2013 is coming along fast, do you have an idea on how you’ll improve your home? You can keep things within budget by focusing on the important things in the big picture of your dream home. The house you are in now can be your dream home with a little tweak here and there. Why not add a little sparkle into that coming year? Let’s look at the top five projects for 2013.
One: Going Green
It’s always a good idea to keep the planet in mind when remodeling your home. No matter what your project is – from driveway to a new roof – consider materials that are friendly to the environment. A good way to incorporate green into your home improvement is to use reclaimed materials. These materials come from older homes or buildings that have been torn down or renovated. Almost anything that you’d like to replace in your home can be installed with reclaimed materials.
Two: Energy Star
Improving your home often starts with adding new energy efficient appliances or HVAC systems. That old furnace in your basement could be running up all of your energy bills because it is outdated. All of your appliances may need a makeover from drab and old to Energy Star rated. Energy Star rated products can lower your energy bills substantially which means that they can end up paying for themselves with your energy savings.
Three: Downgrade the Upkeep
Zero maintenance is all the rage. Wooden siding and fencing needs to be painted or repaired. Vinyl is easy and low cost to install. It also doesn’t need the same upkeep as wood or other materials. Vinyl can be washed with a hose or powerwasher, restoring its looks in short order. Soap and water can’t do that with wood, can it?
Old roofs can leak. Not only can they leak, but an ugly, dark roof can make your house hot and not so lovely to look at. Replace your roof with something that will last for years – metal roofing can be less expensive than shingles, reflects excess sunlight, and can be repaired at a much lower cost than shingles. The average cost for installation is sometimes less than half that of a shingled roof!
Five: Form AND Function
While many of the homes advertised in lifestyle magazines are lovely, are they functional? It’s very ‘in’ to have a home that incorporates form and function. Wood cooking stoves add lovely charm to a kitchen and can be used in the winter if vented properly to cook and heat. A fireplace can be modified to heat a portion of the home’s water – copper tubing wrapped around the masonry before running into the main water heating systems can qualify as art if done correctly. It’s all about perspective and creativity.