Here are seven affordable home improvement projects that you can enjoy today and will give you an excellent return in the future:
1. Add molding. Crown molding makes a room feel bigger and taller, plus it’s a dress-up addition to any home. Moldings can come as simple to ornate and they can be painted or stained. At about $1.50 per foot if it’s DIY, or $8 per foot if done by a professional.
Here are a few tips:
A. If the ceiling height is 9’ or less, go with a simpler style.
B. Install chair railings at one-third the distance of the ceiling height.
C. For entryways, doors, and windows, bump up the trim to give rooms a completed and expensive feel.
2. Hang quality ceiling fans. If the ceiling fans are old and outdated, new ones give a room a refreshing update. Here are some tips:
A. Hang them 7-8’ above the floor.
B. For a low ceiling, install a flush-mounted hugger ceiling fan.
C. Go for the biggest Energy-Star rated fan that fits the space.
D. Choose quality. Get better cooling with less noise and good looks for $200-$600.
3. Plant trees. Trees are moneymakers that mature with age. A mature tree could be worth between $1000 to $10,000 (or more).
A. Save $100-$250 annually on energy costs.
B. Prevent erosion from downpours and roof runoff.
C. Protects your home from sun, rain, and wind.
4. Install a deck or patio. Or, if your deck is looking worn, it may be time to replace it. Don’t go crazy, just keep it simple and functional to see a return on the investment. Get a few bids from the professionals or DIY it to save more than half. Don’t skimp on deck lighting to make a big difference.
5. Upgrade the insulation. It’s unseen and forgotten. But, upgrading it will save you money all year long! It may be around $2000, but it’s worth it.
6. Add some storage. We all need more storage and builtin organization. Find your home’s hidden storage:
A. Open drywall to create storage cubbies between the studs.
B. Install platform storage that hangs from the garage ceiling.
C. Stairs can give you more storage. Have you seen those drawers that pull out each step of the stairway? It’s a very creative idea. Also, shelving under the staircase can be a winner.
7. Install landscape lighting. Exterior lighting in the evening accents your home and landscaping. It also keeps burglars away and may even lower homeowner insurance premiums. Here some light tips:
A. Install accent lights under your favorite trees to show them off.
B. Use a timer so the lights won’t be on during the day.
C. Choose warm, white light to make your home look and feel welcoming.