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When homeowners hear the words “renovate” or “remodel”, most will have visions of granite countertops and hardwood floors dancing in their heads. Fun stuff that will improve the look and feel of their home, and, perhaps even the perceived value when it’s time to sell.
But, according to experts, if you have a limited budget to work with, and are serious about improving both your home and its eventual resale value you should be thinking structure over style; the outside of your home provides protection from the elements and should be your top priority when you’re deciding where to invest your renovation dollar. Ask yourself these questions. If you answer “yes,” to any of them it’s time to consider making some repairs.
Is your roof sagging?
Tackle your roof first: Look for sagging areas, cracked or worn shingles, mold or rot, and dangling gutters and downspouts. Unless you’re experienced, don’t walk on an old roof yourself to look for damage–hire a professional. If your roof needs repair, don’t give in to the temptation to save money with a cheap fix; invest in high-quality shingles and installation.
Examine your home’s exterior for signs of wear and tear. Chipping, peeling, and bubbling are symptoms of siding that may need repair or replacement. When it comes to brick, flaking, cracking or crumbling mortar may signal the need for TLC.
Your basement is another area of the home that should be top-of-mind when deciding what to fix. Don’t ignore leaks, even small ones. Make sure that water isn’t getting in from outside.
By fixing cracks in the foundation and properly insulating the basement, you’ll conquer “damp basement syndrome” and you will also help protect your home from catastrophic water damage.
Energy costs skyrocketing?
Any renovation that improves efficiency is worthwhile. Greening your home can provide a recovery rate of up to 60 percent of the cost of the renovation. In old homes, windows, doors and skylights can be a big source of heat loss. To keep heat in and cold out, windows need to be double- or triple-glazed. Consider upgrading old windows and exterior doors to models that qualify as energy efficient.
Another easy way to cut energy bills is to install a programmable thermostat. These clever devices – we love the Google Nest, but there are others out there that are excellent choices too – help you better control both your home’s heating and cooling and most people find that they the investment in the thermostat pays for itself very quickly. It’s also worth noting that smart innovations like these are actively being sought by homebuyers, so that’s an additional plus.
In the end, while these may not be glamorous remodelling projects they are the ones that it makes most sense – both practically and financially to tackle first, especially if you are considering selling your home in the near future. Granite countertops, nice as they are, can wait; these repairs can’t.