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Friday, November 8, 2019

Home Improvements that Deliver Value in the Medium to Long-term

As a homeowner, I don't plan on ever moving from my home (unless I absolutely need to, but I am doing whatever I can to not need to move). But most people aren't as settled into their home, and don't necessarily plan on being in their home forever and ever. So doing things to improve the resale value of their home is definitely an important consideration. Here's some ideas from a reader on how to improve your home without spending too much money, so that also you can enjoy it more, and also increase its resale value.


As a homeowner, the bills never stop arriving. It’s difficult to afford to make improvements to your home. Doing them periodically and finding ways to cut back to save up is useful to spread the cost.
The upgrades or improvements we prefer in our household are either the ones we know we’ll enjoy for years to come or those that deliver real value. Maybe they cost some money now, but they reduce expenses in the future, or the maintenance will be less expensive and more predictable than today. We see this as smart, even as a frugal household, like how buying a quality product that lasts is better than the cheapest version that will break quickly and need replacing again.

Accordingly, here are some home improvements that we feel add value in one way or another.


Basement Renovation

An unfinished basement that hasn’t changed since acquiring the house isn’t much use. Without getting it finished, it’s just underused space that at best stores a few items that won’t be affected by any damp issue. Other than that, it’s underused.

When you think about it, a basement is a potential extra living space that’s going to waste. If you can move one of the existing rooms downstairs, you create a spare room upstairs where it’s more convenient and accessible.

A basement needs drying out, cleaning, some drywall put up, proper flooring, a ceiling, insulation, heating and some paint on the walls to make it livable. Some basements cost as little as $6,000 while others are over $20,000 depending on what state it’s in and how luxurious you wish to be with the furnishings. However, it commonly adds $30,000-$40,000 to the asking price when listing a property, so you not only get the extra living space, but usually the value of your home increases in the process too.

Flooring Overhaul

If you still have carpeting in many of the rooms and you’re tired of it, then maybe it’s time for a change. Of course, you can try getting a carpet professionally cleaned, but there’s realistically only so much that can be done. Also, if the carpet is wearing thin, then that won’t even be an option. In which case, what choices do you have left?

Putting in hardwood flooring in one or more rooms completely transforms a family room, living room or kitchen into a brighter, more welcoming space. Light usually reflects off lighter wood and it just feels good underfoot too.

If you have one or more pets in the house, then wooden floors are also more practical. Any accidents are cleaned up quicker and far easier than soiled carpets where pet smells can linger. A protective coating over the wooden flooring ensures that nothing will get into the wood itself, which is a major selling point.

There are different types of hardwood, colors and grains to choose from. Solid wood, cork flooring, reclaimed wood, parquet flooring, and wood effect tiles all have a place. Engineered wood is popular, but it does have some pros and cons, including being better at handling moisture problems, but in other respects solid wood has it beat. A comparison article here goes into more detail about the differences.

Also, if you already have some form of wooden flooring, consider resurfacing or refinishing instead of just replacing it. It may be salvageable and at lower cost than replacing it with new materials and getting the replacement floor fitted too.

Reconfigure the Room Sizes & Configurations

Changing the floor plan to open up the home is a popular choice. It may or may not add value to the home, but it will make it far more livable and marketable at a later date.

Sometimes, a larger bedroom is preferable to two smaller ones that you cannot do much with. Bear in mind that if it leaves you with fewer bedrooms than a comparable sized property would normally have, listing the house may cause issues later.

Knocking through a non-bearing wall needs an experienced contractor’s help and could require extra permissions. Check before taking any action to ensure the structure of the property isn’t damaged making it unsafe to live in.

However, if you’re determined to do so, then make a plan for what room sizes and new configurations you’d like. How would an open plan kitchen and living room feel compared to it being two separate rooms? This question should be your motivator here.

Add Solar Panels for Renewable Energy

Solar power is a renewable way to generate electricity for your home. Instead of relying on the power grid and worrying about power cuts, use sunshine to reduce your energy bill. While there is an upfront cost for a solar company in Westminster to produce a solar plan and complete the installation for you, the utility bill will decline because most electrical power will come from the solar panels.

Semper Solaris are expert solar installation specialists. It’s hard to find a company that’s better qualified. An install includes solar panels usually fixed to the roof, plus equipment to collect the energy and convert it for use. Battery banks will store the converted power to access at any time.
With solar, it reduces a dependence on the grid, is a source of renewal energy, and is eco-friendly too.

No fossil fuels are consumed to produce electricity where solar is concerned. It pays for itself over the many years it continues to function with only the batteries needing to be replaced. You can go here for more details about the best solar panel installation in Westminster.

Installing a Deck

A deck makes better use of the existing outdoor space. Rather than sitting on a patio at ground level, a deck positions you slightly higher for a more beneficial vantage point.

Decks aren’t necessarily too expensive to add. You can learn to install one yourself or by hiring a firm that adds them into backyards on a regular basis. The care and maintenance for a deck isn’t extensive. Simply brushing and cleaning it as it draws closer to winter, then re-cleaning and adding a protective coating for the wood at springtime, avoids sun damage during hotter summer months.

The thing to avoid is trying to do it yourself if you don’t already own the right set of tools. These are expensive to purchase if you’ll only use them once. When you choose to work with a contractor, check their references as you need professionals who’ve done it before. Also, get multiple quotes and don’t necessarily go with the cheapest one. Look for experience first and favorable pricing second.

When it comes to getting value from a home improvement, it’s not only about the resale value of your home and whether it’s increased through spending on home improvements. It is your home. So, also consider the pleasure and use that you’ll get out of the changes, whether it’s open plan rooms, dependable renewable power, or a deck to sit out during the summer months. Not every enhancement will make you money, but they should all increase your happiness, otherwise what’s the point?

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