Summer’s a great time to get organized and complete projects around the house, especially the ones that tend to raise your home’s value, but are more difficult to complete in the cold winter months. While some DIY projects are highly recommended, Mike Holmes will be the first to tell you that there are many that you should not attempt on your own. So before you get all inspired and knock down that wall in the kitchen, read this article carefully for what you can do to increase the value of your home, and what you shouldn’t do, thereby avoiding a potential disaster.
Let’s start with the don’ts so we know right off what we shouldn’t be attempting alone. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that you’re incapable of doing these projects. I’m just saying that if you’re not sure, hire an expert.
- Electrical Work – It should come as no shock that doing your own electrical is not at all recommended – there’s just so much to risk. Bad electrical can lead to power outages and shocks, which some might consider less than serious. More seriously, however, they can lead to electrocution and house fires. If you don’t know what you’re doing, hire an expert.
- Plumbing – Again, a no-brainer, but with less serious consequences. Doing your own plumbing incorrectly can lead to flooding, which can cause serious and costly damage and/or destruction to your property. What starts out as a money-saving project, could quickly turn into a DIY-disaster.
- Roofing – It looks easy, doesn’t it? Just hammer some shingles onto the roof and away you go. Roofing is done by skilled labourers who’ve been trained how to do it properly. It’s a messy job that requires skill and precision. If done improperly, the value of your home could drop dramatically. Save the roofing for the experts.
- Tree-cutting – This one seems like something you could do on your own, but if you live in a residential neighbourhood, complete with other homes, trees and power lines, you could be risking a lot more than your neck if you go it alone. The potential for injury – either to yourself, or to your neighbour – is high.
- Major Structural Work – This is one thing that most DIY-ers think they can do on their own. Yes, your dining room would look great if it opened up into the kitchen. And, yes, it is as easy as tearing down that wall in-between. But that wall might be a major part of the structure, and, more importantly, what’s supporting up your floor upstairs. Don’t risk destroying your entire home by removing necessary walls.
Now that you know what not to try at home, here are 5 simple cost effective DIY projects that are easy to do and, if done properly, can raise the value of your home. Again, if you’re not sure about what you’re doing, hire an expert.
- Replace the appliances – This one really isn’t a project, per say, but more of a task. New appliances are an added bonus and a major selling point to most buyers. Get rid of those old and tired appliances, and replace them with something that’s more modern and energy efficient.
- Paint the Kitchen Cabinets – A bright, clean kitchen is a major selling feature to any buyer. The perfect way to brighten that kitchen, aside from adding shiny new appliances, is by painting those dingy old cabinets. Consider a colour that will make the kitchen feel more spacious. Also consider using a semi-gloss paint, which can be easily wiped down. Most paint stores sell mould and mildew resistant paint, which is perfect for those high-humidity rooms, like the kitchen and bathroom.
- Landscaping – The larger your home’s outdoor living space is, the better. Remove dead or dying shrubs, bushes and plants, and replace them with something more suitable. Consider how large the plants with get, if and when they will flower and how much water and sun they will need. Add a unique feature, such as a pond or fountain – but make sure to keep as much free space as possible.
- De-clutter – This is an easy one. Place a box in each room and remove anything that has not been used in the past year. Consider having a yard sale to get rid of some of those unused items. De-cluttering has the added bonus of freeing up living space – something that most buyers are very much interested in.
- Paint – A fresh coat of paint can change a space. Consider lighter, more neutral colours; they have wider appeal when it comes time to sell, and they make rooms feel cleaner and more spacious. You’ll want to avoid unnecessary dabs and drops on the ceiling, windows, carpets and/or hardwood floors. To do this, be sure you cover your floors with drop sheets and use painter’s tape.
DIY projects can be fun, educational and can give you a deep sense of accomplishment. Always know where to draw the line, though. Some of the more difficult DIY projects could end up causing frustration, and costing you a small fortune. If you’re not sure about something, hire an expert.
Writer for RateSupermarket.ca