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Home Improvement

Managing to get your own home is always a big step and a great moment in your life. It’s also a given that before you proceed with this significant decision, you have researched the market well and you have taken into consideration the hard work that comes with having your own home.

On top of that, it is no secret that in today’s world people are changing homes at least two to three times in their lives. That being said, you need to try your best in order to ensure that when the time to sell your home comes you have increased its initial value and you have cut a good deal for yourself.

Boosting your home’s value isn’t easy, but it’s possible. Nevertheless, it requires a solid plan, constant investments and a lot of effort.

Here are 10 smart tips that can help you increase the value of your home. From renovating your kitchen to extending your property.

1.  Renovate your kitchen

It goes without saying that the kitchen is one of the most crucial parts of a house. That’s why, maintain it in a good condition should always be a priority. A nice kitchen can truly boost the value of your asset and make a big difference when it comes down to selling your home. With that in mind, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to renovate your kitchen and choose good materials. As a rule, the more money you invest in your kitchen the more you will get back once you decide to sell the house.

2. Bathroom matters also

Once you are done with your kitchen renovation, the next stop is your bathroom. We don’t even have to mention how important a bathroom is for a home. The bigger it is the higher the price of your home. Like in the kitchen case, make sure that you invest in top quality materials and that you protect the bathroom well from humidity, bugs and any other factor which could decrease the value of your home.

stylish bathroom

3. Build an additional room

An easy and straightforward way to increase the value of your home is to add an extra room to it. It doesn’t take much to understand that a 2 room asset will be cheaper than a 3 room asset (as long as they are both in a similar condition) due to the fact that it can provide less functionality to its owners. Furthermore, by increasing the number of rooms in your home you can unlock another part of the market to which you couldn’t appeal to until then.

4. Outdoors also matters

Especially if you live in a city this parameter can truly make a difference. Take good care of the garden and make good use of any outdoor space that comes with your home. This factor could instantly increase the value of your house. By having a garden, it is most likely to attract couples and families which means that you attract a segment of the market with a stronger budget.

patio

5. Painting can make a difference

Most of the people may consider a good painting as the least of their concerns, but it really isn’t. A solid painting job can increase the value of your asset and make your home appealing to more candidates. The reason behind this is simple. You give to the buyer a full illustration of what their house would look like once they decide to proceed with it. In addition, you save them from the trouble of doing the painting themselves. More money for you less work for them. A win-win situation.

6. Decoration is important

As a natural continuation of the previous point, the interior space of the home matters a lot. Try to invest in taking good care of the interior and its decoration. This could be an additional card up your sleeve and increase the price of the home. Especially if you are planning to sell a furnished asset, this parameter is fundamental. But even if you don’t, it’s always a good idea to help the buyers visualize their new home. Thanks to your decoration, they can get some fresh ideas for their home and get excited about the option that you offer to them.

living room decor

7. Adjust to the market

The next tip is mainly for those who want to think in long-term or they have the necessary resources to make big changes in a small period of time. Adjusting to the market can take years but it will eventually help you increase your home’s value. For instance, if there is a strong request for family homes in your area, you might want to readjust your home from a 2 room to a 3 or 4 room asset. Immediately, you open a new market which has the financial capacity to buy your home and increase your earnings.

8. Be careful if you rent it

Ideally, the fewer people that have stayed in your place the higher its value in the market. However, this isn’t always possible. For the one reason or the other, you might want to rent the place. In that case, you need to be extra careful with the people that you choose to live in your home. Make sure that you mention to them the importance of taking good care of the asset from day one. If they don’t, start looking for someone new who can respect your terms. Lastly, make sure to renovate the place once they move out. In that way, you can boost your home’s value instantly.

9. Learn to market it better

Sometimes it’s not about what you have but what you show to the market. The real-estate market is no exception to that. Before you submit your ad online or to the papers, you want to be sure that you have taken good photos of the asset and that you have put together an enticing text which clearly describes the benefits of your home and why its value is as high as it is.

