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Our most cost-effective value-added DIY home projects

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From the moment we became homeowners, we embarked on do-it-yourself home projects.

It all started with the pink bathroom in our first home. And from that point on, our skills and courage grew, and so did our DIY projects.

Granted, we spent a lot of time, energy and money on some projects. But we like to learn new skills and see the transformations.

The fact that some projects also increased the value of our home was therefore a bonus.

This article shares our most cost effective, value added DIY home projects. None of them were very expensive, and they did not take expert skills, but they did contribute to our satisfaction and the marketability of our home.

The value of DIY projects

home tools and sample paint colors against blackboard background

It is impossible to calculate an exact return on investment (ROI) for DIY projects. It is therefore useless to put real dollar amounts on our projects.

Still, it is very helpful to know which projects are likely to offer the most resale value.

Remodeling Magazine is an excellent source for home project costs and value trends.

Their most recent data shows that updating a home’s exterior adds the most value. After that, most value comes from minor kitchen and mid-range bathroom renovations.

The data show an average of 60% ROI for home projects. And while you may expect a higher return for a DIY project, it’s wise to decide if it’s worth your time and money.

It is essential to consider all the costs involved, especially if you are only doing this to add value.

Still, you can increase your home’s marketability without doing a significant DIY project.

For example, the cheapest way to make a home more marketable is to clean and tidy up. everythinginside and outside.

Then go a step further with some fresh paint. And, for more value, you can update devices and outdated features in the existing layout.

Our most cost-effective value-added projects

Our most cost-effective, value-added do-it-yourself projects had some common features.

For one, they did not need special skills such as electrical work or extensive plumbing work. And we did not tear down walls or reconfigure floor plans.

Instead, we took what we already had and updated it. Not only did it save a lot of money on a full-fledged renovation, but it was easier for us to do the work ourselves.

Bathroom and Kitchen Faceliftings

Our kitchen and bathroom projects were possible because we used the existing layout. So, we painted walls and replaced outdated features for these two projects.

pink and white bathroom
Not ‘the’ pink bathroom

Redone the pink bathroom

For us, our first DIY project was inevitable. That pink bathroom was exclusive pink.

Pink basin, pink wallpaper and pink vanity — you get the idea.

As young and inexperienced do-it-yourselfers, we did not have the skills, time or money for a total overhaul. So, we took what was already there and gave it a facelift.

We removed wallpaper, painted the walls and laundry, and replaced the sink and countertop. It did not cost much time or money, and when we were done, it looked like a new bathroom.

Two months later we sold the house for more than we had paid a few months before. I have no evidence that renovating the pink bathroom helped with the sale, but it certainly did not hurt.

A basic kitchen renovation

A kitchen is the heart of a home and a selling point for many homebuyers. But kitchen renovations can be duration. (HomeAdvisor suggests that the typical cost of remodeling a kitchen can range from $ 13,000 to $ 38,000.)

We usually move every few years, so we could not see spending money on a total kitchen renovation. So we worked with what we had.

We replaced the outdated floor, counter, sink and faucet. We also painted the walls, refined cabinets and updated the hardware.

The whole project took several months, mainly due to the refinement of the cabinets. The colored cabinets might have helped sell the house, but if I could do it over, I would save time and paint it instead.

We lived in that house for a year longer, so we got some enjoyment out of our hard work.

This house was sold within a week after it was listed for sale. Again, I have no proof that the kitchen helped the quick sale. But that probably gave us an edge over similar homes for sale.


Landscaping significantly affects a home’s curb appeal. And it’s one of the most cost effective ways to increase a home’s value.

The exact ROI is difficult to predict, but most experts agree that landscape adds significant value to a home.

DIY landscape at the top of our list of projects in every home we live in.

Pruning overgrown trees and bushes and pulling weeds is obviously an improvement, plus we plant perennials and (small) trees. And adding new coating and some paving to the mix also makes a world of difference.

The nice thing about do-it-yourself landscaping is that it does not have to cost a lot of money.

In most cases, a little time and energy goes a long way. Although trees, mulch and paving costs a bit of cash, doing it yourself is much cheaper than hiring a professional.

In our case, landscape is something we like to do. And it’s also an easy, money-saving way to renovate a home.

So we look at it as a win-win; it’s an outdoor exercise that boosts home value!

paint color cards and brushes

Paint, paint, and more paint

Outdated colors and walls that look rough can make a home look small and outdated.

Therefore, paint can completely change the exterior and interior of any home. But hiring a professional painter is expensive.

The good news is, once you’ve learned the basics of painting, it’s a DIY project anyone can do.

With some essential tools and a tutorial, paint is one of the best money-saving DIY projects out there.

We painted each wall of three different houses – inside and out. We also painted plinths, finishes and doors.

Over time, our skills improved, and our projects expanded.

Our biggest challenge was to paint a living room with high ceilings in a two-story house. But rather than hiring a pro or climbing a ladder, we rented scaffolding.

It cost less than hiring someone, and it was much safer than climbing a long ladder.

The exterior painting also presented some challenges. But we bought a paint sprayer to paint the outside of two of our houses, which saves us a lot of time and makes it worth the $ 250.

Closing thoughts

In my opinion, these are our most cost-effective, value-added DIY home projects. Each project helped us learn fun skills that we have applied repeatedly over the years.

On top of that, we are very proud of every transformation!

Not only did we enjoy the fruits of our labor, but it also helped us add value and sell each home quickly.

Amanda Headshot

Article written by Amanda

Amanda is a team member of Women Who Money and the founder and blogger behind Why We Money. She enjoys writing about happiness, values, money and property.


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