If you have the spring redecorating and maintenance bug, before you launch into your to-do list, think about where best to spend your time and money.
For very little outlay of cash, these five ideas could help you maximise your effort and your home’s value.
Tip 1: Spend an hour with a pro
Invite a real estate agent or interior designer over to check out your home. Many real estate agents will do this as a courtesy, but you will probably have to pay a consultation fee to a designer.
Check with several designers in your area and in an hour they can give you lots of ideas for needed improvements.
Even small suggested improvements, such as paint colours or furniture placement, can go a long way toward improving the look and feel of your home.
Tip 2: Inspect it
Not every home improvement is cosmetic. Deteriorating roofs, water damage or outdated electrical systems – you can’t fix it if you don’t know it’s broken. Hire an inspector to check out the areas of your home that you don’t normally see.
They may discover hidden problems that could negatively impact your home’s value. Small problems (such as a hidden water leak) can become big, expensive problems quickly; the longer you put off repairs, the more expensive those repairs will be.
Tip 3: Paint, paint, paint
One of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint.
Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated – and that spells value. When selecting paint colours, keep in mind that neutrals appeal to the greatest number of people, therefore making your home more desirable. You can buy four litres of interior paint for around $100. Don’t forget the rollers, painter’s tape, drop cloths and brushes.
Tip 4: Find inspiration
An alternative to hiring a designer is to search for remodelling and decorating inspiration in design-oriented magazines, books, TV shows and websites. Simply tear out or print off the ideas you want to try and start your to-do list.
Keep it simple – when you’re on a tight budget, manageable do-it-yourself projects are best.
Tip 5: Cut energy costs
The amount of money you spend each month on energy costs may seem like a fixed amount, but many utility companies provide information for their customers on how to save energy in their homes. They can show you how to maximise the energy efficiency of your home.
An energy-efficient home will save you money now, which can be applied to other updates, and is a more valuable and marketable asset in the long run.
This article first appeared on stuff.co.nz