Secrets from a Realtor: DIYs to Boost Your Home's Value Secrets from a Realtor: DIYs to Boost Your Home's Value

I love home improvement shows. I love it when the experts build decks in beautiful back yards, I love it when average Joes build tiny houses in the woods, and I most definitely love it when decrepit houses are flipped. Though producers always make these flips seem easy, it is an extremely difficult task; in addition to completing a full home renovation, house flippers must also resell the house to make a profit—here is where this article comes in handy. Are you flipping a house? Maybe just trying to sell yours? This piece will offer a series of DIY projects which, according to realtors, will greatly boost a home’s value and make it easier to sell.

Reface Kitchen Cabinets

A set of white cabinets.

What most real estate professionals teach is that curb appeal can draw a customer in, but a kitchen is what sells a house. This can admittedly get expensive, so it is best to choose what is in most need of repair, and focus time and money on that first. New cabinets can cost thousands of dollars and when flipping or selling a home, a more budget-friendly option is needed. Why not reface the cabinets instead? Here's how to do it.

What you’ll need:

  • Screw driver
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Brushes or rags
  • Wood putty (optional)
  • Polyurethane

Step 1

Remove all doors, drawers, and hardware from the cabinets and sand down all surfaces, creating a uniform color as well as an ideal texture to hold the stain or paint and polyurethane.

Step 2

Using brushes (or old rags if on hand), apply a thin layer of stain or paint to the exterior surfaces of the cabinets and doors. Add further coats if needed and allow to dry.

Step 3

Once happy with the results on the exterior surfaces, stain the interior of the cabinets the color of the exterior. If there are holes and nicks from your creative process, simply fill them with putty, sand them down, and once dry, stain.

Step 4

Before completion of this project, it is always wise to coat all newly stained doors and cupboards with polyurethane. This is a clear, water-based varnish that creates a barrier of protection from everyday use.

Step 5

Reattach the doors and hardware to the cabinets.

Replace Windows

A modern kitchen with a window looking out onto a mountain range.

When a member of my family recently bought a house, everyone who walked into the home first commented on how bright it felt—this was surely not an accident. When interviewed for this article, two real estate professionals separately claimed that replacing windows is a great DIY everyone can do that significantly adds appeal and value to a home. Here is a simple tutorial on how to do it.

What you’ll need:

  • Safety goggles
  • Gloves
  • Crowbar
  • Level
  • Hammer
  • New replacement windows
  • Screws
  • Screw drivers
  • Wood shims
  • Window wrap and insulation

Step 1

Remove all interior wood surrounding your window and using a crow bar, remove the entire window casing.

Step 2

Using a level, ensure all wood and structures surrounding the window are level and square. If not, the new piece will never sit perfectly, which may affect the security and effectiveness of the window itself. If everything is fine, begin the installation of a new window from the outside of the home.

Step 3

Stand on the exterior side of a window opening and remove all decorative materials that may hinder the installation process. This includes all framing and even house siding.

Step 4

Beginning from the bottom, push the new window up into the window frame, securing it in place with screws. Should the windows not automatically be plumb and square, shims of wood can be added to fill gaps and spaces.

Step 5

Keeping moisture and the elements out can be an issue with newly installed windows. Therefore, one should invest in standard window wrap and insulation to act as a barrier from the outside. Both should be installed during this time around the exterior of the window, covering the gaps between the home's walls and the window itself.

Step 6

Replace trim and decorative window casing as needed.

Plant a Flower Garden

A close-up image of purple and pink flowers.

Finally, nothing tells a potential buyer that a home was previously loved and cared for than walking into a backyard and seeing a beautifully planted flower garden. Here is how to complete this final idea as simply as possible.

What you’ll need:

  • Shovel
  • Trowel
  • Cardboard (optional)
  • Hardy flowers like zinnias and daylilies

Step 1

In order to plant a bed of flowers, the grass currently held in the spot must first be removed. This can be done a number of ways including physically digging into the ground with a shovel. In my opinion, however, the easiest method to clear grass (if one has the time) is to simply lay a few pieces of cardboard over the area in mid-autumn, and allow it to kill the grass beneath all winter long.

Step 2

Fill the bare ground with flowers which are low maintenance, and many varieties that are not easy to kill. Some of the hardiest flowers are daylilies, yarrow, and zinnias.

Step 3

Arrange the flowers to your liking!

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