10. Find the right agent for the job

Last but certainly not least, finding the right person to handle your home building project is essential. A good agent can actually boost the value of your home and bring you closer to the big deal that you have dreamt of. That being said, you want to make a good market research before you end up working with one of them. Your network is your biggest ally in such cases. Gather as many information as you can and choose the one that fits better to your needs.

Final thoughts

All in all, increasing your home’s value is a long and challenging process. Nonetheless, as we showed above it can be done under the condition that you have a smart plan in place. Follow the steps above and good luck with home-selling effort!

About the author: Anastasios Koutsogiannis is a Content Marketing Manager at GenieBelt.

When you’re renovating or working on a new interior design project, it’s easy to fall into a certain trap. You’re handy, and you know your way around numerous DIY renovations, but of course the more you handle yourself, the harder it is to do every job perfectly, and suddenly you’ve done irreparable damage.

Handling DIY tasks as part of interior design or renovation projects can be a good idea — but only for small projects with large margins for error. There are some projects you should never handle yourself and should always leave to the professionals. Below, you’ll find 6tasks better left to the pros.

 

  1. Installing Windows

Installing or repairing windows is a big job, and if you handle the job yourself, you risk doing further damage. Improperly repairing or installing windows can lead to further damage and increased repair costs. A small crack could that could easily be fixed by a professional could lead to further moisture and temperature issues. This one is better left to the pros.

 

  1. Removing Walls

Anytime you think you can handle the task of removing walls, think again. It might not seem like much to make for some extra space by knocking down a wall or two, but you never know what might be lying just behind the drywall. You have to take into account electrical wiring, plumbing, and even gas pipes that might be embedded inside the wall. Before you pick up that hammer, get in touch with a contractor.

 

  1. Sanding Floors

Some interior decorating tasks can only be developed over time, and sanding floors is one of those skills that takes years and years of practice to perfect. Amateur standing work is instantly recognizable and could end up detracting from the value of your home. Experts recommend that you skip the bumps and the lumps and hire a professional to tackle this task.

 

  1. Electrical Work

This one can’t be overstated — you really need to know your boundaries when working with electrical wiring. If you’re handy, there’s no worry about installing a dimmer switch or swapping a light fixture, but unless you’re a licensed electrician, don’t try to do any wiring work yourself. Shocking yourself— or even starting a fire — are common consequences to working with electrical wiring without the proper training. Leave this to the professionals and avoid hurting yourself.

 

  1. A/C Units

One of the more finicky electrical units in your home is your air conditioner. If you want to save time and money on air conditioning repair, trying to tackle the problem yourself is not the way to go. This is because each A/C unit is equipped with hundreds of mechanisms and moving parts. Even for professionals, troubleshooting these issues can take hours. Once the problem is discovered, fixing the issue is even more time-consuming. Paying for A/C repair and maintenance services pay off in the long run.

 

Consider this example — not long ago, a fire at a Toronto Ontario nursing home was caused by a faulty air conditioner, and forced the entire first floor to be evacuated by fire crews. While thankfully no one was seriously hurt, the entire ordeal could have been avoided with proper maintenance and repair service. When air conditioner repairs in Toronto or any city become necessary for the safety of retirement home residents, you know it’s a job best left to the pros.

 

  1. Installing a Dishwasher

When you buy a new dishwasher at the superstore or secondhand, it doesn’t usually come with free installation. Hiring a pro in this case is definitely worth the extra costs because tackling this project without specialized know-how can lead even the most stalwart DIY hero to drill holes into water lines, or to disrupt electrical currents and wiring. While it’s fine to remove and replace a dishwasher unit on your own, only trust a professional to tackle repairs.

 

Interior design and decoration requires knowledge not just of each individual project, but of which project you can handle yourself — and which you might need to contract out. Building and finishing cabinets, sewing and hanging curtains, and setting up shelving are easy things to accomplish on your own, but when you leave the big jobs to the professionals, you’ll save time and money in the long run.

You may have just moved into a new property or you may be renovating the property you’re currently in. Aside from the lovely creation of interior design and decoration there’s another element worth paying close attention to, your heating.

