Home improvements can be expensive and they take time to complete. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge, it’s important to invest in renovations that will not only last but increase the value of your house and help save you money in the long run. Here are 7 home improvements worth considering.
Improve Windows and Insulation
New windows are a smart home improvement for making your house more energy-efficient. If you have an older house, chances are your window frames have degraded over time. New frames aren’t constructed from wood like they used to be, which means they don’t peel and weather. They are also much better insulated. Make sure that whatever windows you choose to install have good seals. Quality windows mean your heating and A/C units won’t need to work as hard and you’ll save quite a bit on your electric bills.
Replace Your Roof
Upgrading your roof is a big investment for your future. Spending the money to install newer roofing materials will ensure your home and all your possessions are protected from the elements for decades. Replacing your roof means spending a good amount of money up front, but it will also save you the trouble of making expensive repairs over the next 50 years if something goes wrong. If your old roof fails, it will be costly to repair it and replace anything that was damaged. Another incentive is that a new roof is a prime selling point if you are looking to put your house on the market.
Upgrading outdated appliances is one of the easiest ways to increase your home’s value and will make it a lot more energy-efficient. Take a look at your HVAC unit, refrigerator, hot water heater, dishwasher, washer and dryer first, as they are the biggest power and money drains. You’ll want to replace any old models with Energy Star rated appliances. Do some research to find the best units for your space. You can start by checking out the recommended appliances at the Energy Star website.
Install Quality Gutters
Having a set of quality gutters on your house is essential to preventing water damage. Gutters are relatively inexpensive ($500 to $1500) and easy to install and will improve the appearance of your home. You should also consider creating a schedule to maintain, clean and rout your gutters regularly to make sure they aren’t blocked or damaged by bad weather. The last thing you want is water getting into your home. Repairing and maintaining your gutters will cost a couple hundred bucks, but water damage can cost thousands of dollars to fix.
Update Attic Insulation
Many older homes have poorly insulated attics. This allows for tons of heat to escape and subsequently raises your energy bills. Adding insulation is a great improvement project that will save you a lot of money long-term. The goal is to keep the rooms below your attic cool in summer and warm in winter. If you have an unfinished attic, insulate the attic floor only and make sure there are vents in the roof. For a finished attic, insulation should be added much like the rest of your house, with insulation for the walls and ceiling to help keep the attic comfortable.
Update Old Plumbing
If the plumbing in your home is old, upgrading the pipes can make a world of difference. New pipes will prevent bursting and will help increase water flow and cut down on contaminants. Many old houses were built with galvanized steel pipes, but today it’s become standard practice for contractors to build homes with longer-lasting brass and copper pipes. If you’re not sure what kind of pipes you have, consider hiring an expert who can do an inspection. By replacing old pipes with stronger versions, you’ll prevent a potentially expensive disaster down the road.
Install Smart Lighting
Installing a smart lighting system is an excellent investment. Smart lighting includes LED light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps, high-efficiency fixtures, and automated controls. LED and fluorescent lights will cost more up front, but will last much longer than traditional lighting options, and will saving you a lot of money in utility costs. Smart lighting minimizes and saves light and energy by allowing you to control when it is used. The use of automatic light dimming, along with motion and occupancy sensors are great ways to ensure lights aren’t left on. You can even have a system that will allow you to turn lights off remotely even when you are away.