After watching the latest home improvement show, you might think you can easily improve the resale value of your home. After all, a little creativity and sweat got those televised homeowners a great deal. But before you start swinging a sledgehammer at your walls, it’s time to take a realistic look at remodeling as a way to boost your home’s value.



Getting Started: Creating The Budget

The most important step is creating a budget dedicated solely to renovations and repairs. This also involves determining what you can currently get for your home and how much you’d like to boost the resale value. You must also keep in mind expenses you’ll incur after selling, such as moving costs.


Make sure your budget has a line item and estimated cost for each project. Be sure to include labor, all necessary materials, tools you’ll need to purchase or rent, and disposal of items. If you are doing the labor yourself, you’ll need to budget for time in addition to cost.


Once you have an overall figure, start assigning a budget to each area of the home that requires renovation. Be smart with your overhaul. According to appraiser John Bredemeyer, a spokesman for the Appraisal Institute, you shouldn’t renovate just to change the style. “That’s not an investment that will pay you back at resale,” he notes. However, remodeling a kitchen from the 60s or 70s is a good idea. He gives more advice on budgeting here.


Talk to a local real estate agent to determine what increases home value in your area. Adding a deck, replacing vinyl siding, and minor kitchen remodeling are popular cost-effective upgrades that have recouped the largest resale increases, according to Remodeling Magazine. While a kitchen update is always a good idea, a gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances will cost more than your return. Read more home improvement projects to avoid here.


Deciding On DIY Projects


Once your budget is set, figure out what you can do yourself. Maximize low budget updates when you can. Deep cleaning and painting are fairly easy projects for most homeowners. In fact, doing those updates and replacing a few fixtures is a great way to facelift your bathroom affordably. Here are 30 tips for home improvements, starting at a few hundred dollars.


Additionally, rather than knocking down walls and throwing out appliances, you can “reinvent” a room or make spare space functional. For example, you can turn an oversized closet into a playroom or a tiny nursery into a large closet.

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Preparing For DIY Projects


It’s important to plan ahead for DIY projects that you’ve never done before. Watch YouTube videos or visit DIY Network Remodeling to get an idea of the difficulty of the process. Better yet, if you know someone who has tackled it before, you can get great advice on what to do – and what to avoid. They can give you a realistic timeline and even tools, materials and the best hacks to make the project easier.


You should always do a test run for more important projects. HomeAdvisor offers this great tip for getting yourself ready for major DIY projects: “For instance, when installing tile, buy an old table at a thrift store, lay down some guides rods (wooden dowels do the trick) and practice laying it before installing it. Or when painting rooms, start with the smallest area first to see how the paint color looks and to gain some hands-on training before moving on to the kitchen or living room.”


Do-it-yourself remodeling is an excellent way to boost the value of your home for resale, but mistakes can be costly. They may even require you to hire a professional for repairs. Make sure to plan well for any project that you take on, including budget and pre-planning.