9 Reasons Why You Should Aim To Improve Your House

There are about as many reasons why you should aim to improve your house as there are improvements from which to choose. Here are the top reasons why you should consider making improvements to your home.

1. Increase Your Enjoyment of the Home

Your own enjoyment may be the most important consideration you make when deciding which improvements to undertake. By simply making your surroundings brighter, more efficient or more modern, you can increase the level of enjoyment you feel in your home.

Increase Your Enjoyment of the Home

What improvements will provide more comfort? Improvements like increasing the capacity of your heating and air conditioning system or adding a bigger hot water heater are definite comfort changes.

What improvements will provide more enjoyment? Improvements like finishing out the basement or adding a swimming pool can provide great enjoyment.

2. Make Your Home Safer

Some home improvement projects should not be delayed. Roof leaks, electrical problems and foundation issues must be fixed to keep your family and your home safe.

Make Your Home Safer

Ensure that smoke alarms are installed inside and outside each bedroom, near the kitchen and on every level of your home. If older people live in the home, install safety features such as grab rails in the bathrooms. If there are any hazards in or around your home, correct them.

3. Make Your Home Healthier

Your home environment can influence your mood, impact your behavior, facilitate or discourage interactions and create or reduce stress. Make your home a physically and mentally healthier place to be by implementing a few key changes:

Make Your Home Healthier
  • Attach a filter to the plumbing system or a faucet, as filtered water is healthier.
  • Get house dust under control, as dust aggravates allergies and may contain hazardous chemicals.
  • Replace carpeting with wood, tile, laminate or non-vinyl linoleum.
  • Get your home tested for mold, lead paint and radon.

4. Increase the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

The money you spend on energy costs each month may seem to be a fixed amount, but it doesn’t have to be. Ask your utility company if it will provide a free energy audit of your home and show you how to make your home as energy efficient as possible. Not only can you save money by making your home energy efficient, but also, energy-efficient homes have proven to be more attractive to buyers.

Increase the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

Install a thermostat and set the temperature to go up or down while you are away or based on the season. You can save hundreds of dollars each year by having the thermostat do what you are likely to forget.

Install energy-efficient windows. If your budget won’t allow for that, consider adding storm windows as a layer of protection from drafts. Hang curtains over your windows to reduce or prevent heat or cool air from escaping from the house. Ensure that the windows are effectively caulked and that your doors have proper weather stripping. These measures can help keep cold air or warm air from invading your home.

Install skylights, light tubes, light shelves and clerestory windows to use natural light rather than electricity for home interior lighting. Add solar panels to produce your own electricity and help reduce energy costs. Ceiling fans and extra insulation in the attic can help make the house more energy-efficient as well.

Consider planting a tree where your home gets the most sun. During the summer, it will provide shade and should help keep your home cool. In the winter, the tree will allow warm sunshine into your home.

Replace Toilets

Replace toilets. Toilets account for 30 to 40 percent of the water used in most homes. To conserve water usage in the bathroom, install low-flow toilets, dual-flush toilets or vacuum-assist toilets.

Paint the exterior of your house. The color of your house contributes to the temperature inside. If your home is in a warm climate, a lighter color paint will help keep it cool. If your home is in a colder climate, a darker exterior color will help keep it warm.

Consider replacing appliances like your stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, water heater, HVAC system, washer and dryer with Energy Star appliances. Front-loading washing machines use less energy and water than do top-loading machines. They can also remove more water from clothes, which may shorten your dry cycle.

By creating an energy-efficient home, you can save money now. As a bonus, your house will be more marketable as a result of your efforts.

5. Upgrade the Functionality of the Home

Consider improvements that will make your home more functional. Do you need more space? Have your children grown to where they could use a room of their own? Would a second bathroom make things easier in the mornings? Would a deck or a patio improve your outdoor entertaining? What will improve the functionality of your home?

6. Prepare for Your Senior Years

If you plan to stay in your home during your senior years, upgrading your home with age safety features is a smart move. Consider replacing bathtubs with step-in showers with grab bars. Consider installing special toilets for those in wheelchairs or with limited mobility.

7. Avoid the Stress of Buying a New Home

Looking for a new home can be time-consuming and stressful. Rather than spending months looking for a new home, consider improving what you have.

8. Improve the Value of Your Home

Investing in improvements that are designed to improve the value of your home simply makes good sense. Updating the kitchen, replacing the front door, updating bathrooms and opening up the main living space are projects that reportedly offer the best immediate return.

Home Improvement

Research has found that improvements could generate a 9 percent increase in your home’s value. The same research indicates that you could realize a 50 percent return on the investment you make.

9. Prepare To Sell Your Home

Preparing to sell a home is one of the main reasons people make improvements. When the primary objective of your renovation efforts is to prepare to sell, your choices should be focused on appealing to potential buyers and increasing the home's resale value.

Painting walls in neutral colors and fixing any cosmetic issues or functional problems should contribute to your home's overall resale value. Upgrades can also add value, and simple fixes like improving lighting can make a difference.

It is important to convey the level of care that has been given to the home. Buyers notice little things, and it’s important for you to show those without needing to tell all the facts to prospective buyers.

Your home’s external appearance is important to its value and sale potential, as the outside is what prospective buyers will see first. Improve the outside of your home with projects like painting the front door, cleaning gutters and trimming shrubs. Cleaning windows and shutters, applying a fresh coat of paint, installing a new roof and creating attractive landscaping are all additional ways you can enhance curb appeal prior to putting your home on the market.

Prepare to Sell your Home

Fixing hardware is among the easiest things to do when renovating a home. One of the first things people check is the hardware. The knobs and pulls need to look good, and they should not be loose.

Another easy and inexpensive improvement is replacing switches and outlets. Making replacements is especially important if wall colors have changed and if the color of switches and outlets no longer blends with the décor. Today, there are outlets available that also serve as charging stations for mobile devices. These should set your home apart and appeal to potential buyers.

New wall paint can really dress up your home. Paint gets chipped and tired looking over the years. Experts suggest painting with neutral colors because buyers will try to visualize how their furnishings will look in your home. This is also the time to fill in and paint holes in the walls from hanging artwork.

Painting does not have to be limited to the walls. You may want to paint ceilings as well. If you have popcorn ceilings, which are now very out of style, retexture them and repaint.

Updating your kitchen should pay, as the kitchen is a very important room in the home and is often one of the first rooms toward which prospective buyers gravitate. Whether you simply add a backsplash or replace countertops, any changes you make should be well thought out. If your cabinets and appliances are old, consider replacing them. Prospective buyers love to see a kitchen that they wish was their own.

A finished basement will instantly add value to your home, as buyers like to imagine their own uses for the space. Square footage is added at a cost that is much lower than an addition.

If your house has carpet, consider replacing it with hardwood, laminate or tile flooring. These flooring types are durable and easier to care for than carpet. New flooring can have a big impact on the way the home appears to prospective buyers.

Add a Deck or Patio to your Home

Adding a patio can give your home additional appeal and make it more attractive to buyers. Adding one or both of these structures is often one of the first projects tackled by new homeowners.

Should You Improve Your Home?

Consider the reasons why you should aim to improve your house. If one or more of these reasons make sense to you, there may be no time like the present to get started.

Janice Friedman
 

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