Top 10 Affordable New Home Upgrades for 2023

Written By: Jen Chinburg

Create Long-Lasting Value By Making These Improvements To Your New Home

As we move into 2023, you may start to think about home improvement projects to add value to your home. There are a variety of new home upgrades a homeowner can make that will not only enhance their comfort but also may increase the value of their property. Many of these upgrades aren’t extraordinarily expensive, and in some cases involve a fun DIY approach.

1. Exterior Upgrades to Increase Curb Appeal

Landscaping and other strategies for creating a positive first impression can increase a home’s value up to 10%. There are many things a homeowner can do to upgrade their exterior home appeal. Start simply by adding some hanging planters or window boxes on the porch or the entryway. Try adding a coat of paint to the front door, stairs or mailbox. Updating porch lighting and welcome mats are small details that make a big difference. You can replace your house numbers with new ones that feature more interesting fonts or colors. Etsy is a great source for artisan made address numbers.

If your AC unit, electrical boxes or boiler are an eyesore, you can camouflage them with plants or a small fence or lattice. Lastly, pressure wash the exterior (front door, walkway, windows, siding/brick, etc.) for a fresh look.

If you’re looking for a more involved DIY project or two, consider the following:

  • Paint the trim and add matching molding
  • Add a stylish door knocker
  • Add faux shutters to your front windows
  • Install a porch swing
  • Make a faux stair runner with paint

Even if the weather outside is frightful, you can sketch out your dream project plans and supplies list, so they will be ready to implement when the weather allows.

2. Upgrade Your Landscaping: Thinking Ahead to Spring

Add instant curb appeal to your home with these easy tips.

DIY weed killer

Pesky weeds in your lawn or walkway can make your home look ramshackle. Instead of pulling weeds one by one, try making an all-natural weed killing spray. All you need is liquid dish soap, salt and vinegar. This recipe is highly effective and non-toxic.

Build flower beds

A flower bed can bring pops of color to the yard and your surroundings. Try planting some flowers around trees in the yard to draw the eye. You can construct a one- or multi-tier flower bed and transform your front lawn. For existing flower beds, consider lining the border with concrete or bricks to create a visual and physical border — and protect them from the mower.

Add extra seating areas outside

Encourage visitors and family members to enjoy the fresh air with an outdoor seating area. This can be as simple as adding a few Adirondack chairs to an outdoor dining setup with a grill or a firepit. You can construct a pergola for some shade — and style or add a colorful umbrella. Note: Check local building codes prior to pergola construction.

3. Update Kitchen Cabinets

Painting is an easy and impactful way to modernize a space. A few coats of paint on kitchen cabinets can change the whole room. Updating hardware is another simple yet effective change to upgrade a space. For those looking for a more involved DIY project, adding molding to cabinets can bring even more style to the kitchen.

4. Add New Storage (Visible or Hidden)

Adding in convenient storage options can both help you organize and find a home for your possessions, but also increase your home’s value. In the kitchen, you can construct open shelving or built-in cabinets. You can also store your trash and recycling bins in pull-out drawers or cabinets and avoid the eyesore of a messy trash bin. Additional storage goes beyond the kitchen; consider building floating shelves in any room for open storage.

5. Fix/Hide Any Existing Wall Damage

There’s a simple solution to covering up wall damage, a thermostat or alarm or other wall eyesores. Some wall damage can be hidden with a coat of paint or picture frame or hanging tapestry, but another option is to install a boxed frame canvas portrait. The hinges allow for easy access to the covered item, while displaying a beautiful piece of artwork.

6. Mudroom / Year-Round Space

A mudroom makes for a great transition from the outside to the inside of a home. Creating a mudroom, whether it involves heavy or light construction, is a great new home upgrade because it allows for better organization for families with a lot of moving parts. There are plenty of great mudroom design options available as well. Whether you are a single person with lots of gear, or a larger family navigating boots to beach towels, you can find an attractive mudroom plan that can keep belongings easily accessible.

