Adding Value: Cost-Effective DIY Projects for Homeowners

Increasing your home’s value doesn’t have to be an overly expensive or ambitious proposition, not when you can add significant value with home improvement projects that you can undertake for no more than $100. If you’re not sure where to begin, consult a realtor who can show you where to concentrate your efforts to get the most value for your efforts.

It’s important that you don’t overlook the need for more serious, structural problems before focusing on cosmetic upgrades. A leaky pipe or damaged roof can quickly undo all the value you could add by yourself, so have it inspected if you have concerns. Repairing a few shingles is one thing; if there’s a more serious problem, you may need to call in a roofing company. If an inspection shows that all’s well, there are many, simpler improvements that can add curb appeal and help entice prospective buyers. You’ll be amazed at how much good a little paint, an orderly home and some well-placed furniture can do.

A Fresh Look

One of the best ways to refresh your home’s appearance is to apply a fresh coat of paint, inside and out. Go with a neutral-colored paint in your hallway, foyer, and in key rooms like the kitchen and bedrooms. You’ll make an instantly favorable impression on buyers, who are looking for a house with a clean and fresh look.

You can easily achieve the same effect by sprucing up the trim on your exterior, and by repainting your front door. Curb appeal is essential when you’re trying to attract the attention of potential buyers, so a face-lift can only help encourage passersby to inquire further.


Just as bright paint and a clean-looking home may attract buyers, a run-down and poorly cared-for lawn will surely discourage many people from taking a more in-depth look, assuming that the inside is as neglected as the outside. Consider hiring a landscaping or lawn maintenance company to maintain your yard while your home is on the market. Add some shrubs and brightly colored plants in the front yard and make sure there are no loose branches or tree limbs. Don’t neglect the small things such as edging and keeping your driveway and sidewalk clear of grass clippings.


Cracks in the driveway or walkways can make your property look worn and unattractive. Filling cracks in the concrete is a fairly simple fix and it can pay real dividends when discriminating buyers start walking around your property. Remember, initial impressions have a major impact on prospective buyers. A cracked driveway may have nothing to do with your home’s overall appearance, but it may be enough to convince someone with a real interest in your house that they can expect to find similar problems elsewhere.


It’s discouraging to see a potential buyer take a few steps inside your front door and wrinkle their nose at some stale or pungent lingering odor. You may be nose blind to it, but a visitor can’t help but react to a distinctly unpleasant smell like cat urine, the unmistakable scent of a dog, or cigarette smoke. Their first thought will be, “Will we have to live with this stink if we move in?” Consider having a professional cleaner come in and give your carpeting, drapes and furniture a good going over.

Keep fresh flowers throughout the house and consider laying out bowls of vinegar or coffee beans, which can absorb even the most persistent smells. Vinegar also works well as a spray combined with water.

Realtors are increasingly recommending simple, cosmetic home repairs over major, costly renovations. It’s an effective approach because it doesn’t cost a lot of money and it helps make the all-important positive first impression. Make sure that more extensive work isn’t necessary before setting an asking price or proceeding with cosmetic fixes that will only mask more deep-seated problems.

Courtesy of