Home Updates that Will Make You Want to Keep Your House Instead of Sell It

Shannon Quinn - July 29, 2022
This bathroom has been fully customized and updated. Credit: Shutterstock

29. Update the Bathroom

The bathroom is one of the most important rooms in the house. It’s essential to our health and hygiene, and every member of the family uses it multiple times a day. There are so many updates you can do to a bathroom on a budget. Here at Home Addict, we’ve already created a list called Simple Ways to Jazz Up a Bathroom For Under $100.

Even small changes, like this vanity, make a huge difference in style. Credit: Shutterstock

Or, you can go big and do a complete makeover. According to Bob Vila, “Bathroom remodels have some of the highest return on investment of any work you can do in your home, but tight spaces and high-end finishes can drive up the project price. The average national cost of a bathroom remodel is $10,978, but can range between $6,152 and $16,615.” (via Bob Vila)

Solar panels are an investment in lower energy cost for your family. Credit: Shutterstock

28. Install Solar Panels

Tired of paying huge electricity bills every month? It’s actually more affordable to install solar panels than you might think. In many states, there are programs available to help give you free or discounted solar panels as an incentive to “go green”. (However, nothing is actually “free”. You may need to pay the cost to install a new roof, for example.) According to Market Watch, the national average of $16,000 to $21,000.

It may cost less than you would imagine to install solar panels. Credit: Shutterstock

Once you get solar panels installed, you have two options. If you own them outright, you can save the energy on something like a Tesla battery, and have 100% free energy. But if you agree to lease the panels through a company, then you will pay a flat fee in the ballpark of $150 per month no matter what, plus get money back for the extra power used. Every program is different, so do your research! (via Market Watch)

A home filled with plants is a happy place. Credit: Shutterstock

27. Adopt Some New Plants

If you don’t already have indoor plants, you will be surprised to see how much it can improve the vibe of a house or apartment. Plants give a pop of color and literally bring life to your home. They also help to improve the air quality, and can add a stylish aesthetic to your space.

This stylish apartment has lots of plants enjoying natural sunlight. Credit: Shutterstock

Don’t have a green thumb? Before you start buying plants, check out the Biggest Mistakes People Make With Indoor Plants. This list will help you keep your plants alive. You’d be surprised to know how many ways you can accidentally kill a plant!

Hanging artwork can bring a lot of personalization to your space. Credit: Shutterstock

26. Hang Artwork

Do you have blank walls in your house or apartment? It’s time to hang some artwork. This will help to personalize your space to make it feel more like it belongs to you. It also brings in pops of color, and visual interest. To top it off, it’s also a great conversation starter.

Great artwork can truly be a good conversation starter. Credit: Shutterstock

A lot of people avoid hanging artwork because they believe it’s too expensive. But it’s actually quite affordable to find art almost anywhere- even places like Dollar General and Family Dollar. You could also buy a canvas for yourself at a craft store and paint something original. There are plenty of DIY projects available on Pinterest for you to choose from. (via Pinterest)

Installing laminate flooring is easy, so long as you follow an online tutorial. Credit: Shutterstock

25. Install New Flooring

Does your house still have ugly carpet that was installed decades ago? This can accumulate dust, dirt, and bad smells. Bad flooring alone can make you want to move somewhere else. The solution is simple- get new flooring. You can choose laminate, tile, hard wood, or upgrade to a better type of carpet.

You may need to hire a professional to install something complicated like tiles. Credit: Shutterstock

However, installing new flooring isn’t cheap. It’s going to be a true investment in keeping your home. According to Forbes, “Flooring can cost between $1,500 and $4,500 with an average price of about $3,000 to cover a 500-square-foot space. Your project cost will vary widely depending on several different factors, including the location of your home, the type of flooring you choose and even which flooring contractor you hire.” (via Forbes)

Make your home your own with your collections and artwork. Credit: Shutterstock

24. Customize Your Space

Sometimes, you can get bored of your space because it looks like everyone else’s home. Maybe you even bought identical Ikea furniture to your friends and family to the point where you can’t tell much of a difference. This means it’s time for you to customize your space. Ask yourself how you can change your space to reflect your personal style.