7. Energy-Efficient Updates

The more efficient you can make your home, the more you’ll save in utility costs every month. In fact, low-energy exterior or interior storm windows can save you 12%–33% on heating and cooling costs, depending on the type of window already installed in the home. An energy-efficient skylight can also help keep costs low.

You can also try these simple tricks to make your house more energy efficient:

  • Choose window treatments and attachments that allow you to use natural light while reducing the heat gained.
  • Replace, caulk or weatherstrip exterior doors to save money and energy in your home.
  • Apply a film on the inside of your windows to keep heat from radiating out.
  • Apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing win­dows to reduce heat in the summer and harness it in the winter.

Smart Thermostat

If your goal in 2023 is to make your home more efficient, then a smart thermostat is the way to go. A Nest Thermostat can be installed in 30 minutes or less and helps homeowners cut down on energy costs. For only $249, this smart thermostat enables you to control the temperature remotely, saving energy when you are away and programming the space to be comfortable upon your return.

Energy-Efficient Water Heater

Homeowners are encouraged to consider an energy-efficient option when replacing a water heater. The cost to heat the water that we use is one of the highest energy costs within a home. The Department of Energy came up with a great infographic on everything you need to know about water heaters. This home upgrade is a great option — as it will most certainly save you money in the long term.

Upgraded Windows

Improving and upgrading windows in your home is an investment in both comfort and in energy efficiency — commonly listed among the best ways to improve the value of your home, as well as cut down on home heating costs. Even better, homeowners can expect to recoup 80% of the cost of window replacement over time, through energy savings.

8. New Window Frames

Turn your windows into a focal point by adding or updating window trim and a new apron. The apron is the piece of wood on the bottom of the window. You can also paint the frame to make windows look larger. For a more classic look, try a white paint. For a modern twist, paint the window trim any color of your choosing. Black window frames have become a popular design element in the past few years.

9. A New Deck or Patio

Building a deck or patio is a great way to create an entirely new living space outside of your home. In fact, outdoor rooms are a key differentiator in homes that are trending in 2023. With proper planning and the right tools and crew, this new home upgrade could be completed quickly— and ready for late spring and summer use!

10. Bathroom Upgrades

Full/Half Bath in Basement (If Plumbing is Present)

If you have an unfinished basement, consider having a contractor rough in plumbing for either a full or half bath. That leaves your options open to finish the basement as an entertainment area, extra bedroom or whatever you want it to be. It also offers an asset if and when you sell your house.

Redo Tile

Painting or deep cleaning existing tile can make it look clean and new. Old tiles can be replaced by the homeowner or by a professional. Try staggering your tiles or adding in large-format tiles for an upgraded look without the high price tag. Don’t forget, tiles aren’t just on the floor. You can refresh your shower tiles and add embellishments like a horizontal borderline or mosaic glass tile waterfall design. Creating a focal point in the bathroom like a painted or refurbished bathtub can help make the bathroom look refreshed.

FAQs About Updating Your Home

  • Is it more cost-effective to make your own updates after construction is complete?
  • Which updates will add value to my home?
  • Which updates won’t add value to my home?
  • What are my skills and do I have a person or people who are willing to help me?

All of the home upgrades mentioned here are achievable and impactful, and — with a bit of help — many can be accomplished without spending a great deal of time and money. That said, any small investments of energy and inspiration that you make will be worthwhile, both in terms of increasing the value of your home and your enjoyment of your space.

At Chinburg Properties, we transform property — whether it’s restoring a historic home or completely renovating an old mill building. And we are experts in starting your new home building plan from scratch. In addition to new home upgrades, we’re also well versed in green technology, such as how to efficiently heat your eco-friendly home, as well as how to winterize a custom built home. Chinburg has earned the nationwide honor as an Energy Star Builder of the Year for 5 years in a row.

Contact us today to find out other great home improvement tips and recommendations.