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9 Ways to Improve Your House in One Weekend


[Updated: Feb 09, 2021] Feb 02, 2020 by Aly J. Yale
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Whether you're looking to sell your house, find a new tenant, or just increase your eventual return on investment (ROI), the right home improvements can help you get there.

And while full remodels and room additions could certainly help, it's not just large-scale projects that can make a difference.

Are you short on time or resources? Here are nine projects you can take on to improve your home…in just one weekend:

1. Replace your garage door

According to Remodeling's 2020 Cost vs. Value Report, replacing your garage door is one of the best projects you can take on as a homeowner or investor. The average person recoups nearly 95% of their cost, and it adds just under $3,500 in resale value to the property. You can opt for the more popular wood or barn-style doors or choose something more classic, like a steel or vinyl door.

2. Add a deck or patio

If you can bring in a few friends and come prepared with the right supplies and equipment, a weekend is plenty of time to add a small front stoop, back patio, or even wood deck to your property. All three can up your home's marketability, but Remodeling's report shows wood deck additions are your best bet for ROI. The average homeowner recoups 72.1% of the project's cost and adds nearly $15,000 in resale value to the property.

3. Repaint

A simple coat of paint can give your property an instant facelift, whether it's on the outside of the home (think siding, shutters, your front door, etc.) or the interior. If you're planning on listing the property, try to keep your colors to whites and neutrals -- at least inside. These offer a clean palette that makes it easier for buyers to see themselves in the home.

4. Steam clean the carpets

You don't have to replace or even update your flooring to make a big impact. Sometimes, a good deep cleaning will do the trick -- especially if you have pets or kids in the home. You'd be surprised at how much dirt can build up over the years -- or even just months.

5. Update your cabinets

Your cabinets are typically the most noticeable part of the kitchen, and if you've lived there a while (or had tenants), they're probably starting to look a little rundown. While replacing them is certainly an option, you can also go smaller and simply repaint them instead -- whites and grays are popular right now. Refacing is a good choice, too, as it's quick and low-cost but highly impactful.

6. Change out your front door

Upgrading your front door is another project on Remodeling's top-ROI list. Steel doors in particular offer the best return on your investment (69%) and add about $1,300 in resale value. If you want to add even more oomph, consider painting the door, adding a new kickplate, or just installing a few brass address numbers to up your curb appeal.

7. Create a mudroom

Mudrooms are hugely popular these days -- especially with parents. They make dealing with those countless backpacks, lunch boxes, jackets, umbrellas, and dirty shoes a breeze, and they cut down on clutter throughout the house. They're a super easy weekend project, too. Just add a small bench, a few shelves, and some hooks to your entryway, and you're done.

8. Power wash the exterior

If you're not feeling up to painting the whole house, consider power washing it instead. If you have a light-colored exterior and it's been a while, it could mean an entirely new look -- without ever having to lift a paintbrush.

9. Add some landscaping

Nothing adds curb appeal like some solid landscaping. Plant a few flowers, add a stone border to the garden, or just re-mulch and weed what's already there. Just make sure you keep the seasons in mind and plant according to weather. (Or you could avoid planting altogether and opt for xeriscaping or hardscaping for a super low-maintenance look.)

The bottom line

You don't need a whole lot of time or cash to make an impact on your home's value. Sometimes just a few hours and a little elbow grease can go a long way. Just make sure you do your research, choose your projects carefully, and focus on doing careful, quality work. (You can bet a shoddy job will come up on that inspection.)

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