June 9, 2015

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From Drab to Fab

Renovation Projects to Increase the Value of Your Home

By Amy Steinbrech

June 9, 2015

Selling your home can feel like a long, daunting undertaking. The best way to ease the process is to make sure your home is in top selling condition. Investing some time and money on upgrading your home can pay off through a higher home value and a quicker sale.

Following are five home renovation projects you may want to consider to increase your house’s value. These projects will help you prioritize home improvements while ensuring you get the most bang for your buck.

Curb Appeal

It all begins when the prospective homebuyer first approaches your home. Ask yourself some basic questions: Is the landscaping updated and inviting? Is the front door attractive, painted and clean? Is the front porch appealing with potted plants?

“Doing simple things like making sure your yard is clean cut and the grass is green goes a long way,” says Brandon LeRoy of Jackson & LeRoy Remodeling. The entryways are also important, both outside and inside, in creating an inviting feeling and the sense, for prospective buyers, that they have arrived at their new home.

“All of these things contribute to curb appeal, and none of them are that expensive and can be done relatively quickly,” says B. Thomas Colemere, principal broker with Colemere Realty Associates.

Painting and Flooring

The first things homebuyers notice once they step inside are the walls and floors. According to Colemere, two-tone painting continues to be popular. Typically, this means the trim is white or off white with the walls painted a different color. Colemere suggests a neutral taupe color. He also recommends using one universal paint color that will appeal to most everyone and carrying that theme throughout the entire house.

“Always keep in mind that you are preparing your home for marketing and you want your home to look seamless and flow,” Colemere says.

The same principles apply to flooring—you do not want to have a hodgepodge of flooring throughout the house. Stick with tile in the kitchen and bathrooms, or wood laminate or hardwood are also good options. If you choose carpet, use the same color throughout the house.


The kitchen is where families tend to gather and where they often picture themselves living. “If people can envision themselves living in your home, this is an important aspect to remember and this is why the great room has become an extension of the kitchen in many homes,” says LeRoy.

According to Colemere, there are some very nice laminate countertops that are more affordable than granite or marble. Updating your kitchen cabinets also can go a long way toward increasing the wow factor. You don’t necessarily need to replace them—they may just need to be painted or have new hardware installed.

“If you have tile floors, you may
want to do a tile back splash to complement the countertop as well as the floor,” says Colemere. Another thing to consider is upgrading your appliances to stainless steel.


When it comes to the bathroom, lighting is queen. Modern, updated lighting in the bathroom is very important because this room plays such a key role in daily routines.

Tile flooring and painted walls continue to be the mainstay in bathrooms. However, according to Colemere, you may want to consider wainscoting, a decorative wood that goes halfway up the wall with vertical grooves. This can be quite attractive, depending on the style and year of the home.

Fixtures such as the sink, shower, bathtub and toilet should be updated if needed, although refinishing such items as the toilet and sink are great cost-saving options.

According to LeRoy, master bedrooms are trending toward becoming master suites—where the bathroom and bedroom are connected to have a suite feel. “Another common trend is going into bathrooms and pulling out bathtubs and replacing them with showers,” he says.

Clean, Tidy and Orderly

A place for everything and everything in its place—this old adage proves especially true for home sellers. Closets need to be nicely organized. Pay close attention to the placement of large items such as sofas. Oftentimes, people have too many things in their home, so consider whether a good decluttering is in order.

“Make sure things sparkle because people like new and fresh things,” says Colemere. One final reminder is prospective homebuyers like clean aromas, so get rid of any bad odors like pet smells or cigarette smoke. 

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