Sunday, May 19, 2013

10 Renovations That Will Make You Richer

You can raise the value of your home without spending a fortune with those 10 Renovations That Will Make You Richer.

A man's home might be his castle, but you may not have the funds like a king. But just because you can't splurge on a four-car garage or a private screening room doesn’t mean that you can't boost your house’s market value (and personal appeal). Follow these 10-step home improvement plan to perhaps make yours the envy of your block.

STEP 1: Decorate Your Doors
Swap old knobs, hinges, and cabinets with finished metal pulls and handles. You'll drop just $3 to $5 per piece at most hardware stores, and your guests will take notice. 

STEP 2: Mold Your Environment
Adding molding on doors, ceilings, walls, and windows brings a third dimension to rooms, making them look bigger and more lavish. Take the flat-framed door to your den, for example: For less than $100 you can buy panel molding, rent a miter box saw, and create the appearance of a recessed panel door. It creates sneaky visual depth. Pimp your windows with casing molding, your ceiling with crown molding, and your floors with base molding. Depending on how far you go, you'll spend about $150-300 per room.

STEP 3: Refresh Your Tiles
Bathroom renovations can run into the tens of thousands, but re-grouting your tiles is a fast, easy, and (most important) inexpensive alternative. Scrape out the old grout first, then pick a fresh color to breathe new life into a tired d├ęcor. Blend the color as close to the tile as possible, so it appears almost like a clean, solid sheet. Cost to you: Around $10.

STEP 4: Single Out a Wall
Re-painting is an easy way to upgrade a room and it's a inexpsnsive way to a great upgrade. But if you really want to make it pop, only paint one wall. Take the main one that people will see and put your favorite color on it. The total cost to you will be about $25 (the price of a gallon of paint and a roller). Your eye will immediately jump to it—it's like putting a giant mural on your wall. If you're repainting a dark wall in a lighter color, be sure to apply a layer of primer first, and then three coats of top paint.

STEP 5: Lighten Up
Changing light fixtures is easy, and it adds elegance on the cheap. Many stores sell hip ceiling and wall mount fixtures for less than $100. Just make sure the switches are turned off before you start fiddling with wires (flip the room’s circuit breaker to play it safe). Also, take a picture of the original wiring with your phone. That will save you the trouble of remembering which wire goes where, and potentially getting your currents crossed.

STEP 6: Switch up Your Switches
Replacing normal light switches with dimmers (from $5-$15 a piece) allows you to change the aesthetic mood of a room. Keep it bright for ballgames and family time, and dim for romantic interludes. Changing the light level will also visually change the shade of the paint—something you can't do with simple on-and-off switches.

STEP 7: Give Your Floors a Facial
Dents, dings, scratches, and pet "accidents" are par for the course for most floors. And in just two days you can erase them all. Here's what you'll need: A 110-volt sander (most home improvement chains rent them), sand paper, wood stain, and two coats of satin finish, water-based polyurethane (it's less toxic and faster drying than oil-based). Total cost to you: Around $300. Most people just pay attention to their walls, but a nice job on your floors can give your house a whole new look.

STEP 8: Fence Off Your Yard
Not only will installing a fence help protect your property from passersby, but it will also distinguish your land from your neighbors'. It's an aesthetically pleasing way to say, 'This is my yard, not yours'. In a way, it brings out the man in you. And... it's also an unspoken rule to give the nicer looking side of the fence to your neighbor, don't break it.

STEP 9: Illuminate Your Lawn
There are 24 hours in a day, but people can only appreciate your house's beauty for half the time—unless you illuminate it after dark. Scatter several small outdoor light fixtures—around $20 a piece—under shrubs, and placing uplights under tall trees. All it takes is a couple of lights to enhance your home's appeal day and night. Low-voltage bulbs (10-20 watts) will do the trick, and they'll last for 5 years.

STEP 10: Lose The Bells and Whistles
Gone are the days of old-fashioned doorbells. Video intercom systems are a classy add-on to any house, and they help keep solicitors at bay. Installing them is easy—it's just like re-wiring light switches. Don't want to mess with your electrical system? Go wireless. Cost: $150 to $300.

Richard Bazinet - Realty ONE Group. Phoenix Scottsdale Real Estate.

10 Renovations That Will Make You Richer