Springtime is a season of renewal. But you might not feel so refreshed if your house is in need of maintenance and repairs. Now that the weather is warming up and you have some motivation to clean up your surroundings, it’s the perfect time to focus on making some simple home improvements.
These home improvement projects can do wonders for your mood and state of mind. However, they can also do wonders for your bank account. While you might assume that devoting funds to home maintenance would drain your resources, certain projects can actually have the opposite effect. By adding value and efficiency to your home, you’ll be able to reduce your monthly bills or even turn more of a profit if you choose to sell in the future. Even if you don’t plan on relocating any time soon, just knowing that you’re improving the value of your property can bring about a sense of accomplishment and enjoyment.
Of course, not all projects can be categorized as money saving home improvements. You’ll need to choose these projects carefully to ensure they’ll actually pay off in the end. Fortunately, there are a number of options to choose from. If you’ve decided to focus on money saving home improvements this spring, here are just a few to get you started.
Fix Plumbing Leaks
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American family uses a staggering 300 gallons of water each day. Of course, reducing the amount of H2O you use on a daily basis will allow you to help the environment while saving money on your water bill. Being more mindful about your water usage can be a good start, but what about the water you might be unconsciously wasting?
Say, for example, that there’s a leaky faucet in your bathroom. That constant dripping might not seem like much, but the EPA reports that the average home’s leaky plumbing will waste nearly 10,000 gallons of water every year. Around 10% of homes have leaks that waste 90 gallons of water or more each day! If your water bills seem to be increasing and you aren’t sure why, the problem could very well be a hidden leak.
That’s just one reason you should seek out and fix any leaks you find this spring. If you’re unable to locate the source of a leak, you should call a qualified plumber to come to take a look. Keep in mind that toilets and showerheads can also be common sources of leaks. You might consider replacing the flapper or tightening the showerhead connection yourself as a DIY project over the weekend. Some of these money saving home improvements can be completed quickly and without expert help, which will allow you to be the hero of the hour and protect your property at the same time.
Prevent Water Damage
While water is a source of life, it’s also a source of damage. Failing to address plumbing leaks, especially when those leaks are hidden behind walls, can lead to structural damage that’s expensive to fix. Water that seeps in from the outside can also have negative effects. Take the time to inspect your basement water damage and take steps to prevent future accidents in this area. Basement waterproofing and sump pump installation or maintenance can ensure that your home stays dry — even when a storm or natural disaster strikes. By taking preventative action with these kinds of money saving home improvements, you’ll alleviate the need for extensive repairs later on.
Your roof and gutters, when functioning properly, can also safeguard your home from water damage. But when shingles become cracked or gutters become clogged, your household will be vulnerable to all kinds of issues. Be sure to conduct a visual inspection of your roof each spring and contact your local roofing company if you see signs of damage. If you take action before a storm rolls through, you may be able to prevent damage to your home’s structure or belongings.
You should also inspect and clean out your gutters during this time of year. Since water can’t flow through a clogged gutter, it will instead be rerouted to the foundation of your home. This can weaken your home’s structure and lead to cracked foundations or even flooding. These problems can be very costly to fix and can severely impact the value of your home, so it’ll be worthwhile to make use of gutter cleaning maintenance programs at least a couple of times per year.
You can also decrease the amount of debris that ends up in your gutters by keeping surrounding trees trimmed back. Yard maintenance may already be part of your seasonal routine, as regular landscaping will increase property value and can even prevent issues related to drainage and pest infestations. Therefore, it’ll be easy enough to add pruning to the list. You might even schedule tree removal for specimens that prove too problematic in the spring and fall. While many trees do add value to your property, preventing clogged gutters will likely save you more money overall.
Schedule HVAC Service
When you think of money saving home improvements, you might be inclined to dismiss maintenance services because they will present upfront costs. But keep in mind that you may have to spend a little money to save even more. By prioritizing regular maintenance of your home’s central operating systems, you’ll increase efficiency and lower your bills in a meaningful way. In other words, these maintenance services will often pay for themselves (and then some).
