Not sure where to start? Local garden centers often offer free design services, or ask the neighbors what works for them.
A splash of color at the front of the house is an eye-catching plus. For maximum impact, use one color and vary the height of plants.
If your doorway is overwhelmed by greenery, get out the shears. Replace overgrown shrubbery with flowering foundation plants, mixing heights and colors for dramatic effect.
A charming focal point like a walkway and fountain adds major value to your property. Roll a sealant on flagstones for a permanent wet look that enhances the color.#3 Minor Kitchen RemodelAverage return at resale:
Do a minor remodel when your kitchen needs a cosmetic update and not a drastically different floor plan.
A $15,000 kitchen update covers 30 feet of re-facing for cabinets and drawers, a new wall oven, cooktop, sink and fixtures, laminate countertops and resilient flooring.
Put recessed lights 3’ to 5’ apart on center and 18" from cabinets to light the countertops. Running the lights between two joists is easier than running through the joists.
If your home is worth more than $500,000, go with stone or trendy glass countertops.
Cover old vinyl with floor leveler so the pattern doesn’t bleed through. You can’t put a second layer of vinyl on if the subfloor is below-grade concrete.
Brighten up the kitchen by sanding and painting existing cabinets. It's much less expensive than buying new ones.
#5 Major Bathroom RemodelAverage return at resale:
Add decorator detail without the cost by changing drapes and window molding. #4 Exterior ImprovementsAverage return at resale:
A gallon of paint covers 400 sq. ft. of house.
Paint color cards take the guesswork out of choosing the right color combination for doors, trim and siding.
If your house was painted before 1978, test for lead before sanding or scraping.
If you need columns to hold up a pergola, purchase the load-bearing type. Fiberglass composite columns are popular and durable. Check salvage yards for unique historic columns.
For an updated look, remove old awnings from windows and doors.
Swap damaged wrought-iron railings for real wood supports for a more inviting entry.
Give a bare, charmless porch a dramatic makeover by adding a pergola and columns.
A major bathroom remodel involves expanding an existing 5x7 ft. bathroom, relocating and replacing the tub and toilet and adding designer sinks and faucets, a linen closet, lighting, a ceramic tile floor and exhaust fan.
Start at the bottom. Replace old floors with fresh tile in ceramic or stone for a solid payoff. Buy extra tiles in case you break any during installation. Set some tiles aside at the end of the job for future repairs.
Give an old vanity a facelift with a new countertop for a clean, fresh look buyers will love.
Use eye-fooling tricks to make a small bath look larger. A new pedestal sink is a smart replacement for an old cabinet. The smaller footprint gives the illusion of space.#6 Major Kitchen RemodelAverage return at resale:
If your home’s value rises and your kitchen’s finishes don’t, do a major remodel rather than small fix-ups. Budget 10 to 15 percent of your home’s value remodeling the kitchen.
Kitchens feel bigger when there are fewer obstacles. Remiove over-counter cabinets and make countertops truly useful by creating an eating bar.
An eat-in kitchen is a big plus. Try adding a deluxe touch with a built-in banquet, bench and designer pillows.
Local granite dealers that sell (or even give away) remnants then charge for cuts and installation can be a bargain option if you need 8 feet or less of countertop.
Planning to sell? Stick with neutral colors for walls and window treatments. Remodeling to please yourself? Choose colors you love.
Tin ceiling tiles make an affordable, custom backsplash.
Put your home in the best light. Perk up a dark kitchen with French doors that’ll let the sun shine in.#7 Hurricane ProtectionAverage return at resale:
This is an investment that should be installed while you are still enjoying your home. You will get your money's worth by utilizing the shutters and still get back a large portion of your investment when you decide to sell your home.
When it comes to reselling your property, it is a strong selling point for the buyers that the previous owner wanted to maintain safety and security. Hurricane protection could be hurricane impact windows, hurricane shutters, storm panels, and more.
As soon as hurricane protection is installed it lowers insurance premiums, deters break-and-enter incidents, and will protect the property.#8 Update Garage DoorAverage return at resale:
Today’s best garage doors are those built with durable materials like steel, wood composites, and aluminum, and that have high-performance additions like energy-saving glazing and insulation. Wood is a classic choice aesthetically, though it’s not quite as weather-resistant. If you really want a wood garage door, get the best of both worlds by looking into fiberglass or wood composite, which can have the same appearance as wood without the downfalls of the material.