Now that tax season is over, you may be wondering what to do with your tax return. A great way to put your tax return to good use is to invest in home renovations that you may have been putting off. Here are several ways you can get the most out of your tax return and home renovation projects.
Preventative Maintenance If your house has any safety hazards, address these first. Check your home for anything that could lead to a falling accident, such as broken handrails or cracked walkways. Test your electrical outlets, check your gutters and downspouts, and look for any wear and tear on your water pipes in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room. If you haven’t inspected your roof recently, consider having an inspection done. It costs a few hundred dollars, and can save you thousands in repairs later on.
Renovations under $500 If you’re looking to keep your expenses under $500, consider some of these inexpensive home renovations.
Update Your Front Door – You might be surprised by the difference new hardware and paint can make. Installing a new doorbell or lighting can cost as little as $100 or less. A fresh coat of paint and a new doormat are other cost-effective ways to update your front door’s look and improve your curb appeal.
Replace Your Toilets – Not only will a new toilet make your bathroom look newer, but it can save you money in the long run. Newer toilets use about 1.2 gallons of water, while toilets installed before 1995 can use as much as 6 gallons. Replacing a toilet can cost about $100-$200.
Invest in a Surge Protector – A power surge or any similar malfunction can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. Protect your electronics by having an electrician install a surge protector for about $300.
Renovations under $1,000 If you have a $1,000 budget, try these home renovations.
Remodel your kitchen – $1,000 can go a long way in your kitchen, especially if you take the DIY approach. Painting your own kitchen will cost you about $150, depending on the size of the kitchen. Refurbishing your cabinets is a cost-effective alternative to installing new ones; a professional can sand, prime, and paint your cabinets for about $550, and it costs even less to do it yourself. Click here for more inexpensive kitchen remodeling tips.
Replace Your Washing Machine – A new high-efficiency washing machine can save you money on your water and heating bills. Energy Star-certified washing machines can save you as much as $100 annually on your utility bill, and run for about $600-$1,000.
Install a Fireplace – That fireplace you’ve always wanted isn’t as much of a splurge as you might think. Ventless fireplaces offer all the benefits of a standard fireplace without a chimney. An electric fireplace insert costs about $500-$1,500, while an alcohol-gel fireplace costs about $270-$470.
Renovations under $2,500 If you’re looking for a more dramatic change, check out some of these renovations under $2,500.
Replace Bathroom/Kitchen Flooring – If your bathroom or kitchen floor is starting to look worn or cracked, installing new tile flooring is a great way to update your room’s look. It costs about $2,000, depending on the type of tile and the size of the room.
Install a New Garage Door – Nothing says curb appeal like a new garage door. A typical wood or steel garage door costs between $550-$1,650 including installation, while a double door costs between $800 and $2,500. And if you’re an experienced DIY renovator, you can save money by installing your new garage door(s)
Paint Your Home’s Interior – Give the inside of your house a mini-makeover with an updated paint job. Since the size of each home varies, it is a good idea to plan out your project and estimate the cost of painting each room before you begin. This article has some good tips on carrying out this type of project. The cost of an interior paint job for an entire house is about $2,000, including paint and supplies.
Spring isn’t just a great time for spring cleaning, but a great time to update and renovate your house. This is especially a good idea if you’re planning to put your house on the market soon. If you’re looking to move or refinance your current home, talk to one of our licensed loan originators today to get started.
Spring is a wonderful time: the snow finally melts; trees come back to life; flowers begin sprouting bringing color back to your yard; and everything around seems to be livelier. Most people begin the season by deep-cleaning their home, doing some yard work, and updating their wardrobe. But did you know it is also a great time (and one of the cheapest!) to do home repairs? Your home has gone through a lot the last few months and there may be some repairs needed to be made.
The following are 7 items that should be inspected and/or repaired every spring:
Heating and Cooling System/Air Conditioner Units – Heating repair technicians have a tendency to be less in demand during months when the weather is not at its extremes. This means they are actively looking for work, jobs, and projects and you very likely could catch a price break during this time. You also want to check your AC units and make sure they are running perfectly. The longer you wait, the higher the price you will pay and the less likely you will be to get someone out to make the repairs in a timely manner.
Thermostats – Are your thermostats old and outdated? Look into replacing them with new “smart-thermostats” that can be programmed to match your activities and routines. Conserving energy, especially on a hot day or a cold night will go a long way in saving money on gas, oil, and electricity bills.
Gaps or holes – Look around your house, do you have gaps or holes around windows, doors, electrical outlets, etc.? If so, the sooner you get them repaired and sealed the better. These gaps and holes allow warm or cold air to escape out and can increase your energy bills because your heating or cooling system is running harder to make up for the air being lost. Sealing the holes or gaps will also help with keeping bugs and critters out of your home.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – Make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are running properly, replace the batteries, and test the alarm. These detectors can save you and your family’s life if an emergency ever arises.
Chimney – Do you have a chimney? Make sure there are no loose or cracked bricks that will need to be repaired. A chimney sweep could help inspect both the interior and exterior for potential problems. Spring is an off time for chimney sweeps and you may be able to get a discount for chimney cleaning and repairs this time of year.
Gutters – Are your gutters clean from all of the fall and winter debris? If not, they need to be cleared to avoid water overflow, which may cause water to run down the walls and pool at the edges of the house’s foundation. This can create leaks or even foundation damage. Also check your downspouts to ensure they are cleaned out as well. Finally, ensure that the gutters are fastened securely. You know the saying: “April Showers brings May flowers”, not “April Showers Flood Your Basement”.
Roof – While you are up on the roof: Does your roof need repairs? If so, now is the perfect time to call and get those repairs made. This is one of the slower times of the year for roofing professionals which could allow you to save on the cost to the repairs.
Take a moment and ensure you have checked these items around your home, and any other things that you might see that need repairs. Making sure your home is repaired and ready for another year will save you time, money and headaches down the road. Happy Spring!