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The 3 Best and Worst DIY Projects to Do Before Selling Your Home

There’s always something to admire about a successful DIY project. A good DIY add-on to your home commands bragging rights and pride. But, not all of them are created equal, especially in the eyes of the real estate market. We don’t want to discourage you from attempting that DIY renovation you’ve been planning, but if you anticipate selling your home in the near-ish future, you might want to take a moment to consider how it’ll affect its value.

Some DIY projects are sought-after and can give your home’s value a boost. On the other hand, some DIYs might make sense for your needs, but could inconvenience the next owner, potentially lowering the bottom line on your sale. We’ve selected the top three DIY projects to boost your home’s value, and the three projects that could most likely lower its value. Keep these in mind when your plan your next DIY renovation!

The First of the Best: Crown Molding

Crown molding is an easier than you’d think to install. It’s a fairly common renovation, so most home improvement stores will have it on hand and can cut it down to the size for your needs. They might have it in different colors or designs to further tailor it to your home’s design scheme; plus, you can always paint it yourself. Once you have the size you need, it’s only a simple nail gun that’s needed to install it. You might need to practice your nailing skills, but it’s a fairly inexpensive DIY you can do, that is often-appreciated on the housing market.

The Second of the Best: Upgrading Your Kitchen Cabinets

Kitchen renovations tend to be the longest and most expensive ones to undertake—the appliances are expensive, they require technicians to install, and so on. But without breaking the bank (or your back), you can give your kitchen (and home value) a little lift. You can give your kitchen cabinets a some new hardware—new handles and knobs. They’re fairly cheap at most stores, but new hardware elevates the look and feel of the cabinetry. If you’re more technical, you can also re-paint or re-stain the wood. The results of these two can make it look like brand-new cabinetry, for a fraction of the price!

The Third of the Best: The Front Door

The front door is a part of your home’s curb appeal, the first impression it makes on a visitor or future buyer. A new front door is a simple way to upgrade the curb appeal and command a higher price. You can buy a rather nice front door for a few hundred dollars. If that’s a bit too steep, you can always paint the door a new color, install decorative metal plating, or change the handle on your existing one. Throw a nice new doormat down too!

The First of the Worst: Basement Bathroom

DIY plumbing projects in general can be problematic. Plumbing should be left to the experts. Sneaking a bathroom in the basement isn’t a good idea because water can drain and collect, and cause problems in the basement, especially if it’s a DIY. If you really want to renovate the bathroom, hire an expert or keep it simple: change the cabinetry, shower rods, or paint the walls.

The Second of the Worst: A Deck

More often than not, a nicely built deck is a great way to add to your home’s value. However, a nicely built DIY deck is a rarity. It’s very challenging to build, and secure to your house, and often requires a permit from the township to build. It can be a liability for future homeowners, especially if it obstructs access to crawlspaces, spigots, or other entry points to the home. Unless you’re getting a seasoned professional to work on it, avoid this one.

The Third of the Worst: Garage Conversions

Some people may not garage their cars, or have a car at all, and see the garage as a waste of potential space. While you could convert it to a sweet man-cave, extra home office, or a cute mudroom, most people intend for a garage to be just that…a garage.

Converting one can trim value from your home’s worth, especially if other homes in you neighborhood have garages. It’s more than okay to use your garage as an extra storage space if you don’t keep a vehicle inside, but refrain from making any permanent changes that would prevent the next home owner from garaging their vehicles.

There you have it—the best and the worst ideas for DIY renovations. Some of it comes down to your ability to pull of a DIY, like installing a safe and functional deck, and some of it comes down to whether or not a future buyer will use the renovation, like a converted garage. Desirable, fairly simple DIYs are your friend here—simple cabinet upgrades and crown molding can go a long way to sprucing up your place and adding value to its bottom line. We hope we’ve inspired you to give it a try, and wish you all the best on your renovation!

About the Author

Conor Prendergast is a freelance copywriter, having written content for healthcare blogs, interior design firms, medical journals, and now GenStone. He has a BS from Muhlenberg College and is in his third year of medical school at New York Medical College.

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