Affordable Interior Update

By: Danny Lipford
Danny Lipford in remodeled family room

Danny Lipford shows off the new family room flooring, trim, paint, and fireplace.

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Danny shares some easy ways to get the maximum dollar on the resale of your home when updating a family room.

  1. Replace Old Flooring: You don’t want a prospective buyer to see years’ worth of stains or smell odors from carpet. An update like this will increase your home’s value and make a striking difference in the overall look of a room. For this home it made sense to tear out the old stained carpet and replace it with the same flooring as was in the dining room; DuPont RealTouch Elite Walnut Block laminate flooring. Remember so to cover up and protect any existing flooring and fixtures to prevent damage while you work.
  2. Update Existing Fireplace: An old brick fireplace can be painted, stuccoed, or covered with drywall and tiled. Using the same leftover tile you have from another project will certainly save money with a project like this. Regardless, updating old brickwork or tiling around a fireplace can quickly refresh the look of a room. Simple fireplace mantle kits can be found for a couple hundred bucks to really finish it off.
  3. Add New Trim: Crown molding and window casings, especially if they don’t already exist, add the finishing touches to any room. Installing crown molding may seem intimidating if you’re thinking about mitered or coped cuts; but now that more and more manufacturers make corner blocks, it’s much easier. The pieces of molding just fit right on between the corner blocks and all you make are square cuts in the molding.
  4. Interior Painting: The key here is choosing a color that will appeal to the majority of people.
  5. New Fiberglass Entry Door and Hardware: A pre-hung door will require removing the door casing, but it’s more reasonably priced than buying the door alone, which will usually have to be special ordered.

And remember, doing the work yourself will save you on installation costs, which typically amounts to at least half of the cost of something like a flooring project.

Producer's Notes from Allen Lyle

We showed you some really cool and easy updates to increase the value of your home in this show, but the list goes on and on.

There are so many very minor things you can do to make it so easy to increase the asking price of your home, if you are selling. Even if you don’t plan on moving, these things will increase your home’s value by thousands of dollars.

Here are a few more ideas that will make dramatic differences on both the inside and outside of your home.

Outside The House

  • Power Wash: You can rent a professional power washer and really spruce up your home. The first impression is always the lasting impression, and a filthy exterior speaks volumes. This is actually something that should be done every year, so I would recommend purchasing a homeowner version. A power washer doesn’t have to be as powerful as a sandblaster. You can accomplish plenty with a unit that provides 1200-1400 psi.
  • Paint: You may like bright colors, but if you want to sell the house, keep them neutral. It also looks a lot cleaner.
  • Lawn Work: A well-manicured lawn is a must and barely costs you anything other than time, gasoline, and elbow grease. Keep the edges trimmed along sidewalks and driveways, clean the flowerbeds, and add some plants and flowers.
  • Green the Door: A simple addition of a couple of large plants flanking the front door really adds interest and curb appeal.
  • Live Outside: The trend toward outdoor entertainment is continuing to grow. You don’t have to spend thousands to add an outdoor kitchen, but exterior seating and an outdoor fireplace is a big selling point. You can purchase a free-standing chiminea to get the same effect.

Inside The House

  • Paint: A fresh coat of neutral paint on the walls and bright white on the trim is one of the cheapest ways to add some dollars to your home. Just like the outside, avoid bright flashy colors. Deep reds and greens can work out okay, but in moderation.
  • Painting

  • Kitchen Cabinets: You may have years of grime on your cabinets that will come off with a little Murphy’s Oil Soap and elbow grease. Clean them up and then install new hardware. You can also add some very simple in-cabinet organizers.
  • Countertops: The most dramatic effect to spruce up the kitchen without spending thousands of dollars is to replace the countertops. Laminates may be old hat, but check out some of the newer textured laminates; you can get a “near stone look” without the cost of stone.
  • Bathroom: Replace old, tarnished faucet fixtures. You don’t need a plumber for this and sparkling new chrome, brass, pewter, or whatever you want will do wonders. While there, replace the bathroom light fixture.
  • Storage: Install an organizing system in closets and the garage. These can be a little pricey, but there are several kits available for the do-it-yourselfer.
  • Windows: Clean windows thoroughly inside and out. Add a new window treatment, it can be a valance or a simple swag, to add a dash of color to the room.

