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Home improvement projects to consider

Costs and usefulness are key

Small home improvement projects can add value and style to one’s home. Photo credit:

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Home improvements can increase the value of your house and increase its salability. To maximize on these improvements, here are some ideas to consider.

Wood Deck Addition: According to Laura Mueller in an article entitled "The 6 Most Valuable Home Improvements," renovations to the house exterior provide the best value and wood decks are a big plus. Composite deck additions or backyard patios do not yield quite as much of a return for the dollar.

A Bit of Paint: To get the biggest splash for the money, applying a fresh coat of paint in modern colors is a relatively inexpensive way to update a room.

"Interior painting is a favorite right now as many customers are doing interior remodels and painting," said Skip Tyler, manager of Lakewood Hardware and Paint, Inc., located at 9020 Lakewood Dr. SW.

Remodeling the Kitchen: There is a range of inexpensive improvements that can be made, from installing energy-efficient, stainless steel appliances to refurbishing cabinets and putting in new countertops.

Upgrade the Garage Door: According to many home improvement experts, this one upgrade yields a 98 percent recoup of costs nationwide.

"This is money well spent," continued Mueller.

She also pointed out that the best garage doors are made from steel, wood composites and aluminum, with high-performance additions like energy-saving glazing and insulation a big plus.

Yard Appeal: As the weather warms and the first spring flowers appear, many home owners begin to think about their yards. 

"Many of our clients are preparing garden beds and planters with fresh winter pansies and primroses," continued Tyler. "Everyone likes a nice looking yard." 

Siding and Vinyl Window Replacements: Old siding makes a house look tired and old. 

Mueller pointed out that updating it is a valuable renovation. Also, do not neglect the trim in order to make the siding upgrade look good.

As to windows, low-energy vinyl window replacements are worth the dollars spent as they complement new siding and save energy. Combined with energy-efficient insulation, this improvement alone can save home owners significant money.

Basic Updates: In an article entitled "7 Home Improvement & Remodeling Ideas that Increase Home Value (And What to Avoid)" by Heather Levin, applying fresh paint, installing CFL light bulbs, fixing leaks, updating electrical wiring and replacing old plumbing are key to home improvement.

Other Projects to Consider: Cleaning the floor and carpets, replacing outlet covers, brightening light fixtures, brightening the front door, rearranging and decluttering clothes, and adding color accents.

On the other hand, there are a number of home improvement projects that should be carefully considered before forking out the cash.

In-ground swimming pools, gourmet kitchens with high-end accessories, whirlpool baths, sunrooms, extensive landscaping, room additions, home office remodeling, roof replacement, garage additions, and necessities like a backup power generator or new septic system are high-cost projects that yield low home value.

"Concentrate your efforts on energy efficiency and small upgrades that add character to your home," concluded Levin.

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