How you heat your home can have a big impact on the livability and comfort of the spaces you call home.

Assess the current situation

It’s important to understand exactly what is heating your property and how it works – the pros and cons. Once you have this understanding you’ll be in a good position to make the right choices about your heating.

What heats your house?

It may be a boiler powering a wet radiator system, or a back boiler on a solid fuel stove, air-conditioning or infrared heating. Every heating system has its own quirks and foibles, particularly if it’s older. It’s important to understand your heating system so that you know how to get the best out of it and whether it’s worth upgrading or sticking.

What’s it powered by?

There’s a few choices, your heating system could be fired by oil, mains gas, propane, electricity or solid fuel. Depending on what powers your heating system there will be an impact on whether it’s worth thinking about changing your heating system. Quite often the cost of replacing an inefficient heating system powered by an expensive fuel means that the capital outlay is repaid very quickly by the reduced running costs of the new system.

How old is it?

Boiler efficiency degrades reasonably quickly. A highly efficient boiler which is 10 years old will no longer be highly efficient and this has a large impact on your day-to-day running costs. If you have an old boiler it is worth considering the cost savings you will achieve by replacing it or replacing the whole heating system with a more efficient heating system

When was it last serviced?

Regularly servicing not just your boiler but also the radiators is important to keep a wet radiator system working efficiently. Likewise if you’re reliant on a solid fuel stove, keeping it swept and clean will also help with the overall efficiency. Air conditioning should also be regularly serviced to keep everything working as it should.

Does it actually do the job?

Pretty important one… does the heating system you have actually do what you want it to? Does it provide you with a controllable, comfortable and adjustable heat, and does it do this efficiently? If not, it may be that the system you have is not up to the job. In this case it’s possible that servicing the system resolves the issues, if not you may need to upgrade to a better, more efficient heating system.

Is it Flexible

The best and most efficient heating systems are flexible in that you can control the heat requirements of each individual room or zone. If you have a central thermostat controlling the heating get rid of it and install thermostatic control in each space. This ensures that you are not heating where you don’t need to and will have a large impact on the overall efficiency of your heating system.

Author Bio: Simon Sharp is the owner of Funkyheat, a UK based manufacturer of high-end infrared heating. He has a wide experience of heating and renewable energy.

Everyone knows that home remodeling can be a big chore that disrupts your daily life for a while and makes living in your own home rather uncomfortable. However, there are bigger worries than that – a remodeling project can also make a big hole in your budget.

That’s why it’s so important to do your best to keep the costs under control. It’s not always up to you and sometimes going over your budget is the only way to go, but for the most part, with good planning, you can keep the remodeling cost in check.

kithcen remodeling

Have a detailed plan

The best way to avoid losing money on a remodeling project is to have a clear idea of what you want to get done and what the goal of your remodeling is. This is sometimes much more difficult than it sounds and it isn’t enough to know that you want your home to look different and to be freshened up.

The plan should go into details about all that the project involves and also specify a price and a timeframe for each of the tasks. It takes time to create such a plane but it can then serve as a guide.

“While we’re at it”

While we’re at it approach to remodeling is the worst way to handle a project. This approach tends to attach a lot of smaller projects to the main tasks of remodeling a home. That’s when you say: “while we’re remodeling the bathroom, we can also install new voice-activated lights”.

It’s a slippery slope because some smaller projects can actually be done by the workers you have hired already. The only way to go is to restrain yourself from this and never attach additional projects.

workers in house

An emergency fund

The truth is that regardless of how well you plan things out, there are always going to be some small expenses and delays that are beyond your control. It’s best to prepare for it in advance and have an emergency budget in place.

The size of this fund is the most important decision to make because that way you decide how much you’re willing to give in to circumstances beyond your control.  As a rule of thumb, anything beyond 25 percent of your initial plan is too much.

