Tips to Nurse Your Home Back to Life on a Budget

The following post is by fellow blog reader, Mark Tallery. Enjoy! 

Has your home’s health deteriorated because of old age? Are you faced with the hard dilemma of whether you should move to a new house or renovate your existing one? Well, as Jane Kennedy explains, there are many elements to consider. However, if you decide that you are not willing to give up on your house, here are some helpful tips that will save you a great deal of money as well as increase your home value.


Painting and Caulking

Painting is a relatively easy project for anyone. It is also one of the simplest ways to increase your home value as it brings back that fresh look and make it appear well cared for. Moreover, simply repainting exterior and interior walls can generate an extra $3000 to $4000 in home value.

In an older house, it is best to begin with a paintable caulk. All older homes have suffered settling and the abuses of the years. Caulk every single crack where baseboards, crown molding or other trim work meets the walls or floors. Caulk around windows and re-caulk all of the glass panes before painting. The next step is to use “Kilz”, which is a primer coat that also kills molds. Use this product on walls, ceilings and all trim work. It provides a smooth opaque surface on which to paint, and will not allow old stains to bleed through your new paint. Use a high quality wall and trim paint brand which also contains a primer. This will allow you to achieve complete coverage on old stained walls and ceilings, with only one coat of paint.

In many older homes, you will find cheap and quite ugly paneling on the walls. One very economic and easy way to resolve this issue without the need for hanging sheetrock or applying plaster is to paint over it. Simply remove the vertical and/or horizontal trim pieces and discard them. Leave the corner pieces. Use your caulk to fill all cracks between the 4 X 8 sheets of paneling, and then give it a good coat of the “Kilz.” One coat of the paint mentioned above will cover, and you will have walls that appear as if they are made of varying sizes of planks. It is an extremely attractive solution, and far less costly than any other.



The kitchen is always the most difficult room to remodel or upgrade in the house, other than the bathroom. Of course, the extent of the renovation will depend on your wants and desires, as well as your needs. You must carefully consider what is already there and whether or not you can work with any of the current installations in the kitchen. The important thing to remember, when doing a kitchen remodel on your own, is to work around the existing utility entrance and exit points. Otherwise, you will need both an electrical and a plumbing contractor. Replacement cabinets and countertops are readily available at home centers, and they are easy to install. If you plan to use the existing cabinets, you can always replace outdated countertops, and repaint the cabinets with oil-base enamel. After painting, it is easy to replace outdated hardware, such as door and drawer knobs and hinges, for more modern versions.

Another thing to consider is that renovating your kitchen is always a great investment. According to the AIC (Appraisal Institute of Canada), a kitchen remodel can yield up to a 100% ROI (Return on Investment).


Lighting & Plumbing Fixtures

New lights and ceiling fans are very easy to install in the same locations as the old ones. Each new fixture comes with step-by-step instructions. Just make sure that the appropriate breaker in the electrical box is turned off before you begin. It is also a good idea to purchase an inexpensive tester, and use it after putting the breaker in the off position, just to be doubly sure you will not get shocked. The same is true of replacing electrical outlets and switches.

Plumbing fixtures such as new faucets are also just as easy to install, with the included instructions. This is also true of garbage disposals, if you wish to have one, as well as hooking up the water line to the dishwasher or refrigerator water supply, on models which have automatic ice makers, or water and ice dispensers in the door.


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