This space has been truly customized to fit the homeowner’s taste. Credit: Shutterstock

Some ways you can personalize your house or apartment is to choose your favorite color on the walls. Hang some artwork, and display your prized possessions. You want to be able to walk into your home and feel like you live there, and that no one else could replicate your style to be uniquely you. (via Asset Living)

It’s everyones dream to own a house with an in ground pool. Credit: Shutterstock

23. Get a Pool

Getting a pool for your backyard is a great idea, especially if you have kids. It doesn’t matter if it’s in ground or just a simple blow-up pool that you keep up for the summer. Having a place to play and cool off in the backyard will give your kids countless hours of fun. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and installing an in ground pool, get ready to take out a loan or seriously drain your savings. According to Forbes, “In ground pool costs differ depending on the pool’s material as well as its shape and size. The total cost of an inground pool ranges from $28,000 to $55,000, or about $50 to $125 per square foot. That’s an average cost of $35,000.”

Even a small inflatable pool in the backyard gives kids countless hours of entertainment. Credit: Shutterstock

According to research by Bankrate, “One HouseLogic study suggests an increase of 7 percent, at most, under ideal conditions, while HGTV reports that the average in-ground pool can up your property’s value by 5 to 8 percent. Another analysis by the brokerage Redfin of 19 warm-weather markets found that a pool can add between $11,591 and $95,393 in value to your home, depending on the location and market.” (via Forbes and Bankrate)

Hiring a professional landscaper might be what you need to keep your property looking great. Credit: Shutterstock

22. Do Some Landscaping

One of the things that draws people to buying a house is the fact that they will have a backyard for their kids to play in. However, most people in the United States plant grass and leave it at that. If this sounds like you, your backyard might need some serious landscaping. Once you have some flowers, trees, and plants in your backyard, it becomes a much more attractive and personalized space for you to be in. Landscaping isn’t just for your benefit, either. It can increase the value of your home.

Landscaping can add value to your home. Credit: Shutterstock

According to the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors, “A review of research by Virginia Tech Horticulturist Alex Niemiera found that a well landscaped home had a significant price advantage over a home with no landscaping. That advantage ranged from 5.5 percent to 12.7 percent. That translates into an extra $16,500 to $38,100 in value on a $300,000 home.” (PA Realtors)

Next time you go to Ikea, consider trying out Ikea Hacks. Credit: Shutterstock

21. Try Some Ikea Hacks

Ikea is one of the most affordable places to buy furniture. Their pieces are also very easy to put together, so long as you follow their instructions. And even if you have issues, there is likely to be a YouTube video online to help you step-by-step. So if you’re looking to upgrade your house on a budget, you may want to try to find some Ikea Hacks. Lucky for you, we already compiled some of the best ones on the internet. Here at Home Addict, we wrote this article: Try These Ikea Hacks For a Home Makeover on a Budget.

Plan ahead for your shopping trip with the Ikea catalog online. Credit: Shutterstock

Even though Ikea is a popular choice for home hacks, it doesn’t necessarily have to be from there. You can do “hacks” to furniture from almost any store, including Walmart or Target. Check out Pinterest and other online communities for ideas on how to upgrade a piece of common furniture into something unique for your home. 

This stylish apartment has a beautiful gallery wall. Credit: Shutterstock

20. Create a Gallery Wall

Earlier on this list, we suggested hanging some artwork. But some people have the issue of owning too many pieces of art, and they’re not sure which one to use. In that case, you may want to consider creating a gallery wall. Not sure where to start? Check out our blog post called  Gorgeous Gallery Wall Inspiration to Elevate Wall Space.

Black and white photography makes a bold statement on a gallery wall. Credit: Shutterstock

Gallery walls are great, because they showcase all of your favorite pieces in one place. If you’re starting from scratch, consider going with a cohesive color story. Or, possibly do everything in black and white. The possibilities are endless. Just get creative, and show off your personal style to the world.

If you had a dream closet like this, you would never want to leave your house. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Upgrade Your Closet

If you don’t have a good closet in your house, it can be really frustrating. Or, even if you have a big, spacious closet, it may be lacking in organization. That’s why it may be a good idea to upgrade your closet with a shelving system. This will help you keep your clothes neat and clean, and it helps you find things more easily compared to keeping them in a set of drawers.

