Real talk: You don't have to embark on a full gut renovation to boost the value of your home, or even its "wow" factor. Instead, tackling a series of smaller, more manageable projects can have just as much of an impact without breaking your budget or completely disrupting your life. Here are some projects that you can tackle when you have some time off this summer.
Get your yard in shape
The power of curb appeal is real. And you don't have to be a landscape architect or master gardener to make your yard look amazing. Start with cleanup, like mowing the lawn, pulling out dead shrubs and getting rid of any decorative items that have seen better days (sorry, garden gnome). Next, visit a nursery and find out the types of trees, flowers and plants that work best in your area and in your yard specifically, based on factors like how much sunlight your property gets and how much time you have to devote to upkeep. Finally, stay on top of weeding and upkeep so that all your hard work doesn't go to waste.
Create an inviting entryway
Along with a well-groomed yard, a great front door can instantly charm visitors. So if your door is painted a blah color or stained an "eh" shade, strip it and update it with a more appealing hue that complements your home. While you're at it, replace house numbers and the doorknob with something clean and modern (like these numbers from Design Within Reach and knobs from Home Depot). Inside, add a new rug (find one at one of our 15 favorite rug stores) and an organization station of sorts, with a console table topped with a tray for mail another for essentials like keys and sunglasses. Finish off the space by adding a few plants, decorative objects or art books to the table and hanging a mirror or art above it.
Refresh the bathrooms
A full bathroom renovation can cost thousands of dollars, but you can give it a little facelift for much less. In the shower, regrout the tile and replace the shower head. And, if the tub is looking pretty worn, reglaze it. You can also replace the flooring, since the size of most bathrooms make the cost and effort required to do this more realistic. Finally, repaint the walls, replace the toilet seat and add new mirrors and light fixtures.
Update the kitchen
Like bathrooms, kitchen overhauls can require an extensive amount of time and money, so focus on smaller, more manageable projects that still make a big impact. Start with the cabinetry. Painting it a light color like white (a home buyer-favorite) will instantly make your space feel bright and airy. Replacing the hardware will also make the cabinets looks newer and more modern. The backsplash is another design feature that resonates with buyers. When choosing tile, stick with neutral tones and an unfussy design — avoid anything too vivid or wild and that only appeals to a niche audience. Need inspiration? Here are seven timeless backsplash ideas.
Clean and declutter
It seems obvious, but one of the most important things you can do to boost the value of your home is to clean it up. If you're thinking of selling your home, remember that potential buyers want to see a blank canvas and picture themselves in it — they don't want to step into some stranger's hoarding nightmare. Do a hardcore decluttering session and divide everything you truly don't need or use into "donate," "toss" and "sell" piles. With your "sell" items, throw a yard sale or post items on eBay to make some extra cash to fund your home improvement projects.