Bob Vila is easily recognized by those who have watched reruns of his home improvement television shows or seen his more recent commercials. He hosted This Old House, Bob Vila’s Home Again, and Bob Vila as well as serving as a spokesperson for several building-related companies. Though not actually a contractor, he has successfully promoted remodeling and do-it-yourself projects. Here are some of his suggestions for increasing your home’s value without major expense.
1. Invest in a deep cleaning because Vila says, “Your home simply cannot be too clean to sell.” If you do not have the time or energy to do this yourself, you might hire a professional cleaning service to do the usual dusting, vacuuming, and mopping as well as cleaning vents, cabinets, blinds, baseboards, and doorknobs. Carpets should be steam cleaned, walls and windows should be washed, and damaged screens should be replaced.
2. Kitchens can make a great impression on buyers but may cost a great deal to replace. If your cabinets are damaged or ugly, painting or resurfacing costs less than replacement; consider new hardware.
3. Neutral paint colors are recommended since you don’t know your potential buyer’s preferences. Semi-gloss paint makes walls seem brighter; eggshell finish will hide minor imperfections.
4. New light switch and outlet covers can help to upgrade the appearance of your home. Consider dimmer switches if you are sure that your electrical wiring is sufficient to handle them. (Do not work on an outlet or switch without turning off the main electrical power.)
5. Power-wash your home’s exterior siding, decks, sidewalks, and driveway to increase curb appeal. You can rent a power washer or hire a contractor to do this; several neighbors might share the day’s rental fee and the use of the washer.
6. Landscaping – plants, shrubs, and sod – can have a great effect on curb appeal. Clean up planting beds, ridding them of weeds and dead plants and pruning shrubs and trees. Group potted plants near the entryway for a welcoming touch. You could hire a landscaper, but you can do this!
7. The exterior of your home can be upgraded with new entry, garage, or screen doors. If the doors are in good shape, painting or new hardware can make them look new again.
8. If the home that you’re in was a resale and is carpeted, do you know what’s under those carpets? Pull up a corner of the carpet in an inconspicuous area to check if there’s hardwood underneath. If there is and it’s in good shape, you may be able to restore them to their original beauty. As a DIY project or even with the help of a contractor, restoring hardwood floors may be more cost-effective than replacing carpet or installing new floors, and the restored floors may be a more attractive to a prospective buyer.