Shopping around

When you take the time to shop around, regardless of the purchase, you can find small savings that really add up. This is also the case with home remodeling, because you’re not only buying the materials needed for such a project, but the labor needed to complete it.

guys painting the wall

Talk to the local suppliers about the materials they are using. A lot of saving can also be made if you use recycled materials or if you make sure that they are actually local and you don’t have to pay additionally for the transport. It’s also a good idea to talk to the homeowners in your area about their experiences with the construction crews because prices may vary significantly.

Don’t pay for all of it at once

The remodeling projects usually consist of a lot of smaller projects and clearly divided maintenance jobs. This provides you with an opportunity to control the quality of the work being done and to stop the project entirely if you feel like you can’t afford it anymore.

money and calculator

Create an arrangement with the contractor to pay the bill in increments when each portion of the job is completed. Take the time to divide a project in ways that are beneficial to all parties.

There are ways to cut down the costs of a remodeling project. The key is to know what you want to do and to prepare for unforeseen changes.

The younger generation is well-aware of the benefits of renting. Limited responsibilities, and the freedom to pick up and move at a moment’s notice go hand in hand with the nomadic lifestyle and the delayed adulthood of the millennial generation. However, owning a home also has its benefits. Apart from the pride of ownership and belonging to a community, there are palpable financial and tax incentives to owning a home. Here are five considerations for people who are buying a home for the first time.

Find a realtor

While you can find tons of useful information on the Internet, they are hardly a match for years of live market experience. Having a professional real-estate agent on your team can help you sort out what’s important, and rest assured, these people know which questions to ask and what to look for. Not only do they have access to valuable pricing information but can also rely on a long string of connections with home inspectors, lenders, and attorneys. A good realtor is more of a consultant than a salesperson. If you feel that you’re being hawked into buying anything at all cost, it’s better to move along.

Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash

Choose the right one

You can ask your friends and family for recommendations, but make sure you ask the follow-up questions, like if they worked with them personally, how much experience they have and if they did a good job. Unfortunately, there are not many hoops one needs to jump through to become a real-estate agent, so the market is brimming with part-time and inexperienced professionals, who might be honest, but have little experience in the industry. Just because you know people who know people doesn’t mean they’ll do a great job.

Plan your budget

You’ve saved for a stunning holiday, new wardrobe or a sleek used car, but when you decide to purchase a property, you reach the boss level of all saving goals – the home loan deposit. It’s generally considered that the minimum deposit for home loans should be at 20% of the purchase price. You may already have a budget in place, but if not, it’s time to review your saving strategy. Audit all your current expenses and identify the opportunities to trim the fat. Your home-buying budget needs to work for you well after you move in.   

Photo by Mari Helin-Tuominen on Unsplash

 

Get the papers in line

When applying for a mortgage, you need to present the proof of your income and tax report. Mortgage lenders usually ask for two recent pay stubs, W-2s from the previous two years, tax returns and bank statements from the past two months. They need every page of the statements, including the blank ones. This way, they can make sure you have sufficient funds or don’t have odd money coming in or out. Having all the necessary papers in order can save you time.

Photo by Wells Baum on Unsplash

A few takes on location

For most people, their first home is not going to be their permanent residence. When scouting a location, the best course you can take is to see it as an investment, even if you’ll be living there. Unless space is your biggest concern, an inner city apartment is perfect for your first property. Aside from the building and internal features, consider the local schools, amenities, and transport routes. If there is a significant housing or commercial development in the area, your real-estate investment has a bright future.  

Home ownership is a form of saving which lets you build on equity and net worth with upgrades and improvements. With today’s low interest rates, your buying power is probably stronger than it will be in the future, and rest assured, they will keep going up, just like the rent payments.

 

Implementing simple green changes to your home is easy and most of us don’t think twice when it comes to installing LED lights or a dual-flush toilet. However, when it comes to going green on a larger scale, such as switching to a renewable energy system, we start thinking about our finances. Yet, we fail to see that even though such an upgrade might require more money initially, it actually offers a high return on investment. Furthermore, you have different systems at your disposal, so you can find one that meets your needs.

