Money is tighter than ever at the moment and housing markets are nothing like as buoyant or rewarding as they once were, so how can you be sure to protect and add value to your home at the same time as making it more saleable when the time comes. Some home improvement projects are better than others in terms of making your home more attractive and increasing its value. Getting the balance right will make sure you get value for every dollar spent.
Whether you are planning on trying to do some of the work yourself or will be finding a contractor, good planning will save you time, headaches and money, so don’t skimp on it. Take your time – and get it right first time. Doing it yourself is not always cheaper than hiring a contractor. When you charge out your own time, gas to the hardware depot, the purchase of any special tools, lost time from work or the value of a lost vacation working on the house, you might be surprised just how little difference there really is. Getting estimates from local contractors is always a good idea, even if you do end up doing some or all of the work yourself. It will give you a better idea of the costs, materials, and worked involved in any project, and you may even get an idea or two about how you can do part of the project differently or save some money on materials used.
Research, just like for any other type of project, pays off. Find out what’s available in your local area in terms of materials, fixtures etc., what you can maybe source from elsewhere, and don’t forget to spend some time online where you can find lots of bargains and ideas to help you in planning your home improvement projects.
Depending on the type of project you want to undertake, take into account the time of year as labor can vary and choosing to get the project done when things are quiet in the local market can save you quite a bit if you’re prepared to negotiate with local contractors and wait for the right time.
Best Home Improvement Projects
Top areas to focus on when it comes to trying to protect and increase the value of your biggest asset include making sure that all the basic electrical, plumbing and heating systems are in good state and working efficiently. Potential buyers in the future will welcome the fact that such essential systems will not require any of their attention or money in the first few years after occupying their new home. Consider insulation and energy efficient home improvement projects related to heating/cooling systems as lower energy bills can be a big benefit not only to you but any future buyer of the property. There are also tax credits available from the government for certain energy efficient home improvement projects which can make them even more worthwhile to undertake.
Basic maintenance of drives, lawns, doors, windows, sidings, roof and external paint can not only protect your property but help maintain or increase its curb appeal.
Don’t forget to think about how any building materials used can be recycled if possible, any old lumber that is being removed could possibly be used in another location or on a completely different project you may have also planned. Recycling saves money and resources.
Where to Start?
In terms of getting the most for your money, it’s best to start with general home repairs, making sure that everything is well maintained and functioning perfectly, then move onto energy saving installations such as insulation, solar hot water heating and such like before considering larger projects such as the addition of extra space or bathroom and kitchen remodeling. These are the areas that will give you the best return on the money you spend, help protect your property and its value, and you’ll be able to enjoy lower energy bills, better functionality and any additional new space added into the bargain.