Spring is coming, and it’s the perfect time for home improvement projects! Most homeowners take great pride in what is probably their largest investment, and with the right decisions, you can add to the value of your home and save money in monthly bills.
If a sale of the home is in your future, there are also lots of tips for less expensive home improvement projects that can dramatically increase the price of the home.
Cost Efficient Home Improvement Projects
For the smaller and most cost-efficient projects, consider the following…
Clear gutters: To protect against water-based problems, keep your gutters clean. Replace them as needed. Considering the cost of getting a leaky roof or cracked foundation fixed, this small investment is wise.
Caulking and weather stripping: The perfect weekender project. And let’s face it: Crisp, new caulking brings instant gratification! Keep the drafts out by keeping tight seals around all windows and doors
Smart switches: These do the trick for outdoor lighting. Think of how much you could save in the energy bill by never leaving an outdoor light on again when you don’t intend to. Smart switches are programmed once, and then – fahgetaboutit. Forever!
Low-flow shower head and low-flow toilets: These are both great; just be careful about the shower head: If you have a high mineral count in your water, that’s the one time to stay away from the low-flow shower head. They can be easily clogged, which can result in even more maintenance costs. If the mineral count is normal – go for it. You’ll surely see results in your water bill.
Programmable thermostat: They are just great. Program them to increase the heat just before you get out of bed, to decrease the heat or air conditioners when you leave for work, and to let the indoor temperatures drop while you’re snoozing.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs: Now’s the time. If you haven’t switched over, you’re behind the times. They truly do last so much longer. While the reports vary, most state that each bulb will save you about $50.00 over the life of the bulb. How many bulbs are there in your home? That adds up!
Time to graduate to the bigger money-savers…
Add outdoor living space: For curb appeal for an upcoming sale of the home, you’ll get instant money back with landscaping, decking, and/or patios. These projects will most certainly pay you back. Even if you’re not planning the sale of your home, do these projects early so you can enjoy them through the summer months. Either way, this will increase the value of your home.
Window replacement: If replacing all of the windows at once is simply too daunting, consider replacing even one window per year – or one room of windows per year. If you’re in your home for the long haul, this is one of the best money-savers you can possibly do.
Energy efficient appliances: One by one, they are all going to break down. As they do, be sure to replace the washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, hot water heater, and furnace with truly energy efficient models. Yes, they are a bit more costly up front, but you will immediately save money on the energy bills.
Replace the entry doors. Over time, the house shifts, the seals break, and the doors just get less efficient. Perk up the main entry of your home with a beautiful new door, and save on the energy bill for a long time to come.
Add a gas fireplace: They are beautiful, and manufacturers have managed to figure out the best ways to keep them most efficient. There’s an ease factor to these fireplaces, as well, and it’s really nice to put one on for an hour or two, just to warm up your main living space. Why warm up the whole house while you’re just enjoying the kitchen and living room?
Lots of these ideas are for the Weekend Warrior, and all of them will increase the appearance and efficiency of your home. It really is your oasis, and it should be! Have a great time sprucing up this spring, and make sure you take some time at the end of the task to enjoy your favorite cool bevvie! You deserve it!
written by: Valerie J. Wilson
Valerie J. Wilson is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about money-saving tips, decorating, business, marketing, education, and wellness.
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