All of us want a beautiful home. Part of the American dream is to own a home that we can be proud of and enjoy during our lifetime. If you’re like me, you drive through the nicer neighborhoods looking for ideas. Perhaps you even stop by a local builder and walk through their model home. These can be great for energizing your creative juices.
However, making improvements or changes to your home nowadays, can be a burdensome challenge. Very few are willing to make that investment in the house when other needs seem more pressing. But there is a way to address both.
When deciding what changes you’d like to make to your home, make a list. Sort them by what impact they will have. For instance, painting a room might be a priority, but only changes the aesthetics of the house. This project would then move to the bottom of the list. Installing an energy efficient appliance would serve two purposes. One, it would replace an old worn out appliance. Two, it would help reduce your energy bills. It’s this second purpose that is key. You get a return of your investment in the form of a monetary value. It may take a couple of years to get the full return, but that’s okay. Even if you end up selling your house before getting the full return, you will likely get a slightly higher selling price for your home because the buyer will value your home over anothers with inferior improvements.
So, what would a weekend DIY project list look like? Here’s a partial list of projects that will add personality, energy efficiency, and value to your home.
1. Exterior sun shades over your windows – easy to install and may decrease your cooling bills in the summer
2. Install energy efficient appliances – again, saves money on your energy bills and adds value to your home
3. Replace leaky faucets or toilets – saves you money on utility bills and is good for the environment
4. Install a sail shade over an outdoor deck – cheaper than conventional awnings and provides you with a shaded outdoor living area during the heat of summer
5. Install ceiling fans – these can greatly increase your comfort during the summer months while decreasing the burden on your cooling or a/c unit
Again, the key is to find projects that are more investment than they are beautification. These projects actually reduce utility consumption and make your house more attractive to buyers, should you sell in the near future. Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying to choose projects solely on this criteria, because I know what a difference a fresh coat of paint can make on the interior of a house. But my point is, if you want to make bigger changes to your home, choose ones that fall into the investment category.