We’ve heard before that being a homeowner doesn’t always necessarily mean that your home is an investment. Homeownership can be expensive once you factor in the cost of a mortgage, taxes, insurance, and repairs. 

If you want your primary residence to become more of an investment, you can increase your home’s value and obtain more equity. One fun way to do this is by completing house projects that add value to your home.

If you’re looking to upgrade your home and add some more value, here are 10 DIY home improvement projects to consider. 

1. remodel your kitchen

Increase Home Value with These DIY Improvements

Some people say the kitchen can really sell the house. While these can definitely make great selling points, have an updated kitchen and bathrooms can also increase your home’s value for an appraisal.

A minor kitchen remodel can cost around $20,000 on average but this depends heavily on the work itself along with which finishes you choose. 

You can always spread out the task over time to stretch your budget. Or you can even shop around for deals on the materials and consider refurbished kitchen appliances that come with a full warranty. 

Plus, you don’t have to do a full kitchen remodel to increase your home’s value. You can start by painting or resurfacing the cabinets, installing a backsplash or swapping out the kitchen sink and countertops.

Another way to save on your remodel is by doing most of the demo work yourself. If friends and family members are willing to suit up, wear protective eyewear and help you knock out cabinets and walls, you can cut some of your costs on the overall project.

2. remodel your bathroom

Remodeling your bathroom is another way to increase your home’s value and it’s often less expensive than your updating a kitchen would be. While a bathroom remodel may run you anywhere from $9,000 to $11,000 it also usually has a high return on your investment when it’s time to sell the home. 

When it comes to DIYing it, you may be able to lay tile flooring on your own, reglaze your tub, swap out your vanity and make other upgrades that will improve the space overall.

3. replace your carpet with hardwood flooring

If you’ve been meaning to get rid of your carpet anyway, consider replacing it with hardwood flooring all throughout the home. Hardwood flooring is more versatile and can even offer more convenience if you have kids or kids as it’s easier to clean. 

While hardwood flooring is more expensive than laminate and vinyl flooring, you may even have it underneath your carpet. In that case, you’d just need to get your floors refinished. 

Replacing carpet with laminate flooring is not a bad idea either if you’re looking to save money since reports show that installing non-carpet flooring generally provides a 90+% return on your investment.

Stores like Lowes and Home Depot sometimes offer discounts on flooring and you may even be able to install it yourself.

4. finish the basement

Another project you can do to increase home value involves finishing your basement. Buyers love finished basements because it means they won’t have to do the work themselves. As a result, most will be willing to pay more to buy the home since it has that added convenience. 

While the average cost to refinish a basement ranges from $10,000 to $35,000, it all depends on what details and finishes you want to include. For example, you’ll need to consider what type of flooring you want to have, how plumbing will work for the bathroom or washer and dryer unit, along with whether you’d like to have a bedroom in that space as well. 

This is another project that will take time but you can expect to see a 70% return on your investment in terms of increasing your home’s value.

5. Convert Your Attic to a Bedroom

Have an attic that is just being used to store extra stuff? Consider converting it into a fully functional bedroom to increase home value. Converting an attic into a bedroom and adding a bathroom can produce the same amount of value as if you were to do a two-story addition. 

There are lots of factors that you’ll need to consider when taking on this project but you can DIY a lot of tasks like the drywall, painting, flooring, and furnishing. However, you may need to hire out for services regarding heating and cooling, electric work, and plumbing if you don’t have expertise in this area. 

While converting your attic into a bedroom won’t really change the square footage of your home, it will add on a new room allowing you to sell the home for more money down the road.

6. Update Kitchen Appliances

If your appliances are pretty dated, it may be time for an upgrade. Stainless steel appliances are currently trendy and have been for some time. This is leading some homeowners to make upgrades over time which can improve the overall functionality of their kitchen space. 

While this may not directly improve your home’s value, it will allow your home to appeal more to potential buyers. Let’s face it, most people don’t want to have an outdated kitchen. 

For potential home buyers, the mental image of brand new appliances may be the distinguishing factor when it comes time to enter a bid. Choose a cost-effective model that offers a nice presentation, but don’t go overboard.

7. Replace Lighting Fixtures

This is one of the easiest cheap ways to increase your home’s value. Some homes have really outdated light fixtures that are dim and may not even have much usable life left. Replacing them is an affordable project you can do quickly. 

