It is widely known that spring and summer is the busiest time to purchase and sell a home. In Portland’s competitive market, it’s important to stay on top of your home’s value and make any and all updates to maximize the amount of money you can make back with selling your home.
Any homeowner can walk around their home and name at least five things they’d like to change. But what is important to you as the homeowner might not be as important to a potential buyer, and vice versa. Some updates are simply cosmetic and won’t necessarily give you the return on your investment in the long run.
So how does a homeowner make updates without spending an arm and a leg? The kitchen and bathroom are the two most important rooms in a house for resale, but with renovations costing anywhere between $10k-$50k or more for either room, the budget might not be realistic for some homeowners. So we’re looking to you, DIY-er’s. For those of you not afraid to do some of the work yourself, here are a few simple updates that any homeowner can accomplish without the help of a professional.
We are a painting company, afterall, so we have to mention the obvious here. Most people have at one time held a paint brush or roller and have painted a few walls here and there. For interiors, it’s a simple project to tackle yourself. A fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceilings of a home can go a long way. Keep in mind to choose a color palette that is accessible to anyone; beiges, grays, whites, any type of neutral tone that is easy to style with. You personally might love the emerald green bedroom wall color, but someone purchasing your home might not, so it’s smart to choose a palette that anyone can step into and work with. Another suggestion, to both save time and money, is to paint all walls the same color throughout the home. This way each room gets a facelift, but you don’t spend as much time washing and cleaning brushes and rollers to change out for a new color in each room.
Before you crack open the paint bucket and start slapping paint on the walls, make sure you have the right materials and products to tackle this project. Painters tape, drop cloths, the right type of rollers and brushes, and most importantly the right type of paint product can help turn a messy diy job into a professional looking one. Not sure where to start with paint materials or products? We have you covered! Check out our previous blog posts discussing just those two things by clicking here.
A sure way to enhance the general feel of a home is through lighting. The best part of changing the lighting throughout a home is that you can truly customize exactly how much work and money you want to spend. You don’t need to be an electrician to install new light bulbs or even a new light fixture.
There are three key rules to lighting throughout a space and home: ambient, task lighting, and accent lighting. Ambient is overhead lighting, task is task-specific such as a light over a window, kitchen island, sconces down a hallway, and then there is accent lighting such as a table lamp. Depending on the lighting chosen, this can help give the appearance of a larger room or create feelings of warmth and coziness.
For those on a tight budget, the simplest way to change up the lighting is to replace the lightbulbs. Most homes do not have enough lighting, and depending on the vibe you’re trying to create in your home, look at both the watt number and color of the light bulb. If a home has decent natural lighting, 40 watts per light fixture should be plenty. Homes with less natural light can increase the amount of light watts; generally 60-75 watts per light fixture. As for the bulb color, it’s best to use soft/warm white light bulbs for bedrooms and living rooms (the coziest places of the home), and bright/cool white light bulbs for kitchens and bathrooms.
For those who are willing to spend a bit more, you can also replace the light fixtures throughout the home. Big box DIY-stores such as Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, and even Costco offer a wide range of lighting for the home. If you really want to add customization, looking at stores such as Schoolhouse Electric and Rejuvenation have gorgeous light fixtures for a premium price. The price range for new light fixtures can range dramatically depending on the style and store chosen, but installation is usually quite simple and can be accomplished in just a few hours without the help of a professional.
Installing New Hardware
Similar to changing out light fixtures throughout a home, a great way to enhance value is by changing out the hardware throughout the home. This includes changing faucets on your kitchen and bathroom sinks and changing out cabinet hardware. Hardware can quickly appear old and out-dated which can play a role in how a potential homebuyer views a home.
When choosing new hardware and faucets for the purpose of reselling a home, it’s best to stay consistent in a room and update the look instead of finding a specialty/stylized item. Stainless steel is a safe bet for both kitchens and bathrooms alike and is typically non-offensive for the general public’s style choice. Choosing clean, simple lines for cabinet pulls and handles is a sure way to enhance the look of your cabinets without making them too custom to your own personal style preference. You can find reasonably priced hardware and faucets at Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco, and Amazon. Installation takes just a few hours and can be accomplished in just one day.
Click Here to see an example of updated hardware at a reasonable price.
Painting cabinets has become a popular DIY project for homeowners because, let’s face it, the cost to replace cabinets in a kitchen and/or bathroom can be a tough pill to swallow. Typically if you’re replacing your cabinets you’re replacing the countertops, and sometimes the backsplash in the room. A project of this size can start reaching into $10k + and isn’t necessarily a smart return on a homeowner’s investment if the ultimate goal is to sell the home.
So that’s when painting comes into play! This project does require some time and craftsmanship, but if you weekend warriors are willing to put in the work, this can be a great way to upgrade the look of your kitchen or bathroom.
Cabinets require a highly-durable paint product that is both easy to clean and can withstand general wear and tear over time (such as dings, dents, scratches, etc.). Our recommended products are Sherwin-Williams Emerald Urethane, and Miller PPG Breakthru or Evolution paint. These three products are simple enough to use regardless of your experience with paint, spread evenly over a surface, and one gallon of paint can cover a significant amount of space.
Choosing the appropriate sheen and color is also ideal for resale value. You may have seen a gorgeous kitchen on Pinterest with cobalt blue cabinets, but that’s not necessarily everyone’s style. Sticking with classic white or even light gray cabinetry is easy and accessible to anyone viewing your home. Make sure to choose a high sheen such as semi-gloss or high-gloss is ideal for kitchens and bathrooms as they are highly trafficked areas. Check out our blog post about sheen levels to learn more!
Most homeowners have a seemingly endless laundry list of home projects. Items we feel can enhance our homes value, and items that are simply cosmetic and personal to our own preferences. If you’re looking to sell your home and hoping to make changes and updates but not sure where to start- ask your realtor. They can help you navigate the market you live in and decide what updates really would be beneficial and what changes are simply superficial.
The projects we’ve discussed are simple enough that most homeowners can accomplish them without hiring a professional. All it takes is a little bit of time and money, but the return on your investment can make a huge difference when trying to sell your home. Have questions about a home project? Ask us! We love helping homeowners navigate their DIY-projects and are always happy to be used as a resource.
Have a paint or color question you would like answered? Please send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to try and answer it in an upcoming blog post.