Wind Turbines

Although wind turbines aren’t the most common solution for residential areas, wind-generated energy is actually more stable than solar energy. With an appropriately sized turbine, you can meet most or all of your household’s energy needs. Some of the disadvantages of wind turbines are their somewhat unappealing look and noise. However, nowadays, you can find small turbines appropriate for residential use. Nonetheless, before opting for this energy source, make sure that there aren’t any local regulations that prohibit it.

wind turbines
Image Source: econews.com.au

Geothermal energy systems

Geothermal systems are another source of clean, renewable energy generated by earth’s heat. Although this type of system may have a small environmental footprint while being developed, it’s actually quite eco-friendly as it can reduce your home’s carbon footprint significantly by eliminating the need for electricity used for heating or cooling your home. This system consists of geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) that use 25 to 50 percent less energy than regular HVAC systems. Furthermore, the equipment produces no noise and requires little space, so it can easily fit in any home design. If you opt for this type of renewable energy system, make sure to check your property’s geological,
spatial and hydrological characteristics that will determine what kind of system you need.

Solar energy systems

Solar panels are one of the most popular and commonly used renewable energy systems that can boost your home value substantially. Depending on your energy needs, a few square feet of solar panels can be enough. Due to their aesthetic appeal, solar panels work well with modern home designs. They can be placed either on your roof or in your backyard. However, the main disadvantage of a solar system is that it produces energy only when the sun is up. Nonetheless, you can now find solar batteries that can store your excess energy which you can then use when there’s no sun.

home solar panels
Image Source: thegreenage.co.uk

There’s another possible solution if you want to go with solar energy. Solar shingles are becoming more and more popular as they feature a subtler design than solar panels. These are actually photovoltaic roof tiles that are installed instead of regular shingles. Since they resemble regular roof shingles, they can even blend with a more traditional home design. The initial installation may amount to even $20,000, but around 350 shingles can slash your electricity bill by up to 60 percent. In addition, you may find federal, state or local tax incentives that can reduce the cost of installation.

However, if you’re not in a financial situation to go with an entire solar system, you have other options available. For instance, you can go with a solar water heating system to heat your home and water. Solar water heaters are more affordable than solar panels and easier to install. In addition, they can cut your gas or electricity consumption, increasing your savings in the long run. Solar air conditioning is another possible solution that uses solar power to cool down your home. You can actually combine these two systems as they both use hot water.

Hydropower systems

A hydropower system generates energy from a flowing water source. Of course, this type of energy system is available only to homeowners who have such a source on their property. Thus, if you’re one of the lucky few, you should definitely invest in a micro hydro generator because even a small stream can generate steady and clean energy and cover your needs at a price significantly lower than wind or solar.

Renewable energy systems may require a sizeable investment upon installation, but they are a profitable home improvement that will boost your home’s value and increase your savings in the long run.

You have moved into your new home, but because of all the moving finalizations, you don’t have time to plan your redecoration project and are unsure how and where to start. Luckily, there are now numerous design and decor trends that you can choose to incorporate into your home. However, keep in mind that not all of them can be a good addition to your home design, so you have to choose carefully. In order to help you, we have gathered our top points that you must have on your new home checklist. Let’s take a look and get inspired.

The laundry room

Every home needs a well-organized laundry room. Many movers know from experience how important it is to have a working washer and dryer above anything else during that initial period. On top of that, it’s important to stock it with necessary hampers, detergents, and all the essential products that you need for washing. Additionally, it’s good to keep your iron and ironing board here as well, so you can easily fetch them after pulling your clothes from the dryer. Lastly, other handy essentials you may need include a lint roller, boxes in which you can deposit items found in pockets and an extremely practical plastic laundry folder.

Bathroom prep

Equipping the bathroom with essentials should be the next item on your list. Start by incorporating some basics like shower curtains, trash can and toothbrush holders, so that your first guests don’t feel as though they are visiting a vacant apartment. Furthermore, if you want to truly dazzle your visitors, make sure to paint your bathroom with an eco-friendly acrylic colour that will look chic and prevent moisture from damaging the walls. If you have a small bathroom and want to make it more practical, make sure to opt for floating vanities and a big wall mirror to make the room feel more spacious. Finally, nothing makes the bathroom atmosphere more enjoyable than greenery, so make sure to place some potted flowers on higher shelves and add a touch of serenity.

