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3 of the Best DIY Home Projects Before Putting It on the Market

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If you plan to sell your home, you may need to refresh it to make it appeal to potential buyers. If you are on a budget, you don’t have to remodel, add a powder room, or overhaul your kitchen. While these projects can increase your resale value, they can take months, require permits and professional contractors and carry a hefty price tag.

While many realtors advise clients to improve their home’s interior, they also recommend tending to the exterior. Fortunately, there are a few outdoor DIY projects that will give your home a new look and entice buyers to walk through.

1. Paint Your Front Door

Curb appeal remains king when it comes to selling your home. One popular trend that boosts resale value is painting your front door. The key is choosing the right color: a study by Zillow shows that specific paint colors significantly impact the resale value of homes. In fact, CBS News reports that Zillow found homes with front doors painted in shades of navy blue to dark gray or charcoal get a premium of $1,514.

Painting a front door is a project that nearly any homeowner can complete. DIY Network recommends these tips for painting your front door:

● Select a weekend when you have time to complete the project

● Choose a clear, sunny day with reasonable temperatures to help your paint dry

● Use exterior paint in a glossy finish so your door will stand out and endure dings and scrapes better

● Remove the hardware

● Consider removing your door and painting it inside to protect it from bugs and debris

● Clean the door with a damp rag and remove imperfections with a sander or sandpaper; then, wipe away dust and make sure the door is clean and smooth

● Apply the primer using a roller

● Use a low-nap roller, foam roller, or paintbrush to paint your door

● Allow the door to dry before attaching hardware and hanging it

2. Power Wash Your Driveway and Sidewalk

Two exterior features homeowners commonly overlook when preparing to put their home on the market are their driveways and sidewalks. Remember, potential buyers will enter your home using these features, so you want them to be in pristine condition. With a little time and effort, you can power wash your driveway and sidewalk and impress buyers.

Begin by preparing your driveway and sidewalk surfaces. Sweep away dirt, dust, and debris with a broom. Then, cover exterior walls and windows near your driveway and sidewalk with plastic sheets and painter’s tape to protect them. Degrease your driveway as necessary with a bottle of degreaser.

Then, select the appropriate tip for washing and attach it to the pressure washer spray wand head. Attach the hoses and pour in the detergent. While spraying detergent, remain about 8-18 inches from your driveway and sidewalk surfaces and allow it to sit for the time recommended on the bottle. Finally, pressure wash it with the appropriate tip by working your way back and forth and overlapping each stroke by 6-8 inches.

3. Complete Landscaping Projects

Homeowners preparing to sell also should complete seasonal landscaping projects. Most people put their homes on the market in spring and summer, so it’s the perfect time to edge your beds, trim your bushes, and put down fresh mulch. If you have a large yard, or if you are strapped for time and feel overwhelmed by updating your yard, consider hiring a landscaper.

According to HomeAdvisor, the average price to hire a landscape designer in Chicago is between $3,000 and $5,666. Most landscapers complete projects in a few days, and homeowners hire professionals because they have the equipment, materials, and knowledge required to create perfect yards for potential buyers. They also plant in-season flowers that flourish and continue to add eye-catching color to your exterior. Buyers know a professionally landscaped yard when they see it, and they are willing to pay more for it.

You can refresh your home with a few DIY outdoor projects. Paint your front door an attractive color. Then, pressure wash your driveway and sidewalk. Finally, complete landscaping projects or hire professionals to do the dirty work for you and boost your resale value.

Ray Flynn |

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