Fixer Upper Friday: 10 Upgrades Under $1,000 That Increase Home Values – Forbes

We all know that kitchens and bathrooms are a great selling feature for any home, but there are also a few other projects that won’t break the bank when it comes to adding value to your home. Check out this cool article:

A clean, well-maintained home in tiptop condition will yield maximum profit when it comes time to sell. However, you don’t have to shell out the big bucks to make sure your house is in mint condition. There are a number of upgrades you can do for under $1,000 that will […]

Source: 10 Upgrades Under $1,000 That Increase Home Values – Forbes

Fixer Upper Friday: 30 DIY Weekend Projects

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There are tons of projects that you can tackle in your own fixer upper this weekend. Now’s the time, especially if you’re having guests over this holiday season. I like to keep things simple. Cleaning forgotten spots around the house, like baseboards or light fixtures, is a good start. De-cluttering common areas isn’t time consuming and can breathe new life and function into your home. Rearranging furniture, replacing window treatments, or changing linens can give your space a fresh new look. Why not take the time this weekend to fall in love with your home all over again? Check out this post from Better Homes & Gardens for some more ideas.


Fixer Upper: Home Office

Office Redo 1

This is definitely not a finished project, but I’m in the process of renovating the main office located on the first floor of my fixer upper. I only call it the ‘main office’ because it’s where the wifi router is, and it’s the only room in the house whose sole purpose is office work.

With any room, I always focus on the walls, the flooring, and the lighting. Addressing those issues can instantly transform a space.

Sometimes, when you’re working on a fixer upper, you luck out. You spend an entire day pulling up old carpeting and linoleum to reveal a beautiful hardwood floor that just needs a quick cleaning and a coat of polyurethane. Sometimes, however, you dig up the very reason that previous owners covered the floor in the first place. Sigh. This is what I uncovered in the main office.

Office Floor Before

For reasons that I can’t begin to understand, at some point linoleum was all the rage. Homeowners basically just poured tar directly on hardwood, put some kind of paper on top of that, and then finished it off with thousands of tiny nails, and then linoleum. Like, seriously, I’m not making this up.

There are ways to painstakingly remove all that crud and refinish the floors. Unfortunately, most of these ways involve floor steamers, small putty knives, and hours upon hours of work. I decided to just cover it with self adhesive tile for the time being…without tar.

Office Flooring

Office Redo After

Office Redo 2

I gave the walls a fresh coat of paint, and let the natural light from the windows work it’s magic on brightening the space. I also made that cute wall calendar out of paint swatches! No need for applause. I just lifted the idea from the internet…right before I lifted the free paint swatches from the store  🙂

My main goal throughout all of my projects is to maintain function… and eliminate clutter… oh, and keep the cost as low as possible. My three main goals… I’ll come in again! Hats off to you if you get the reference without having to follow the link!

I’m pretty happy with the progress of this room so far. Remember guys, sharing your stories and any words of encouragement are greatly appreciated!

Attic Bedroom Renovation: Flooring, Walls, and Lighting

This peaceful bedroom used to be a dark and dingy
This peaceful bedroom used to be dark and dingy

Every space in a home has some basic elements: flooring, walls, and lighting. If these elements look bad, pretty much nothing in the space will look good. Clean and shiny floors, freshly painted walls, and awesome lighting can really make a room. These elements work together to act as a picture frame. With a beautiful picture frame, almost anything dumped on the canvas can seem deliberate and look like art. So when I decided to renovate the attic bedroom of my pre-Civil War house, I began by focusing my energy on those three elements. My goal was to make the space bright, yet calming.


Four layers of linoleum
Four layers of linoleum

Layer upon layer of linoleum capped by a dingy carpet catapulted flooring to the top of my to-do list. At first, I was juggling with whether or not I should just cover it in wall to wall carpeting rather than tackle what might be under all that linoleum. In the end, I couldn’t stop myself.

My flip flop got stuck to the layer of glue on the floor
My flip flop got stuck to the layer of glue on the floor

I took a wrecking bar and ripped every last shred of linoleum up off the floor. That’s where I got lucky. The floor underneath was red oak hardwood in pretty amazing condition.

After the first day of scrubbing the floor
After the first day of scrubbing the floor

After a few, very long days of scrubbing off glue and grime with Goo-Gone, hot water, vinegar, and mild soap, the floor was clean. I put some Miniwax polyurethane coating down and the floor was not only clean, but shiny…the way a floor should be.


The walls had been blackened by soot after a kerosene heater mishap (don’t ask!) and of course there were the dings and imperfections that are present in every old home. I decided early on in the renovation process that I wasn’t going to do much to try to hide those imperfections. Smooth walls just seem so out of place in a house this old. Instead I opted for freshly painted walls, imperfections and all.

I used Zinsser Brand primer to cover the soot damage on the walls and ceiling
I used Zinsser Brand primer to cover the soot damage on the walls and ceiling


Track lighting isn't always bad, but this one had seen better days.
Track lighting isn’t always bad, but this one had seen better days.

I can’t begin to express how much I love light fixtures. I didn’t really start noticing them until recently, but they truly are a key feature of any room. Unfortunately for me, my taste leans toward pretty expensive light fixtures, while my budget leans toward emergency candles. At any rate, I was able to get a light fixture from Ikea that I absolutely love at the low cost of $30. It doesn’t look cheap and it fits the space perfectly.

Simple glass light fixture from Ikea
Simple glass light fixture from Ikea

If you’re willing to splurge on lighting you should definitely check out some of the options at this website.

Anyway, with the walls, the floor, and the lighting done, I was able to focus on the details of the room: furniture (you can check out how I updated a hope chest here) , bedding, the window treatment, and I even made a simple headboard (check it out here).


As I always say,  a little bit of inspiration and a lot of elbow grease go a long way!