Adding Value to Your Home

This is a guest post by, Kevin Fortmyer

Kevin was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. He lives with his wife and 2 kids, and enjoys spending his free time camping and fishing. He works for various online schools as a freelance writer.

In the current economic climate, every penny counts more than it has since the Great Depression. Nowhere is this more evident than in the realm of home improvement. Hit hardest in the current recession, the present real estate market is slowly on the rebound, but is growing at a much slower pace than the rest of the economy is. Many home owners have seen their greatest investment, their house, lose up to 40% of its value in the past 3 years. Many are enacting various home improvement projects in an attempt to shore up or increase the value of their home as a result. Some are even attending interior design schools to become experts in home improvement and design. This begs the question: what are the best home improvement options to consider in the current economic climate?

1. Paint

Painting is a cheap, easy way to remodel any room of your house or revamp the exterior. With many space-enhancing color schemes to choose from, it’s hard not to find a room that could do with a splash of new color and personality. Speaking of personality, stenciling is making a comeback during the recession, allowing for an expensive look with minimal overhead cost.

2. Extend

Adding an extension to your house can add between 10 and 50% to its value, depending on where you put it and how well it’s built and finished. The key here is to find a need your home has and consider the addition to accommodate that need, such as expanding a tiny kitchen or adding a necessary bedroom for your growing family. Another idea is to add an outdoor room extension, giving you extra space for a playroom, home office, or whatever your heart desires.

3. Kitchen Remodel
Though it can be expensive, remodeling your kitchen can add 10% to your home’s value, essentially paying for itself. It is the first room potential buyers will look at that will make or break their interest in your home. It is also a room you’re likely to spend a lot of time in, and should be as comfortable, modern, and spacious as possible. Some easy and relatively inexpensive ways to improve your kitchen are:

• Add new lighting fixtures.
• Add an island.
• Paint and revamp the cabinets.
• Install new counters.
• Replace the kitchen sink.
• Make a backsplash.

4. Re-insulate
Improving the insulation in your home is a basic cost cutting home improvement you can do in a weekend that can cut your utility bill by as much as one-quarter! And while rolling out the pink fiberglass in attics and basements is a great start, there are other areas where insulation is needed that many homeowners do not consider:

• Weather-strip doors and windows to prevent both heat loss and cold air invasion.
• A water heater insulation jacket prevents heat loss through the walls of your water heater.

• Insulating your connected garage will form an extra protective barrier between your home and the elements.
• Some homes have room for blown in insulation in between the siding and the frame of the house.

5. Where you go
Although it may not seem an obvious choice, improving your bathroom is a great way to add value to your house in a room everybody will be visiting sooner or later. Adding new tile and a splash of light color to the walls can be enough to give the bathroom a completely different ambiance. Changing the lighting and the counter space can also change it into a completely new room.

As with anything in life, do not embark upon home improvement ideas without having a good plan and the proper tools and materials to execute them. Attending some classes at interior design schools is another great way to prepare yourself for the home improvement tasks that are placed before you.

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