You may simply want to update some light fixtures or even replace them with a ceiling fan.  A new ceiling fan light will cost you around $100 - $300.

8. Replace your exterior doors

You may have overlooked your exterior doors in the past but they are one of the most important aspects of your home. Plus, they can be used to add curb appeal and shape the entire look and feel of the home from the exterior. 

Steel entry doors are very popular and are said to provide homeowners with a 90% return on investment when they get ready to sell their home. Steel entry doors come in all different colors and finishes so you can choose what would look best for your home.

9. Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint

A new paint job can do wonders for your home. It can change the overall look and feel of a space and even make some rooms appear larger.

You can save the future new owners of your home time by doing a paint upgrade yourself throughout the home. Consider using neutral colors in the bedrooms and main living areas. If your kitchen or bathrooms have certain colors or elements you’d like to match with your choice of paint color, go for it.

Don’t forget about an exterior paint job as this can improve your home’s value as well. 

10. Add storage space

When you’re on a budget, you may not be able to do a full home addition. However, if you have some woodworking skills, you can build out a new closet or create a storage organizer for the bedroom closets.

Some homes come with closet storage shelves and buyers love this. You may even be able to buy closet shelving online and install it yourself.

Bonus tip #1: Fix Some Things Around the House

When in doubt, start updating or fixing things around the house that you know need to be taken care of. If you’re wondering how to increase the value of your property but don’t have a huge budget, this is a great place to start. 

Now would be the perfect time to fix that exhaust fan in the kitchen and bathroom, replace light switch coverings, service your AC and furnace and replace that broken closet door. 

Make a list of the small things you can fix up around the house and tackle something new each month.

bonus tip #2: Do Some Landscaping

Don’t forget about your landscaping. Your front and backyard can help sell the house just as much as the inside of the home. Plus a beautifully landscaped home has so much curb appeal. 

Make sure you take care of your grass and keep trees trimmed. You can also install a sprinkler system and do some edging and mulching to spruce things up outside. 

When you have the time, you can repave your driveway and add some built-in elements to your home’s exterior like a patio out back or retaining walls by laying bricks.

Other DIY Ways to Add Value To Your Home

There are plenty of other smaller things you can do to upgrade your home and potentially add value to it. If you don’t have a lot of time, you can take on smaller projects in the meantime like some of these:

  • Get a programmable thermostat
  • Add a bathroom vent to prevent mold growth
  • Put down fresh caulk 
  • Add more insulation
  • Install a water filter
  • Install energy efficient windows
  • Add shutters to windows’ exterior
  • Plant a fruit tree

The list goes on and on. When it comes to figuring out how to increase the value of your property, it’s important to determine what would give you the best ROI and balance that with what you think future buyers would enjoy in a home. 

For example, planting a gala apple tree in your yard may not necessarily add to your home’s value. However, it may entice a potential home buyer down the road and set your house apart from other listings. 

Identify the main areas of the home that need to be improved and revived. Then, consider your skill set and budget to determine which project to start with first.

How to Afford Home Upgrades

While most people may want to update their home and increase its value, you do have to have a little money to do this. Some projects will cost more than others but you have plenty of options to help you finance them. 

A HELOC (home equity line of credit) may be a helpful way provide financing for the project because it allows you to borrow against your home’s equity. You can use you withdraw from your revolving line of credit as needed just like you would use a credit card. 

If you have a solid quote on how much the project costs, you can also consider a home equity loan which will provide you with one lumps sum amount. 

Not interested in a home equity loan? There are still other ways to cash flow your house projects. For starters, you can create a specific budget category for home updates and spend the money that’s allocated to that purpose as you go or save it over time. 

You can also temporarily cut a few expenses like dining out, vacations, and cable or other subscriptions. Finally, you can pick up more work or do something extra on the side. It may take you longer to pull off the home upgrades, but you won’t have any debt once it’s finished.

summary

If you’re looking to sell your home doing some of these house projects can definitely help increase your home’s value. Consider starting with projects that will get you a solid ROI when you decide to sell. 

You can also talk to a real estate agent and do a walkthrough so they can give their opinion on what would be a good project to take on. Be sure to set a budget beforehand and plan out how you’ll cover the costs. As you already know, you can cut costs significantly by DIYing some of the updates. 

Make it a fun project and get the whole family involved. Have fun!