Accessorizing

If your home is nothing but bare walls, a couch and a coffee table, you are doing something wrong. First things first, make sure to choose the right curtains to add a glamorous feel to space, and don’t forget to let as much sunshine in during the day as possible. Apart from that, you can include ambient lightings like standing lamps and classy pendant lights, and use them as focus lights for key parts of your rooms. What’s more, when it comes to creating a friendly atmosphere, nothing works better than a spacious lounge and comfy bean bags for those laidback movie nights or gatherings with your friends. Lastly, don’t hesitate to be creative when it comes to decor. After all, a nice interior design is essential for making your house a home.

A posh garden

Since all your guests will first see your home’s exterior, you have to make sure that their first impression is a good one. For this reason, we recommend that you start with mowing your lawn and hiring professionals to create breathtaking flower arrangements for the front and back of your house. Once you have covered this, you can go even further and opt for a pool to raise your house parties to a whole other level. Keep in mind, you can’t call a garden posh without fabulous stone sculptures, a path made out of pebbles and, of course, you should choose cosy and trendy patio furniture to bring comfort to your outdoor spaces. When it comes to outdoor furniture materials if you have awnings you can even consider wood, just make sure it’s long-lasting.

Setting the mood in the bedroom

Now that you are almost ready to present your new home, you just need some essentials for the bedroom. This season, passionate colours for accent walls and pastel nuances combine to create a unique décor trend that you simply must apply here. Additionally, if you want to feel like royalty, you need a beige woollen rug to complement your high-quality wood furniture like an oak commode or rosewood nightstands. Finally, don’t forget to set the right mood with dimmer lights for romantic evenings with your partner.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much effort to check off every new house essential list. You just need to follow these simple steps, explore decor trends and not be afraid to make bold creative moves since it’s most important that you feel comfortable in your new home. Good luck with your project!

Installing new floors in your home is one of the happiest moments in everyone’s life and a chance to make a fresh start and leave all your troubles behind. However, this is just the first step in the process – keep in mind that you have to put in a lot of work into your floors later and make sure they’re always looked after. Keeping them clean and scratch-free is essential if you want your home to look appealing, welcoming and cosy, so here are a few tips that might help you in this process.

Hardwood floors

Wood floors are the most efficient way to make your home fancier and more elegant. They’re easy to install – though can be quite pricey – but maintaining them is a whole different story. Hardwood floors come with a sealant and a protective layer that keeps them shiny and prevents scratches, so their maintenance heavily depends on this. But, whichever finish you’ve opted for, don’t forget that vacuuming the floors regularly and meticulously, and applying dry wax from time to time are the first steps towards success. An additional protection could be a colourful rug or some other piece of fabric.

Vinyl floors

These may sound like an unusual idea at first, but are actually one of the best ways to make sure your floors are always tidy. Among the most valuable benefits of vinyl floors is the fact that they’re hard to damage and can withstand more than other floors – things like acids, solvents and minor scratches can’t really ruin them in the long run. The way to ensure vinyl floors always look new is by applying wax every once in awhile, or even covering them with a protective coating, just to be safe in the years to come.

vinyl floors

Image source: homeflooringpros.com

Marble floors

If installed properly, marble floors could easily become the most attractive feature of your home, both indoors and outdoors. However, you need to be careful when cleaning them because some acid-based solutions can be rather dangerous and do more harm than good. That’s why you should stick to a broom if you want to get the job done.

marble floors

Image source: girlsonit.com

Alternatively, if you install natural marble in your outdoor area, your patio will surely attract the attention of your neighbours, yet it can be easily cleaned with some water. An idea you should also try is using decorative outdoor mats that not only look amazing, but also help protect your floor against rain and snow.

