The Top Ten Cosmetic Fixes to Make to Your Home
The question I hear most often from homeowners is “What can I do to improve my home – without a lot of expense?” The short answer? Quite a lot! There are countless, easy, low cost cosmetic fixes to make to your home. Below, I have listed the items that can truly make a difference in your home – without busting the budget.
I always stress to clients that updating your home should be an ongoing effort. Though you may have no thoughts of moving, let’s face it, everyone is going to move at some point, even if it is in a ”pine box.” Keeping your home up-to-date and looking its best is so important in the event you do need to sell unexpectedly and/or quickly.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are my top ten cosmetic fixes to make to your home.
The Top Ten Cosmetic Fixes to Make to Your Home
- Paint: Inside, paint can make the most difference in how you feel about the house. If you feel your home is dark, you can increase the light with a bright, neutral paint color. If your home is too stark, using warm colors will make a difference. Painting the exterior of your home – whether it’s brick, siding or shingles, can totally change its look. Even painting your front door a new color can completely transform the front of your home. Painting wood windows and trim protects against water intrusion and wood rot so it is a practical as well as a cosmetic fix.
- Lighting fixtures & electrical switch plates: Most homes have “builder grade” lighting fixtures or just not enough of them to properly light the space. Adding recessed lighting or overhead fixtures to a room that don’t have enough light will immediately brighten it. Changing out old lighting fixtures or adding them to spaces without them will add instant drama to a room for a minimal cost. Don’t want to spend money on a new fixture? A thorough cleaning of light fixtures (removing bugs and dust) can make a difference too. Outside lighting is often ignored; exterior fixtures can always stand a good cleaning or replacement. Changing out switchplates and making them consistent throughout the home is an easy fix that is too often overlooked.
- Doors: If you want to freshen up the look of your home, consider replacing interior doors that look dated. The plain hollow doors can look fine in a contemporary home but four- or six-paneled doors tend to improve the appearance of most homes. Don’t forget to swap out the doorknobs too. If you live in a higher-end home, most buyers will expect to find solid-core doors (instead of hollow) and consistent hardware throughout.
- Bathrooms: Bathrooms can be quickly refreshed with new faucets, mirrors, and lighting — without breaking the bank. A quick run to Home Depot or Lowes for new vanity lighting or faucets and a couple of hours later, the bathroom will feel more modern. Installing new tile is an excellent investment as well, but requires a bit more cash and time. Caulking tubs and showers will prevent leaking and make the bathroom look cleaner and better maintained.
- Your Front Entrance: Think beyond the front door to the walkways, stoop, and house number. First, guests will look for your house number. Be sure it is visible from the street and lit at night. How is the walkway? Are your walkways and sidewalks cracked and full of weeds? There are many DIY sidewalks available in brick and stone. Does your stoop need painting? What about the handrails? Add a nice fresh doormat (door mats need to be replaced yearly). Remember that anyone at your doorstep waiting for you to answer is observing the door knocker, mailslot, and doorknob. Is anything faded or in need of polishing (brass fixtures) or replacement? Here are some more ideas on boosting your home’s curb appeal.
- Replacing Old Carpet: Replacing old, worn or dirty carpets with hardwood floors or ceramic tile can do wonders to modernize your home. Of course, you can replace with carpet as well, but unless the carpet is in the basement or on a stair runner, most buyers will find the presence of carpet dated.
- Landscaping: Simply mulching, weeding and trimming will go a long way to spruce up your home! Consider cutting back or removing large shrubbery, especially in the front of your house. Doing so will make your home look more fresh and open.
- Kitchens: There are some simple things to do if you are unhappy with the kitchen. New hardware on the cabinets will provide an instant facelift Do the cabinets need painting or touching up (keep in mind, some cabinets should not be painted)? Does the floor need replacing? Wood or tile kitchen floors are the norm these days. Be sure they will wear well with a lot of activity, especially if you like to cook and entertain. Quartz countertops with undermount sinks are today’s gold standard (granite is slowly but surely going by the wayside). As for appliances, the number one rule is to be sure they are all the same color. So when replacing a dishwasher or fridge, keep it the same unless you plan to replace the others in the near future. There are some new alternatives to stainless steel although stainless is still winning out.
- Windows: You would be surprised at how much of a difference hiring a window washer will do for your home! Professionally cleaned windows will allow more sunlight into the home and just make the home feel brighter and cleaner.
- A Good Deep Clean: Just like detailing your car, a good and thorough deep house cleaning will do wonders. However, before you hire the cleaning service, go through and purge old “stuff” from your home and closets. Take a look through online listing photos or design magazines to see your inspiration for how much “stuff” should be displayed and what should remain in cabinets or drawers. Decluttering your home followed by a deep cleaning is the cheapest and easiest way to make your home feel fresh!
So there you have it – my top ten cosmetic fixes to make to your home, whether you’re moving soon or staying put.
Need help deciding on your home improvements? Please reach out! We are always happy to help you with anything related to your home, whether you’re staying put or planning a move. Drop us a line below.
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