Showing posts with label best home improvements. Show all posts
Showing posts with label best home improvements. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Importance of DIY

In these recession hit times moving house can seem like an impossible and unachievable feat. The property market is stagnating and mortgage payers are taking a massive hit with so many properties now in negative equity. With a backdrop like this it is easy to see why many feel like their housing dreams are going to stay just that, dreams for the foreseeable future.

But it is not all doom and gloom, for the response to such gloomy news has been phenomenal with the rise of the DIY-er, the crafter, the self-designer and the home decorator. It is now make do and mend Britain take two, only this time it is our houses that are getting the make over.

Trending on TV

It is clear that this is not just a little fad, but is a serious and rising phenomenon with a whole host of make do and mend television programmes hitting the airwaves. From Kirstie’s Homemade Home where Kirsty Allsopp is on a mission to create the perfect homemade goods to Sarah Beeney trying to Double Your House With Half The Money there are a wealth of viewing options to get you into the DIY spirit.

Getting Started

Now that you’re in the mood and want to get into the swing of things, just how do you get started then? Well first of all have a look around your house and have a good think about the type of improvements that you want to make. Do you want to create more space, recreate a certain style or just soop up a tired looking room? Be clear about your end goal and try to focus on just one goal at a time to ensure that you stay focused if things get tough! When you have picked your goal, write it down somewhere that you will see it every day to act as a motivator for your project. 

What’s Next?

Do some research to make sure that you understand the processes that you need to go through to reach your goal. Look on internet search engines, in library books and even watch some of those DIY programmes that are trending on TV. Make sure that you have the right tools for the job, suitable clothing and a realistic time frame in which to complete your project. Then when you are all kitted out and have researched and planned it to within an inch of your life, all that is left is to cut the procrastination and get going.

Friday, July 19, 2013

7 Home Improvements That Don't Add Value to Your Investment

backyard swimming pool
backyard swimming pool (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Some home improvements add value to your home while others don't. The following home improvements aren't worth the upfront cost.

Installing A New Pool

A new pool looks great and is a welcomed retreat during the summer months, but it is very expensive to install. 

In-ground pools particularly cost tens of thousands of dollars to finish and this cost is rarely recovered from the sale of the home. 

Some buyers may not want a home that features a pool because of the time and money it would take to maintain it. Plus, there may be legal obligations to owning a pool, such as having insurance.

Building a Home Office

Another home improvement that doesn't add value to the home is the addition of a home office. Most home office renovations include new furniture, computer equipment, and re-wiring. 

This can cost thousands of dollars to complete and only about half of this would be recouped when the house is sold. Instead of investing in the equipment, set aside a room that is more like a study with access to the internet and phone.

Updating the Roof and Windows

Replacing the roof and windows is great home improvement that adds beauty and functionality to an older home. Improvements on this scale is not smart if you intend to sell soon. Consider only making these improvements if you intend to stay in your home for at least 20 years. 

If you intend to downsize as the children go out on their own or you are approaching retirement, it may be advantageous to upgrade the roof and windows just for piece of mind. 

If you're interested in buying a pre-owned home, it may be worth it to get the roof, windows, siding and gutters checked for any damages by Ohio Roofing Solutions. Having such a large expenditure out of the way while you are in your money earning years makes more sense. You do not want such a large cost occurring during retirement.

Adding a Sunroom

A sunroom is a nice addition to a home, but you would be better off building a deck. Both of these have a higher rate of return than a sunroom. The sunroom addition would increase the indoor square footage of the home, which would increase the value of the home, but not enough to cover the initial cost of the addition. 

If the potential buyer prefers a sunroom instead of a deck, it would be worth the investment to get the sale.

Remodeling the Master Bedroom

White Mid-Century Bed Frame

The master bedroom is an important selling point for most home buyers. Yet, a master bedroom upgrade doesn't reflect in the selling price of the home. 

Most master bedroom renovations utilize expensive materials, new electronics, and larger spaces. If you are lucky, you would get less than half of your investment back at the time of sale.

Installing a Backup Power Generator

One more home improvement to avoid if you are selling your home or flipping an investment is the addition of a backup power generator. It may be a handy home utility to have when the power is lost, but it doesn't help you sell the house immediately. 

A new home security system from an ADT authorized dealer such as would be a better investment.

Improving the Garage

If the house has a garage, it's best to keep it neat and clean, rather than remodel it. Most garages are large enough to house the car and some tools. 

Expanding it to accommodate another car is one home improvement that should be avoided. The extra space isn't a big selling point, and the cost of the expansion won't be recovered fully.

Adding Carpet

If you have hardwood floors, it's probably best to keep them and avoid wall to wall carpeting. The color and texture of the carpet are just two factors which would stop a buyer from purchasing the home. A better investment would be cleaning or buffing the existing hardwood floor.

