Haven’t updated your home in a dog’s age? Looking to sell your house? If you’re thinking about taking on some home improvement projects this year, make sure you invest in renovations that will last and save you money in the long run. Here are some home improvements worth considering.
Buy Energy-Efficient Appliances
Upgrading outdated appliances is one of the easiest ways to increase your home’s value and will make it a lot more energy-efficient. You’ll want to replace any old models with Energy Star rated appliances. 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. 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.
Upgrade to Smart Lighting
Installing a smart lighting system is a great way to reduce your energy bill. 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. 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.
Replace Your 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.
Install New Windows and Insulation
If you want to make your house more energy-efficient, install modern windows, which are better constructed and insulated. Upgrading your windows will make your heating and A/C units work less and you’ll save quite a bit on your electric bills.
Add New Insulation to Your Attic
Adding or upgrading insulation in your attic 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.
Install New Plumbing
Putting in 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.
Upgrade Your Roof
Ensure your home and all your possessions are protected from the elements for decades, by replacing your roof. You’ll spend some dollars up front, but a new roof will save you the trouble of making expensive repairs should something goes wrong. Another incentive is that a new roof is a prime selling point if you are looking to put your house on the market.