The average haunted house isn’t in very good shape. From creaking doors to cobwebby corners, it doesn’t take much for even the least-ghostly homes to feel a little ghoulish! A few simple home repair projects can make your house feel a little less haunted, and the best part is that you won’t shriek at the price tag.
It’s Not a Serial Killer in the Basement, It’s a Raccoon!
It’s always unsettling to hear scratches and creaks in your home, but it’s usually easy to write these noises off as a symptom of paranoia or some natural phenomenon, like wind. When it comes to intruders, though, it’s hard to ignore the sounds of footsteps and movement. If you’ve got a four-legged intruder taking up residence in your home, solve the problem ASAP to banish the scary noises and regain your peace of mind.
High-Cost Solution: Professional raccoon removal can cost as little as $80 or as much as $1,500 depending on how bad your situation is. If you have a mama raccoon and some babies to deal with, for example, you can expect to pay more. These creepy critters tend to be pretty messy and destructive, so removal fees on the higher end tend to include cleanup and repairs.
Money-Saving Alternative: A humane trap large enough to hold a raccoon cost around $75, and you’ll want a pair of thick leather gloves (and a good dose of courage) to handle the trap after you’ve captured the pesky critter. Humane traps tend to be reusable, so if you manage to find a bait that works, you can rest assured that you’ll be able to quickly nip future raccoon infestations in the bud.
It’s Not a Ghost Clanking and Gurgling, It’s Your Water Heater!
Old plumbing sure does sound spooky. Metallic clanking, knocking, moaning, whining and gurgling are all auditory system of a water heater that’s on the fritz. Often, these noises indicate mineral buildup within the heater tank, but other issues, like clogged pipes or a system on its last legs, can also be to blame. Get your house back to normal and upgrade your showers by installing a new water heater system.
High-Cost Solution: Water heater installation costs can vary greatly depending on the size and type of tank you get. Modern tankless models can cost as much as $4000 for a tankless, solar-powered system, though many people feel these efficient options are well worth the money. You can go for a less advanced heater to bring the cost for installation below $1000.
Money-Saving Alternative: You can DIY a water heater installation, with small electric heaters available for less than $500. Depending on the kind of heater you get, you may even qualify for a local rebate as an incentive to lower utilities costs, which means an even bigger discount up front. Plus, newer systems tend to be more efficient, which means you may even save on your utility bills after the upgrade.
It’s Not a Vampire Hiding in the Corner, It’s a Shadow From Bad Lighting!
Shadows can play tricks with our mind, especially during the spooky seasons when the sun sets early and we’ve got to rely on the light fixtures in our homes to keep us from getting too creeped out. If inadequate lighting is just making the problem worse, it’s time to throw some more light on the situation.
High-Cost Solution: Overhead lighting from a hard-wired fixture can shine into all corners of a room, making it a better choice for an eerily dark space than most standalone lamps. Hiring an electrician to wire up a new flushmount light or chandelier usually costs between $65-$85 per hour, and if you’ve already got the wiring available at the point where you want the new fixture installed, it should only take a couple of hours. Recessed lighting can also be a good choice for permanent installation, with each individual light typically costing at least $130. Even just a couple of recessed lights will completely revamp your space.
Money-Saving Alternative: If you already have an overhead light that you’re not satisfied with or if you can’t swing the cost of an electrician, use a pendant lamp kit to create your own impermanent chandelier arrangement. Plug-in lights range from about $25 or less to $100 or more, depending on where you shop, and there are a lot of great options to choose from to match your personal style.
It’s Not a Haunted Painting, It’s Outdated Interior Decor!
That “charming” old school wallpaper is starting to lose its appeal fast. The pattern just doesn’t look right…almost like it’s moving. No, you aren’t losing it. Bad design, not supernatural forces, are to blame! Make over your walls and send that ugly wallpaper to a well-deserved final resting place by opting for fresh, modern paint instead.
High-Cost Solution: Professional painters usually charge $20-$35 per hour, and they may recommend that you have the wallpaper removed before painting. If the wallpaper is peeling or otherwise damaged, it’s best to start with a clean slate on the walls. Wallpaper removal requires more labor and supplies, so it’ll make the project more expensive. With supplies and labor, you can expect to spend $370 at minimum to have your living room painted. Prices for individual rooms can go as high as $1000.
Money-Saving Alternative: You can save by doing the painting yourself. Removing wallpaper can be a challenge, so you might want to simply prime and paint over the wallpaper to save time and money. Primer costs about $25 per gallon, and paint can range from $25-$50 per gallon depending on the brand. Expect to spend at least $200 on this DIY project unless you already have supplies on hand or the room is very small.
Un-Haunting Your House for Less
You don’t need to spend the big bucks on an expert exorcist to banish the home improvement demons from your house. With some smart focus and a limited budget, you can make your living space feel cleansed and creep-free.