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Old 08-07-2009, 11:09 AM   #1
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Bang for your Buck: DIY Projects

Hello everyone! I am new to the site and find myself posting like the town idiot, but figured I need to take advantage of professional advice!

I am in the Army and recently purchased a home. Lots of stuff I want to do (re-do concrete steps, add lights, tile backsplash in kitchen, etc.). My problem is it all costs time and money, and I probably won't be here more than a couple years (i.e., don't put more into it than you will get out of it type of deal).

It's a fairly new home, so no major issues, just more asthetic stuff. The list gets longer of what I want to do vs. what I can afford to do, so where should I start? What do you guys think?

If this is the wrong place for this kind of question let me know I will shut my pie-hole. Thanks!


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Old 08-07-2009, 11:18 AM   #2
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If you will only be there a few years don't go wild
That said one of the best improvemenst is fresh paint
Tiling the backsplash can be done without too much cost
I did the backsplash at my last house - looked pretty good

Where do you want to add lights, inisde/outside/what rooms areas?

I usually make a list of things I want to do
If it needs material (tile etc) I then wait for a sale or clearance item to do that project
Redoing our fireplace has been on my list for a while
I found a piece of granite & HD had a clearance sale on some nice tile
So for less then $300 we ended up with a nice fireplace

Just paint, some area rugs & the right furniture will make a house much better & be more "yours"


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Old 08-07-2009, 11:27 AM   #3
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Hi Casey and thanks for serving.

You are lucky that your list includes only things that you want to do and not things that you have to do. My only advice is to change things early, so you get the benefit of your money and work. Also items like lighting fixtures, you can save the old ones and put them back up before you sell.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:51 PM   #4
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Great question!

With you only planning to be there a couple three years, I would start thinking about the coming sale of the house now.

Buyers want, and will pay for, move in ready and a house that appears to have been well maintained - so fix anything and everything that needs fixing. Not just the big things - but all the little things, loose knobs, damaged trim, etc.

Painting - do now any colors you want now, and then repaint inside and out with nuetral colors and to be fresh just before selling.

You say the house is newer, so maybe not much needed in the Kitchen and baths. kitchens and baths sell houses, so needed updates here can bring more money and a higher percentage of return on the dollar spent, and a faster sale.

Consider landscaping and curb appeal - biggies for the sale that can bring a good return. Outdoor patio and deck areas can add value for the dollar spent.

How old is the roof and it's condition? You want to ensure there is a good five years or more of life left in it when you sell so it does not become a issue at the sale.

I like the previously mentioned idea of making a planning and to-do list and then watching for sales and deals - this is exactly what I do. It can save a bunch of money and rework.

Last edited by vsheetz; 08-07-2009 at 01:53 PM.
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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Thank you all for the replies! Did I mention that this site rocks? I like the idea of a list and then waiting for deals Dave, so I am going to do that! I already put a deck up, paid a contractor to do it...which is why I am here. I just need to stop being lazy and learn to do this stuff myself.
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