Home repairs and remodeling projects can be very expensive. In today's declining market people are concerned about getting a return on their investment. Some realtors advise homeowners to sell their home as-is and list it at a competitive price for a quick sale. Others are saying it is still better to do some cosmetic repairs and clean up to leave less room for negotiating your asking price down. Many people will buy a fixer-upper to decorate according to their personal taste, but there still people who would much prefer a great deal on a turn-key home.
Even in today's economy, there are still several good reasons to remodel your home. If the children have moved out and you're retiring soon, you will be home more. Retirement is a big change for some. While you're adjusting to a life with a lot of time on your hands, remodeling the home to brighten up your living space can be a very rewarding project. On the other hand, if downsizing is the plan, you will want to do some home improvement projects that will be the most profitable for selling your home.
Whatever the motivation for improvements are, you need to decide how much you can afford to have done and how much of the work you are able to do yourself. Make a list of things that absolutely have to be done to make your home functional, including plumbing, electrical and heating. Add to the list the cosmetic repairs that you would like to have done and some items that fit into your "dream" category, like a jet tub or glass block shower enclosure. Shop around, get estimates and decide what works with your budget and individual needs.
Statistics show that certain upgrades provide the best return for your money. Fortunately, the upgrades at the top of the list are the most affordable and the easiest to do. They include cleaning, painting and removing clutter by creating home storage and organization. Next on the list are premium projects that usually require the help of a handyman service, including kitchen and bathroom remodeling.
You will be surprised at the improvement a good cleaning will make. Not just soap and water, but a real cleaning with heavy-duty products specifically designed for surfaces like tile, porcelain, stainless steel, wood, siding, decks and windows to get rid of mold, mildew, rust stains and more. Visit the hardware or home improvement store, read labels and be sure to test all cleaners in an inconspicuous place first to avoid possible damage.
Removing clutter does wonders, creating space and giving the appearance of a larger home. Get rid of the items you really don't need. Throw them out, donate them to charity, recycle them or have a yard sale. For the things you just cannot part with, buy some easy to assemble shelving and cabinets or decorative containers.
Clean up the yard; remove dead trees and shrubs, broken patio stones and faded yard ornaments. Sealcoat the driveway and deck, repair or replace the old mail box, replace the old rusted porch light and the scratched up, dented storm doors, wash windows and clean the siding.
Fresh paint and new carpet are also great improvements that are affordable. Use quality paint and don't be cheap with carpet and padding. You get what you pay for and the job is labor intensive. You don't want to do all this work just to have it fade or show wear after 6 months.
Next on the list is the kitchen and bathroom. These are the most expensive and may require the help of a handyman service, but there are affordable improvements you can do yourself if complete replacement is out of the question. If you cannot replace the kitchen cabinets, just replace the doors. Adding a decorative molding, painting and replacing the hinges and handles will also make a difference. If you cannot justify the cost of a new countertop, at least replace the outdated sink and faucet. New or reconditioned appliances will be a nice improvement over the old, ugly gold or avocado ones that were fashionable back in the day.
Bathroom remodeling is next on the list of improvements. A new sink, tub, toilet and shower stall, ceramic tiles and new cabinets are a nice change. If all of this doesn't fit your budget, replace the corroded old taps, faucets and showerhead. Re-glaze the sink and tub. Clean, paint and redecorate the cabinets. Remove the bubbling wallpaper, replace the window treatments and buy new rugs.
Whether you're selling your home or making it more comfortable for your retirement years, the rewards and profits are well worth the time, energy and cost you invest in cleaning up and remodeling. Increase the long-term value of your home by making the necessary improvements.
This article was written by Collin Dickey, owner of HandyPro Handyman Services in Minneapolis, Minnesota. HandyPro offers a home seller program, where they do the cosmetic repairs and you don't pay until you sell your home. Their pre-screened contractors are licensed and bonded, and customer friendly. They guarantee customer satisfaction with quality work and they clean up when the job is complete. http://www.handypro.com services Hennepin County, Minneapolis, Wayzata, Mound, Maple Plain, Rogers, Bloomington, Plymouth, Brooklyn Park, Chanhassen, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Orono, Shorewood, and neighboring cities and communities.