Sometimes a second bedroom can be used as a closet. Credit: Shutterstock

One of the most popular places to buy shelving systems for your closet is Ikea. They sell all shapes and sizes to fit almost any home. However, they’re not the only option. If you happen to be handy with construction, hardware stores like Home Depot sell the shelves so that you can make a fully custom closet space for less than what you’d buy for something pre-made. (via Ikea)

Dollar Tree has almost anything you can think of for $1.25. Credit: Shutterstock

18. Try Dollar Tree DIY’s

If you’re looking for a cheap way to upgrade your space, consider doing a DIY project. You might want to make a piece of home decor that’s personal to your space. This can be accomplished by going to your local craft store and finding something creative to do. However, a lot of these craft supplies can actually be found at Dollar Tree for just $1.25 per item. (They raised the prices recently on their items, in case you didn’t know.)

Check out your local Dollar Tree for some great deals. Credit: ShutterstockNot sure where to start? Here at Home Addict, we already compiled an entire list of ideas for you to create something with supplies found at Dollar Tree. Check Out These Creative Dollar Tree Craft Ideas.

Ceiling molding adds a lot of elegance to a space. Credit: Shutterstock

17. Add Trim or Molding

If you’re trying to make your home look more luxurious, adding trim and molding to your walls makes a huge difference. For whatever reason, having the right wooden molding can make any room look expensive, even if it’s completely empty. The good news is that this is also easy to install on your own if you watch a YouTube tutorial.

Baseboard gives a lot of style and elegance to a room. Credit: Shutterstock

According to Home Advisor, The national average cost of installing trim in a house is $1,314, with a typical range between $607 and $2,064. The cost at the low end is $200, and the high-end cost is $5,200. Trim and molding are woodwork elements that embellish a home’s floors, walls, and ceilings.” (via Home Advisor)

These modern door knobs look more stylish than old ones. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Swap Out Your Knobs

Feeling tired of your space? One of the easiest and most affordable changes you can make is to switch out your outdated door knobs. This detail may seem small, but it actually makes your doors look much more modern.

Swapping out knobs on furniture is an easy upgrade. Credit: Shutterstock

You can also switch out the knobs of your furniture. Sometimes, if you give your furniture a new coat of paint and some new knobs, it transforms it. Sometimes it changes so drastically that it seems like you’ve bought yourself new furniture. Check out your local Home Depot to see all of the different kinds of knobs you can choose from, or order them online. (via Home Depot)

Giving your front door a fresh coat of paint gives it a lot of curb appeal. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Paint or Replace the Doors

Sometimes, swapping out the door knob isn’t enough to fix an old and outdated door. You may be able to paint the door to give it a new life. Don’t forget to paint the rest of the doors in the house to match! But depending on the age and condition of your doors, you may need to replace them completely. Interior doors cost anywhere from $50 to $300 depending on the size and style that you need. (Always measure your doors beforehand!)

Replacing old interior doors can make a huge difference in your home. Credit: Shutterstock

“Out of 11,916 projects analyzed by HomeAdvisor, the average cost of replacing a door was between $477 and $1,389, for an overall average of $916. The lowest price reported by a homeowner was $100, while the highest price reported was $4,200.” (via Home Advisor)

Alexandra Beuter shows the semi-permanent wallpaper in her house. Credit: Alexandra Beuter

14. Try Out Semi-Permanent Wallpaper

Wallpaper can be a great way to update your room and make it feel like a completely different space. However, a lot of people are afraid to use wallpaper because they don’t want to damage the walls. This is especially true if you are renting your space. However, there is something called semi-permanent wallpaper that comes off a lot easier when you’re ready to remove it. This is perfect for anyone who wants to experiment with color and pattern but your afraid of damaging the walls.

Just one statement wall will make a big difference. Credit: Shutterstock

Check out some of the options available at Home Depot, or look online for stores that specialize in peel-and-stick wallpaper. The cost can vary dramatically depending on where you buy it, but the average is anywhere from $30 to $90 per roll. Because of this, you may want to start with just one accent wall instead of wallpapering an entire room. (via Alexandra Beuter)

This house has a beautiful finished basement used as a living room. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Give Your Basement a Makeover

For those of you out there who are lucky enough to have a cement basement (instead of a dirt crawl space) that means you have the option of giving it a makeover. A lot of people use their basement as a second living room, game room, guest room, or even an apartment to rent for extra income. Adding this extra square footage to your home will also help to increase the value of your house, and it helps with resale if you decide to do that late.

