Easy upgrades you can do yourself!
Doing it yourself can be an addiction! Once you accomplished something successfully – a task that you had previously paid someone to do for you – it becomes an exciting and rewarding feeling. Maybe you started out changing the oil of your car after a lifetime of taking it to Jiffy Lube. You’re not only saving money you’re adding a feather in your cap for each new skill learned. There’s nothing better than becoming an accomplished do-it-yourselfer! If you haven’t already taken your penchant for self-sufficiency to your home yet, here are a few ideas on where to start.
Front Yard Maintenance
The front of your home is the first thing people see, so keep it looking nice. Obviously you can cut the grass, but if you also keep your plants – trees and garden (if applicable) – well maintained you’ll make a great impression. Or you could go as far as paving a neat walkway that is sorely needed from the driveway to the front door or do something as easy as add colors to your planters. It tells neighbors and visitors that you care – and that’s the kind of impression you want to make!
The insulation in your attic needs to be sufficient and meet the minimum standards that are set by your local jurisdiction. It’s important to confirm that you are in compliance, because if it is not, you could be wasting nearly thirty percent of the warm air the furnace produces. Luckily the process of installing insulation is pretty easy and the cost of the materials is generally affordable. Another form of insulating, caulking around the windows, can also save money. Do a little research for other cost cutting insulation tactics.
Replace your AC and Furnace
If you own a home and plan to stay there a long time, there’s no reason not to take on this DIY at some point. If you don’t, a new furnace/HVAC contributes a great deal not only to resale value but to a potential buyer’s confidence as well. And that kind of influence is priceless. In some cases it could take a couple years before the savings come rolling in, but you’ll see some cash incentives much earlier by taking advantage of the rebates that are available. Especially if you have an old outdated furnace/HVAC you’ll notice the improvements immediately, between the freer flowing air and the overall improved quality of it.
Update the Plumbing
Now you’re getting into some advanced stuff. Plumbing is a trade, a skill to be proud of, but just like any talent you have to start somewhere. You may not want to do it yourself, but you remember the money you’re saving by doing it yourself and not hiring a plumber. This really needs to be done. Especially if you have really old pipes this procedure becomes a necessity. And the great part is with today’s technology, it’s not a hassle. Use of PEX tubing is very reliable and can run through your walls like an extension cord. Naturally you’ll need to do your research and make sure you are up to code on everything you do in this area. Confer with professionals as often as possible.
Learn to install some of the specialized variety of lighting available today and you can instill a dramatic effect into any room. Especially in a home that is not well lit or is just generally dark you need to have at least the option to brighten the area. Can/recessed lighting, sconces, pendant lighting, fixtures, etc… get something going with these and soon you’ll be a budding master of interior decorating. Include a fader for each and discover the nearly limitless possibilities – from noir-style shadows to the everywhere-bright environments needed for family activities.
Now you’re getting ambitious. Your old carpet coupled with the general creakiness of your aged floor are making you think more and more about taking it on and replacing it with a real hardwood floor or even just a reasonable facsimile of one. Engineered or laminate products have proven to be just as durable as authentic wood, all you have to do is have the motivation and the desire to learn to install the panels. Otherwise, get a quote and see about having it put in for you. Either way, progress is progress!
This can be an easy task, start by replacing the fixtures. Take your time and pick out a set that you find really very appealing. Maybe even seek to bring a hint of elegance into the room. You can do this by adding crown molding (actually, add texture wherever it’s applicable) and brightening the space with a coat of paint. Re-grout the shower, too. It’s pretty standard stuff, but the results are so rewarding. A flourish of improvements in the bathroom will make a profound positive change in the way you look at it.
By making relatively minor investments such as these you can beautify your home without breaking the bank. Take a look at a few other easy home repairs you can make. Try one today!