Home improvement projects can add new life to your house. While some renovations may seem expensive, they can actually help save you money in the long run. Here are a few smart projects to consider:
Stay warm and cool – You probably won’t have your friends over to check out your new insulation, but you will notice a big difference in your monthly utility bills. Get an energy audit to check insulation, air ducts, windows and doors. If it’s time for a new heating and cooling system, be sure to choose one approved by ENERGY STAR®, a government program that promotes energy efficiency.
Upgrade your kitchen – Kitchens use a lot of energy. Focus your finances on quality appliances that are the right size for your needs. Buying an energy-efficient dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave and oven can save you between 5-30% on electric bills. Update your plumbing and add aerators to your faucets to save hundreds of gallons of water from being wasted – and paid for.
Take it outside – New windows and a quality roof can also save you money over time. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) reports that for every $1 you spend weatherizing your home, you get $1.83 back in direct energy savings. These features can also add curb appeal if you are thinking of selling your house in the near future.
Landscape for looks and protection – A great-looking yard is another way to add curb appeal to your home. The DOE estimates you will get your investment back in energy savings in an average of 8 years. As you design your landscape, consider adding a windbreak, which is a combination of trees and shrubs that doubles up to protect your home from the elements as well as add visual appeal to your property.
Whatever home improvements you plan to tackle, consider a home equity line of credit to fund them. A HELOC is a great way to use the equity in your home to improve the value of your home. Find out more about HELOCs today.