You have bought your home, you are diligently paying off your monthly mortgage fees, and you finally feel settled in. So why would you want to change anything about your home? The thing is, home appliances and structures aren’t built to last forever, and sooner or later some things are going to have to be replaced. Instead of just simply replacing the old with more of the same, you may want to consider taking the opportunity to make some wise home upgrades.
Making upgrades to your home can seem like an intimidating and costly process. But in fact, smart homeowners know that the right home upgrades can actually allow you to save money in the long run. While this may sound paradoxical, it is actually true. After an initial investment, your monthly bills and long-term costs will be lower, meaning you end up with more in your pocket than out of it.
So what kind of home upgrades can help save you money in the long run? In this article we will take a look at four specific home upgrades that you should be aware of, ranging from simple DIY fixes to bigger home improvement projects.
1. Change The Lightbulbs
A home upgrade doesn’t have to mean an entire facelift or overhaul of the old system. In fact, it can be as simple as changing out a lightbulb. Incandescent lightbulbs are a huge source of energy waste, which means not only are they bad for the environment, and for your eyes, but they are also eating up about $75 a year in extra energy costs.
That may not sound like a huge amount, but for such a small and cost-efficient adjustment, you can start to save up year over year pretty fast. Swap to LED or CFL light bulbs. They last much longer than incandescent bulbs, up to 25 times as long in some cases! You can also take a look at smart lightbulbs. For a reasonable price ($30-$50), you can schedule your lights to turn off automatically at a certain time and can adjust them remotely via apps synced with bluetooth, so you will never leave the lights burning when nobody is home.
2. Insulate and Seal
Heating and cooling your home requires a huge amount of energy to maintain a stable, comfortable interior atmosphere. That means your monthly energy bills are going to be high. So ensuring that you can do as much as possible to make your home thermostat energy efficient is a smart plan. To this end, there are some simple home upgrades you can even install yourself.
Adding insulation to the attic to prevent heat from seeping out is a straightforward home upgrade that can save you up to $600 each year, according to research. Check to see if you can see joists over your attic insulation; if the answer is yes, you will want to add some more insulation on top.
Then, back on the ground floor, inspect your windows and doors for any drafts. The most inefficient home heating and cooling systems eat up ample energy and money simply by leaking out the hot or cold air through a leak in the window sealing or door frame. Prevent drafts and leaks by upgrading your windowpanes, window seals, and door frames. Or, if only minor adjustments seem necessary, replace worn out old caulking and window sealing. The amount you spend on supplies for this home improvement project will soon be replaced by the amount you save in lowered utility bills each month, especially during winter and summer.
3. Smart Security Gadgets
Whether traditional or smart, the price of security cameras and comprehensive home security systems may run high at times. But the initial investment means that your home is protected from any potential break ins. Smart security devices take the level of protection up a notch, providing you with live feed video streaming, 3D monitoring capabilities, and remote access via bluetooth. You can monitor who visits your front door from your smartphone while you are at work, on vacation, or just inside a remote corner of the house. You may also want to consider a smart doorbell, which automatically shows you a video stream of whoever is ringing your doorbell. (This is a particularly useful home upgrade if you have kids- that way they will already know whether or not the person ringing the doorbell is a stranger.)
The protection smart security gadgets can provide to your home is invaluable. By replacing the traditional monthly fees you would pay to a monitored security system run by an external company, you will be able to rest assured that your home is secure and save money on monthly expenses. Just make sure that your home internet connection is strong and secure; most smart security devices connect to the home Wi-fi network. Consider moving your router closer to the security devices so you won’t have to worry about a glitchy monitoring video stream.
4. Opt For Hardwood Floors
If you are considering selling your home eventually, you may want to look into refurnishing or installing hardwood floors. Underneath most carpeted floors you can find beautiful hardwood flooring that just needs to be cleaned and polished in order to shine. While carpet is softer and warmer on bare feet, it gets dirty more quickly, is more difficult to clean, and lasts for a much shorter time period than hardwood floors do. When cared for properly, hardwood floors can last for decades.
If you are planning to stay in your home for as long as you can imagine, opting for hardwood floors is a great way to ensure that your floors will remain in good condition for as long as you live in the home. And if you are planning to sell soon, hardwood floors are a simple way to help you sell your home faster, and even raise the asking price. So you will either save money by skipping the necessary carpet replacements every 10 years or less, or you will earn money back by selling your home at a higher price point. Either way, hardwood floors are a great choice if you are looking for a more intensive home upgrade.
As you consider which home upgrades will work best for you, make sure to take into account the current state of your home. Are there any appliances that will soon need to be replaced? Does the roof require patches to prevent another leaky rain season? If there are issues that require more immediate attention, you should prioritize those and consider which kinds of upgrades are available to address that problem.
If everything is currently in perfect working order, sit down and make a budget and timeline for your ideal home upgrade projects. That way, you can pursue the upgrades that appeal to you one by one, knowing that you are remaining on track for money saving home happiness.
Thank you to our Guest Blog writer Emily Miller! Check her out at broadbandsearch.net