Linoleum floors

For areas that get dirty often – the kitchen or kids’ room, for example – a linoleum floor might be perfect solution because it’s cheap, practical, easy to clean and installed in a matter of minutes. It’s made from renewable materials and can easily be recycled, and this is, if done properly, an ideal way to dispose of your old linoleum floor. The way to clean these floors is quite practical as well – all you need is a vacuum cleaner for excessive dirt, a natural cleaning solution mixed with some water, and that’s it! You can make this product on your own using vinegar, but you’ll also need a strong mop to get the work done properly.

linoleum floors

Tile floors

This is another elegant solution that will elevate the quality of your life quite quickly, especially if you opt for an eye-catching combination of colours and patterns. Whether you have quarry, ceramic or porcelain tiles, the cleaning philosophy is almost the same – don’t use store-bought solutions that are often more harmful than you realise and can do a lot of damage to you, your tiles and the environment as well, so start making your own cleaning product using borax, vinegar, baking soda and water instead.

tile floors

How often do I need to clean?

This may be the most important question when it comes to cleaning your floors, yet the answer is surprisingly simple – as often as you can. As soon as you see dirt, reach for your vacuum cleaner, but also remember waxing certain kinds of floors regularly in order to fully protect them.

Tight decorating budget? Forget designer stores and their exorbitant price tags. Sometimes a few simple tweaks can make all the difference to updating your home, and we’re here to give you some tips so you can do just that. We’re not talking a complete renovation here but you can give your home a bit of a makeover without spending up large.

Try these simple interior design ideas to give your rooms a lift and keep your bank balance in check.

1. Start With a New Color

One of the most affordable ways to give a room a fresh new look is to update its color scheme. With so many gorgeous paint colors on trend, the hard part isn’t the painting but choosing what hue you want! Not sure whether you want to go bold and dramatic, or soft and understated with paint? Check out Houzz for some home decor ideas.

If you want a different look, but don’t want to paint an entire room, a timesaving solution is to paint interior doors a glossy black. This adds instant glamour and is also easy on your wallet. Introduce black accessories, such as cushions, a vase, a rug or a lamp, to tie the doors in with the rest of the room.

2. Try a Different Layout

Moving your furniture around, taking out pieces you don’t like and adding items and accessories from other rooms and can make a big impact. And it costs you nothing! Always ask for help moving large pieces of furniture, back strain isn’t part of the makeover agenda.

3. Swap out Your Soft Furnishings

If your room is neutral in its paint scheme then a cost-effective way to make a statement is to get rid of outdated soft furnishings and update as follows.

Different Bedding

We tend to hold onto our bedding religiously but ancient duvet covers and faded comforters can really bring a bedroom down. Buying high-quality bedding will cost you less than renovating the whole room and adding something with a pop of color will create a focal point.

Buy a New Rug

Pick out a new rug that people can’t help but notice. A great area rug can do wonders for grounding a room and tie the whole interior design together. If you’re not sure what to do first then start with the floor, and be bold.

Change Cushions

If you can’t afford a new sofa then the next best thing is to to swap out your cushions for something more stylish. The golden rule for picking the right color for cushions is to identify two to three complimentary colors already existing in the room, for example, from the curtains, an artwork or a vase, to pull together all the elements in the room.

4. Introduce Key Lighting

Lighting is a necessity in a room but often it can be functional and, to be honest, a bit boring. Luckily for you, replacing a light fixture, table or floor lamp is an easy fix that can make your home look high-end without that hefty price tag. Second hand stores can hold some real treasures and these are typically budget friendly. Upcycling is also a popular craze if you’re craft minded.

Adding the right lighting to a room can instantly change the look and feel of a space. General, task and accent lighting are the three main lighting sources you should consider depending on what the room is used for. Check out these living room ideas for setting up proper lighting as well as some decoration ideas.

5. Accessorize With Mirrors

A budget friendly alternative to art is to use a mirror. There are plenty to choose from, mirrors come in lots of different sizes, shapes and styles, ranging from antique, to modern. The main purpose of using a mirror in a room is not to check your hair but to reflect light and to make a room appear bigger and brighter. They’re also versatile enough to be hung in any room of the house, you can use one for a unique focal point in a bedroom design, hang a few in an awkwardly placed stairwell or a pint-sized one in a powder room.

