The 7 Smartest Home Improvements You Can Make
When you are planning to improve your home and are on a limited budget, it is important to spend efficiently to give you the best bang for your buck. Some improvements will stretch your dollar more and can even provide an excellent financial return in the future.
Here is our list of 8 budget friendly home improvement projects you can enjoy today and help you sell your home for more tomorrow!
Add the Finishing Touch of Molding
Decorative molding is a classic touch that frequently gets overlooked when many people are deciding on a home improvement project. The fact is that upgraded molding is still one of the best ways to dress up a room. This east improvement help give a room a finished and expensive look.
One of the wonderful things about molding is that you have hundreds of different options and styles. Whether you want a simple look or a very ornate look there is a style for you and we haven’t even gone over the color and materials. You can also get specialized features like built-in lighting!
The cost is very low if you DIY and averages around $1.50/foot depending on the kind of molding. If you hire out it is still averages only $8/foot which is extremely reasonable.
Install Quality Ceiling Fans
Once upon a time, ceiling fans were considered an ugly, wobbly, necessity to combat rising energy costs. Not anymore! Over the last two decades, ceiling fans have become higher quality and also seen as a good investment.
Today, ceiling fan design has caught up with the times and come in an extremely wide variety of styles, colors, and price points. You’d be surprised just how refreshing it is to replace your old, noisy ceiling fan.
In general, the size of the fan blade matters more than the number of fan blades. With this in mind, it’s best to go for the largest Energy Star rated ceiling fan you can fit in your particular space.
Also remember, if you have a low ceiling, buy a hugger ceiling fan that is mounted flush with your ceiling.
Plant Some Trees
Let’s be honest, adding trees isn’t something that most people think of when they think “home improvement” but trees are like wine, they get better with age.
What improvements can a tree make? Well if you plant them on the side of your home that receives the most sun, the south side, you can save up to $250 annually on your cooling costs. The tree will also help protect your home from wind and the roots of the trees prevent erosion from downpours.
So what about the future?
According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers (CTLA), a mature tree could be worth up to $10,000 especially in urban areas. Also, a recent study of home sales suggests that homes with trees growing in front or near a house boosted its sale price by an average of $8,870 and shaved a full two days off of its time on the market.
Install a Patio
Now here is one that definitely comes to mind when you think Home Improvement. The Patio. Just don’t go overboard. Keeping it simple, functional, and beautiful will allow you to recover 30% to 60% of your investment when you sell your home. The moment you start adding in high-end outdoor appliances like pizza ovens and kitchens, you won’t get back what you spent on your investment.
Energy-Efficiency is the Name of the Game
The value of energy-efficient houses just keeps going up and up. A UCLA study examined the sales prices of 1.6 million California homes from 2007 to 2012 and found that homes with Energy Star, LEED, or GreenPoint certification had, on average, a 9% higher price.
That finding is echoed in NAHB’s report that surveyed homebuyers across the nation: Nine out of 10 potential buyers would select an efficient home with lower utility bills over a less efficient home priced 2% to 3% less.
One energy-saving home improvement project that not only saves energy but gives you tons of enjoyment, too, is converting a wood-burning fireplace into a gas one. If you like to crunch energy numbers, gas fireplaces have energy-efficient ratings as high as 77%, compared with wood-burning fireplaces that convert only 15% of wood’s energy into useful heat.
In fact, 39% of homebuyers say a gas fireplace is an essential or desirable feature of the next home they purchase. So when it comes time to sell your home, more than one-third of potential buyers will be looking for a gas fireplace. In the meantime, it’ll be paying for itself in reduced heating costs.
Storage and built-in organization is always on the top of buyers lists. The trick is to add storage without taking away floor space. If you just add lots of storage without taking that into account, you end up with a cramped home.
So let’s think about ways to add storage without making the home seem smaller.
- Open drywall to create storage cubbies between your wall’s studs.
- Install platform storage that hangs from your garage ceiling.
- Even stairs can give you more storage. One clever mom repurposed an old chest of drawers and created storage within a basement staircase.
Light Up the Outdoors
Exterior lighting is just as important as interior lighting. You can use this lighting to accent what you like most about your home and the light keeps potential burglars away. Installing motion-detecting lights can even lower some premiums of homeowners’ insurance. With advances in solar lighting, it is now easier and more cost-effective than ever to give your homes nighttime curb appeal a significant boost. According to some studies, almost 90% of buyers include outdoor lighting on their list of features they are looking for in a home.
There are many other improvements that you can make to that could help you sell your home. Download our sellers guide for more!