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Budget Friendly Updates

Don’t Underestimate the Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen upgrades perceived as “modern” — like stainless steel and quartz countertops or Shaker cabinets — can bump your home’s sale price by 3% to 7%, according to Consumer Reports. No matter what kitchen renovations you choose to make, though, do your research before signing on the dotted line.

Average Cost: Including appliances, the average kitchen remodel costs homeowners is between $12,567 to $34,962. Smaller revamps — like a combo of painting, refinishing the fixtures and adding a backsplash — range between $4,000 and $15,000.

Choose Classic Hardwood

It’s a fact of life that people love the warmth, durability and timeless style hardwood floors add to a space — that goes for both buyers and home dwellers. And as a bonus, a new wood floor can add up to 2.5% to the sale price of a home, according to

Average Cost: Roughly $4,518 for all new wood floors, or about $1,669 for a hardwood refinish.

Bedeck Your Yard

The beauty of a deck is that it increases your living space without adding any walls to your house. To keep things on a budget, shoot for under 500 square feet — that’s plenty of space for your new grill and all the outdoor furniture you could want.

Average Cost: A 200-square-foot deck can be done for under $5,000, but plan for an average cost of $7,000 if you want something closer to 500 square feet.

Give the Master Bath a Boost

For a typically small space, there’s a whole lot of remodeling to be done in the bathroom. Go big with a full remodel of your master bathroom, including new fixtures, tub, flooring, cabinets, countertops and lighting, or trim your budget by just focusing on a few essentials.

Average Cost: The average bathroom remodel runs about $10,000, but by focusing on your bathroom’s trouble spots, you can pair that down to about $2,500 to $7,000.

Give Your Windows a New Outlook

Foggy, out-of-fashion windows can hurt your home in numerous ways, from hampering your curb appeal to reducing the light that comes in and even dragging down your energy efficiency, maybe even letting in outside air. If you’re selling, keep in mind that young buyers especially value eco-friendliness — but just about everyone wants to let a little light in.

Average Cost: Spend about $250 for professional cleaning, or go all out with a new window installation for about $375 - $800 per window, so on average a home has 10 - 20 Windows making it a total of $3,750 to $16,000 depending on the amount of windows and what kind of window for your entire home.

Freshen Up Your Exterior Paint

Giving the exterior of your home a fresh look could make a world of difference. You just can’t beat the cost-effectiveness of exterior paint. Plus with paint, you really have unlimited options — if you can imagine a paint color, it exists.

Average Cost: Heartier exterior paints exceed the cost of interior options, but not by much — the national average cost to paint a house is between $1,000 and $3,000, though you should account for $1,500 or more added on if you have a two-story home.

Be a Shut-In for Once

When it comes to homes that catch our eyes and hearts, the devil is in the details. That’s where new shutters come in — for very little investment, you can upgrade your home’s overall exterior look. If you choose to add plantation shutters to your home, they will not only increase your home’s value, but they’re also energy-efficient.

Average Cost: Spend about $200 - $400 to repair your existing shutters or about $1,000 to $3,258 for completely new wood shutters for your entire home.

Liven Up the Landscape

Landscaping is among the most effective home improvements you can do to generate the biggest return on your money. It creates curb appeal in spades and also can help prevent expensive potential damage, like fallen tree limbs and mold. Think of it as a safety net mixed with some green marketing that can increase your house’s value by up to 5%, according to Consumer Reports.

Average Cost: You can put in some attractive landscape for a little over $1,000, or invest in the whole front-lawn package for about $3,232.

Gear Up the Garage

The garage door probably isn’t the go-to improvement when you think about upping your curb appeal. However, replacing the often-neglected garage door can net you a nearly 98% return on investment, on average, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value report. For those who don’t have garages, consider taking on a project like renovating other extensions of your home such as a shed.

Average Cost: This upgrade runs around $1,091.

Install a Patio

Summer barbecues, evening wine tasting with the breeze in your hair and safe spaces for kids and family pets to roam are priceless. A patio comes at a price, but it’s not a frivolous expense by any means — consider this a mid-level investment for a return on personal happiness.

Average Cost: Most homeowners drop an average of $1,772 to $4,821 for a patio installation.

Open Your Mind — and Your Floor Plan

Creating openness is one of the most crucial things you can do to elevate your home — especially if you have a small space that you want to feel bigger. Consult a structural engineer first, then get rid of those pass-through walls, and think about creating new nooks and flex rooms. This can boost your home’s value by up to 6%, according to Consumer Reports.

Average Cost: Surprisingly, labor costs for removing an interior wall — typically about a five-hour process — only clock in at about $92 to $197 on average, according to Homewyse. Account for up to $300 worth of debris disposal fees, though.

Amp Up the Kitchen Appliances

When approaching the kitchen remodel, never neglect appliances. The fridge and stove are what make the kitchen run — outdated versions of these can not only make the room feel old, but they can actually reduce the quality of your food, whether you’re storing or cooking it. Homebuyers are also looking for new appliances that they won’t have to replace in the next couple of years or months. If a full-scale kitchen remodel isn’t quite in the budget, just refreshing the appliances can add plenty of value and efficiency.

Average Cost: You’ve got lots of flexibility here — kitchen appliances range from about $200 to $3,000 each.

Build in Some Shelves

Maybe it’s the tiny home craze, but there’s just something immensely satisfying about a space with lots of handy, built-in storage nooks. The good news is, homebuyers think so too — trendy features like Shaker cabinets have a nearly 81% return on investment on average, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2019 Cost vs. Value report.

Average Cost: You’ll likely pay between $1,200 and $3,800 for materials and labor on built-in cabinetry, entertainment nooks and bookcases, or you can drastically reduce costs by going the DIY route and spending about $150 or less on materials to install yourself.

Remaster Your Bedroom

The National Association of Realtors finds that a revamped master bedroom is one of the projects that make owners happiest. While this space is a big home-selling factor, it often is a project people forget to prioritize during a home remodel.

Paint, trim, lighting, flooring and all-new storage solutions can improve your bedroom’s value as well as your comfort, so this remodel is worth considering.

Average Cost: The national average bedroom remodel costs $7,880, according to Fixr.

Revive the Driveway

Assessing your driveway is one repair worth budgeting for. One, it’s a utilitarian feature that just about everyone uses to protect that other big investment — the car. Two, having a clean and updated driveway with no cracks improves your curb appeal and can protect your driveway from eroding, not to mention the unsightly look caused by weeds.

Average Cost: To repair a driveway, you’re looking at about $1,500, or as much as $4,500 for a new one.

Upgrade the Guest Rooms

Though it makes sense to prioritize the master bedroom, including your home’s additional rooms in the remodel can lend the project a more complete feeling. These smaller spaces will need the same sorts of upgrades as the master bedroom — lighting, storage, flooring and so on — but they’ll cost a little less here.

Average Cost: It’s about $66 per square foot, according to Fixr.

Save on Floor Remodels

In general, $600 to $900 spent on new flooring delivers a return of up to $2,000, according to This Old House, so don’t be afraid to upgrade even if you can’t swing hardwood. New carpet and versatile laminate are classic standbys, while newer options like cork or even uber-modern stained cement can help your place take a few steps closer to “dream house” status.

Average Cost: A wood-like laminate install starts at $1,398 and can go up to $4,235, whereas carpeting jobs range from about $762 to $2,522.

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