6. Declutter for Instant Minimalism

The last, but not least, of our interior design ideas on a budget, decluttering. It won’t cost you a thing and getting rid of excess furniture is a brilliant way to give your home a new minimalist look. Not only is decluttering free, if you sell your unwanted furniture on eBay you’ll make money on the deal and feel good about helping the planet at the same time.

Alternatively, if you can’t bear to part with anything or are renting an apartment, invest in some smart storage to give your rooms an instant minimalist makeover. You’ll be amazed at how much lighter and roomier your space will look and feel!

Author’s Bio

Angela Pearse is a blogger for Zumper who frequently combines travel with freelance writing. She’s passionate about Art Deco hotels, historical novels, Netflix, hiking and healthy living.

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The proportion of individuals and families renting properties instead of buying them is on the rise across the globe. This is good news for landlords who are planning on listing their homes for renting. However, just as modern home buyers, today’s renters are very demanding when it comes to property’s functionality and décor. So, if you are planning to rent your house, you should consider remodelling it to suits your future tenants’ needs and so you can ask for a higher rent, which is, in the long term, a very good investment. In this article, we’ll go through everything you need to know about remodelling your rental property.

First, check for issues

Regardless whether your house is five or twenty years old, you should still do a thorough examination of the house’s current condition. The first things to check are the ones that can backfire the most. Those are the foundation, electrical wiring and outlets, plumbing and water valves. Do this while the property is still empty, and if there is any need for repairs and replacements, do it before the other works start.

Establish a likely rent, and see where to make improvements

Avoid overspending. Not everything needs to be remodelled or upgraded. Try to establish the best assets of your property and how would you use them to get a good price, and see where you need to improve it to get an even better price. The usual selling-points are the kitchen and the bathroom, and these two already make substantial investments.

Kitchen makeover

Remodelling the kitchen can bring you the most thumbs up from potential renters, and it can be decisive when it comes to the height of the rent. While you should definitely install new kitchen elements if the old ones are dated, you should stick to a simple design and colour palette that can appeal to the average tenant. Since the most frequent renters are millennials which are demanding on trendiness, you should get informed about most popular appliances, and stick to energy-saving units.

Spruce up the bathroom

The bathroom is another room that can make or break the renting agreement. It is also a very expensive investment, but if your plumbing is in good shape, this will be much easier and more affordable. As with the kitchen, you should go with a neutral colour palette and a clean style. There are some ways to save on the bathroom renovation, such as getting lightly used or recycled fixtures, installing a sun tube instead of a window, using subway tile (much more affordable, and with the right décor, very chic), and limiting the tile to “water-sprinkling” areas, while painting the others with moisture-resistant paint.

Invest in floors and paint

If the house isn’t lived in for some time, it is highly likely that the floors and the walls aren’t looking very well. This is something that catches the eye of the potential tenants really fast, so it is a good place to invest.

  • Some affordable and durable options for flooring are wood laminate, bamboo and vinyl.
  • Paint should be bright and neutral so that the future tenants could decorate it according to their taste.

Subtle, but livable décor

Your tenants may decide to bring their own furniture and accessories, but it’s up to you to present them space as welcoming, and an empty house says everything but that. This includes some basic furniture, such as the living room sofa and coffee table, and details that will make the house inviting, such as greenery and fresh flowers.

Put the house on the market

Now that everything is done, it is time to get informed about the local tax laws and property rules. If everything is by the book, move on to setting a competitive price by comparing with the other rentals in the neighbourhood. Be realistic, don’t set the price too high. Expect that the tenants will be scouting around for better deals. Remember that being a landlord is a huge responsibility, so you have to screen tenants carefully because you need to be sure that they will treat your property responsibly and pay the rent on time. Once you find the tenant that you like, ask for a security deposit.

While it does bring a secure monthly income, being a landlord also brings many obligations, including adapting your home to the needs and desires of the people who are going to live there. Hopefully, these tips will help both you and the tenants have a mutually beneficial relationship.