Avoid these 7 home improvements that don't add value to your investment. Instead, consider improvements that are worth the cost such as kitchen remodeling, bathroom remodeling, and landscaping.

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Most Efficient Ways of Improving Your Home

Our homes are always a project for the man of the house: minor or major improvements are in their eyes a way to increase the value of the house should you decide to sell it in a market where, when prices drop, having the house that is most attractive to buyers because of the improvements you made makes it also the one that sells and maybe also with some thousands of dollars extra to the end price.

And even if you do not want to sell it, due to reasons such as memories of your kids growing up and your family expanding and then moving on to their own families or simply the place where your presents and futures were built brick by brick, a change can bring psychological comfort, at the least.

The tricky part is to get as much (preferably more) money or satisfaction from the improvement than you actually put into it. We have to be more financially savvy, as a retired accountant suggests. I mean, even if you do not sell it, we have to get that house feel like a vacation house every single day, so that your retirement could be enjoyable and something to look forward to.

Moreover, more and more people have become very concerned with environment protection, so you will have to think of Eco-friendly solutions for you, your children, your children’s children and so on. Doing all of this on a budget will require some serious planning.  


I’ve always admired the elegance of natural stone and where better to find it than in the bathroom. Granite bathroom tops are affordable, elegant and all around excellent to achieve exactly this. Adding some new faucets and maybe a mirror, you could easily remodel a bathroom for under $500. The first thing is to order all the necessary materials and only begin when all of them are at your disposal. Freshen up the old vanity if it is still in good shape by painting it. This is a simple modification that will last no more than 2 days.


As the kitchen is considered to be at the heart of your house, investments you make on a remodel can be expected to return 60-%120% of what you put in considering you don’t overdo it. It is important that the remodeling reflects the general feel of the house so do not go overboard with deluxe kitchens if the neighborhood and the house are cozy or historic.

 Eco-Friendly Solutions

It is common knowledge that environmentally friendly home improvements are somewhat expensive, but if you don't have the necessary funds to invest in sustainable materials, and energy sources, this doesn't mean that you can't help out mother Earth. The most convenient solution would be to take care of your garbage in a green way. Instant Waste, for example, 
offers a safe and environmentally responsible solution to unwanted waste. Removing waste goes hand in hand with planting eco plants such as trees and making use of other additional eco solutions such as buying light bulbs or eco household appliances that help lower the energy bill and maintain the health of our surroundings. This may not seem like much, but it is more than most people do.

Energy Efficient Insulation

One of the most important aspects when trying to sell a house is insulation: home inspectors will include old doors that allow air through into their reports and since a house that is not energy efficient costs more to live in and to maintain, it may just be that you will wait longer for your buyer than you expected. There are simple, low budget things that can be easily done, like insulating the attic ($200) which will save you hundreds of dollars on utility bills. Sealing off cracks is another cheap improvement that will also contribute to a more efficient home.


It is not easy at first to try reinventing a room but adding some square footage to your home will surely broaden your perspective, although it can be quite an expensive project simply because more often than not the project cost can easily spin out of control. So instead of this be creative, use the attic and turn it into a bedroom, remodel the basement or add small apartments over your garage (and even inside it). There are some situations where demolishing walls or rafters are unavoidable but there are some concerns you need to address before doing so. More often than not you can use the space as other rooms.

Be sure to always have the basic updates in check: the simple things will be those which will give the most value to your home. I mean fresh paint, roof maintenance, wood replacement, mold prevention. Even though such chores are not always the most pleasant, they keep your home from losing value over time and since most buyers are looking for solid, healthy-looking homes they will be sure to check each corner. And when they see a well-cared for home, buyers will not think twice and will surely put down an offer immediately. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Before Retiring, Think of These 4 Essential Investments that Add Value to Your Home

Before you start thinking about retiring to your very own moon-light patio, bohemian wine cellar or romantic porch there are some structural aspects you should take care of. People have started to spend more and more money on home improvements, and it seems only natural because the home is the place where we spend most of our time. We want our living room to be welcoming and relaxing, our bathrooms to look fresh and our kitchens to inspire, but we should not get ahead of ourselves. As tempting as bamboo flooring, granite counter-tops and vintage furniture may sound, there are a few long-term improvements that you should definitely consider.

Whether you are trying to sell your home in the near future and plan your retirement some place elsewhere or simply want to increase its value and enhance it for your children, there are four essential improvements you absolutely have to do. Although certain affordable cosmetic changes might make the house look better in the eyes of a potential buyer, it is the well-thought-out, carefully planned structural improvements that are more promising for the future. The first thing you should do is hire an expert to evaluate your house, and afterward make steps to remedy the problems. Here are four possibilities of improving your home.

