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Easy Weekend Projects to Increase the Value of Your Home

Whether you paint your front door or add potted plants, these home improvement ideas can turn your house from not-too-hot to market-ready in short order.

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Remove Popcorn Ceilingphotovs/Getty Images

Remove Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings were once everywhere, but now these out-of-style ceilings date your home. Once you’ve had it tested for asbestos, you can remove or cover your popcorn ceiling in a weekend. Removing a popcorn ceiling is a messy job, so be sure to cover or remove any furniture with plastic drop cloths. You can cover walls and floors to minimize cleanup.
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Painting wallFamily Handyman

Grab a Paintbrush

Most home experts agree about the benefits of a good paint job. It’s super cheap and an easy way to upgrade your home while getting the most bang for your buck. “Nothing compares to a freshly painted house, both inside and out,” says Karen Baldwin, a Realtor for the Baldwin Scott Thomas Team at KW Luxury Homes International.

Baldwin recommends using a neutral color palette like whites and beiges whether painting inside or outside. Be sure to paint all areas, like the crown molding and trims, for an extra clean look.

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Ditch the Clutter

Less is truly more when showing your home. “You want buyers to see the bones of the home, which is hard to do when you have personal items scattered all over the place,” says Baldwin. “The main goal is to let the potential buyer see themselves in the home.”

Before putting your home on the market, consider removing pictures, paintings, and small trinkets like the jewelry box your child made you for Mother’s Day. You really want to give place a hotel and model home type feel.

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Evgeny-Pyatkov/Shutterstock

Change Your Hardware

Have you ever seen a house that looks super modern from the outside, but once inside felt like you were back in the ’70s? One possible reason is the dated hardware, like door handles, faucets and cabinet knobs.

Old hardware is definitely one of the main things that make your home look dated. Switching out hardware is simple, inexpensive and take less than 15 minutes. Baldwin recommends choosing hardware that’s neutral and mainstream, but also follows the overall design scheme or architecture of the house.

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Add a Pop of Color

While you want the majority of your home to be a neutral color scheme, adding a pop of color freshens the overall look. Home accessories such as pillows, lamps and candles are relatively inexpensive and easily brighten up a room.

It’s easy to get color happy, though, so plan on using the same one or two colors as accents throughout the entire house. While a rainbow house may sound like a good idea, it never turns out quite like you imagined.

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Power Wash the Outside

It’s easy to forget to clean the outside of your home since you spend the majority of time inside, but a good power wash can work wonders. Cobwebs, bird poop, dust and general weathering build up over time and can cause your place to appear dull and dirty.

Pressure nozzles are available at most hardware and home gardening stores and easily attach to the end of your hose. Pressure washers are strong and have been known to cause injuries, so make sure you hold the nozzle firmly with both hands.

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Steam Clean the Carpets

Deep-cleaning your house will increase the overall value of your home. Pay special attention to cleaning carpets. Baldwin says dirty carpets may cause the buyer to wonder what other deferred maintenance there is around the house, so regular cleaning is important. Spot clean any extra dirty stains before going over the entire carpet area with a steam cleaner.

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Landscape the Yard

Those scraggly bushes and patchy, weedy grass could be one of the reasons your home isn’t selling, or why it just looks sad. According to Baldwin, more than 90 percent of home buyers start their home search online, which means photographs and appearance are everything. An unkempt and dilapidated yard can be a major turn off to many potential buyers.

If you have grass, make sure you water and cut it regularly. Baldwin also recommends adding plants and flowers. “Let the seasons dictate what you can and can’t plant,” she advises. If you don’t have the time or resources for a full landscaping re-do, place some bright potted plants or other lush greenery by the front door.

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Do Minor Repairs

Changing a light bulb and fixing a broken faucet may seem like small acts that no one notices, but they can greatly increase the value of your home. Nothing is worse than showing a potential buyer your home and trying to turn on the light only to find that the bulb is burnt out.

Go around your house and note all the lights that don’t work, faucets that don’t run and door knobs that don’t turn. Then go back and fix them. In the end, it just comes down to maintenance. Nobody wants to buy a house that seems like it wasn’t cared for.

