Some Real Home Improvement Tips

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You may not be aware of it but many home improvements really do not increase the value of the home as much as they end up costing you. If you are considering the sale of your home and want to increase its value there are some home improvement tips that you can do that will actually help increase the value.

For example, before showing your home to prospective buyers, de-clutter it; experts claim that this is considered as much as a 970% average return on your investment just by cleaning it. Store items that you do not need in boxes or containers in an attic or basement, or better yet, in a separate storage facility; if need be, have a garage sale prior to having an open house.

More home improvements tips that increase the value of your home include making the house brighter; by simply replacing burned out bulbs or bulbs with low wattage, to a higher wattage and keeping your curtains and blinds open during open house you can expect an approximate 855% average return. Another is to make sure that your yard is free from clutter and that your grass is a healthy green. If possible hire a landscaper or gardener to trim everything back; this will gain you an average return of about 420%.

Additional home improvement tips include what is called “staging”; purchase some live plants and flowers or other new decorations and placing them around your home. You may also want to get rid of old furniture and large items that take up a lot of room in order to give the area a bigger more open appearance and gives you an average return of 250%.

Updating your bathroom and kitchen, nets a return of about 165% and can be accomplished by painting cabinets with a neutral color, replace old and dated fixtures with newer ones. It is also advisable to redo the grout in your sinks, tubs, showers and counter-tops; as well as using fresh caulking where necessary.

A few other improvement tips that will increase the value of your home include painting the inside of your house (140% return). Patch all of the holes, cracks or chips and then touch up or repaint with a neutral color. Basically, anything that you can do to outwardly clean up the appearance of something will help to increase your homes value.

Home Improvement Tips to Help Sell Your Home

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Everyone has one or two things they would like to improve about the place they live. When it comes to improvements, our homes should be at the top of the list, but they often get shuffled to the side, because improvements tend to be costly and time consuming. The reality is that a lot of improvements you can actually accomplish on your own using some home improvement tips that aren’t costly, but are noticeable.

Two areas of the house tend to get the short end of things when it comes to home improvement. They are the bathroom and our outside world. The bathroom is somewhat understandable. While we like to have it nice, the reality is that a face lift in the bathroom can be problematic. Redoing the entire bathroom is quite costly and often a messy proposition that takes weeks to reconcile.

Despite the inconvenience, doing up a bathroom is usually time and money well spent. It is one of the most used rooms in any house, and is a priority for most home buyers. The condition and presentation of a bathroom can add or subtract thousands of dollars in a property sale. A bathroom can also influence how long a property stays on the market, before being snapped up by a buyer.

That being said, what about the outside of your home? Is it looking a bit worse for wear? When is the last time you saw it as other people really see it? While it is true that you live on the inside, it is also true that what the outside of your home looks like, is the first thing people see. It is what gives your home curb appeal and makes people want to see more. Still when it comes to improving your home, one of the biggest things that people tend to overlook is the outside.

Did you know that adding a flower bed or a little bit of shrubbery can not only increase your chances of selling your home, but also cost you a nominal amount. It could amount to less than two to three hundred dollars for decent greenery that may increase the value of your home as much as a thousand dollars or more. Flowers and shrubs tend to give a home the appearance of being lovingly nurtured and people notice. An attractive garden will get you buyers when the swimming pool in your back yard might not.

Firewise landscaping is another method of adding to the value of your property and is one of the home improvement tips that you don’t see added to the lists very often. This is particularly the case in areas where wild-land fires can be a problem, such as New Mexico, Arizona, California, and in some eastern states. Firewise landscaping is making news. It represents the proper placement of landscaping items so that the fires will have less fuel and be less able to consume the home along with the property. Firewise landscaping sells houses.

Taking into account where you live when considering these home improvement tips. Take care of your own interests, as well as those who will buy the property after you means assuring the safety of your home. It is one of the best ways to get your home noticed in a positive way and to sell the property to someone else.

Home Improvement Tips to Save Energy

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Whether you’re looking for ways to improve the way your home looks or to make it more energy efficient, it’s always best to find out how to do it right and get the most out of your time and money. These home improvement tips can show you how to start saving energy right away.

1. Use energy saving lamps instead of incandescent bulbs. Energy Star qualified light bulbs such as CFLs use 75% less energy than traditional bulbs.

2. Check your heating and cooling system, including the furnace, air conditioner, and heat pump). Be sure to seal your ducts. Leaky ducts make your heating and cooling systems less efficient and you’ll end up with higher utility bills. You can save up to 20% on energy with this home improvement tip.

3. Purchase and install a programmable thermostat. This will let you automatically adjust the temperature at your home when you are away.

4. Check the weather stripping around your windows, doors, garage, etc. Make sure your home is sealed and insulated to reduce heating and cooling costs.

5. If you’re in the market for replacement windows, install Energy Star labeled windows. Energy saving windows can dramatically lower your utility bills.

6. Is your refrigerator more than 10 years old? It’s time to get a new one. Refrigerators (and freezers) account for a substantial share of your electricity bill. An Energy Star qualified refrigerator
uses 50% less electricity than an old, conventional model.

7. When it’s time to replace your washing machine, replace it with an Energy Star compliant model. You will be able to use 50% less water and up to 70% less energy. Whenever possible, wash your clothes with cold water.

8. Here’s another home improvement tip that doesn’t cost much. Use curtains, blinds and drapes to help you save energy and money. In winter, open the blinds, drapes and curtains in the morning to let the sunlight in. Close them at night to help keep the warm air in.

9. Landscaping can improve your home’s looks while saving energy. Shrubs and trees in strategic locations can protect your home from frigid winter winds and block out the hot summer sun.

10. You won’t have to invest a lot of money for this home improvement tip but you’ll get a lot of savings in return. Purchase a hot water insulation kit from your local home improvement center and wrap it around your water heater. You’ll save on water heating costs.

11. Consider installing your own renewable energy system. A solar or wind energy system can help you reduce your utility bills.