When thinking of home improvement, most owners dream of exciting projects like painting, re-flooring, or installing new cabinets. However, there are several projects that you want to put at the top of your list. While they may not be the most exciting, they offer the greatest return on investment. Not only do they save you money and boost your resale value, but they also keep your home intact.
- Cover Up Your Drafts
Windows and doors are your access to the outside elements. When not properly sealed, they take in a lot of unnecessary heat during the summer and cold during the winter. This eats alive at your utility bill.
Consider installing energy-efficient windows throughout your home. If you lack the funds to do so, obtain a quality sealer or weather strip and get to work. These are two simple projects that cost anywhere from $3 to $30 for each door or window. In the long run, either can save you up to 30% on your home energy bill.
Heat also escapes quickly from your attic, so you want to make sure this area is properly insulated. Do a through inspection of all corners of your upper spaces.
- Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Your kitchen appliances are responsible for the bulk of your utility bill. Heating systems, water heaters, refrigerators, dryers, and air conditioners all require a lot of power to operate. Fortunately, most appliance manufactures are honing in on energy-efficient designs that run on much less. This is an investment with highly positive returns.
- Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t have funds for new appliances, consider installing a programmable thermostat as a way to adjust your usage. By keeping appliances off during the day and only using them when you are home, you conserve a considerable amount of energy and save money on your bill.
- Clean Your Gutters
Water is a major hazard if left to take over. The damage is costly, not to mention inconvenient. Rather than dealing with a costly repair, keep an eye out for obstructions in your rain gutters. While a few twigs may seem trivial, your gutters are what keep water away from your home. A small block can redirect flow to your foundation, ultimately causing cracks in your structure and leaks in your basement.
Fortunately, gutter cleaning is an easy project for most homeowners. If you have a fear of heights, consider contacting a local service. Your provider may charge up to $200, but the cost is well worth it in the long run.
- Inspect Your Exterior Structure
Avoiding costly damage is about prevention and addressing the small problems before they turn into major disasters. In addition to water, there are other invaders that find a way in through your foundation. Walk around your home and look for signs of cracking, leaking, and especially pests. Termites are a major hazard if left undetected. They propagate quickly and destroy your interior framing structure. If you do come upon a nest, contact an exterminator immediately.
It’s also a good idea to perform an inspection of your roof and shingles. It’s far better to replace one patch than it is to replace your entire roof.
While these tasks may not seem the most glamorous, they are a crucial part of regular home maintenance. Plus, they save you a bundle in energy costs, giving you more funds to use for those more exciting projects.