Everyone wants a beautiful, fully functional, and updated home. We all take pride in our properties by keeping things tidy, the yard well maintained, and address any problems as they arise. If you’d like to improve your home but don’t want to spend a lot of money, you can take on a few easy-to-do projects that are inexpensive but deliver a huge impact.
One of the secrets of professional contractors and designers to use finishing touches to create a focal points, accents, or other elements which really bring a space together. Such improvements not only provide a better look and more function, but also, help to increase the value of your home, which is a savvy way to bolster your equity without much effort. This is just part of making financially savvy home improvements.
Home Improvements to Avoid
Before getting into the most savvy home improvements which deliver a solid return on investment, it’s just important to know which so-called improvements perform poorly financially and/or functionally. Near the top of the list is a room conversion, such as transforming a bedroom into a home office. Not only is the ROI bad, it’s a big turnoff to buyers because they simply don’t like a room to be used for any other purpose than its original intent. One that’s similar is “borrowing” space from one room to increase square footage in another. If you reduce a bedroom into a glorified closet, you’re making a big mistake.
“Whether you’re sick of your laminate countertops or you just want to spruce up your bathroom, you might want to consider whether your remodeling projects will yield much money when you’re ready to take the steps toward selling your home.” —Equifax
Some are not-so-obvious, like remodeling a kitchen, complete with high-end accessories. While this sounds like it would be a great idea and have a big return on investment, it simply doesn’t. What it does is over-customize the space, which will make it difficult to sell. Another on the list of the ones to avoid is adding-on a sunroom or a family room. The reason for this is that you’ll spend quite a bit more to heat and cool your home and that’s something buyers will notice when you sell down the road.
Make these Financially Savvy Home Improvements
If you are ready to make your home a better place and increase its value, do it right and go all the way. In other words, you don’t want to repaint a bedroom, put in new furniture, upgrade the windows and treatments, but leave the old, outdated hardware on the doors because these will definitely stick out. Whatever you choose, take the necessary home improvement safety precautions. Here are the most financially savvy home improvements you can make:
- Add finishing touches for a big impact. Crown molding, chair railing, and beadboard, all make for great finishing touches. Just as a rule of thumb, use crown molding to make a room look bigger and taller and, in rooms that have 9 foot ceilings or higher. For chair railing, size it to one-third the ceiling height so it does overwhelm the room. In addition, trim around doors and windows will also provide a nice look.
- Install high quality ceiling fans. These are one of the most sought after items on buyers’ wish lists, probably because so many look outdated, wobble, and squeak. High quality, ceiling hugging ceiling fans works best in rooms with ceilings under 8 feet in height, while those that hang work best in rooms with higher ceilings. Go for energy-efficiency, quality, and looks when you choose ceiling fans.
- Plant shady trees strategically. Landscaping has a lot of impact on the value of a home, as well as it’s energy efficiency. Shady trees planted strategically to keep heat transfer to a minimum, while also delivering an increase in property value. Plant in the right places, and you can save between $100 and $200 per year on cooling costs. Trees can also act as shields from storms, helping to protect your roof.
- Put in a backyard patio. A backyard patio can certainly deliver a lot of aesthetics and function, but with this home improvement, you’re best bet is to keep it simple. Be sure to check with your local utilities before digging, and account for slope, sun, and shade.
- Beef-up your home security. Installing a home security system doesn’t have to be elaborate to make it worthwhile. You can self-install kits for a fraction of the cost of those home monitoring services, still fetch an insurance discount, and have more peace of mind. All this, not to mention, a feature that buyers generally like.
- Make energy-efficient updates. Practically no matter what it is, it’s worth it over the long run. Energy efficient appliances often come with rebates, and, lower energy costs. In addition, new appliances look great and help to increase the function of a space.
Install outdoor lighting for beauty, function, security, and return on investment. Place lights to illuminate landscaping features, and, to improve security — warm, white lights work best