So, "do it yourself" isn't always cheaper, as it turns out. 

Five months into our new home = thousands of dollars invested in DIY and home improvement projects. It’s too easy to get caught up in all the little (and not so little) improvements you could make to your home to give it a personal touch.

"These nickel-and-dime projects add upfast."

Changing out doors here, replacing fixtures there, a splash of paint and on and on. For me, it was hard to prioritize what to do at first. I was spiraling into a frenzied and never ending to-do list of home projects to make my mark on this house. So I had to take a step back, before I fell into that rabbit hole and Alice-d my way through our savings.

So I started to prioritize, looking at each improvement as an investment. 

Sure, a new firepit in the backyard would only cost about $200 if you did ALL the work. And hey, adding some trim and moulding in a few of the rooms would be only a couple of hundred dollars.

But before you say “Do all the things!!”, take a breathe and reconsider. These nickel-and-dime projects add upfast. Consider what you absolutely need to tackle, and take into account how that’s going to affect the resale value of your home in the long term.

"Would you buy a house with a roof that was leaking? Or a dying HVAC?"

 For example, if I had to choose between replacing all the shutters around my house, and air-sealing and adding insulation to the attic, the glamorous choice would be the shutters, right? Who’s gonna see my attic? Well, as it turns out, air-sealing was a much better investment (and although I was reluctant at first, I made my peace with the shutters).

Which home projects are the best investment? Most people would say kitchen and bathrooms, right away. But other than those two big ones, I say the "basics" that most people take for granted are super important.

Would you buy a house with a roof that was leaking? Or a dying HVAC? While these may not be the most glamorous updates, they are most important. A potential buyer is never going to get past the leaking roof or balmy 100 degree indoor temp in the summer. Before you settle on which DIY projects to tackle or which improvements to invest in, consider how your hard-earned cash will impact the future resale value of the home.

Photo credit iStock