Being a homeowner is all about making smart financial decisions. When you're considering one or several home improvement projects, it's easy to get carried away with glamorous notions of all-out property transformations. But home improvement is all about blending function and style, while staying on budget. To start planning for your project, start by considering how long you plan to stay in the home. If there's a possibility that you might move within the next few years, make sure you look at improvements that will add value to the home — or at least not remove value. For example, it has been shown that swimming pools and eccentric styles make it harder to sell a home.
Once you've considered your goals, put together a realistic budget. The last thing you want is to find out halfway through the project that you can't have all of the new fixtures and finishes you dreamed of because you've already exceeded your budget. Instead, know what you're getting ahead of time by preparing a reliable financial plan for the projects.
Before you dive in, do your research to find out the projected return on investment for various projects. To start off, we've put together a list of some of the most cost-effective upgrades that you can implement inside and outside your home. Here are a few recommendations!
Amp Up Your Attic Insulation
Adding fiberglass attic insulation is one of the few investments where the cost recouped exceeds the cost of the project, according to Remodeling's 2016 assessment. Fiberglass is significantly less expensive than alternatives such as rockwool or spray foam, yet fiberglass offers exceptional warmth and durability, holding up in even the most extreme cold conditions. This makes it the perfect low-cost option for chilly Alaskan winters.
Even if your home already has fiberglass insulation, that doesn't mean you shouldn't add more. Older homes tend to have less insulation than newer ones, making them less energy-efficient in the cooler months. Even newer homes can often benefit from additional insulation, and you'll save money though lower heating bills in the future. Have a professional address any spots of air leakage in the attic and allow them to apply fiberglass loose fill until it has an R-value (thermal resistance) of R-30 is attained.
Prioritize Remodeling Projects By Room
Before you decide to spend your budget on fully refurbishing your kitchen, take a look at the costs recouped for various remodeling projects in different rooms. According to Remodeling Magazine's research on the topic, minor kitchen remodels offer the most return, followed by basement remodels, midrange bathroom remodels, and finally major kitchen remodels. Minor kitchen remodels are defined as updating a "functional but dated 200-square foot kitchen" by replacing the fronts and hardware of cabinetry. In addition, the stove cooktop and appliances should be swapped out for modern, energy-efficient units. Vinyl flooring and laminate countertops should be updated, as should older sinks and faucets. Add a dash of paint, and the project is complete. This type of minor kitchen remodel allows you up to 103% of costs recouped, while a major remodel only recouped 74.8%.
Consider Stone Veneer
Nothing modernizes the exterior of a home more than adding a little stone to complement existing vinyl siding. Spruce up your exterior by removing a portion of vinyl clapboard and replacing it with engineered stone cladding, a project from which you can recoup 118.2% of the expenditures. Stone veneer can transform a bland facade into a much more luxurious and eye-catching creation while retaining a gorgeous Alaskan character. Remember that the exterior of your home is a potential buyer's "first impression" and can make the difference between whether they show further interest in the rest of the home or not.
Embrace Curb Appeal
That's right — for one of the most impactful home improvement initiatives, you don't need any demolition to be done. Plant more grass seed to make your lawn fuller and lusher. Tend to the flowerbeds and consider adding additional planting beds for a splash of color. If it's in your budget, consider a fresh coat of exterior paint on the siding or the trim. If that's too expensive or time-consuming, just paint the door and power-wash the rest. Also make sure to reseal your deck and fill any cracks in the driveway, particularly after an icy winter.
Smudged windows are an unsightly thing to encounter when first stepping onto a property. Invest in a professional window cleaning before buyers arrive to boost your curb appeal and make your home sparkle from the inside as well!
If you're planning on selling your Anchorage home, let our home selling experts help you find success. Contact The Dar Walden Team for more advice like this!