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Easy Things You Can Do in a Weekend to Increase the Value of Your Home

Whether you paint your front door or add extra potted plants, these home improvement ideas can turn your house from not to hot and market-ready in less than 48 hours.

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Grab a Paintbrush

Most home experts agree that a good paint job is life changing. It's super cheap and an easy way to majorly 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, Realtor® of the Baldwin Scott Thomas Team at KW Luxury Homes International. Baldwin recommends using a neutral color palette, like whites and beiges, when painting the inside and outside of your home. Try these 6 foolproof tips to create a stunning color scheme that will help increase the value of your home. Be sure to paint all areas, like the crown molding and trims, for an extra clean look. Before you start painting, don't forget to properly tape and cover furniture. Use these secrets of pro painters to get started and pick up these pro-recommended painting tools. Not enough time for a whole-house refresh? Try painting the front door with a color shown to make your house sell for an extra $5,000.

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Ditch the Clutter

Less is truly more when it comes to decorating 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." Consider removing pictures, paintings, and small trinkets, like the jewelry box your child made you for Mother's Day, before putting your home on the market. You really want to give place a hotel and model home type feel. Here's expert advice on how to kiss clutter goodbye and how to start de-cluttering room by room.

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Change Your Hardware

Have you ever seen a house that looks super modern from the outside, but stepped inside and felt like you were taken back to the '70s? One possible reason is the dated hardware, like door handles, faucets, and cabinet knobs. Dated hardware is definitely one of the 12 tell-tale signs that you need to update some things, find out the other things making your home look dated. Switching out hardware is simple, inexpensive, and take less than 15 minutes. Your local hardware store probably sells a ton of options, or try the bigger chains like Home Depot and ACE Hardware. Baldwin recommends choosing hardware that's neutral and mainstream, but also follows the overall design scheme or architecture of the house. These are the design ideas that make your kitchen look expensive.

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Add a Pop of Color

While you want the majority of your home to be of a neutral color scheme, adding a pop of color freshens up 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.  (Discover the color trends you need to know.) While a rainbow house may sound like a good idea, it never really turns out quite like you imagined. If you're looking to sell your home quickly, follow these 12 decorating tips that will help make your home universally appealing to get it sold more quickly.

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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 just 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 a few injuries, so make sure you are holding the nozzle with both hands. Just make sure you never power wash these 11 things. Some experts even recommend wearing goggles to stop debris and dirt from getting in your eyes. After a good washing, you're house will look brand spanking new. Here are other vital tasks homeowners shouldn't skip and the best power washers you can buy.

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Steam Clean the Carpets

Deep-cleaning your house will increase the overall value of your home, but you'll want to pay special attention to 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. (These cleaning tips will give you a long-lasting carpet.) If you don't want to buy chemical stain remover, these 17 homemade carpet cleaners can be made right in your kitchen. Don't miss these proven ways to save a stained carpet.

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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. (Make sure you don't do these things if you're selling a home.) According to Baldwin, over 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 take proper care and water and trim it regularly. Baldwin also recommends adding plants and flowers. "Let the seasons dictate what you can and can't plant," she advises. Here are more mistakes that make your yard look messy. 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. (These are the best and worst projects for increasing a home's value.) Nothing is worse than showing a potential buyer your home and trying to turn on the light only to find that the light bulb is burnt out. Go around your house and make note of all the light bulbs 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 really just comes down to maintenance. Nobody wants to buy a house that seems like it wasn't cared for. Here are more inexpensive home improvements tricks that can help erase the wear and tear on your home.

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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, which could in turn lead to a higher selling price. Don't miss the secrets home inspectors won't tell you.

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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, like around the windows and doors, consider staining or painting those too, as 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. Here are the tips you've been looking for on how to easily paint kitchen cabinets. Check out the home renovation secrets a handyman won't tell you, but that you'll definitely want to know.

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Seal the Driveway

An asphalt driveway can last almost 30 years. But you can't achieve that long life span unless the driveway was installed properly and you perform regular maintenance, like filling cracks annually and driveway sealing when needed. It's not a glamorous project, but it's a must-do when you have some 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 planted with deep-rooted, colorful native plants. We'll show you how to do it step by step.

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Loose Fill Attic Insulation

Adding attic insulation remains at the top of the list on a national average with a 107 percent cost recoup, according to Remodeling Magazine. It's the only project that recoups the cost and adds to the resale value. The cost of installing loose fill fiberglass insulation has risen by 5.9 in the past year.

Insulating an attic will also save money on energy costs.

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Steel Door Replacement for Entryway

A steel entry door ranks second on the list with an average recoup of 90.7 percent of the cost in resale value. The average cost of the job ran $1,413 nationally and the resale came in at $1,282.

See how to install a door in a day.

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Garage Door Replacement

Replacing a garage door is big for curb appeal and it's also big on it ability to recoup the cost of the project. A garage door replacement is one of the cheaper projects with an average cost of $1,749 but it also returns an average of $1,345 in resale value.

Find out how to replace a garage door.

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Fiberglass Entry Door Replacement

On the list of upscale remodeling projects, a fiberglass entry door replacement recouped 85 percent of the cost.

Learn how to replace an exterior door.

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Smart Home Technology

Smart devices are infiltrating homes at increasing rates. Statista, a market research firm found that 33 percent of homes have one connected device and that number could rise to 60 percent by 2021. These smart devices can even detect leaks in your water heater.

Check out smart devices for the home.

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Paint a Room

Choose a paint color and give a room a fresh look. If you have a few days off strung together, 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. But even if your work is far from flawless, you'll still make a bad floor look much better. And remember this: If you make some major mistakes, you can add a second coat—this time with the benefit of experience.

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

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. Our veteran floor finisher will show you how to successfully prep your floors for a new finish. 

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Fix a Sinking Driveway

It's normal for asphalt driveways to sink a bit over time. But when your driveway repair has sunk to the point where it's 4 or 5 in. 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 that of 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.

Plus: 7 Roof Problems and What to Do About Them

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Bathroom Mini Makeover—$430

If you've long wanted the elegance of natural stone in your home, consider a new granite bathroom vanity top, which is a great, affordable way to get it. You can now find granite tops at Lowe's, Home Depot and other home centers. Prices range from $150 to $450 depending on the size. Complete this bath makeover with a new faucet and mirror, and you'll still keep the price under $500.

Originally Published on The Family Handyman