In the world of home improvement, not all upgrades are created equal. While there are plenty of ways to enhance your home’s appeal for your personal enjoyment, there are even more ways to make improvements so you can save money.
From quick, easy fixes to more elaborate changes that require a larger investment, all of the following ideas will save you money on your housing costs.
Inexpensive Improvements that Pack a Money-Saving Punch
Not all home improvements that save you money over the long haul require a large up-front investment. Some of the most simple, inexpensive improvements can save you hundreds of dollars each year. Take a weekend and work your way through the following list to be on your way to easy money savings:
- Spray Foam: Spray foam is one of the cheapest, best investments you can make in your home. Use this to seal up any cracks or openings in your attic where pipes or electrical wires travel between floors, in crawl spaces, etc.
- Washing Machine Hoses: If you have rubber hoses connecting your washer to its water supply, they should be replaced with braided stainless steel hoses to avoid the potentially disastrous cost of a burst hose.
- Bubble Wrap: Yes, you read that correctly. By covering the windows in your basement, attic, and attached garage with bubble wrap (from the inside), you’ll be adding privacy and energy efficiency—at a potentially zero cost if you save it from packages or have access to it at work, etc. (always ask before taking anything home with you!).
- Water Heater Blankets: For about $25, you can purchase a “blanket” for your hot water heater that will allow it to run efficiently at a much lower cost than if it’s left out in the open uncovered.
Zone by Zone Home Improvements
In every home, there’s bound to be an area that has suffered from a lack of attention and upkeep. Whether it’s your attic or your basement, there are plenty of ways to take care of these zones in your house and save some money along the way:
- Dehumidification Systems: This is a home improvement that’s specific to whether or not you use your basement for storage and if you live in a hot, humid climate. Even if you don’t notice the effects of humidity in your home, it is ever-present and can drain your bank account in the form of exorbitant electric bills. If you have valuables stored in the basement, a dehumidifier is an excellent way to ensure those items don’t fall prey to mold and mildew.
- Treat the Exterior: While doing an inventory of the various zones and areas of your home, don’t forget about the exterior. Check to ensure that your gutters are clean and functioning properly, make note of any cracks or separations in your foundation, and clear any shrubbery or greenery that’s too close to the house to deter rodents and insects.
Energy Efficient Home Improvements
From replacing your current light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs to replacing old, worn out windows, there are hundreds of ways to improve your home and add energy efficiency along the way. If you’re looking to for a way to make your improvements have a lasting effect on your budget’s bottom line, consider the following upgrades:
- Insulation and weather stripping: For as little as $15, you can purchase a roll of insulation at your local home improvement or hardware store. Not only does insulation keep your home warm during cold months, but it also helps keep your house cool during hot weather. Similarly, weather stripping can help you save hundreds of dollars by simply plugging the pesky drafts in windows, doors, and other entry points.
- Programmable Thermostats: There’s no reason to heat and cool your home if nobody is around during the day. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature for various zones and times of day. This type of thermostat can control the temperature inside your home with much more accuracy than a traditional thermostat and can save you upwards of $200/year or more on your heating and cooling bills.
- Appliance Maintenance Plans: While not a traditional improvement, investing in maintenance for your existing appliances helps to prolong their life and cut down on your energy bills. A clean dishwasher will save you money on water and electric bills, not to mention ensuring that your dishes come out sparkling each and every cycle.
What are some ways you have saved by making home improvements?