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Get a Professional Inspection

A home inspection is part of the home buying process that’s mandatory during the negotiations. “You’re going to have to do it anyway, so why not know what you’re dealing with up front,” says Baldwin. “Doing it before you put your house on the market will speed up the process.”

Paying a small fee for a professional inspection before putting your house on the market will allow you to fix any issues in advance. That, in turn, could lead to a higher selling price.

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Color the Cabinets

A simple stain, paint or white-wash can make all the difference on woodwork in your home, especially in common areas like the kitchen and bathroom. If you have wood paneling throughout the house around the windows and doors, consider staining or painting those, too. It will create a more cohesive feel and theme.

If you plan on staining, bleaching or white-washing wood, it’s a good idea to use the same color throughout the entire house.

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Family Handyman

Seal the Driveway

An asphalt driveway can last almost 30 years. But that won’t happen unless the driveway was installed properly and you perform regular maintenance, like filling cracks annually and sealing the asphalt when needed. It’s not a glamorous project, but it’s a must-do when you have extra time.

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Improve Drainage in Your Yard

Nurture the land in your yard and protect the environment by channeling rain water and runoff from gutters into a rain garden with deep-rooted, colorful native plants.

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loose fill attic insulation

Loose Fill Attic Insulation

Attic insulation is one of the best investments you can make in your home for several reasons. In addition to improving your home’s value, it will make an immediate impact on lowering your utility bills.

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Door, storm door, door repair, door replacementFamily Handyman

Steel Door Replacement for Entryway

A steel entry door will add to you home’s resale value. It makes a statement right when potential homebuyers go into your home.

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17oct94-2018_271404422_04-house-color-1200x1200 home exterior with wooden garage doorsppa/Shutterstock

Garage Door Replacement

Replacing a garage door is big for curb appeal. According to Remodeling Magazine, you’ll recoup 94.5 percent of the project’s cost when you go to sell your home.

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black front door stone work exteriorArtazum/Shutterstock

Fiberglass Entry Door Replacement

On the list of upscale remodeling projects, a fiberglass entry door replacement is a sleek option to give your home’s curb appeal a boost.

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water main automatic shutoffFamily Handyman

Smart Home Technology

More and more homeowners are installing smart devices for everyday tasks. Some can even detect leaks in your water heater.

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blue paintingYellowj/Shutterstock

Paint a Room

Choose a paint color and give a room a fresh look. If you have a long weekend, painting is a quick project to complete so you can get things back in order ASAP.

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Resurface the Garage Floor

Cleaning and resurfacing the floor usually takes one day. (On the other hand, clearing out your garage so you can work may take weeks).

As a first-timer, you might achieve a perfectly smooth, flat finish. Or you might end up with a few rough spots and small ridges. Even if your work is far from flawless, you’ll still make a bad floor look better. And remember this: If you make some major mistakes, you can add a second coat — this time with the benefit of experience.

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Small kitchen with a blue backsplashEric Hernandez/Getty Images

Tile a Backsplash

Tiling a backsplash above the counter is one of the easiest ways to upgrade an old, tired kitchen on a tight budget. You can choose from the vast array of handsome ceramic tiles available, including easy-to-install square ones or more difficult mosaic tiles.

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refinish-hardwood-floors

Refinish Hardwood Floors

Sanding hardwood floors might seem like a pros-only project. It’s a big job that creates big disruptions in your household. And then there’s that big, scary sanding machine. But it’s really not that difficult.

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Fix a Sinking Driveway

It’s normal for asphalt driveways to sink slightly over time. But when it’s four or five inches lower than your garage floor, it’s time to fix it. If you don’t, water will pool in the depression, seep into the soil below and eventually destroy the driveway.

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Install New House Numbers

Updated house numbers add polish and shine. Replace shabby or dated-looking numbers with ones made of brass, aluminum or stainless steel. They’ll look best if the finish matches the light fixture and door hardware.

Buy individual numbers or custom plaques. You can buy do-it-yourself address plaque kits from home centers, hardware stores and online retailers.

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Bathroom Mini Makeover

If you’ve long wanted the elegance of natural stone in your home, consider a new granite bathroom vanity top. It’s a great, affordable way to get it. Complete this bath makeover with a new faucet and mirror and you’ll still keep the price under $500.