5 Financially Savvy Home Upgrades
When it comes to home improvement, some dollars stretch more than others. And if you’re on a limited budget, it becomes even more important to spend those dollars wisely. Here are five affordable home improvement projects that’ll help you enjoy your home more today and provide an excellent financial return in the future.
#1 Add the Finishing Touch of Molding
Crown molding makes rooms seem both bigger taller. It’s an elegant addition to any home.
Plus, wood moldings come in hundreds of options — from simple to ornate — that you can stain, paint, or leave natural.
You can also find moldings in flexible materials, such as foam, that make installation a whole lot easier. Some moldings even include lighting that casts a soft, ambient glow.
And at $1.50 per foot if you DIY it, or $8 per foot if you hire, it’s a no-brainer in terms of personalizing your home while adding value. (Although we don’t recommend DIY unless you’ve got above-par mitering skills.)
A few tips about molding:
Be careful about proportions. If your ceiling height is 9 feet or less, go with simpler styles to avoid overwhelming the room.
Don’t forget entryways, doors, and windows: Bump up the trim around these areas to give rooms a completed and expensive feel.
#2 Hang Quality Ceiling Fans
If your ceiling fans are old and outdated, new ones (coupled with a fresh paint job and crown molding) could give your rooms a refreshing update while saving money.
Some tips about ceiling fans:
- Hang 7 to 8 feet above the floor.
- If you’ve got a low ceiling, buy a hugger ceiling fan that’s flush-mounted.
- Go for the biggest Energy Star-rated fan that will fit the space.
- Choose quality. You’ll get better cooling results, less noise, and good looks at a digestible price point of $200 to $600.
#3 Install Landscape Lighting
Exterior lighting makes your home shine in the evening, accents features you like most about your house and helps keep burglars away. Installing motion-detecting lights can even lower some homeowners’ insurance premiums.
- Place accent lights under your favorite trees to show off your landscaping’s top earners.
- Put them on a timer so you don’t waste energy running them during the day.
- Choose a warm, white light. It’ll make your home look and feel welcoming.
#4 Add Some Creative Storage
We don’t have to sell you on the value of storage and built-in organization. Since when have you heard someone complain about too much storage? Never, we bet.
Adding storage is a no-brainer, but it does take a little brainpower to find your home’s hidden storage.
Here are a few ways to think outside of the toy box:
- Open drywall to create storage cubbies between your wall’s studs.
- Install platform storage that hangs from your garage ceiling.
- Even stairs can give you more storage. One clever mom repurposed an old chest of drawers and created storage within a basement staircase.
#5 Upgrade Your Insulation
It’s not as sexy as a kitchen remodel, but it doesn’t cost as much either ($65,000 vs $2,100).
Plus, you’ll save all year long on your utility bills. Win-win!