Guest Post: Home Improvement Tips from Redfin

Posted on May 13 2014 - 5:38pm by Susan Bewley

Disclosure: This is a guest post from Redfin, written by Redfin Real Estate agent, Bree Al-Rashid, on cost effective home improvement and repair projects! Opinions may not agree with those of Budget Earth or our readers. We hope you enjoy these useful tips!

Optimize the sink plumbing

Depending on the type of sink your family uses to wash vegetables and hands before dinner, the sink and faucet could be worn, cracked or out of place with other elements in the room. Upgrading these two fixtures will create a new prep space that can also mean savings on the utility bill. Low-flow faucet installation could cost as little as $130, while sink installation can cost from $180 to $1,500 depending on the type of materials, whether you have to update the plumbing and the extent of the work.

Eco upgrades

Aside from installing LED lighting, a low-flow faucet and efficient appliances, the kitchen has plenty of opportunities for other sustainable improvements. If there are windows in the kitchen, they could be replaced with double-paned ones that block outside heat or wind and keep the temperature steady indoors. Countertops and cabinets can also be replaced with more sustainable options such as bamboo or solid-surface materials.

Add more illumination

Lighting is paramount to meal prep, especially in the evenings. To help with meal prep, install more lighting under the cabinets or in the ceiling. Recessed lighting is especially useful for kitchens because they can have energy-efficient bulbs and prevent anyone from bumping their head while moving about the kitchen. Homeowners might pay $760 to $1,105 for all new lighting, or a single light fixture could cost between $42 and $112 when hiring an electrician to do the work.

Repairs to the kitchen floor

After years of people moving back and forth through the kitchen, the flooring has probably started to wear and fade. There might be cracks in the linoleum, cracked tiles or other problems that need fixing. You can hire a flooring contractor to fix those cracks to make it look brand new.

In the bathroom…

Discolored paint

Even when discoloration occurs in clean environments, it can make a space appear dirty.  If aging or damaged paint is the source, it can easily be repainted. However, the most common reason for paint discoloration is mildew, which is all the more likely in moist environments such as a bathroom. This can be tested by applying a drop of bleach solution to the surface. If the stain is mildew, it should change colors within a minute or so. A bleach solution can make mildew situations right, and a fresh coat of paint containing mildewcide can keep it from happening again. But beware of laying on new paint before killing the mildew, or you might learn firsthand that mildew is the gift that keeps on giving.

Stained tiling

While it isn’t pleasant, stained tile doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start plying up your floor.  In fact, the stains can often be removed with a little elbow grease. A warm water and vinegar solution can deep clean surfaces, and a water-ammonia solution can eliminate mildew. Rusty spots can be eliminated quickly with an application of kerosene.

Minor repairs you’ve been putting off

Replace any burned out light bulbs, broken electrical outlets, or light switches. It would be wise to also repair any leaky faucets or clogged drains before anyone tours your home. Replace any broken tiles that may be an eyesore. Squeaky hinges are music to no one’s ears, so be sure to take care of those as well.

A fresh coat of paint… in any room!

It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to a room. Picking a light color will make the room feel larger and brighter.

Switching out heavy drapes for a lighter material

Heavy, dark materials can make the room feel smaller and oppressive. If you switch out the dark drapes for something lighter and transparent, the room will get more natural light making the room feel bright.


Disclosure: Budget Earth did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions are those of the author and may not agree with those of our readers.

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Susan Bewley is a professional writer who has been writing content online & in print format for over 10 years. As well, she is an alumni of the University of Louisville with a Masters Degree in Special Education. When not working as an online business consultant or ghost writing, she can be found writing on Budget Earth, on her own novel, or working with various entities in the pet industry.

29 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Sarah L May 13, 2014 at 7:05 pm - Reply

    Oops. I’m guilty of not doing some of those minor repairs. My bedroom could use a fresh coat of paint.

  2. lisa May 14, 2014 at 10:36 am - Reply

    We’re planning on doing some updating within the year. We recently replaced the roof. My husband gutted an upstairs room, added insulation and a new window. We have a large older home. It takes time since were doing the work. Next we have to remove a 300 year old oak tree that’s right next to the house. It’s always something!

  3. Shannon May 14, 2014 at 2:50 pm - Reply

    Thank you for sharing these. I need to do some of them myself.

  4. Darlene May 14, 2014 at 4:10 pm - Reply

    I love old homes with character, but many are missing the modern eco-friendly updates. These are great tips to combine the old charm with some modern touches to help the environment and save money. New plumbing in old houses is definitely beneficial.

  5. Ronald G May 15, 2014 at 3:50 am - Reply

    I did not realize the consequences of leaving the little things too long..thank you

  6. Michelle S May 16, 2014 at 10:22 am - Reply

    This is a nice refresher because you go through your house everyday and some this you simply don’t notice anymore. You could create a mini-checklist of these checks to make sure there isn’t any repair you are missing.

