Home Improvement That Makes Sense
General guidelines and ideas to boost your home's value, appearance, and comfort
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There are plenty of reasons to improve your home: maintain structural integrity, amp up your resale value, or just create a beautiful, more functional space for you and your family to enjoy. But current housing and economic trends may leave you wondering which projects are really worth your time and money.
Like many investments, the return on home improvement is higher the longer you hold on to it. But whether you're selling or staying put, some projects are always worth doing. Here are a few guidelines to consider as warm weather brings out your inner remodeler.
Home Improvement Guidelines:
Maintain your HVAC
No one wants heating problems in the dead of winter or cooling problems when it's 100 degrees. Stay on top of heating, ventilation and air conditioning maintenance for smooth transitions from season to season.
Maintain your Roof
Buyers expect a home with a solid structure first and foremost. When re-roofing, consider the life-cycle cost of your roofing. A composition roof is less expensive and easy to repair, but requires more maintenance and has a shorter life expectancy than wood or metal roofing.
Replace your Siding
This consistently rates among projects with the highest ROI, or return on investment—an important consideration when selling your home. The look of new siding also makes a great first impression on potential buyers, and is important for protecting your home from weather, impact and pests.
Dual- and triple-pane windows are a smart way to maximize your heating and cooling dollars and reduce noise. Replacing older, less efficient windows also earns one of the highest ROIs— but be sure to buy quality windows with a long or lifetime warranty in order to really get your money's worth.
Remodel Bathroom and Kitchen
You don't have to spend a year's salary to make big improvements in two of the most important rooms in your home. Replacing countertops, cabinetry, faucets and toilet seats will create a brighter, cleaner space that you or potential buyers will appreciate.
Updating the look of walls, doors and trim is a simple and relatively inexpensive way to instantly refresh the look of your home—plus it improves your home's curb appeal.
Update your Flooring
Like painting, new floors give your home a major facelift that instantly appeals to buyers. These days, there are more options than ever: from environmentally friendly bamboo to cost-effective laminate to luxurious radiant flooring.
Build a Sunroom
Air, light, space—adding a sunroom lends big cosmetic and emotional appeal to your home. And while sometimes considered a luxury item, maybe this one's just for you.
While it's tempting to strap on the tool belt and do it yourself, stay realistic: Do you have the know-how to do the project without risking serious complications? And do you have the free time to complete the project within the time frame you want? Whatever you decide, be sure to keep your remodel consistent with your neighborhood. In other words—improve wisely.