Home improvements are always satisfying to complete, but it’s even better when you know your innovations are saving you money as well. Here are the three areas where you should focus your time and attention in order to get the biggest return on your home improvement investments.
Pay Attention to Water
Some of the most expensive kinds of damage to homes result from water getting into places where it’s not supposed to be. Your first line of defense against foundation damage is to make sure you have good quality gutters in place. Installing gutter guards is a wise money-saving choice, because leaves and tree debris can clog open gutters and cause water to overflow down the walls of your house. Consider having a home inspector check your roof, foundation and basement for any signs of mold or water damage. Repairing a few roof shingles or replacing a leaky water heater can save you a lot of stress and money in the long run.
The cost of energy will only rise, and sealing off places where cold air can leak in will save you money on heating throughout many winters to come. Adding insulation in your attic can make a big difference in your home’s ability to hold the heat inside, and energy-saving home improvements can often qualify for tax credits as well. A smaller home improvement project that can save you up to 30 percent on your energy bills is to put fresh weather stripping around windows and doors. If you replace older single-paned vinyl windows with energy-efficient double-paned ones, Remodeling Magazine says you’ll recoup at least 71 percent of your investment when you sell your home — and you’ll be making it look more attractive, too.
Today’s smart appliances may come with higher price tags, but they start saving you money right from the beginning. A programmable thermostat alone can drop your heating and cooling bills by up to $150 each year, according to Energy Star. Air conditioners should have their filters replaced and coils cleaned, but if they’re more than 20 years old, you’re better off just replacing them with a more efficient model. Newer dishwashers add to your home’s value and use only about 5.8 gallons of water to wash a load of dishes, whereas older ones can consume 10 gallons for the same amount of cleaning. Converting an older water heater to a new tankless type can yield savings of more than $100 each year.
Home improvements are one of those agreeable ways to spend money that increase your present-day well-being, while also being a prudent money-saving investment in your future.