A finished basement could be rented out and used as extra income. Credit: Shutterstock

If you’re looking for inspiration, check out our post filled with basement makeover ideas. Basement Transformation Ideas That Will Inspire. The one and only catch to giving your basement a makeover is the cost. It’s not cheap, and will cost you a pretty penny. According to Bob Vila,  “The typical cost to finish a basement ranges from $2,800 to $33,985, with the national average at $18,395.” (via Bob Vila)

Any man would love this basement bar and arcade. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Build a Man Cave or a She Shed

Sometimes, all you need to feel happier in your home is a place to call your own. That’s why so many people will build a “man cave” or a “she shed”. This doesn’t have to literally be a shed in the backyard (though a lot of people have done this.) It could be a guest room transformed into a craft room. Or maybe your basement can be turned into a bar and gaming center for the guys.

This crafting room is perfect for women who love their hobbies. Credit: Shutterstock

Once you have a space to call your own, you can retreat there whenever you need a minute to be alone. In a lot of cases, once you have this space, you may not want to move away after all. Just keep in mind that if you do decide to sell your house later on, you might want to stage that room to look like an extra bedroom, because it does better for resale value. (via Better Homes and Gardens)

Go shopping for new faucets with your partner so that you both agree on the style. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Swap Out Faucets 

Similar to swapping out your knobs, getting new faucets will make a huge difference. Check out the faucets you currently have in your bathroom and kitchen. Do they have tiny rust spots? They’re so small, you might not notice with the naked eye. But even if it goes unnoticed on a daily basis, your guests will probably see it. And it gives you this subconscious vibe of disgust when you go to wash your hands.

A new faucet can bring a lot of style to your space. Credit: Shutterstock

The good news is that faucets are inexpensive, and easy to install by yourself, if you happen to like doing your own work. This can be a really cool opportunity to add a unique twist in a small way. Home Depot has a series of videos that will help teach you how to replace a faucet on your own. (via Home Depot)

A tiny house in your backyard is an ultimate dream list item. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Build a Tiny Guest House 

For those of you who own a house, you may be considering if you should sell it or not. But if you have a backyard, consider building a guest house to bring in some extra income. Yes, it costs a lot to build a guest house. But the investment may be worth it if you can make a profit on the rental income. Here at Home Addict, we already wrote a list including all of the reasons you may want to build a tiny house: 40 Reasons to Jump on the Tiny Living Train.

A tiny house can bring in extra income. Credit: Shutterstock

According to iBuyer, “You can determine your guest house value by subtracting your annual overhead costs from the annual rental income (if you’re planning to rent it out). Then, add your equity build and divide everything by your total building cost. The rental income you receive is your cash flow, which can make a guest house an ongoing lucrative venture.” (via Realtor)

Decorative trim can make a room look more luxurious compared to blank walls. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Install Wainscoting 

Similar to trim and molding, wainscoting tends to elevate a space, even when it’s an empty room. The difference is that wainscoting takes up half or the entire wall with wood trim. If you happen to be handy, you can install wainscoting yourself. There are many tutorials online that will help teach you how to do it on your own.

Wainscoting makes a room look very fancy, and it’s easier to install than you would imagine. Credit: Shutterstock

According to Home Advisor, “The price of wainscoting ranges from $7 to $40 per square foot, depending on the type of panel. Installation costs average $90 per hour or about $5.50 per square foot, including materials and labor.” (via Lowes)

Carve out a little nook for your home office space. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Create a Home Office Space

We now live in a world where a lot of people work remotely, or they have a hybrid work situation. If you haven’t already created a home office, then you might want to consider building one. It could be as simple as buying a small desk to fit into the corner of your bedroom. Or, you might want to convert your guest room into an entire office space. That really just depends on the amount of space you have available at your disposal.

Office space makes it possible to work from home. Credit: Shutterstock

Maybe you already have a home office, but you’re struggling with the day-to-day realities of working in it. Here at Home Addict, we’ve already created a post filled with advice on how to upgrade your home office space. Upgrade Your Home Office With These Simple DIYs.

Kitchen islands are some of the most sought-after dream items. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Buy a Kitchen Island 

If you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, an island may be all you need. It gives you additional storage and seating space in one. And it looks so stylish and luxurious, it instantly elevates the look of a space. This is especially true if you install an island made with marble or any other stone top.