1. Indoor Systems

As appealing as cosmetic improvements might be, it is the functional ones that truly increase the value of a house. A client will always appreciate a fully-functioning house with all the required repairs, upgrades and replacements of major systems. They might not stand out the way a purple wall might, but they are reliable and very important. Moreover if you aren't planning to sell the house in the near future, all the more reason to consolidate the structure and apply certain fixes. Indoor systems like plumbing and wiring should be properly done. In addition, you should make sure that your heating and air conditioning systems function accordingly.

2. Replace the roof

Every roof has an expiration date, and it is likely that you will have to improve yours at some point in your life, especially roofs made of asbestos. In terms of asbestos roof replacement, it isn't such a difficult process, as long as it is done correctly, and there are a few valid reasons why you should consider this option. First of all building codes say that you cannot put a second layer of shingles on top of the previous layer, and this means that you will have to strip off the current layer. Shingles which are applied over old ones don't last as long as a single-layered roof. By stripping the roof you will also get a chance to fix small problems like corroded metal, and leakages. You can also add an extra layer of ice and water barriers to better insulate the home.

3. Fix the Kitchen

Everybody knows that a beautiful kitchen is a major selling point for a home. This room is probably the best option if you want to add real value to your home. When it comes to kitchen remodels there are so many options to choose from that you can easily be sidetracked. Most people avoid remodeling the kitchen because they think that it is a huge investment. Nevertheless, if you study the market, manufacturers and trends you will see that there are a lot of affordable solutions to choose from. Replacing counter-tops, purchasing important appliances, refurbishing the cabinet hardware and floors will have a huge impact on the overall aspect of your interior.

4. Replace Windows

You should know that replacing the windows is a win-win investment. The seller will earn valuable tax earning credits, and the potential buyer will lower energy bills. The energy efficiency and Eco-friendly aspects have become very important for people nowadays, especially if you have an old house. It is actually forecasted that by 2030 all new homes will become fully sustainable. Moreover, there are many types of glass used for windows, which have special heating properties.

All in all, you have to make the most of your budget and time. It is impossible to remodel your home over night, but as long as you constantly apply changes and try to improve your home your chances of selling increase. Someone once said that your home is your castle, and a good king deserves a beautiful kingdom. 

6 Hilarious Signs You Need to Do Home Improvements

As your house gets older, it needs improvements to keep it running well and looking good. So, if you've been neglecting to make home improvements over the years, it's probably showing in your home. Take a look at these six signs it's time to make some changes and improvements. 

Your Utility Bill Makes You Cry

Yes, the cost of utilities has gone up, but if your utility bill is nearly as much as your mortgage, you know it's time to make some home improvements. Utility bills are typically higher in old homes because the insulation isn't as thick as it used to be, the windows let heat escape your home, and your appliances might not be energy-efficient models. So, if you cry every time you look at your utility bill, you should make your home more energy efficient to save money each month. Simple changes can make a huge difference.

You Still Have Annual Height Measurements in Your Kitchen

Lots of people mark annual height measurements on their walls, but you know it's time to make some home improvements if your paint is so old that you have height measurements from 20 to 30 years ago. Yes, we understand sentimental value, but you can always cut out that segment of the wall if it means that much to you. If your paint is that old, your home is definitely needs a fresh coat.

Your Home Evokes the 70s

You know you need to do some home improvements if your house takes people back to the 70s. For instance, lots of wood paneling and colorful shag carpet might remind people of their life during the Nixon era in college or growing up in the suburbs. It's easy to get new carpet and most wood paneling can be painted or taken down for a new look.

People Are Afraid to Go Down to Your Dark and Musty Basement

Basements are scary because they don't get as much light as the rest of the house. Making some simple home improvements like new light fixtures and clearing out the space can make a huge difference in your basement. Looking into a security system from can also make people feel more secure when they are at your house.

People Never Take Off Their Jacket When They Come Into Your Home

If you don't have adequate insulation or your windows are really old, your home is probably pretty drafty. You're probably used to it, but if people aren't taking off their jackets when they come to your home, it's time to make some improvements to the energy efficiency of your home. Plus, your power bill will probably go down because of it.

People Get a Headache from Going into Your Bathroom

Do you have a really colorful bathroom—floral wallpaper on the walls, a bathtub that is some color other than white? This is a sign you need to make some home improvements to your bathroom, if not a complete makeover. People like to see neutral colors and fixtures in bathrooms that make the space feel clean.

If you can relate to any of the scenarios on this list, it's time to make some home improvements. What other signs can you think of? 

Join 1000's of People Following 50 Plus Finance
Real Time Web Analytics