Renovating the Kitchen
According to data compiled by Remodeling Magazine, a minor kitchen remodel gets one of the highest returns on investment, with homeowners on the West Coast recouping more than 87 percent of the cost. All the improvements in a minor kitchen remodel are DIY-able, including updating cabinet fronts and hardware, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances; adding a tile backsplash; installing new flooring, and applying fresh paint.
A major remodel, or one that entails structural, plumbing, and electrical work, should be handled at least in part by a contractor. "Doing things like DIY electrical work is not only dangerous, but it can lower the resale value of your home if it was not properly permitted," Eiler warns.
Installing Attic Insulation and a Smart Thermostat
Adding Attic insulation is a hot and sweaty, but feasible, job for a DIYer—and it will immediately improve the home's energy efficiency and save you money on heating and cooling. Both loose fill and blanket insulation can be layered over existing insulation for quick results.
To save even more on your energy bill, you can install a smart thermostat. You'll need to disconnect the wiring in your old thermostat and move it to the new one, a straightforward job. However, some older homes may require additional wiring, which is a good job for a professional electrician.