Yes, the end of summer is drawing near, but there’s still time to tackle a few remodeling projects before the hectic fall days begin. Kiplinger.com has assembled a list of 8 DIY Projects To Add Value to Your Home By Labor Day, 5 of which are listed below. Each costs less than $500, requires less than a day’s work, and will increase your home’s value.
Add a Backsplash
Estimated Price: $14 per 12-by-12-inch tile
The easiest way to add pizazz to your kitchen is with a new backsplash. You can go from country to modern in a snap with a variety of options for finishes and colors. To save money, time and frustration, consider the peel-and-stick tile options now available. The messier grout-and-tile approach will add $50 to $100 more in related supply costs but will appeal more to prospective buyers.
Install Vanity Cabinets & Toilets
Estimated Price: $200 (vanity), $250 (toilet)
Even relatively minor updates to your bathroom can produce a return on investment of 172%, according to HomeGain.com’s 2009 Prepare-to-Sell survey of 1,000 real estate agents nationwide. Because toilets fit neatly over existing plumbing, they’re surprisingly easy to install. Look for modern water-saving models that will both save on your water bills and appeal to energy-conscious buyers when it’s time to sell. If you’re feeling creative, save hundreds of dollars by using an old dresser as the foundation for a new vanity. Simply cut out room on the top to hold a basin sink and to connect pipes.
Paint a Room
Estimated Price: $30 per paint can
It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do to immediately transform any room in your house. You’ll earn a 250% return on your investment in freshly painted interior walls, according to HomeGain.com’s survey. Just be sure to test colors — Home Depot sells 8-ounce sample cans of paint for $3 — before buying the full batch of paint needed for the room. Limit costly mistakes and spills by splurging on drop cloths and painter’s tape.
Install Crown Molding
Estimated Price: $5 per linear foot
Crown molding in your home compared with none in a similar home in your neighborhood could make a difference when it’s time to sell. You may not get the money back, but it’s a feature that most buyers appreciate when looking for a home. Fair warning: Installing crown molding might be the trickiest task on our list. There’s a lot of geometry involved — along with a nail gun and a miter saw. Follow the “measure thrice, cut once” rule to limit waste.
Replace the Front Door
Estimated Price: $150-$500 or more
As the first thing prospective buyers will see upon entering your home, a new front door will more than recoup your investment. Expect a fat 129% ROI on a steel door, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2009–10 “Cost vs. Value Report.” Bonus: Buy a qualifying energy-efficient door and reap a tax credit of 30% of your cost (up to a maximum of $1,500 in 2009 and 2010 combined).
View all 8 DIY projects in this slideshow click here.