floating floor so all you have to do is snap it in to place and you are good to go. Here’s what you need for the project:
The laminate flooring (here is a pic of some Saratoga Hickory on sale at Home Depot for $0.99 a square foot, that’s a smokin deal!)
Vapor barrier and an underlayment pad. Laminate floors are floating so you need a plastic vapor barrier and an underlayment pad. (they are very affordable).
Miter Saw to make clean cuts (Home Depot has a Ryobi model for under $100)
Rubber mallet and laminate installation kit
Vinyl plank wood floors: Much like laminate floors these are incredibly easy to install and look fantastic. Here is an example of a modern looking grey vinyl floor that can be purchased for $2.19 a sq/ft. This product is waterproof so it is great in any room of the house and a perfect option to create a flowing cohesive look between the kitchen, dining room and living room. This is also a great product to be installed in bathrooms as well. Here is what you need for the project:
Vinyl flooring product. (the pic is Home Decorators Collection: Stony Oak Grey Luxury Vinyl)
Straight edge metal ruler
Here is a quick video to show how easy this is to install: Youtube
One of the more challenging DIY projects is tackling the kitchen. If done well it’s a game changer for the aesthetic appeal of your home. Your kitchen is the focal point of the house and where everyone congregates. The beauty of it is, it doesn’t have to break the bank. Most people think they will spend $10,000-$25,000 on a kitchen remodel. With strategic choices and a little sweat, you can do that yourself for a fraction of the cost.
Butcher block counters
Granite, quartz, soap stone are all luxurious countertop upgrades, but they come with a hefty price tag and are definitely not DIY friendly. Butcher block on the other hand is perfect for a DIY project and can transform the look of a kitchen. It can be found easily, cut to fit on site and stained to match the look and style you are going for. This is a classic look so it will withstand the test of time and trends that come and go. In addition, it will fit in a traditional home or even blend well with a more modern look. Here is what you need for the project
Slabs of butcher block. Use a product specifically meant for kitchen counters (The pic is from IKEA)
Table saw (preferred) or hand circular saw if you have a steady hand.
An affordable DIY project that will modernize your kitchen is to add a classy backsplash. The tile and design in the picture (to the left) would pair very nicely with a butcher block countertop and create a classic look. Here is what you need for the project
Backsplash (the one pictured is from Floor & Decor and is a Arabesque Latern White Porcelain Mosaic )
Wet tile saw (these are relatively inexpensive to purchase or can be rented by the day from Lowes or Home Depot)
Tile spacers to ensure you have cohesive grout lines
Tile thin set with trow (make sure it is the proper adhesive for the type of tile you purchased)
Grout (with a color choice that goes with the tile), bucket and large sponge
Painted cabinets and new hardware
Older wood grain cabinets can make a kitchen look very dated and turn off prospective home buyers. Painting your cabinets and adding new hardware can be an extremely affordable way to revitalize your kitchen and make the cabinets look brand new with a clean and contemporary look (Photo pictured is courtesy of Pinterest). Here is what you will need for the project:
High quality interior paint and primer. (Get the good quality stuff that only requires one coat)
Fine grit sand paper to rough up the finish (this will take a bit of elbow grease but is essential to ensure the paint adheres properly. You can use an oil based product as well but that can make clean up more difficult).
Paint sprayer (can be purchased or rented) or a good quality brush (just be careful not to leave streaks). Drop cloths and tape (don’t skimp on the prep).
Hardware pulls and/or knobs and a power drill with bit set.
One of the most affordable DIY projects you are likely to tackle is new paint throughout the home. When done well, it looks amazing, but a poorly done hack job, not so much. Ensure you take your time and get the proper equipment. Neutralizing the colors to create a warm and inviting feel can and will help you sell your home quicker and often times for quite a bit more money. Below is a prime example of how a coat of paint on the walls, trim and banister can completely change the look of a home from the drab 1980’s or 1990’s and bring it in to the 21st century.
The key to any DIY project is taking the time to plan, prep and do a high quality job. In conclusion, you will make some mistakes along the way, but if you go by the mantra “measure twice, cut once” you will be just fine. Oh and it never hurts to call in some favors from friends and family to help you out. Just make sure to have plenty of pizza and beer handy or it may be tough to recruit.
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