2. Give appliances a facelift. If your kitchen appliances don't match, order new doors or face panels for them. Call the dishwasher manufacturer to see about ordering a new, black face panel :Many dishwasher panels are white on one side and black on the other.

3. Buff up the bath. Next to the kitchen, bathrooms are often the most important rooms to update. They, too, can be improved without a lot of cash. Even simple things like a new toilet seat and a pedestal sink are pretty easy for homeowners to install, and they make a big difference in the look of the bath. Replace an old, discolored bathroom floor with easy-to-apply vinyl tiles or a small piece of sheet vinyl.You may not even need to take up the old floor. You can install the new floor right over the old one.

If your tub and shower are looking dingy, consider re-grouting the tile and replacing any chipped tiles. A more complete cover-up is a prefabricated tub and shower surround. These one-piece units may require professional installation but can still be cheaper than paying to re-tile walls and refinish a worn tub.

4. Step up your storage. Old houses, particularly, are notorious for their lack of closet space. If you have cramped storage areas, try adding do-it-yourself wire and laminate closet systems to bedrooms, pantries and entry closets.

Firms like Closet Maid allow you to measure and redesign your closets online. You can also get design details and parts for these systems at many large home-improvement stores. Most closets can be updated in a weekend or less.

In the end, your closets will be more functional while you're living in the house and will make your home look more customized to potential buyers when you're ready to sell.


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