Ultimate Guide to Home Improvement: Tips, Tricks, & Ideas

Marcontell + Gilchrest Group June 5, 2024

Home improvement is more than just a way to enhance the aesthetic appeal of a house; it’s an opportunity to increase its value, improve functionality, and create a space that reflects personal style. Whether you’re planning a major renovation or a minor update, this guide from Marcontell + Gilchrest Group provides practical tips, tricks, and ideas to help you achieve your home improvement goals.

Planning and Budgeting

Assess Your Needs

The first step in any home improvement project is to assess your needs. Identify the areas of your home that require attention and determine the scope of the project. Prioritize projects based on necessity, such as repairs, and then move on to enhancements and upgrades.

Set a Realistic Budget

Budgeting is crucial to the success of any home improvement project. Create a detailed budget that includes all possible expenses, from materials and labor to permits and unexpected costs. Allocate extra funds for contingencies, typically 10-20% of the total budget, to cover unforeseen issues that may arise.

Research and Plan

Thorough research is essential for informed decision-making. Explore various design ideas, materials, and techniques. Planning tools, such as design software and mobile apps, can help visualize the end result. Detailed plans and timelines keep the project on track and within budget.

DIY vs. Professional Help

Evaluate Your Skills

Deciding whether to tackle a project yourself or hire a professional depends on your skills and the complexity of the task. Simple projects, like painting or installing shelves, can often be done by homeowners. More complex tasks, such as electrical work or plumbing, may require professional expertise to ensure safety and compliance with local codes. Often times, professionals can deliver a higher quality of workmanship to impress potential Buyers.

Finding the Right Professional

For projects requiring professional help, it’s important to hire reputable contractors. Obtain multiple quotes, check references, and review credentials. A written contract outlining the scope of work, timelines, and costs can prevent misunderstandings and ensure a smooth process.

Popular Home Improvement Ideas

Kitchen Remodeling

The Kitchen is often considered the heart of the home, making it a prime candidate for improvement. Popular Kitchen upgrades include installing new stone countertops, updating cabinets, and adding an upgraded backsplash. Modern energy-efficient appliances not only enhance functionality but also reduce utility bills.

Bathroom Renovation

Updating a Bathroom can significantly boost a home’s value. Common improvements include installing new plumbing and lighting fixtures, upgrading countertops, and adding a fresh coat of paint. Consider adding luxury touches like a free-standing soaking tub or a rainfall showerhead for a spa-like experience.

Flooring Upgrades

Flooring can dramatically change the look and feel of a space. Uniformity in flooring delivers an upgraded, modern look. Hardwood floors are a popular choice for their durability and timeless appeal. For a cost-effective alternative, laminate and vinyl flooring offer a wide range of styles and easy installation.

Enhancing Curb Appeal

First impressions matter, and improving curb appeal can increase your home’s value and attractiveness. Simple changes, such as updating the front door, adding landscaping, or installing new lighting can make a big difference. For a more substantial impact, consider repainting the exterior or replacing the roof.

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Insulation and Windows

Proper insulation is key to maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature and reducing energy costs. Upgrading insulation in the attic, walls, and floors can make a significant difference. Energy-efficient windows, with features like double glazing and low-emissivity coatings, further enhance energy savings.

Smart Home Technology

Integrating smart home technology can improve convenience and energy efficiency. Smart thermostats, lighting systems, and security cameras can be controlled remotely, optimizing energy use and enhancing safety. Many smart devices also provide insights into energy consumption, helping homeowners make informed decisions.

Small Changes with Big Impact

Fresh Paint

A fresh coat of paint can transform any room. Neutral colors create a calm and spacious feel, and are most appealing to potential Buyers. Accent walls or creative paint techniques, like ombre or stenciling, offer a unique touch.


Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood of a room. Layered lighting, combining ambient, task, and accent lighting, creates a versatile and inviting atmosphere. Energy-efficient LED bulbs are an eco-friendly option that reduces energy consumption and lasts longer than traditional bulbs.

Decluttering and Organization

Decluttering and organizing can make a space feel larger and more functional. Invest in storage solutions like shelves, cabinets, and bins to keep items neatly arranged. Regularly purging unused items prevents clutter from accumulating.

Maintenance and Upkeep

Regular Inspections

Regular checks of your home can help you identify issues before they become major problems. Check the roof for damage, inspect plumbing for leaks, and test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Addressing minor repairs promptly can prevent costly repairs down the line.

Seasonal Maintenance

Seasonal maintenance keeps your home in top condition. In the Spring and Summer, focus on outdoor tasks like cleaning gutters, trimming trees, and checking the exterior for damage. Fall and Winter are ideal for indoor projects, such as servicing the heating system and insulating pipes.

Transform Your Home and Boost Its Value with Marcontell + Gilchrest Group

Home improvement is a rewarding endeavor that enhances the comfort, functionality, and value of your home. By carefully planning and budgeting, deciding when to DIY or hire professionals, and focusing on impactful projects, homeowners can achieve stunning results. Emphasizing energy efficiency and sustainability ensures long-term benefits, while regular maintenance keeps everything running smoothly. Whether tackling small updates or major renovations, this ultimate guide provides the knowledge and inspiration needed to create a beautiful and efficient living space.

Ready to elevate your home’s appeal and increase its market value? The Marcontell + Gilchrest Group offers expert Real Estate advice and personalized service to help you achieve your home goals. Whether you're looking to buy, sell, or invest, their team is here to guide you every step of the way. Contact Marcontell + Gilchrest Group today to learn more about how they can help you list or find your perfect home.

Experience Matters. Results Speak for Themselves.

Work With Us

Experience the winning combination of Marcontell-Gilchrest Group, with over $1 billion+ in successful transactions and 30+ years of expertise, we are your ultimate partners in buying or selling a home. We are uniquely qualified to assist Sellers in positioning and marketing homes in today’s competitive environment and write winning offers for Buyers. Discover the power of our diverse backgrounds and award-winning talents. Choose us for your Real Estate buying or selling needs!