Now that it’s almost time to turn on the air conditioning for the year, you’ll want to contact your heating and cooling services technician to take a look at your system, perform any necessary cleaning or repairs, and give your system a seal of approval. While this might seem like an unnecessary step at first, this is a great way to make certain that your HVAC system is running at its best and that any problems are caught early. This can save you money both in terms of monthly usage and on potential repairs that need to be performed. As a bonus, it’ll ensure your air quality is where it needs to be, which can protect your family’s health and comfort. Even the simple task of changing out your HVAC air filters can fall under the category of money saving home improvements, as they’ll allow your system to function more effectively.
Improve Your Energy Efficiency
Energy conservation and efficiency is a top priority for many homeowners. If you care about reducing your environmental impact, there are a few things you can do to save energy while reducing your monthly expenditures.
For one thing, you shouldn’t hold off on appliance repair. The longer your large appliances operate below their maximum efficiency, the more money you’ll end up wasting. If your appliances have to work harder to produce optimal results, you’ll see that strain reflected in your energy bills. Those who are particularly handy (and who can access necessary replacement parts) might try their luck at making those improvements now. That said, you may have to replace certain appliances if they’re outdated or need to be repaired frequently. Buying a high-efficiency washer and dryer to replace your older models can be a large investment, but you’ll likely save even more in the long run.
Some energy-efficient installations should be handled by a professional to ensure proper use. But you don’t need to be an electrician to figure out ways to save energy around the house. By swapping out your incandescent lightbulbs for LED versions or installing a new ceiling fan, you can DIY some money saving home improvements that will also reduce your energy use. Ceiling fans can alleviate some of your reliance on air conditioning, allowing rooms in your home to feel significantly cooler without adjusting the temperature on your thermostat. and of course, if you have a smart thermostat already, you can pre-program your home environment to keep things comfortable while reducing costs.
Taking the step to install solar panels can certainly save you money and energy while making your home more self-sufficient. However, solar panel installation can be initially expensive and can be a more expansive project than you might be prepared to take on. A more feasible energy-saving option might involve getting some new windows. If your home has outdated windows, you’re probably wasting quite a bit of energy; cool air can easily escape through windows and force your HVAC system to work much harder as a result. But replacement windows can keep conditions inside more comfortable year-round while allowing for greater functionality overall. Look for double-paned windows outfitted with Low-E glass for optimal results. You can also caulk and weatherstrip your existing windows or make use of window treatments for improved temperature control and energy savings.
Increase Your Home Security
Making your property a bit more secure this spring can be a great financial investment. Installing a fence around your property (especially if you have a pool) can increase privacy and make accidents or criminal activity less likely to occur. If you have a garden, installing a fence of some kind can also keep wildlife from getting in and doing damage to your landscaping.
Another good way to protect your property is by installing a security system. Although installing a home security system can cost a few hundred dollars upfront, this type of system can thwart any attempt a criminal might make to burglarize your home — which could save you thousands. Given the current state of the economy, it’s smart to do everything you can to protect your valuables and ensure your loved ones are safe. As a bonus, having a home security system installed can end up saving you money on your home insurance. If your insurer offers discounts for security system installation, you could end up benefitting from greater peace of mind and monthly savings.
If you’re looking for a way to improve your property’s security and overall appearance, you might opt for outdoor money saving home improvements and add some strategic landscape lighting. Using LED- or solar-powered lighting outdoors can amp up your curb appeal, keep loved ones and visitors safe, and make criminals think twice about trying to break in. You could also supplement with motion-activated security lighting closer to your home, which can add an extra level of visual protection (especially when paired with security cameras).
While owning a home is part of the American Dream, there’s no doubt that it can be expensive. Therefore, most homeowners want to do everything they can to save money. At first, it might be easy to think that skipping out on certain maintenance tasks will allow you to keep costs low. But over time, it’ll become more apparent that neglecting your property upkeep will just result in higher expenditures down the line.
By taking the time to perform these money saving home improvements, you’ll be able to reduce your monthly bills and add value to your home for the future. Whether you’re interested in making your house more energy efficient to lower your carbon footprint or you’re looking for ways to boost your retirement fund, these money saving home improvements can allow you to achieve your financial goals while making your home an even more enjoyable place to be. And best of all, you won’t have to undergo a major renovation to see major results. So try out some of these projects these spring and see how much you can save.