Guest Post by Suzie Wilson, Interior Designer, Author,

While spending thousands of dollars on upgrades doesn’t often yield a high return, with a little planning and strategy, you can stretch your renovating dollars to generate the best return possible. Don’t discount sweat equity, either—you’re saving money by doing things yourself, but you’ve still got to put in the time to complete each project. 

Not only do you want to take the time to plan out which projects make the most sense, you also need to think about what you’re comfortable doing—and doing well.  

There are several types of DIY projects to consider:

      The basics: Cleaning and decluttering is critical! Overwhelmed with stuff? Get creative on maximizing unused nooks and crannies by repurposing them into clever storage hideaways. Check out this list of 85 clever ideas to add organization and storage in each of your home’s rooms and show potential buyers how much storage your home offers.

      Curb appeal: Don’t neglect your home’s outside. That exterior is the first thing people see, and improving your curb appeal provides the perfect opportunity to create a warm, inviting welcome to potential home buyers. Whether it’s a new coat of paint on the shutters, trimming foliage, or upgrading outdoor light fixtures, even inexpensive improvements can yield good returns. The DIY network provides a wealth of information on simple, inexpensive projects to enhance your home’s visual appeal.

      Inside update: If you’ve got a table or chop saw, you can update a room with a more interesting architectural feature, add wood accents to your kitchen cabinets, or incorporate personality into a bland dining room with wainscoting. Explore this list of 40 home improvement ideas if you’re on a serious budget.

Regardless of the projects you tackle yourself, HomeAdvisor recommends you make sure to take the time to practice the basics before starting. “For instance, when installing tile, buy an old table at a thrift store, lay down some guide rods (wooden dowels do the trick), and practice laying the tiles before installing. Or when painting rooms, start with the smallest area first to see how the paint color looks and to gain some hands-on training before moving on to the kitchen or living room.”

Weekend DIY projects


A new coat of paint creates an instant facelift. Newly painted rooms look clean and updated, which spells value to home buyers. When you’re choosing the new colors, go for neutrals, which are the most appealing. Since the average cost of a gallon of paint is $25, updating your home’s walls is relatively cost-effective and simple. If you want to paint like a pro, check out these tips.

Bathroom and kitchen upgrades

Full bathroom and kitchen renovations can run into the thousands of dollars, but a facelift costs much less and still provides good value for the money. For just a few hundred dollars, you can:

      Replace an outdated vanity

      Remove old linoleum and retile the floor

      Update lighting fixtures

      Reface old cabinets and replace the hardware

      Repaint the walls, adding new towels, throw rugs, and a shower curtain that complement the new color

      Re-grout the shower or install a new tile backsplash.



Real estate experts say that more buyers are favoring tile or hardwood floors over carpeting. Most floor-tiling projects take a couple days from start to finish—from pulling up the old floor to installing the new tiles. This Old House offers simple step-by-step directions on how to install a ceramic floor. If you’ve pulled up the old carpets and discovered that the wood floor beneath is in good shape and just needs a little TLC, HGTV’s got you covered with some DIY tips to spruce it up.

The number one suggestion from realtors and the average do-it-yourselfer is to take the time to plan, research, and strategize about all projects before hitting the hardware store. There’s a treasure trove of Pinterest boards, blogs, and videos available for anyone looking to freshen up a home for resale. Once you’re done looking for ideas, get ready to swing that hammer or wield a paintbrush.


Suzie has been an Interior Designer for over 20 years. Her passion is helping people organize and style their homes so they are not only beautiful, they offer a relaxing, stress-free environment to every member of the family. You can find her over at