Finding the cash for a home improvement project is no easy task. Even a small repair or renovation to your home could cost hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars, but if you choose your project with care that money will be anything but wasted.
Some home improvement projects cost a lot but offer little in way of return, but other projects are much more cost effective. Here are eight smart and timely home improvement projects that will pay for themselves and possibly even make you money over the long term.
1) Add some insulation.
If your utility bills are out of control, you might want to look in your attic. Adding more insulation to your attic or crawlspace will make your home more energy efficient, and that could save you a ton of money.
2) Replace drafty windows.
If a full window replacement is outside your budgetary constraints, focus instead on your leakiest windows. Replacing your worst windows now should result in an immediate reduction in energy costs, and you can use the savings to pay for fixing the remaining windows. Check local ordinances and window permit guidelines to ensure compliance with building codes before you start,
3) Upgrade old appliances.
If your refrigerator, dishwasher and other home appliances have seen their better days, replacing them could actually save you money. Modern appliances are far more energy efficient, and that should be good news for your monthly utility costs.
4) Fix broken gutters.
It is easy to overlook your gutters or take your downspouts for granted, but you do so at your peril. If your gutters and downspouts are in poor shape, a single thunderstorm or sudden hard downpour could cause severe water damage to your home and foundation.
5) Make your basement livable.
If you use your basement or storage or just a laundry room, you are missing out on an enormous amount of living space. If you live in a single-story home, simply finishing the basement could double your living space – and make your home more valuable.
6) Add some shade.
If you want a landscaping project that will save you money in the long term, just look up. Shade trees will reduce the need for air conditioning while keeping your home cool and comfortable. If you want shade more quickly, there are fast-growing varieties that mature in a few short years.
7) Give window treatments some love.
You may think that new curtains, blinds and other window treatments are an indulgence, but these home upgrades could save you money. Adjustable blinds and insulated curtains can reduce the need for additional heating and cooling, cutting your utility bills and saving you money every month.
8) Powerwash, patch, and paint the exterior.
A good power washing session and paint touch up will make your home look great, and potentially prevent costly damage. If you see peeling paint or stains on siding, tackling the problem areas now helps to avoid bigger issues later.
You may not think you can afford the home improvement projects you need but consider the options. If you want to reduce your utility bills and increase the value of your home, forgoing these smart improvement projects could be far more expensive.