Home Projects that Will Save You Money in the Long Run
When the concept of a “home project” is brought up, it often invokes images of expensive remodeling overhauls and massive structural renovations. Brand new kitchens, knocked out walls, and torn off roofs often come to mind. While these may be desirable improvements to a home, the problems arise when one considers the dramatic effect that they can have on your time and money.
However, there are actually quite a few home improvement options out there that are smaller in scale and easier to budget into the mix. Not only that, but they will also save you money over time. Here are a few of the best small-yet-effective home project options to consider implementing this winter.
Start with Your Environment
You want your home’s environment to be stable, comfortable, and efficient. Fortunately, there are many different ways to improve the atmosphere of your home that can also save you money over time. For instance, you can:
- Set up a smart thermostat: Purchase a thermostat that you can program or control from your smartphone. This enables you to keep the thermostat at a comfortable level while you’re occupying your space. Then you can automatically adjust the temperature either higher or lower when you’re sleeping or out for a significant period of time.
- Install weatherstripping on your windows and doors: Seal up any leaks that you can find. This applies to both your windows and your doors. This eliminates drafts and reduces heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer.
- Service your A/C and heater: Make sure to replace your filters and service your furnace on a regular basis. By servicing your heating and cooling equipment you keep them running at peak efficiency.
- Hang curtains or install blinds: A pair of curtains or a thick set of blinds is a great way to add a nice decorative touch to a room. On top of that, having coverings over your windows can prevent the loss of cold and hot air, once again lowering your heating and cooling bills over time.
- Hook up a ceiling fan: If possible, install a ceiling fan in some of your larger rooms. This provides an ideal way to circulate air more effectively and evenly throughout your home.
There are many different ways to generate significant savings by improving your home’s air quality and efficiency.
Consider Affordable Floors and More Insulation
Installing floors has become an easy activity in many scenarios. For instance, laying down a nice linoleum pattern in the bathroom, putting faux wooden vinyl tiles in the kitchen, or stapling down a rug in the living room can instantly upgrade the look and feel of a room. In addition, these affordable flooring options can help to insulate your space by naturally cutting down on heating and cooling costs.
It’s also a good idea to check the state of your attic’s insulation. If you don’t have enough insulation currently in place, it doesn’t take much work to roll out or blow in new material. The activity can be a game-changer when the cold weather rolls into town by keeping your space warmer and your bank account full all at once.
Address the Bathroom and Kitchen
Before you start sweating bullets at the thought of an expensive kitchen or bathroom remodel, understand that you can save money in these spaces. As elsewhere in this resource, the goal isn’t to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a complete overhaul.
On the contrary, there are two small-yet-impactful ways you can improve your kitchen and bathroom without committing to a huge project. One of the most effective ways to upgrade these heavily used areas of your living space is by installing efficient water fixtures. A few suggestions for ways to conserve water (and, by extension, reduce your water bill) include:
- Adding faucet flow reducers to existing faucets.
- Swapping out water fixtures such as your sink and tub faucets with water-reducing alternatives.
- Replacing toilets with low-flow options that use a fraction of the water per flush.
- Fixing plumbing and waste lines — especially in an older home — to prevent leaks and avoid more expensive repairs down the road.
Along with water-reduction efforts, the other easy-to-implement improvement involves your appliances. Consider replacing things like your fridge, washing machine, and dishwasher with energy-efficient and low-flow alternatives over time. The decrease in water consumption coupled with less electricity usage will lead to significant savings in the future. Upgrading to new appliances will also help prevent water damage caused by malfunctions.
Make Minor Electrical Improvements
There are a couple of ways you can quickly and easily improve the electrical demand of your home without replacing outlets or ripping wires out of the walls. Start by swapping out any older light bulbs with LED alternatives.
Next, purchase trickle power strips that will naturally reduce the electrical draw on items like your computer and televisions. By using quick and easy options like these, you can reduce your electricity usage without investing a ton of money into the project.
Maximize Your Home Improvement Savings by Decluttering
One of the subtlest ways to affordably improve your home comes from the simple act of cleaning it. There are a variety of benefits that come with decluttering and cleaning your home, many of which either directly or indirectly impact your bank account.
For example, keeping a cleaner home is healthier — it reduces germs, which reduces your medical bills. Decluttering also ensures that you remember everything you have, consequentially helping you avoid buying items that you already own.
In addition, decluttering is a prime time to look for things that can be repaired and repurposed, further saving you the need to spend money on replacements in the future. It may seem simplistic, but the subtle money-saving nature of cleaning and decluttering your spaces can often be more effective than a full-blown remodeling project.
Spending Money to Save Money
It doesn’t matter if you’re replacing water fixtures, swapping out lightbulbs, sealing up windows, or simply decluttering your home, there are plenty of easily attainable home projects that you can engage in. These projects help you avoid the need to open up a Pandora’s box by engaging in a larger, pricier project.
Even better, they aren’t just affordable, they’ll actually save you money over time. So review the list above and look for the easiest ways that you can start saving money throughout your home.