Saving money while building equity

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The long winter months are upon us and you already thinking about preparing your home for the open market in the spring. What if I told you there are a few simple DIY improvement projects that can significantly raise your appeal to a potential buyer? And by cutting out the professional contractor, you could save more than half on your project!

The proper insulation could save you or a new buyer up to 50 percent per year in energy costs. Insulating your attic is a simple low-skill project that most DIY’ers can pull off. Make sure never to stand on the dry wall between the floor joists since you will end up going through it! Bundle up in protective clothing and roll your way to savings. You can get the job done for roughly a dollar a square foot.

New vinyl windows can be a game changer with a potential buyer. Being on a ladder installing windows on the second floor is a job best left to the professionals. If you’re looking to change a main level window, though, you can save yourself a few bucks.That old back porch window should only take you a few hours to replace.

Whenever a potential buyer stops by for a tour of your home, one of the first things they will see is your front door. A new front door can spruce up your curb appeal quickly. If you have knowledge of how to install a front door, including the jambs, threshold, stops and casing, then you’re in business! Be sure to have a friend assist you and remember the three rules of door installation: level, plumb and square.

Are you tired of looking at that beat up old overhead garage door? I’m sure a buyer will see the same! A modern steel door can dramatically change the look of your home, especially if the garage is attached. Adding a glass feature to the top of the door can give you just the customized look your neighbors will thank you for. Garage doors typically come in four panels and are relatively light weight. This is something you and a friend could complete in a few short hours.

With any home improvement project, I always suggest contacting your local village or municipality and ask about their local DIY ordinances for the project you are looking to complete. Many items require a permit along with an inspection from the city. This is for your protection and to ensure the project is completed properly and safely.

To contact me, call 708-583-8300, email or visit

About Giuseppe Zerillo

Giuseppe Zerillo is the managing broker and owner of Zerillo Realty Inc. He is active on many boards, serving as village trustee of Harwood Heights and corporate secretary for Casa Italia. In 2011, he received the IANU Foundation's 2011 David Award for outstanding promise in the field of real estate, and in 2012 he was honored by the Illinois State Crime Commission for his community outreach. Constantly seeking opportunities to give back, he donates to several charities and raises money for children with disabilities.

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