Given the recent blizzard on the U.S. east coast (February 2017) you might not be inclined to be thinking about home improvements; there’s too much to do digging out from under the snow.
But the fact of the matter is that this is the perfect time to be in the planning stage for such things. Homeowners are generally interested in at least three things: building home equity, becoming more energy efficient, and just being comfortable.
So what are some things to consider in this planning stage while waiting for that federal income tax refund?
- Priorities. Make a list of “wants” and “needs.” It is always nice when these things coincide but reality often dictates otherwise. If you have to choose between a new granite counter top and a much-needed roof, you know what to do.
- Get realistic about your budget. In the end this will dictate what you can really do. Keep in mind that the more work you can do instead of hiring someone, the further your dollars will go.
- Spend time checking out any contractors you might use. Make sure they are insured and bonded and not going to put you on the losing end of a mechanics lien. Angie’s list is a great way to narrow your list.
Good Candidates for Home Improvement Projects
There are many considerations for projects; here are a few that I like:
- Installing radiant barrier paint or foil in your attic. This one is huge with respect to saving money on energy bills in both the summer and the winter.
- Installing energy-efficient windows. Contractor-grade windows are notorious for wasting money needlessly.
- Design and build a deck. Who doesn’t enjoy spending quality time outdoors with family and friends?
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