If you want to make home improvements, but you want to make sure that you're making good investments, you aren't alone. After being stuck at home for the better part of the year, many of us have realized we need to make small improvements to our homes. If you want to make sure you're making worthwhile and cost-effective changes to your home, these ideas will help you find a good starting place.
Buy the Right Paint
One great way to completely refresh a room in your home is to add a fresh coat of paint to it. However, with so many paints on the market with prices ranging from $8 to $30, you may not know what paint is the best option for you. Make sure that when you're buying paint you:
- Think About What You're Buying For. Different finishes and brands will be better for different paint jobs. For example, in a child's playroom, you'll want a paint that can handle more hands-on treatment than you would in a formal dining room.
- How Much You Need. Sometimes it's easy to overestimate exactly how much paint you'll need and end up buying an extra gallon. Measure your walls and talk to the paint salesperson in your local home paint store to ensure you're getting the right amount. Take into account how many layers you expect you'll need to do as well.
Insulate Your Attic
If your home has an attic, improper insulation can be costing you a lot of money -- in any given home, 40% of the heat loss is because of the attic. Making sure that your attic is properly insulated may not be the more glamorous of home improvements, but it can save you a lot of money on your heating and cooling bills, which can mean that you are able to afford other, more aesthetically pleasing renovations and improvements in the future.
Pay Attention to Your Doors and Windows
Another place to pay attention to possible heating or cooling losses is your windows and doors. When it comes to doors, you should opt for something with a steel exterior and a polyurethane foam insulated center when possible. A door one and a half inches thick made of that material can be up to five times as effective as a solid wood version. Having better-sealed windows and doors means that you won't be losing money on your heating and cooling costs, which, like your attic insulation, can mean saving money for more renovations and improvements in the future.
Recaulk Your Bathroom
When it comes to bathroom features like faucets, showerheads, and anywhere else that water can possibly leak from, it's important to regularly recaulk them to avoid leaks and unwanted moisture. Over time, these leaks can cause mold, which is not only expensive to have removed, but is also ugly and can be unhealthy to be exposed to.
Another way to prevent moisture in your bathroom is to make sure the ventilation is adequate. If there isn't a fan in your bathroom, leave windows or doors open to clear out humid air after a shower. Preventing moisture build up is important to maintaining your bathroom and not ending up with mold and mildew.
Update Light Bulbs
A small improvement that can save you money and change the aesthetic of a room is switching out your traditional fluorescent light bulbs for LED bulbs. LED bulbs use significantly less energy, last much longer than traditional bulbs, and come in many more color options than fluorescent light bulbs. Some LED bulbs come with remotes that can be used to not only turn them on and off, but also control things like their brightness and color. If you want to be able to set a certain mood in a room, lighting can go a long way to help, and LED light bulbs offer options for any occasion or mood.
Smart technology for the home is an investment that is worth it in the long run. For example, let's say that you constantly forget to turn down the thermostat in the winter when you leave for work, accidentally leaving it on full heat all day. This wastes energy and money over time, but if you had a smart thermostat, this wouldn't be the case. Instead, you would just open the app on your phone and turn it down, and some offer the option to set a schedule so that you're saving money on your heating or cooling without consciously having to remember to change the temperature.
Other pieces of smart technology that can be a great investment are things like smart lights. These can be controlled from your phone or through technology like Alexa or Google Home, which means you can turn them on and off from any room in or out of your house. No more forgetting to turn off the lights -- you have all the switches in the palm of your hand!
Install Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are a great way to reduce your cooling costs in the summer while also adding style to your home. Ceiling fans are more powerful than your classic standing fan, so they can help when it comes to actually cooling down entire rooms of your home and not just a small portion of it. You can get ceiling fans in a variety of styles, and even the most basic models could fit perfectly in your home. You can add a DIY element if you want to by painting or staining the blades to better match your room.
Most ceiling fans also have a lighting element attached, so you can utilize some LED bulbs to ensure that the lighting in your room is perfect.
When you're looking to improve your home while also not hurting your wallet, these are some great ideas. Although they may not be large renovation ideas, they can save you money over time, which is what makes a truly great home upgrade idea.
What money-saving improvements have you made to your home? Let us know in the comments below!