Photo of parents with child in a room being remodeled

Turn painting into a family affair. (Getty)

We tend to develop blind spots when it comes to our homes. Doors that stick, bad lighting and unsightly stains go unnoticed after a while. But, if you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, you suddenly start to notice. (Funny how that works). Here are some simple updates to increase your home’s value, make it more liveable and ready for buyers. And many of these ideas you can tackle yourself!

The Bathroom

Gut-renovating a bathroom can be costly and many times unnecessary when selling an apartment. Besides, many new homeowners will want to put their own stamp on the apartment and insert their own sense of style. Here are some smaller upgrades to give the space a face-lift.

Reglaze or Line the Bathtub

Reglazing – also called refinishing — is a great solution if your bathtub is in relatively good shape, but has been roughed up over time with scratches, pockmarks, and discoloration.

Photo of a bathtub with stains

OK, this cast-iron bathtub is in particularly bad shape but can be brought back to life by reglazing it. (Getty Images)

Reglazing is essentially applying a coat of material to hide imperfections and it can make your bathtub look like new. It will run you about $450, which may seem high until you realize a brand-new tub can cost thousands of dollars. Bear in mind that reglazing will only work for cast-iron and acrylic bathtubs; it won’t work on fiberglass tubs. A bath liner is another option. Bath liners are like a thin acrylic mold that fits over your existing bathtub or shower.

Replace Light Fixtures, Hardware, and Mirrors 

Replacing the mirrors, lighting, and fixtures can make a significant impact when modernizing and improving the space. Be careful not to install funky hardware or materials that are trendy. Trends fade. Find designs that can stand the test of time.

Regrout or Clean Grout Lines 

This is a super simple fix that can make a world of difference. If you have a tile floor or tile wall with grout lines that are stained from years of use, clean the grout with a simple baking soda and vinegar solution. If the grout is missing in places, replace it.

Photo of a person adding sealant around bathtub

Mold and mildew tend to collect in bathtub corners. Strip out the old grout and reseal with new waterproof and mildew-proof silicone. (Getty Images)

Sealant around sinks and bathtubs tends to get discolored, so remove the old sealant and replace it with a new, clean line of waterproof latex or silicone sealant. Pop into your nearby hardware store and buy a tube.

The Kitchen 

Large or small, the kitchen is arguably the most important space in an apartment. It’s primal. It’s where we host and entertain guests and cook and connect with our family and friends. This is also the room that tends to stand out most in a prospective buyer’s mind and any updates will most certainly increase your home’s value.

Repaint Cabinets

Instead of replacing cabinets, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars, repaint them.  And if your kitchen is particularly small — as most New York City kitchens are — paint the cabinets a light color such as cream or light gray so it won’t weigh down the space. And if you’re really handy and creative, replace a solid cabinet door with a windowpane to help visually open up the space.

Photo of new cabinets and pulls

Painting your cabinets and adding new drawer pulls is easier than you think. (Getty Images)

Another easy fix is to replace cabinet handles with new hardware. These fixes aren’t particularly pricey but will give your kitchen a fresh, clean look.

Pendant and Under-Cabinet Lighting

Replacing all of the lighting in your kitchen can be expensive, but adding a pendant light above an island or breakfast bar can significantly enhance the space.

Photo of undercabinet lighting

Under-cabinet lighting is not expensive and adds a nice, soft touch. (Getty Images)

Under-cabinet lighting, which can be installed by running LED light strips under the cabinets, adds a soft touch and evenly lights the countertops when preparing food. If you’re feeling unsure about this project, call Task Rabbit to help out.


Wall-to-wall carpeting has become the bane of everyone’s existence and hardwoods have become much more desirable in recent years. If you have carpeting, take a peek underneath to see if hardwoods are there. If not, think about installing hardwoods or engineered hardwoods.

Photo of hardwood floor being installed

Hardwood flooring has become much more desirable in the past few decades due to its appearance and cleanliness. (Andrey Gonchar/Getty Images)

Engineered hardwood has the same look and feel like solid wood but is not as expensive and does not show wear as easily. According to, replacing carpet with hardwood flooring could potentially increase your apartment’s value by as much as 3-5%.

Or, if you do have hardwoods that are scuffed and worn, refinish them. This is a difficult DIY project, so having an experienced refinisher is your best bet. Another option is to recoat the floors, which is less intensive than refinishing.

Paint High-Traffic Areas

Depending on the size of your unit, painting the entire apartment may prove to be costly. If you are working with a limited budget and can only focus on two or three rooms, repaint the main areas such as the kitchen, bathroom, and living areas.

Photo of couple testing out paint colors

Here’s a task that almost anyone can do – paint! (skynesher/Getty Images)

Try to stick with light, neutral colors that aren’t distracting, as darker rooms tend to close in smaller spaces. And yes – this is a super-easy DIY task that anyone can do. A freshly painted room feels fresh and light and goes a long way to help increase your home’s value.

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