Buying a home is one of the biggest steps in most people’s lives. It’s a huge investment not only financially but also in your future and your family’s future.
Many people are lucky enough to find their dream home but others choose to buy a home that they can make their own with renovations and improvements.
Newer homes come with some perks in terms of updates to building materials and technology, but what if your dream home is older or just needs some upgrades?
Some improvements are more important than others. Some are for luxury purposes or just to take some aspects from acceptable to perfect. But which ones are the most vital? Which improvements increase the value of your home and which ones can you live without?
Read on to find out our top 5 home improvements that you should definitely be making!
Reasons to Make Home Improvements
First, it’s important to determine why you’re making improvements to your home.
Are you looking to make your home more attractive to potential buyers? If so, look into ones that increase the value and aesthetics of your home, such as:
- Minor upgrades to existing bathrooms. Remove old caulking and update it freshly. Add a fresh coat of paint or repair damaged wallpaper to spruce up and bring new life to the space.
- Make front entryway improvements. Replace the front door with one that’s more stylish or paint your door in an accent color that pops!
- Increase curb appeal. Invest in fresh sod, landscaping and outdoor lighting that accents your home’s exterior features.
- Add storage space. The addition of closets or built in storage systems adds appeal to potential buyers and gives your home something special.
- Finish attics and/or basements. Homes with attic bedrooms and finished basements attract more buyers and add value to your home with extra usable square footage.
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If you’re looking to improve the energy efficiency of your home, there are several things you can do:
- Update old appliances. Installing newer, energy efficient appliances improves the value of your home and saves you money over time on electric bills. Start with bigger appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners and focus on those appliances that are older and less efficient for the most savings.
- Install low-flow water devices. This includes faucets and shower heads. These fixtures are very inexpensive but can save you hundreds on water bills every year.
- Add or replace insulation. Improvements to the insulation in your home can significantly reduce your heating or cooling bills, saving you lots of money over time. The average reported savings are up to 20% on energy bills per year.
- Install a tankless water heater. This simple home improvement can save 20% or more on water bills. They last 5-10 years longer than traditional water heaters and since the water is heated as it flows through (instead of all at once in a tank) so you never run out of hot water!
- Seal up leaks. Drafty windows and doors make your heating and cooling bills more expensive than necessary and waste energy trying to keep your home warm or cool. Check around windows and doors and in the attic or basement especially.
Want more great tips? Download our free guide: the 5 home improvements you need to make
- Which home improvements offer the best return on your investment?
- What home improvements will save you the most money over time?
- Which projects can you DIY and which ones require a professional?
- And more!
Not quite sure what your endgame is but still want to make some improvements? These are some projects that will spruce up your home and only can increase its value, even if you’re not looking to sell right away!
- Create space in your home. Knocking out a non-structural wall or taking out a bulky kitchen island can improve the flow of your home and open it up extensively. Making space in your home gives it a bigger and more open feel and it doesn’t take very much to do.
- Light it up! Adding energy-efficient lighting to your home brightens up space and gives it a more homey feel. Install dimmers for a simple but luxurious upgrade. You can also install skylights or sun tubes to let natural light into your home.
- Add outdoor space. Install a front-door overhang or front porch space to make the front exterior of your home more convenient (just think of not having to stand in the rain while you search for your keys!) A deck, back patio or other backyard improvements make yard space more usable for the whole family.
- Focus on the little things. Small improvements like fixing a squeaky floor, replacing chipped tiles or adding a fresh coat of paint can make a big difference in your home. An easy way to decide what to fix is to walk through your home with fresh eyes and look for anything that draws your attention in a negative way. Things that you live with every day might not always stand out to you but these small improvements can really pay off in terms of convenience and beautification.
There are so many different options when it comes to home improvements. Figuring out what you’re hoping to achieve with your home, be it finding a buyer, adding space or just brightening up the existing features, is the first action you should take. Knowing the purpose of your efforts will allow you to make the best investments and choose the exact areas you need to focus on to accomplish your goals.