With the better part of 2020 working from home, many homeowners have compiled a long list of things to do around the house. Before wiping away a weekend cleaning the garage, prioritize that list based upon the return on time investment. Oh sure, washing the dog and draining the kiddie pool need to be done, but these won’t add to the home’s value like the things in this list will.
There’s no need to spend a pile of cash either. You can improve your home’s value with a bit of spit, polish, and good old-fashioned elbow grease.
Many garage doors account for 30 – 40% of a home’s front-facing space. The first impression a new homebuyer will have, giving the garage door a makeover is sure to pay off. Remove the cobwebs, pull out the dents, and oil the hinges. Layer on a fresh coat of paint or use a magic eraser (available at hardware and home improvement stores) to remove scuffs and scrapes quickly.
If needed, use a pressure washer to clean the entire outside of the house. These high-powered sprayers can remove old, peeling paint; grime from walkways; and even oil spots from the drive.
Add a sparkle
Clean windows sparkle in the sunlight and improve the view inside and out. Most commercial cleansers do a fine job but a small amount of detergent added to a bucket of water works just as well. Wipe the window down with a saturated cloth and dry with yesterday’s newspaper for a streak-free finish. (If the window has streaks, decrease the amount of soap in the water.)
Leaf it alone
As gutters gather leaves and water, they become breeding grounds for mildew and mold, which can emit a musty odor. A build-up of shed leaves means the channels can no longer perform as designed to shuttle water away from the home’s foundation and outdoor, wooden fixtures. As if wet issues weren’t enough, dry leaves become a fire risk. Grab a ladder and use the spray washer to clean these as well.
Lawns and gardens can add thousands of dollars to your home’s value. Putting in turf requires a bit of planning and a lot of labor. It’s well worth the effort, though. A front lawn, even a small one, increases curb appeal and attracts buyers if the house is for sale. An underground watering system makes keeping the lawn green easier and adds immediate value to the home.
Paint the front door in a bright, modern color. Doors are much more inviting when looking fresh and clean. While the ladder and paint are out, take a swipe around the window trim as well. It’s incredible how even a house showing its age can take on a new, vibrant look with freshly trimmed windows and a brightly painted door. Add a fun, friendly welcome mat to begin the conversation.
Fill the pot
If gardening is too much of a challenge, take a trip to the home and garden store. Purchase large pots and a variety of plants. Speak with a staff member for advice on what types of plants to mix for a more exciting presentation and what plants will do best in the local climate.
Pots of bright, full foliage add drama to the curb-side view and are mobile so that they can make the trip to the new home. Dwarf trees are also ideal for potted living and can add height as a backdrop to a garden or stand sentry at the driveway entrance.
Light it up
While purchasing the plants and pots, don’t forget a set of solar lights. Nothing could be simpler to install. Just pound in the stake and top it with the light. Recharged each day by the sun, they add much-needed light to long, dark drives and walkways, or can be used to light up bushes and hedges. Also available in fun shapes and colors, they add a little sass to an expansive lawn.
Bring it all together
Whether or not your home is for sale, there are lots of things you can do to increase its value. From a spray wash to a brightly colored door, weekend projects highlight the pride of ownership. Adding greenery in the form of potted plants, lawns, and trees breathes life into the property and increases curb appeal. Though it is always best to engage a professional for full landscaping projects, these ideas will make a home look inviting without breaking the bank.