  7. Ashley May 19, 2014 at 2:58 am - Reply

    I’ve really been slipping on lighting. At least one, sometimes three (of five) lights in my bedroom are out, and I think it affects my mood!
    Plus, I’d never considered that better lighting might improve my meal prep. I’ll try anything to make that better!
    Thanks for the tips! They should give more in the future!

  8. Veronica Lee May 20, 2014 at 10:56 pm - Reply

    How true that a fresh coat of paint can do wonders to a room! We’ve just painted our living room with a lighter color and now it looks so much roomier!

    Very helpful tips as always, Susan!

  9. Maria n May 23, 2014 at 7:47 am - Reply

    Thank you for the tips! Fresh paint makes a hole different !! Can change a place up

  10. anna pry May 23, 2014 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    It is amazing what fresh paint will do, I just make sure to use the most eco friendly brand I can so there are less toxins released in the air.

  11. Dorothy Teel May 23, 2014 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    Those are some great ideas and one that I feel is important is to replace the grout around the shower/tub when it is badly stained, looks cleaner and makes the tub area more appealing. I like the idea about the curtains, I have mainly lacey curtains up and it really brightens my house, of course I live in the country and have no neighbors near my house which helps.

  12. Chelsey May 25, 2014 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Thank you for these tips.

  13. Debbie Welchert May 26, 2014 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    What a lot of great tips. I have been blessed with a husband who is a jack of all trades and if he can’t fix it he always knows who to call.

  14. Caryl Anne May 30, 2014 at 11:51 am - Reply

    These are excellent tips of advice! One other thing would be to clean all the windows of the home. This can help improve the lighting and the overall appeal of the home. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Nancy June 5, 2014 at 9:08 am - Reply

    I used avoid the minor repairs for saving some bucks, but end up paying twice the cost due to my stupidity. Now I give full attention to even small repairs and get things repaired on time.

  16. Ianna Reign Stevenson June 16, 2014 at 4:01 am - Reply

    We should really pay attention to small details, thank you for sharing great tips to achieve a beautiful and safe house. This kind of article is helpful and gives a lot of information just like this one that I recently read about how to fight bed bugs without harming the mattress so it will last long. Here’s the link I hope it can help other readers out there

  17. Joey Thomas September 13, 2014 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Also, a good roof checking and cleaning would definitely be a winner for your home exterior look. Who would know, it might need some emergency repair? American Prestige Roofing

  18. walkways Northern NJ October 8, 2014 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    Improving the layout of your home can make your home more usable and enjoyable.

  19. Gary October 16, 2014 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Thanks for this, I just realized I’ve been doing so much the wrong way. I just love heavy draperies but you’re right, it does make my room smaller and darker. I’ll change for lighter materials from now on. I really think that repainting will also change the vibes. I want my home to be really homy!

  20. Ray Smith November 7, 2014 at 12:44 am - Reply

    What about repairing the roofs and changing accessories around the home which are outdated? This will definitely add some value to your home. 🙂

  21. Julieane Hernandez November 17, 2014 at 4:05 am - Reply

    Hi Susan! I really liked this post! I’ll definitely try all these home improvements tips that you have mentioned. I’m glad that I found your blog. These are the information that I am looking for.

  22. Darien November 17, 2014 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Couldn’t agree more with adding doing some painting . . . i did it with my wife in our apartment and it made a huge difference! we loved it and it was so relaxing as well 🙂

    I am not great at choosing colours haha but my wife is and we had great fun!

  23. Darren November 27, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

    I have a home that is over 100 years old in an area of the country where most homes are much newer. I’m used to doing repairs and upgrades. I like the advice in this blog. Many of these changes I’ve already done or am in the process of doing. Other repairs are things I’ll certainly consider moving forward.

  24. Frank Covert January 11, 2015 at 11:25 pm - Reply

    Though it may sound obvious, but a lot of people actually forget to get emphasis on proper flooring to avoid water damages and other leaking problems cause by faulty flooring. Though repairs can easily be found, it will be very costly in the end, and it is a big hassle to have your floors fixed.

  25. Ken Yau January 28, 2015 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Have just installed multiple LED lights in my dining room and I can’t believe how much it lighten up my life. My families are all loving it 🙂 Thanks Susan.

  26. Gabriel Faucher August 29, 2016 at 8:27 pm - Reply

    Nice article you have there it seem it is useful to us to make our home to improve good job.

  27. Michael Gunn October 9, 2016 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    I agree, making slight changes to a property certainly does improve it. Your tips are great, but in my years in general remodeling I must say that it’s always best to leave those changes up to a professional.

  28. James Reid September 12, 2017 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Great advice. Home repairs are inevitable but if things gets wrong the start you should pay attention to it before it gets worse and cost you more in the long run.

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