Five Simple Home Repairs That Add Big Value At Little Cost
If you have purchased a home or plan to, then you know that it will likely be the biggest investment that you ever make as either an individual or a couple. But for that home’s value to grow over time, you’ll need to do your best to maintain its quality. While there are tons of qualified professionals who can do just that, it’s not always possible to afford them. Still, that should not be an excuse to let the place go. After all, these are your finances!
Luckily, some of the most important maintenance tasks can be handled on your own, or at least very cheaply (less than $5,000). With the help of our friends at Allstate, we’ve put together a list of the five that you will want to jump on as needed.
Painting is one of the technically easier tasks that you can accomplish on a shoestring budget. You may not look forward to spending an entire day on a room or portion of the house, but it certainly beats contracting it out. As Allstate states, “Applying a fresh coat of paint is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to take an old room from drab to fab … provided that your new coat’s color is indeed fab. If you’re not blessed with an eye for color coordination, snap some pictures of the rooms you want to repaint, take them to a local home improvement store and ask for some help. There’s no shame in admitting you don’t want your dining room to have the color palette of a Warhol painting and need assistance to avoid that fate.”
2. Lighten Up
While you may enjoy dim lighting for those special moments when you’re with that certain someone, it doesn’t help for handling household chores, like “cooking, doing laundry, taking showers and all the other things you do at home most days,” Allstate notes. “Practical matters aside, low light also makes everything look kind of dingy. So brighten up your life! It’ll change everything, and with a $5,000 budget, a half-day’s worth of time and a trip to an affordable retailer, you’ll be able to outfit your entire home, no sweat.”
Lights should be handled like you would furniture. Make them functional and fashionable. And get those college black lights out of your brain!
3. Caulk And Tile
A renovated bathroom can add significant value to your home since it is one of the most used rooms in the house, and while bathroom renovation can seem unappealing, it’s ultimately worth it. Allstate suggests that you start by “re-caulking around sinks, showers, toilets and tubs to get rid of unsightly grime.”
“Then pick out some affordable new tiles for the floor, and you’ll be in business. Sure, new sinks and toilets are great — and probably within range for a $5,000 budget (provided you didn’t go with marble flooring) — but caulk and tile is probably all you’ll need to make an impact.”
A word of warning, however: if you’re not adept at bathroom makeovers, this could be one area where you want to consider hiring a pro. You definitely don’t want to start a project like this without having a good handle on things. It isn’t like re-painting a room where any screw-ups can be quickly and easily painted over.
4. Keep It Clean
Life gets busy, no matter who you are, and it can be difficult keeping up with household cleaning and maintenance. However, a failure to do so can result in some pretty annoying (and potentially expensive) problems. If a house is poorly maintained, it’s possible you could get a bug problem or mold could grow out of control. When cleaning supplies are so cheap and time is yours to manage, there’s no excuse for letting your house look like something off the TV show Hoarders. “Set aside a weekend and collect all the useless items cluttering up your abode,” Allstate suggests. “Throw out the junk, sell anything that might yield more than $5 at a yard sale or on Craigslist, and revel in the newfound order you’ve created.”
5. Knobs, Pulls, And Counters
Don’t get too fancy when it comes to your kitchen’s knobs, pulls, and counters. The flashier ones used to help draw you in to buying the home may have been nice at the time, but they add no real value to the home, and they can be super-expensive to replace. Instead, “New cabinet knobs, drawer pulls and countertops can all be installed on a very reasonable budget, and will rejuvenate even the stalest of kitchens, panic-free,” Allstate says. All they need to be is functional.
Buying a home is an exciting time. Maintaining that home isn’t quite as exciting, but it’s essential if you want to get good resale value out of your home. Furthermore, as you make these renovations and repairs, keep up with your home’s value. Know what a typical repair adds to the value of your home and revisit that with your homeowners insurance agent every year to confirm that you’re insured for the value of replacing your home and not just for what the home cost when you initially purchased it.