May 18, 2012

Cost Effective Ways to Improve Your Home

You may be able to come up with an extensive list of improvements that you think would enhance your home. However, many of these improvements can be incredibly costly and time consuming, causing considerable inconvenience. The great news is that there are many cost-effective ways to improve and add value to your home, and many of these are free from the hassle of obtaining building permits, inspections and approvals.

Adding a deck
Adding a deck to your home may be one of the things for which you do require a building permit -- so seek out advice and check the regulations in your state or territory. When a deck (usually made of wood, but composite decking is sometimes used) is added to a house, additional square footage is created outside of your home and will, almost invariably, increase its value. Another important point to note is that a deck commonly appeals to home buyers and so, in many cases, the addition of a deck offers good return on your investment.

Minor remodelling of your kitchen
Although a kitchen overhaul can sound like, and often is, a massive job, it need not be so. It is possible to update your kitchen by doing some comparatively simple and cost effective things. For example, you could replace bench tops so that they have modern surfaces like granite; change cabinets; or upgrade appliances to newer and often more efficient and quiet varieties.

Basic attic conversion
If you are one of the fortunate people that has an attic, this often wasted space can be converted into liveable space. One of the most popular ways of doing this is to convert the attic into a bedroom, and some have even chosen to make it the master bedroom -- complete with en suite and spacious cupboard/storage space. As you would probably expect, such a project is likely to require a building permit and can prove quite costly. If contemplating such a conversion, look for ways of doing this cost effectively and without going ‘overboard’, as so many people tend to do.

A fresh coat of paint can almost instantly improve the appearance of your home. When the paint job of a house is clean and fresh, the rest of the house can suddenly seem more appealing and, by painting in a neutral colour (such as beige), houses tend to appear larger and more inviting to buyers.

Paint can also be used to cleverly disguise or enhance features of your home. By using semi-gloss paint, walls seem brighter. However, if your walls are marked, dented or have imperfections such as cracks, try painting with an eggshell finish, as this can more effectively hide imperfections. Also, remember that paints with a low-lustre finish can be washed lightly.

One of the most cost effective ways to improve and add value to your home is with landscaping. Landscaping is often simple and quite inexpensive and can certainly enhance the appeal of your home from the street. Although it is quite easy to get carried away with landscaping, a walkway to the front door, plenty of attractive plants and fencing in the backyard are frequently acknowledged as the best ways to improve your home.

Eliminate clutter and clean, clean, clean
Even older homes with dated appliances and features can look great when they are sparkling clean and superfluous clutter has been removed. The ‘minimalist’ look appeals to so many people because it promotes cleanliness and spaciousness. Organised, tidy homes appear larger and more elegant than those that are cluttered and chaotic in appearance.

When thinking about cost effective home improvements, it is highly advisable to always try to compare the expense of the improvement to the increased value that will be added to the house. Sometimes, the improvements of which you dream are ultimately not worth the cost.

Home improvement can bring a lot of excitement and creativity and, when it is well-planned, it certainly doesn’t need to cost you exorbitant sums of money. The aforementioned areas of home improvement serve as a guide for key parts of your home and can improve your home and enhance its value should you decide to put it on the market.

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