Eight Updates to Add Value to Your Home This Winter
Whether you are thinking about putting your house on the market in the spring, you recently moved into your home and want to get a jump start on winter-friendly improvements, or you simply want a more enjoyable place to hibernate this winter, here are some relatively simple and inexpensive upgrades that are perfect to tackle this season.
Apply a fresh coat of paint. Enliven your space with cheery color choices. Freshen up dingy walls with your favorite shade of white. Or add a touch of drama to the room with saturated hues. A couple of cans of paint can go a long way to transform your space with relatively little cost. If you’re on a painting kick and looking for a way to add perceived value to your home, consider painting the garage floor. Having a clean garage floor, free of visible stains, makes this humble space look cleaner, freshers, and newer.
Upgrade to LED light bulbs. At a time of year when utility expenses are at their highest, switching to LED bulbs will help you save the cost of lighting your home. Modern LED bulbs awaken your space with bright light to counteract the dim light outdoors. Although LED options were limited and unattractive in the past, you can now find LED bulbs in soft white, a recommended light to help your space feel bright and welcoming.
Maintain your heating system. Regular maintenance ensures your system is working efficiently and, therefore, cost effectively. Change your furnace filters at least every three months—and more often if you smoke, have allergies or a respiratory condition, use your fireplace, or have pets. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to decrease the costs incurred by manually fussing with the temperature throughout the day.
Seal leaks. Check for drafts around windows and doors, in the foundation, and in the attic. This will help you save money on heating your home and prevent deterring observant prospective buyers.
Update your flooring. Sure, this could be time consuming and costly, but it doesn’t have to be. Moderately priced techniques include luxury vinyl plank flooring, peel-and-stick tile flooring, sheet linoleum, and—for the brave—painted wood floors. Exercise caution before going for the trendiest flooring style of the moment. It may look just as dated in a couple of years as your current flooring looks to you now.
Install crown molding. Crown molding frames your entryways and doors and increases the perceived value of your home. The proper width of the molding will vary with the height of your ceiling. Rooms with higher ceilings tend to look better with wider crown molding.
Declutter. Having less stuff strewn around your home will make it look brighter and more spacious. If you are planning on selling your home in the spring, decluttering over the winter will take one big item off your to-do list before putting the house on the market and will prevent you from having to move unneeded items to your new home after your current home sells. Also, having too many personal items on display in your home may detract prospective buyers, who want to be able to picture themselves living in the home.
Add some plants. Indoor plants act as air purifiers and humidifiers—valuable assets during the winter, when long hours are spent indoors. But that’s not all. There are several studies that have shown that green, leafy plants may boost our mood, increase our tolerance of pain, and enhance our ability to think more creatively. They also create a great first impression for prospective homebuyers. If your rooms look too sparse after removing overly personal items before putting your house on the market, adding in a couple of plants may be a good option. They prevent the space from looking too sterile and contribute uplifting natural elements.