Smart Renovations: Improvements That Make Sense for an Older House
Bret Engle | DiyGuys.net
When you own an older home, it’s important to be careful about the kind of home improvements you invest in. It’s easy to jump into a renovation project, trusting that you’ll earn excellent return on investment, only to find that you’ve poured money into a high-impact project when you would’ve been better served to opt for a simpler, DIY job. Fortunately, there are many ways to maximize your money in an older-home upgrade that don’t have to cost five figures and force you into debt.
Insulation is often an issue in older homes, which causes major problems when your utility bill arrives. Whether insufficient insulation was installed in the first place or aged and worn insulation is no longer effective, it’s an expensive situation that will hit you in the checkbook big time and make things difficult when you decide to sell. Loose fill between ceiling joists, or batts of colored fiberglass are probably your best option. Unless you have experience with insulation, you’re better off letting a professional contractor handle things to make sure you get the right insulation for your home. Insulation costs vary—primarily depending on which areas of the house you need redone. For example, according to Fixr, the national average insulation cost for the entire home ranges between $3,500 to $4,500, whereas an attic averages closer to the $2,000 range.
If you’re going to make significant home renovations, it’s important to keep in mind that you may need to plan ahead on ways to protect any antiques or costly furniture items that could be damaged. Getting these items out of your house altogether and into an offsite storage unit is generally the best bet. Note that storage rental units in Portland, OR, run about $100 monthly, depending on the time of year.
Regardless of your home’s age, few upgrades are as financially rewarding as a kitchen upgrade. If you’re considering putting an older house on the market, be aware that young buyers these days place particular emphasis on a modern, updated kitchen—where many improvements can be done on a DIY basis. You can upgrade your suite of appliances for about $2,500, or put in a new faux granite countertop and tile or hardwood flooring without having to overinvest.
Old houses often show signs of wear and tear sustained over the years. Fortunately, you can conceal a lot of dings and chinks with a beautiful DIY paint job. Pay particular attention to high-traffic areas like the front entryway and bathrooms, and highly visible features, such as your front and back door. For about $100 in materials and supplies, you can save as much as 10 times that amount by not hiring a professional house painter.
Be smart about smart tech
Smart technology home automation is increasingly popular with home buyers these days, though it’s important to be discriminating about the kinds of smart home features you decide to add. The ever-changing nature of technology can quickly leave you behind the financial eight ball if you invest in features that are apt to be outmoded or obsolete within a year. For that reason, it makes good sense to go with features specifically designed for cost-efficiency such as a smart thermostat—which can sense whether you’re home and adjust the temperature accordingly—or smart lighting, which can be controlled through a smartphone.
Since old houses often have large yards, landscaping and exterior features can add significant value and make an especially strong visual impression. Outdoor fire pits with attractive seating, set amid lush green surroundings, can make a major impact on Gen Y’ers and Gen X’ers with a relatively minimal investment. Plus, according to Quote.com, you can get fire pits from retailers for only $100.
Renovating an older house can earn a handsome return on investment if you choose wisely with a project you can do yourself, without having to overpay or overbuild. High-impact projects that sound great and promise strong returns may be unnecessary in an old house that has a lot of attractive and appealing vintage features.
Courtesy of Pixabay.com.