You all know that with summer here, one of my goals is to attack some very neglected home projects. I’m off to a good start with my painting, but there are just so many things to do with such limited time it’s hard to prioritize everything.

There are simple projects that one can tackle that will significantly improve your home value.

With our country sunk into the recession, and no end in sight, it can be difficult to contemplate spending money on something as trivial as home upgrades.  However, for the frugal shopper, this can be the best time to think about adding a little value to your home.

With retail stores offering different discounts every week, and merchants willing to price match, or even offer better bargains to get your business, you can make a killing on products and services that will only net you a bigger return on investment.

Here are the top five ways to take advantage of the recession while improving the value of your home.
Prioritize these and put value in your pocket.

1. Paint.

This is the number one way to make your home more modern and inviting to potential buyers.  Even if you’re not selling anytime soon, it’s a DIY fix that can make you feel like you’ve done a major renovation (consider that you’ll have to clean before you can start).

When I repainted my bathroom, it changed the whole look and brightened it tremendously.

Then I painted the laundry room/mud room/side door turned entry way because everyone come through it, and I hung a chandelier because it makes me so happy.

painting kitchen cabinets

2. Organize.

Investing in some shelves can increase your storage space and decrease clutter.  This is great for rooms that suffer from an overload of dumpage (offices, kids rooms, laundry room, even the living room).  You can also look for multi-use items like storage ottomans for extra seating with a hidey-hole.

3. Update the bathroom and kitchen.
This is where the most value comes. I’m not talking about a full remodel, which could cost thousands, but there are plenty of little touches that can make your most intimate spaces a bit more appealing.  Start by sanding and painting the cabinets for a nice, new look.  I painted my island a fun turquoise and I love it. Chalk Paint is perfect to use if you are a novice painter.
Then replace hardware like drawer pulls and towel racks or even paint them. While I will be updating my knobs soon, it wasn’t in the budget, so I  spraypainted them here for the price of the can.

Next, you may want to consider re-grouting (if you can’t afford to replace tile) and think about upgrading lighting fixtures and faucets.  All of these upgrades are easy and affordable and they can make an older bathroom look modern and expensive.

4. Invest in new flooring.

Okay, this can be expensive, especially if you have your heart set on hardwood.  But there are ways to replace that moldy old carpet without breaking the bank.

Consider laminates, which look just as nice, cost half the price, and come with a warranty (some are even transferable to the next homeowner!).  You can also check out bamboo, which is infinitely less expensive than other woods (and sustainable, to boot), or look into reclaimed hardwoods.

You can really get a steal on the luxurious wood floor you crave and not have to worry about further denuding of forests.

kitchen redo
5. Give your house some curb appeal.
The first thing a visitor (or prospective buyer) sees is the outside of your house, so updating the paint, clearing out those weeds, and resealing the drive can make a huge difference at very little cost.
We finally added HUGE curb appeal to our home with our Porch that took 17 years to Build. Check out the huge before/after here.
And yes, this is the before. The after makes it an entirely new home and it was well worth the wait!
What are some of the projects on your home “to do” list?