Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Your house should represent your style. It should also be energy efficient and offer a high resale value. While there is no doubt that a lot of costly home improvement projects occur to keep up with the neighbors, other driving forces behind home improvement could be the desire to minimize your utility costs while maximizing your potential return on life’s biggest investment. Below are six ideas that cover all of these bases—they are pleasing to the eye, and/or they add value to your home while decreasing your utility bills. Best of all, you can do them yourself!
1. Upgrade your Locks
One easy DIY project to upgrade your home is installing smart locks on your doors. Instead of worrying about hiding keys for the maid or visiting friends, you can assign them temporary codes. If a family member gets locked out accidentally, you don’t need to drive home to open the door, most smart locks allow you to do so with your smartphone! In addition to their convenience, smart locks are more aesthetically pleasing than traditional door locks and safer—burglars can’t pick a smart lock.
2. Replace Your Front Door
Another DIY project you could undertake to ensure the safety of your home is to substitute a new steel door for your existing one. Unlike many home improvements, this one can actually offer a significant return on your investment when you perform this work yourself. The curb appeal of your house will also dramatically increase by merely swapping out your old, squeaky front door for a low maintenance, durable and easy to paint steel one.
3. Paint the Interior
Nothing will make the interior of your house look and feel cleaner than a fresh coat of paint. Performing this work yourself can save thousands of dollars, but it can be a challenge. Professional painters recommend that you purchase the right tools, prepare thoroughly, take care of your brushes, and don’t rush the color and finish selection. You want to get this right the first time since each coat requires roughly a day to dry.
4. Rethink your Landscaping
A more significant investment of both time and money for a DIY project is to change the landscaping of your home. If you are in a dry area or one that tends to suffer from droughts, you will want to consult with your local nursery on drought-resistant plants or consider xeriscaping. Xeriscaping can provide significant savings on water while using plants native to your area. Removing plants that don’t traditionally belong in your ecosystem and replacing them with those that do creates an attractive yard that thrives in your environment.
5. Upgrade Your Appliances
Mismatching or old, highly inefficient kitchen appliances as well as your worn out old cookware can give your cooking space a much-needed facelift without the need for investing in a full renovation. This project requires serious shopping skills and research, as well as removal and installation of some appliances, such as ovens or stovetops.
6. Insulate the Attic
This is by far the least sexy of the DIY projects, and it is highly unlikely you will show this off to your friends. However, insulating your attic can significantly reduce your heating and cooling bills and is a much more feasible option than insulating your walls.
Your home is your castle, your showpiece and potentially your cash cow. It is a great place to practice your DIY skills on simple tasks such as installing smart locks, upgrading your appliances and replacing your front door. As you increase in confidence, you can tackle more significant projects like painting, landscaping and installing attic insulation.