Top home upgrades that really pay off

Top home upgrades that really pay off

Every homeowner wants to grow their home’s long-term value—that’s one of the main reasons why you bought your home in the first place. If you’re looking to invest in your home and its future value, there are many home upgrades that can really pay off down the road. In this article, we’ll review the best of these renovations and upgrades, and where you should start.

Start saving money with improvements to your home’s efficiency

An inefficient home that wastes energy is costing you money every single month. High summer and winter utility bills don’t have to be something you just live with. By making proactive and strategic improvements to your home’s cooling and heating efficiency, you can lower these costs for years to come. As seasons come and go, those savings will really start to add up.

Attic Insulation

A large chunk of the cooled and heated air in your home is lost through the attic and the roof. This, in turn, means your air conditioner and furnace have to both work harder (and use more energy) to maintain the temperature in your home. One of the most effective ways to curb this energy loss is by installing additional attic insulation to trap cooled and heated air in the living areas of your home. This can cut your cooling and heating costs by up to 20%.

Smart Thermostats

When it comes to home renovations, it doesn’t get much easier than installing a smart thermostat. By allowing you to schedule temperature changes in advance, a smart thermostat can reduce your energy costs by nearly 10%, while also providing you with the convenience of being able to change your home’s temperature from just about anywhere.

Remodel your master bathroom

If you’re looking to invest in your home, a master bathroom remodel is a great project to take on. To make your remodelling dollar stretch farther, focus on upgrading your bathroom shower, vanity, sinks, and floors. You should hire a plumber for any pipe or drain repairs, but much of this project—from installing a new vanity to laying floor tile or installing vinyl—that can be handled by you, the homeowner. 

The key to getting the best-possible ROI out of your bathroom remodel is limiting the extent of plumbing and electrical changes. Anytime you move existing pipes or outlets, your costs will go up. Avoid major layout changes, and you’ll get more out of the project.

Rethink your home’s kitchen

Everyone loves the kitchen. It’s arguably the center of life in the modern American home. This is probably why kitchen remodels have the best return-on-investment (ROI) of any major home renovation project. If your kitchen looks like it would fit right in to a 80s or 90s sitcom, it might be time for a design refresh. If you’re focused on adding value, you’ll need to prioritize installing new stone countertops (quartz and granite are the two most popular varieties, and come in a dizzying array of styles) and cabinets. Invest in high-quality materials and installation here: how good your countertops and cabinets look and work will go a long way to determining how much your new kitchen adds to your home’s value.

However, not every aspect of your kitchen remodel needs to be a “big ticket” upgrade. Take the time to think about the style you’re aiming for and how to best achieve it through lighting, backsplash, the sink, and more. Make sure the kitchen you’re envisioning fits the rest of your home, though: a farmhouse-style kitchen might look great in a vacuum, but stick out like a sore thumb in an otherwise modern-style condo.

Get more out of your home

As any long-time homeowner can (and will) tell you, owning a home is an adventure. It comes with the freedom to make your own decisions and design choices, and decide what you want to do and focus on. By investing in the high-ROI projects described above, you can both transform your home and invest in its future value. For even more great tips for home renovations and upkeep, check out this infographic.

Samantha Johnson   Remodeling Writer

Real Home Advice

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