04 August 2016
Ten Low-Cost Home Improvements

Whether you’re planning on staying put, or putting your house on the market, the better it looks, the more it’s worth. Investing in fixes and upgrades in hopes of increasing your home’s value can get pricey, and in fact, it may cost you money in the long run.

However, there are also lots of low-cost upgrades you can do yourself – and you don’t even have to be handy. Just diligent. And if you’re planning on selling the old homestead, a little sweat equity can turn into a nice return on your investment of time and supplies.

Check out these easy, low-cost home repairs, get to the hardware store, and dig in on the first project on your list. If you’re a multi-tasker, you can install a closet organizer while the paint dries in the other room.

You can get a lot done in a weekend, and for little or no cost.

1. Make dingy rooms look new with a fresh coat of paint. Visit the local paint store, get some samples, then paint small spaces on that dingy wall to discover the color you like best. Buy good paint. It’s not a job you want to do again soon. Wipe the surfaces clean with a damp rag and spray cleaner, let dry, edge in the windows and doors with a brush, then finish it off with a high-density roller to cover more wall in less time.

Your cost? The cost of the paint, maybe a brush or roller, a plastic drop cloth to catch drips, and your best old pair of work pants. Now you’re ready to have your home look a whole lot better for a whole lot less money because you did it yourself.

2. Install a stair runner. Those old stairs have seen a lot of wear-and-tear, but instead of re-staining, add an attractive stair carpet. You’ll need the carpet, of course, and a hammer and nails or a heavy-duty staple gun. Instead of hours of sanding off the old finish and applying a new one, just cover up the old stairs with an attractive stair runner that fits in with the other colors in the space.

3. Add a row of attractive hooks. High-polished chrome, matte chrome, brass, copper – a trip to the hardware store will reveal a range of styles and colors. Add a row of hooks by the door for coats and hats. Add a row in the kitchen for hand towels or your favorite cooking utensils. In the bathroom, hang everything from towels to the bath mat rug. Cost? A few bucks and an hour of your time. Get hooked to provide utility and an attractive, eye-catching display in the style of hardware that matches the room’s decor.

4. Hang some shutters, shades or curtains. First, you get some privacy in that room. Second, you create an attractive display that draws the eye. Third, you can cover older window frames that may not be attractive anymore. If you can sew, you’ll save even more by purchasing your material at a remnant store and designing your own drapes and valance to brighten up any room for almost nothing.

5. Give those outdated kitchen cabinets a fresh new look with a coat of paint. You’ll need to remove the cabinet doors and hardware, clean the doors and exteriors of the cabinets, lay down a layer of primer, let dry, then add a layer of paint.

Those cabinets from the ‘70s will look brand new, and the cost to you? The cost of primer and a few cans of paint. Your kitchen will look clean and new when you update those outdated stained cabinets with a coat of high-gloss paint that cleans easily with a swipe.

6. Free plantings. Look at your garden. Plants that grow from bulbs can be gently separated, creating multiple plants from that one big mother plant. You can split up large clumps of plants to create smaller plants that’ll grow bigger to create curb appeal.

7. Replace outdated faucets. You can freshen up your kitchen or bath with some new sink hardware – a new faucet and handles, and maybe even a water filter. Most of these faucets come with simple-to-install hardware so you can DIY. Just remember to turn off the water under the sink before swapping out old for new.

8. Add another layer of insulation. Whether you live in Nevada’s hottest hot spots, or high up in the snow-capped mountains, insulation can save you money on heating and cooling costs. Roughly estimate how many square feet you need to cover, go to the hardware store, buy the insulation with the right R-value for your region, lay it out above the ceiling and start saving money today.

9. Re-caulk the tub. All you need is a tube of bath caulk, a caulking gun, and about one-half-hour to lay down a fresh layer of caulk. Be sure to remove any loose pieces of the old caulk and keep a steady hand as you lay down each bead (line) of caulk.   

10. Re-stain the deck. A deck is a great selling feature if it’s fresh and new-looking. If your deck is an eyesore, buyers will look at it as another job they have to do. Visit your paint store. Pick the color stain you like. Pay extra for waterproofing stain to avoid re-doing the job every few years. This one little upgrade can turn an eyesore back into an attractive feature that raises the value of your home, and makes outdoor living that much more pleasant.

Look around your house. There are a lot of little things you can do to upgrade the look of your home – inside and out. Plant some shrubs or go for low-maintenance desert landscaping. Power wash the walkway up to the front door. Add light switch plates to give an old room a new, modern look.

Take some time to fix up the nest. If you’re planning on staying, you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you plan to sell, each upgrade can add value to the home – and that’s more money in your pocket.

(If you’re thinking of making more extensive home improvements, you may need financing. You can use the equity in your home to get the money you need for those repairs or upgrades. Check out a Home Equity Credit Line* from Nevada State Bank.)

* Loans subject to credit approval; terms and conditions apply.


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of ZB, N.A.


Powered by Facebook Comments

This icon will be included whenever we link to a website that is not owned or operated by Nevada State Bank or Zions Bancorporation. These third-party websites are not affiliated with Nevada State Bank or Zions Bancorporation and may have a different privacy policy and level of security. Nevada State Bank and Zions Bancorporation are not responsible for, and do not endorse or guarantee, the privacy policy, security, accuracy or performance of the third-party’s website or the information, products or services that are expressed or offered on that website.