Marble kitchen islands look beautiful. Credit: Shutterstock

According to Nerd Wallet, “While adding an island to your existing kitchen design can be costly, the project is relatively inexpensive when compared with a full kitchen remodel. Kitchen islands cost an average of $3,000 to $5,000”. There are some people out there who have created their own kitchen islands for under $1,000. You just need to have some skills in woodworking. (via Nerd Wallet)

This sliding cabinet door gives extra kitchen storage. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Add More Kitchen Storage

Having a small kitchen is a deal breaker for a lot of people, especially if they love to cook. So it’s understandable if your kitchen is the reason why you want to move to a new house. We have already suggested giving your kitchen a total makeover, or buying a kitchen island. But both of those options cost thousands of dollars. A much cheaper option is to purchase additional storage. It’s possible to buy extra cabinets to hang in your kitchen that match the rest of what you already own.

This pantry shelf gives extra kitchen storage. Credit: Shutterstock

If you’re renting, you can’t install new cabinets or do major renovations. But you can still purchase storage like a rolling cart, or hang shelves on the walls. At the end of the day, good organization trumps having a larger kitchen space to put all of your stuff. So look for some organization tips for your kitchen, and you should be able to fit everything you need, even into a small space. (via Better Homes and Garden)

Statement pieces, like this artwork, help bring in your personality to your house. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Buy Statement Pieces 

Earlier on this list, we already suggested buying art, or even making a gallery wall. But there is something else you can do to elevate your space even further. Statement pieces are objects in your home that look artistic, even if they’re just everyday things. They really stand out and say a lot about your personality.

Collecting statement pieces builds a custom home over time. Credit: Shutterstock

Usually, your eyes will immediately go to a statement piece when you walk into a room. Think about a room with a huge, fancy chandelier or an unexpected statue sitting in the corner. Then, the eye will travel across the room from there. You really only need one statement piece per room, unless you’re a maximalist. (via Hadley Court)

Bring together your prized collections and put them on display. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Put Your Collections on Display

Do you have a big collection of things, but nowhere to put it? Having a lot of stuff can quickly turn into a hoarding situation if you’re not displaying everything on a shelf. Once it’s on display, it looks really tasteful, and can be a great way to personalize your space.

Consider buying cases for your special collections. Credit: Shutterstock

If you like to collect things, you might be interested in our list about some of the biggest collections in the world. The Most Unusual Collections that People Have Dedicated their Lives To. It’s filled with some of the most impressive Guinness World Record collections that you’ve ever seen. 

Swing set playhouses like this will cost thousands of dollars. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Buy a Playhouse or Swing Set For the Kids

If you’re thinking about moving to give your kids a better place to grow up, that’s completely understandable. But if you have a backyard, one of the things you can do to make it immediately better is to buy them a playhouse or a swing set. If you want to buy a swing set, expect to pay between $1,000 to $2,000. But a small play house will only cost around $200 to $300.

Adorable backyard playhouses like this can add value to your home. Credit: Shutterstock

Here at Home Addict, we made a list about Outrageously Expensive Luxury Playhouses. Check that out to see what millionaires do for their kids. Maybe you can’t copy exactly what they did, but it’s still shocking and sort of inspirational.

Installing ceiling fans can add a lot of practical and aesthetic value to your home. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Install Ceiling Fans

Sometimes, if you get sick of your living space, it could have to do with the airflow of the room. Installing ceiling fans will help with circulating the air, and it can even cut down on heating and cooling costs. Most ceiling fans cost between $150 to $200 apiece. 

Fancy ceiling fans like this look like a piece of art. Credit: Shutterstock

According to The Spruce, ceiling fans also add to a home’s value. “Ceiling fans make a great addition to any home. Adding a ceiling fan to a room can add both beauty and comfort to a room. They give a room character and its own source of air movement. Ceiling fans come in a wide range of prices depending on the size, style, and ​quality of ceiling fan. Adding ceiling fans to rooms like bedrooms, the living room, or family room will add value to your home immediately.” (via The Spruce)

Repairs should be made to your HVAC system at least once a year. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Upgrade Heating or AC

Something that a lot of homeowners let slide is getting their HVAC serviced regularly. They’re supposed to have it repaired at least once a year. And according to Energy Air, “The Department of Energy recommends homeowners replace their HVAC system every 10 to 15 years. Modern air conditioners are durable, but their major components will begin to deteriorate after around ten years depending on how often you use and maintain them.”

Air conditioners need to be cleaned once a year. Credit: Shutterstock

“According to HomeAdvisor, full HVAC unit replacement costs range from $5,000 to $10,000, with the national average at $7,000. This comes out to about $25 to $60 per square foot. Prices depend on the size and brand of the HVAC system, the size of the house, ductwork length, and the new unit’s efficiency rating.” (via Bob Vila)