Home renovations can increase your home’s functionality. Also, many buyers are attracted to updated features. However, it’s essential to keep your budget in mind. Here are some tips to help you decide when to splurge or save.
Items to Splurge On
Some upgrades are worth spending a little more for long-term rewards. Consider splurging in these areas.
1. Kitchen Countertops
Your countertop is the main focal point of your kitchen. This is why you want to spend some extra money here. It also receives daily wear and tear.
When determining the best materials, consider your lifestyle. There are multiple options to choose from. Granite is a popular choice for its durability and style, although it’s more costly. Marble is an excellent choice for an island because it is water- and heat-resistant. However, it can be more easily scratched.
2. Bathroom Fixtures
Your bathroom fixtures provide beauty and function, so you want to ensure you have updated features, like sinks and toilets. A low-quality sink can lead to plumbing issues and costly repairs.
Also, adding decorative lighting brightens up a space. Place light sources in critical areas, such as over your vanity and shower. Consider adding dimmer switches for better control and LED bulbs for higher energy efficiency.
Keep functionality in mind when determining what fixtures to update. If your bathroom receives a lot of traffic, you may want to update to a low-flow faucet to conserve water.
Repainting your home is a cost-effective way to freshen up the space. Plus, you can do it yourself. Use some of that extra money to invest in quality paint because cheaper options are more likely to fade or chip over time. Also, you will likely need multiple coats to get the best coverage.
Try to find latex paint since it’s longer-lasting and easier to use. Consider saturated and rich colors, like navy blue.
4. Windows and Doors
These entry points are important security features, so you’ll want to update them. Improperly fitted casements can also lower your home’s energy efficiency, and new versions can save you money on your utility bills. While modern models are more costly, you can make up some money from potential tax rebates.
Consider adding extra safety features during your upgrades. This may include video doorbells, security systems, shatterproof glass or window alarms.
5. Kitchen Hardware
Updating your hardware is an easy way to give your space a more modern appearance. It’s also a budget-friendly remodel. You can replace your cabinet’s knobs and pulls that come in various sizes, types and styles. Consider stainless steel finishes for a stylish look that’s also scratch-resistant. When picking out your hardware, try to match it with the rest of your kitchen.
6. Attic Insulation
Insulating your attic keeps your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It can also increase your home’s energy efficiency. This is important since today’s buyers are looking for greener properties. In fact, 40% say they’re willing to sacrifice square footage for an eco-friendly residence. Also, proper heating and cooling can lower your energy bills.
Don’t forget your exterior when making home renovations. Having strong structural elements is important to keep your family safe and increase curb appeal. You might want to consider updating to engineered wood for its durability and easy maintenance. While outside, consider other structural updates, such as your roof or garage door.
Your roof is your house’s barrier against the elements so you want to ensure it’s in the utmost condition. A faulty roof can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home’s structure and your personal possessions. Modern roofs will also help with saving on energy costs by reflecting the sunlight away from your home and acting as another insulator.
Items to Save On
Since you probably don’t have an unlimited budget, you will need to cut back on some areas. Here are a few places to consider skimping on.
When it comes to buying appliances, focus on functionality over brand name. You may want to spend more on an energy-efficient washer and dryer if you have a larger family. However, you might not need all the technological features of modern devices.
Also, remember that some appliances last longer than others. Your fridge should last around 13 years, while your dishwasher lasts about nine. Focus on replacing any outdated devices first.
Replacing your cabinetry can be a costly project, and custom-designed cupboards can raise the price. Custom cabinets can cost between $2,252-$8,535 to install, so consider saving on the material you use. Veneer mimics the look of solid wood but at a more affordable price. You want to focus on the cabinet’s construction, ensuring it has clean lines. Also, use your saved money to hire a professional contractor for the installation.
You don’t need the most high-end tile in your bathroom. The most important thing is that it provides slip resistance. Consider using ceramic tiling for its easy maintenance and affordability, which costs around $855-$2,878 to install. You can also look for tiles with fun patterns at a lower price.
4. Kitchen Flooring
Updating your flooring can increase your home’s value. There are plenty of affordable options that can improve the function and style of your space. Laminate, vinyl and ceramic tiles are all popular options. Laminate flooring is perfect for your kitchen because it’s easy to clean. It can also mimic the look of hardwood floors at a lower cost. If you’re looking for eco-friendly flooring options, try cork or bamboo.
When it comes to decorating your home, you can save money by having more traditional trimming. Instead of upgrading to fancy moldings, consider caulking any gaps and repainting. You could also add a baseboard to update the space. Another cost-effective option is to use peel-and-stick molding. If you want a more durable material, consider polyurethane molding, which is made from foam and is a very flexible material.
Lighting can help brighten up a space but doesn’t need to break the bank. Look for lights that increase the function of the room. Add undercabinet lights to help with meal preparation in your kitchen. Also, if you have an island, place recessed downlights to provide a welcoming ambiance. When shopping, look at the shape and finish instead of the brand name.
Smaller items like end tables or nightstands don’t need to be made from high-end materials since they’re used for decor. Saving money also lets you splurge on high-quality furnishings, such as couches. Also, finding an affordable kitchen table allows you to update your countertops.
Know Your Limits
Many homeowners will make upgrades at some point. When you're deciding which projects to spend more money on, it can feel overwhelming. It helps to establish a budget and make home improvements that will increase the functionality of your space. Consult this list to determine what to splurge on and what to save on.