You want your home to be as comfortable, efficient and as beautiful as it can be. However, deciding which home improvement projects or upgrades to invest in can be confusing. The following home upgrades will help you save money in the long run.
By installing energy-efficient devices or upgrading your current models you can save substantially. According to USA Today writer Janna Herron, simply switching out incandescent light bulbs with LED ones doesn’t cost much up front, but the return is high.
Smart thermostats will regulate the temperature of your home and its heating/cooling element more efficiently. Plus, you can control them with your phone. “Each one can save close to $200 a year, which can be big savings for large homes with multiple thermostats,” writes Herron.
If you leave your appliances plugged in, you’re wasting energy and money. Smart outlets will help your plugged-in devices and appliances run more efficiently and cut down on energy and money waste.
Focus on the front
Curb appeal is important to your home’s value and you should continually invest in it, not only for your own enjoyment but also for when it comes time to sell. A well-manicured lawn and landscaping will appeal to buyers. And yet curb appeal isn’t just about the grass and plants but also the house itself. By updating your lackluster, old and draft-prone front door, you’ll create an inviting atmosphere and improve your home’s efficiency, according to U.S. News & World Report contributor Tom Sightings.
“A bright new garage door, for a relatively modest cost, gives your house a brand new face to the world,” he adds. “According to the Remodeling Magazine survey, a new garage door returns almost 90 percent of its cost when you sell your house.”
An upgrade to your home’s siding may be a large initial investment, but according to Sightings, this is money well spent, as it will reduce maintenance issues you’ll have to handle in the future as well as improve your home’s look. He notes that vinyl siding usually offers a 10-year warranty while more expensive options like manufactured stone veneer and fiber cement siding will impress buyers (and your neighbors).
Let the sunshine in and banish the wind
Drafty old windows are wasting your money and your home’s energy. New windows will stop drafts resulting in lower energy bills and provide an attractive facelift for your home, adds Sightings.
Update your family’s gathering place
The heart of the home is definitely the kitchen, so improvements such as upgraded cabinets and high-efficiency appliances are smart investments as long as you keep your spending and design in check, writes Sightings. A well-organized, attractive kitchen with modern appliances is worth the money, but high-end items like a customized wine cooler probably won’t earn you your money back, he warns.
These home upgrades will help you earn a return on your investment in time and money. Additionally, they should improve your home’s efficiency, lower your energy costs and help make your home the talk of the block.