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Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Improving Your Home

January 7, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

Top 5 New Year's Resolutions for Improving Your Home by WelcomeHomeNWIThis time last year, you were probably filled with inspiration and visions of what your home could be. Excitement was in the air because you were finally going to take on all of those household projects that you’ve been wanting and needing to do.

But, if you were like a lot of homeowners, 2010 came and went rather uneventfully in terms of house projects. Maybe you ended up being busier than you thought you would be or maybe with the economy bottoming out, those projects just didn’t seem feasible. Now it’s 365 days later, and your home looks exactly the same as it did last year. In other words, the “resolution” you made about improving your home fell apart. Aside from basic maintenance, nothing got done.

The good news is things are looking up and it’s a brand new year! To help get you moving in the right direction, here’s a list of the Top 5 New Year’s resolutions for improving your home, which take into account everything from the time and cost involved to the overall “bang for your buck” these improvements will provide.

  1. Two Words: “Paint” and “Paint.” Nothing improves the overall look of a home quite like a fresh coat of paint. This is true for both the outside and the inside of your home. For the outside, consider hiring professionals. This is the best way to ensure that the job is done quickly and correctly. When it comes to the inside of your home, there’s nothing wrong with doing it yourself. Once again, tackle one room at a time, and don’t move on until you’re happy. Remember, you can always paint over a color that looked better in the store than it does on your walls. For homeowners who are thinking of selling, stick to neutral colors when painting to help broaden the house’s appeal and make it easier to sell.
  2. Curb Appeal. Step outside your home and walk to the middle of the street, being mindful of any traffic. Take a good look at your home. Be as objective as you can, and ask yourself how does it look? Is the lawn in need of a manicure? Could the yard use a little more foliage? Are the front door and the garage door beaten up or in need of paint? You see where we’re going with this. Assess which elements need a facelift, and then make it happen. You’ll have a smile on your face every time you pull up the driveway, and your neighbors will also love you for it.
  3. Time to Update? Frequently homes that were built in the ’70s and ’80s seem more like they’re from the 1770s or 1880s. The reason is that newer-built homes come with niceties like dimmer switches for the lighting, crown molding, digital display thermostats, smoke detectors in every room, and the list goes on. Look around your home and determine where it may be reflecting its age. And, if you’re feeling a little ambitious and you have acoustic ceilings (also known as “cottage cheese” ceilings), consider getting rid of them. It’s a messy project, but it will improve the look and feel of your home.
  4. Get Floored. Are your floors in need of a new look? There are more flooring options available now than ever before. Whether you’re partial to carpet, hardwood, or tile, there are choices that will fit any budget. The best part is that a new floor, regardless of type, will not only improve the look of your home, it will also increase the value. It may even be a good idea to talk to a real estate agent in your area to see what options are adding the most value to homes in your area. If your floors are relatively new but look a little drab, you may want to have them professionally cleaned. Either way, this is a great project to complete during warmer months.
  5. Go with the Flow. Plumbing is very important to both homeowners and homebuyers. Is the hot water hot enough? Do the showers have the perfect pressure? Does the toilet run longer than it should? Some of these issues can be solved with a trip to the hardware store, while others will require a plumber. The important thing is that you start paying attention to these “minor” issues and work to get them resolved.

Plus…here’s a bonus tip you can do in just a few minutes and without any supplies!

Bonus Tip: Clear the Clutter. Clutter may seem harmless, but it can have a bigger impact than you might think. For starters, it’s a distraction that frequently keeps us from focusing on bigger projects. It also makes a home look messy and reduces valuable space. And for anyone who’s thinking about putting their home on the market, it’s a known fact that homes with less clutter will sell faster.

So here’s what you do, anytime you find that you have a little bit of free time, pick a small part of your house – or even your garage or shed – to focus on. Maybe it’s an entire room or maybe it’s just the entertainment center that’s cluttered with CDs and DVDs.

Remember, you don’t just want to straighten the clutter, you want to clear it out – and that means getting rid of all those things that you no longer use. You can even earn some money for your efforts by holding a garage sale or donating the items to charity. Just be sure to get a receipt so that you can include your donation on your tax return.

Regardless of which projects are on your to-do list for 2011, make a plan of attack and then tackle them one at a time. And don’t forget to take some before and after photos for your scrapbook or to possibly show a real estate agent in the future if you decide to put your house on the market.

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5 Responses to “Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Improving Your Home”
  1. If I didn’t know any better, this sounds like my honey-do list…especially the bonus tip about clean the clutter. On a serious note, paint is definitely a cheap approach to a home makeover and can also affect the resale value both positive and negative. Since Realtors see plenty of homes, they can often provide insight as to what’s in and what’s out.

  2. This is the perfect time of year to do some of these projects for people who are thinking about moving later in the Spring or Summer. Organizing and painting can be done even in the cold months.

    One safety item that I like to recommend costs only $10 but can save you a bundle: it’s the Zircon Leak Alert. Put these under each sink, by your water heater or near sump pump. And if there is any moisture from a drip or flood, a loud signal will let you know there is trouble. They run on a 9 volt battery and will last for years. These are very inexpensive insurance from unseen plumbing mishaps.

  3. Steve, never heard of the Zircon Leak Alert. Sounds like an inexpensive preventive measure that can definitely save homeowners from costly repairs. Will go check it out today.

  4. Cathy Mattan says:

    These are some nice tips for the the seller to pay attention to.


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