We recently read a great article from the Realtor Magazine that shared some great insight in spring home improvements to get your home looking it’s best.
While most home owners need to prioritize costs, these 9 improvements are at the top of many contractors’ lists. Some of them are even more affordable than ever before, thanks to rebates from local communities, utility companies, and the federal government.
1. Replace windows
If home owners’ houses felt drafty this past winter and they have single-pane windows, there’s a good chance those were one of the culprits. But replacing them all can be costly — $400 to $500 per window, plus $100 to $150 for installation. Whether that’s the place to spend dollars should depend on how long home owners plan to stay put or what houses listed in their neighborhood offer if they’re selling. Gradually replacing windows in any room that owners remodel to make the cost less prohibitive.
2. Clean air conditioning units
Before summer temperatures rise and HVAC pros are swamped, we advise home owners to clean coils and change filters so their system doesn’t have to work as hard. They should also have drain lines cleaned, so moisture is eliminated.
3. Install more insulation
A home’s first line of defense to stop hot air should be the attic, according to most contractors. An energy audit can determine how much more is needed, if they already have some. Also adding heat vents to a roof can be an inexpensive way to cool down your attic space and lower your summer electric bills.
4. Switch out inefficient appliances
Sometimes appliances are no longer smart to repair. The determining factors for that should be their age and the cost of repair versus replacement. Here, too, top choices carry an EnergyStar label. If home owners need to replace most of their kitchen equipment and have a limited budget or plan to move, it’s suggested they prioritize and first switch out the range, followed by the refrigerator, dishwasher, and microwave — in that order.
5. Repair or replace roofs, gutters, and downspouts
Because of winter rain and now coming into a hot summer… it is recommended that those needing new roofs consider architectural asphalt shingles or new tile roofs because of their long warranties (often 50 years), affordable prices, and attractive appearances that work with many house styles. In addition, many contractors have the equipment and experience to install roofs of this material, as opposed to metal. It is also recommended that home owners have gutters and downspouts cleaned (0r installed to keep moisture away from your foundation) come spring so that water can flow through them; gutters should be angled away from a house to stop water pooling around a foundation and seeping into the basement. Gutter covers can be helpful but often don’t eliminate all debris.
Damage often shows up at this time of year, especially here in this climate. New paint in Arizona can also help keep the electric bill down with some new science and technology paint companies are using… and help jazz up your curb appeal! It’s recommended that Arizona homeowners repaint their home a minimum of once per every 7-8 years because of our harsh summer heat. Even changing the front door’s color can make a difference.
7. Prune trees
Cutting limbs that may have been damaged in winter rain or freezes and that might fall on a roof or allow animals, birds or other pests to enter a house is smart, and it can be a cost savings later on. Called “thinning out,” this method gets excess foliage trimmed to allow more natural light into a house—and cut down on artificial illumination. “It opens the tree so you don’t have dead spots in the interior and lets the tree take advantage of air flow rather than chop off the top,” said a professional arborist. A certified arborist will know the best ways to do this without removing too much of a canopy, which is useful for privacy and shade.
8. Artificial grass
Reseeding twice per year plus mowing during 115 degree summer heat isn’t much fun… but neither is looking at ugly gravel landscaping either. Artificial turf can be a very cost effect, and cool looking, way to have a nice green landscape year round with no maintenance costs of watering, mowing and reseeding. Their technology has come a long ways also to include different colors, mow patterns and sizes.
9. Replace lightbulbs
When it comes to artificial light, most contractors recommend switching burned-out bulbs to LEDs, which last longer than incandescents, consume less energy, and have come down in price — now often just $10. Quality has improved, too, and they’re dimmable and available in colors.
One more thing: Before you hire anybody to take on work, get a written estimate. Better to be safe than sorry.
For more spring home improvement home tips or if you’re interested in buying or selling a home – feel free to call us at 480.442.9809!