Home Value-Boosting Improvements Under $3,000


The Columbia, SC real estate market is booming and there has never been a better time to consider putting your house up for sale. But if it’s not quite time for you yet, there are a few home improvements you can make that will help your home stand out when you’re ready to roll. Each of the following high-impact projects come in at less than $3,000.


Since the kitchen and the bath are the two rooms that really sell a house, we’ll start there.



Painting the walls and trim is a no-brainer and a pretty simple chore you can tackle yourself in one or two afternoons. Other projects that you might consider including cabinet refacing, which as a DIY endeavor costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $500, plus any tools you don’t already own. HouseLogic notes that new hardware is an added cost that fluctuates between $2 and $50 each piece. New countertops are a job to leave to the pros, since any slight mismeasurements can lead to disaster. Popular countertop materials include concrete, natural stone, and laminate.



If your toilet has seen better days, having a new one installed shouldn’t cost more than $500 but will instantly make your bathroom look cleaner and better kept. Experts recommend opting for a ultra-low flush toilet as they are more efficient. Like counters in the kitchen, it’s a job for a professional. However, you can install a new faucet, mirror, and shower curtain bar to update the room with a very small investment. It takes less than an hour to replace a bathroom faucet on your own; here’s an instructional video from Lowes to get you started. Another inexpensive way to spruce up the bath is to reglaze the tub, which takes approximately two days for someone with intermediate home maintenance skills, according to the DIY Network. This, like replacing the toilet, will take years off your bathroom’s perceived age and make it more appealing to potential buyers.



The exterior of your home, or its curb appeal, can greatly influence a buyer’s first impression of the property. And fortunately, there are many things you can do to spruce up the outside to make your home memorable. A masonry mailbox is a single-day project that most contractors charge between $250 and $350 to complete, including materials and labor. Landscaping is something you can do yourself by clearing out old flower beds, planting native bushes and flowers, and adding a layer of decorative mulch. Costs vary depending on your personal tastes and preferences but expect to spend less than $500.



Many buyers look closely at the garage before signing on a new home. You can have the garage door replaced for an average of $1,534. CBS News reports that this exterior upgrade offers an 83% or more ROI, which makes it an excellent investment if you’re going to be in the home for a few years.



Outdoor entertaining is important, especially given the pleasant summers of Columbia. If you have an existing patio, rent a pressure washer and give it a good cleaning and add some built-in seating. An open, flat lawn is the perfect setting to build your own brick paver patio and fire pit. Material can be purchased at your local hardware store for less than $2,000. This tutorial from The Home Depot blog shows you how to do it in two weekends.


Any home improvement that you make will enhance your quality of life and make your home more appealing to its future occupants. With a little planning, research, and elbow grease, you can manage many projects yourself. Keep the high-tech, low-cost jobs for the pros and sit back, relax, and enjoy your home until it’s time to relocate.


Thanks to Gene Williams from DIYDad.info for this article. Gene has spent the last two decades completing countless home improvement projects, and loves to share his knowledge with others. Please visit his website for more information or to send your questions.