One final word of advice. Before you begin any huge remodeling project, carefully examine the options for simple cosmetic repairs. You can often increase the value of your home by a very decent percentage without spending tons of cash to do so.

Also, make sure you’re aware of what other houses in your neighborhood are selling for. If you pour too much money into your house, you may have trouble getting the price you think it should sell for because all the other houses in the neighborhood will have the potential of bringing your property value down.

Other Tips From This Episode

Bend a Strike Plate Tab to Stop a Door Rattle

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Bend Strike Plate to Stop Door Rattle

If you’ve got a door that rattles after you close it and walk away, stop pulling your hair out. This is an easy fix. Remove the strike plate and bend the tab forward slightly with pliers or even a vise. Screw the strike plate back into place, check for rattle and try again. (Watch This Video)

Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
Watts FloodSafe™ Auto-Shutoff Connectors

Watts FloodSafe™ Auto-Shutoff Connectors

Over time water supply hoses can become brittle and burst, leaving you with a mess including home and property damage from water and mold. Watts FloodSafe™ Auto-Shutoff Connectors are designed to protect against water damage from burst, broken, or ruptured water supply hoses and fittings. The connector is a stainless steel flexible hose with a FloodSafe™ shutoff device on the inlet. Water flow through the device is limited to a factory preset flow rate. If water flows over that rate, the flow of water is shut off to the plumbing fixture or appliance that the hose connects to. This really makes a lot of sense for things like your washing machine and dishwasher that you use all the time. Watts FloodSafe™ Auto-Shutoff Connectors are available at The Home Depot.

Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Outdoor Lighting Safety

Lighting Safety

Lighting for safety is important. Some places to think about incorporating such lighting include in front of the garage and driveway, all entrances, steps and walkways, and any windows hidden by shrubbery. You can also adapt existing flood lights with automatic controllers to use them as safety lighting. Of course the types of fixtures available are almost endless a few to consider would be flood lights, carriage lights, low voltage lights and motion detecting lights.
(Watch This Video)



Please Leave a Comment

9 Comments on “Affordable Interior Update”

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  • Becky Says:
    April 8th, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    A while back, Danny was telling about a new carpet removal tool available from Home Depot. It is supposed to make the carpet removal a lot faster. Can you tell me what tool this is?

  • JJ Says:
    May 14th, 2008 at 1:10 am

    I have 1980’s kitchen cabinets in pretty good shape. There is a wood frame like molding about 1 1/4 inches all the way around from the edge of each door. Have you seen just the inner part of the door face painted leaving everything else wood?
    I need a very inexpensive way to update the kitchen cabinets.

  • JJ Says:
    May 14th, 2008 at 1:01 am

    Would you recommend painting 1980’s interior doors white like you see in new construction?

  • Rob Says:
    August 26th, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    I really enjoyed the improvements, especially the dry wall over the brick fireplace. i want to do that. What was the paste you used to fasten the drywall to the brick, was that joint compound. Also, I believe you used concrete fasteners to start the boards on the brick.
    I will probably do all the things on that show to improve the look and value of my home.
    Thanks, Rob

  • Hardware Speak » Updating the Family Room Says:
    June 13th, 2007 at 7:36 am

    […] Are you tired of looking at the same old family room? Are you dying to update but don’t have a lot of money to do it? Home improvement guy Danny Lipford has few tips on updating the family room, and they don’t require breaking the bank. […]

  • Lew Gordon Says:
    June 7th, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    I was wondering: is there an automatic shut-off for the icemaker water line?

    We recently lost our refrigerator due to severe overflow and will be having our floor replaced soon from the same incident.

  • Official Comment:

    Allen Says:
    May 29th, 2007 at 9:31 am

    Carol, I have to ask, why would you want to paint over them? You’re probably better off covering them with another surface or, better yet, refinish them. Inside, I simply don’t recommend painting wood floors. You have to use a polyurethane paint and the only real options are for exterior use, unless some new products have hit the market, so the color choices aren’t the best, especially for inside. Either way, you have to make sure you have plenty of ventilation and stay off the floors 24-48 hours.

  • Carol Lane Says:
    May 26th, 2007 at 8:30 pm

    Can you comment or give advice on painting over hardwood floors?

  • Sheila Trapp Says:
    May 26th, 2007 at 1:39 pm

    This is the first time I saw your program and was totally impressed. I love crown molding and will certainly try this method. Thanks for all the helpful tips!

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