It's the little things that matter. While you're contemplating that next huge renovation project, there are a few things you can do to keep your home fresh and updated - a place where you feel rested and alive. We've gathered a few of our favourites here:
- Paint - 'Money is a can' - The cheapest and quickest change for a room comes in a can, which can add freshness to a tired room without a big project. If you are selling, use colors that are neutral to appeal to most buyers, and don't use accent walls.
- Keep records, receipts and useful 'leftovers'. Keeping a file of receipts helps with warranty work. Carpet scraps and opened boxes of flooring make repair/replacement a snap, which helps your floors look new. Save paint cans for quick touch ups.
- Kitchen and Bath - Everyone knows the best investment is your kitchen and bath, but don't go overboard. Fixtures, counters and flooring in keeping with your home's style give you the biggest return. The same is true of appliances. Newer stainless steel is a selling point; industrial grade equipment is a turn off for most.
- Weekend 'Honey Do' List - Little things mean a lot (door handles, sticky doors, torn screens). Make a list and freshen up the little things over a weekend. This gives the appearance that your home is well maintained.
- Closets give the illusion of space. When things are sitting out your rooms look cluttered and your home looks small. Adding closets is the psychological trick for adding value to your home without adding rooms. Under the stairs, in corners of rooms, or repurposing odd areas all work.
- Landscaping and Cement Work with well-defined walkways makes your home 'pop' from the street. If the outside looks good, people think the inside must be special also. Cement staining, a few shrubs and perennials are the business card for your home.
- Lighting to brighten the future - Walk into a home improvement store and see what's selling, then replace those old lighting fixtures with modern updates which are in popular styles but in keeping with your home.
- Decks - One of the biggest outside investments everyone can agree upon. Everyone desires the thought of outdoor entertaining, and decks are that outdoor room which gives everyone the space for grillin-n-chillin'. Put on and/or maintain your deck.
- Stay within your neighborhood's 'Boundaries' - This is the biggest shocker and biggest mistake home owners make. Look at the homes in your neighborhood and keep renovations and extras within the norm. Anything less depreciates your home's value, anything more is too much. It puts your home over the top.
- Keep leftover flooring material. Store extra carpet, tiles and hardwood for flooring projects in case of damage. Newly updated homes often sell much faster.
- Do a small renovation project. Renovations of dark and dated kitchens or bathrooms are among the most profitable home improvements you can make.
- Plan for extra expenses. When preparing a budget for any major home improvement project, always add an additional 15-20% to cover any unexpected costs.
- Store unused paint. A couple of months down the road, you may want to use the paint on a piece of furniture to create more consistency and flow in the room. Give yourself a reminder - in your computer, Smartphone or written calendar - to discard the paint after six months.
- Conduct an energy audit. See where you can insulate and save money.
- Redo an old piece of furniture. You can reupholster it, refinish it, or repaint it with that paint you saved from that wall project.
- Put your best front door forward. First impressions count - and if the front door looks good, the visitor has a great first impression.
- Save your clippings. Save the money you'd spend on holiday centrepieces. A few branches and evergreen clippings from your garden will brighten up your home during the festive season.
- Caulk your baseboards. Remove the baseboard, apply caulking, and replace. Substantial energy savings.
- Vent your attic. A well-vented attic will prevent early wear and tear on shingles.
- Insulate your attic. Proper insulation will prevent heat loss in the winter and overheating in the summer.
- Maximize your lighting. Unless you're going for a mood-lighting effect, such as in a cozy corner with a fireplace, the brighter a room looks, the brighter it makes you feel. Go for fluorescent over candescent bulbs for greater energy savings, or invest in energy-efficient bulbs.
- Plan your basement. A finished basement increases your home's value and may provide you with additional income from a renter. Even if you put a bar and barstool down there for now, liven up the space.
- Unclutter. Go through things you never use and divide them into three piles: Keep, Donate, and Toss. Store the Keep pile out of sight and give yourself a reminder to toss it in six months. During those six months, if you find you absolutely can't live without something, you'll have rescued it from the Keep pile.
- Repair. Any items of sentimental value that you just can't throw away, but can't put anywhere in your home because they're eyesores or they no longer work properly? See if you can make an item look and work like new. After all, your fondest memories of it are of when it was new, right?
- Go light and airy. If the current trend is pumpkin-orange walls and purple upholstery, don't let trends dictate your renovation decision - or expect to be dated in a year or two. In general, light and airy is universally enjoyed, especially in smaller spaces.
With a few touch-ups here and there, you'll feel as if your home - and your mood - just had a makeover.
Our advice is to make your home look like it is the best on the block without going overboard. Anything more or less than this hurts your home's value. Here's our final tip: Using contractors found on HandyCanadian also can save you time and moneyâ€¦something we all want whether we plan on our home becoming the famous long term 'grandmother's house' or the seven year investment.Posted by: TrustedPros