One of the biggest purchases most people will make in their lives is buying their own home. Owning your home can provide you and your family with security and peace of mind, give you a stable place to live, and provide you with an important investment opportunity. Like any type of investment you make, it’s smart to do what you can to ensure that your home’s value increases over time. One of the ways you can do this is to give your house a makeover.

There are several projects you can do to increase your home’s value. See below for a few home improvement tips that can make your home more inviting as well as worth more than what you paid for it.

Update and Refresh Your Home’s Exterior

A home that looks beautiful on the outside always has more value than a home with an unkempt yard or peeling paint. Simple things like neat landscaping, clean siding and a green lawn can increase the value of a house by several thousand dollars. Here are a few ideas you can try to improve your home’s curb appeal.

  • Replace a cracked walkway or an aging outdoor patio. Most projects like these can be completed in just a week or two, and a wide variety of materials are available, from natural stone to manufactured bricks and textured concrete.
  • Update your home’s gutter system. Updating gutters not only provides protection from water damage, new gutters can also make your home’s exterior look neater and more attractive. Gutters are available in a variety of materials, including vinyl, copper and steel. New gutters can be installed quickly, usually within a day.
  • Improve your landscaping. Beautiful and well cared for plants, flowers and trees can go a long way when it comes to increasing your home’s value. Flowering trees and shrubs, a manicured lawn and well-placed flowerbeds are always a good investment, and they are projects you can do yourself if you want to save on the cost of a professional landscaping service. Several resources are available to give you ideas and help you get started on a DIY landscaping project.

Create a Multi-purpose Recreation Area

If you have an extra room that isn’t being utilized, consider creating a multi-purpose recreation area. Whether it’s installing dance studio flooring, a sauna or hot tub, or a customized movie theater, there is almost no end to the number of ways you can add value to your home by creating a space dedicated to relaxing and having fun.

Brighten Up Dark Spaces

Thick, opaque window treatments can make your interior seem uninviting, especially in areas that don’t get a lot of sunlight. If your home is too dark inside it can give visitors the impression that your house is dirty. Brightening up walls with light, fresh paint and replacing dark drapes and curtains with airy, light-filtering options is an easy way to increase your home’s value and appeal. Removing dark-toned carpeting and replacing it with a lighter shade of carpet or hardwood or other flooring, can brighten your interior and make your home feel cleaner.

Replace Dated Decor with Modern Options

If your home still has pink 1950s bath fixtures or a kitchen that was last decorated in the 1970s with orange and avocado green, it is time to consider a major decor update. Outdated decor like false ceilings, fake wood paneling and vinyl wallpaper can decrease your home’s value by more than you think. Updating outdated features like these will also make your home a nicer place to live.

Time For a Kitchen Upgrade?

Kitchen makeovers can be expensive and time consuming, but a new kitchen can add more value to your home than almost any other home improvement project. If your kitchen cabinets are looking a bit tired and your appliances are getting on in years, replacing them will not only increase your home’s value, it will make daily tasks like cooking and washing dishes easier and give you and your family a pleasant space for entertaining, dining and relaxing. A kitchen upgrade might also save you money on utility bills as new appliances are much more energy efficient than older ones.

Do Home Improvements That Make Your Home Energy Efficient

Changes that make your home more energy efficient add value to your home as well as save you money on electric and heating bills. Some simple ways you can increase your home’s energy efficiency are replacing old windows and doors with new models, adding solar panels to your roof, insulating your walls, and updating your heating and air conditioning systems. These improvements will also help protect the environment by helping you burn less fossil fuel.