8 Home Upgrades that are Actually Worth the Money
Invest in your home and quality of life with this mix of interior and exterior upgrades. The results? More style, comfort and functionality.
1. No-Barrier Showers
A big advantage when building your “forever” home or revamping a main bathroom for the long term is incorporating a zero-threshold shower. These types of showers do not have an edge or lip like a standard shower floor basin, so not only provide a streamlined look but also easier access for those with mobility issues.
While it’s true that no-barrier showers involve more work and expense to install, the extra effort may be worth it to prep your bathroom for the future, when issues with aging or injury are more likely. Plus, larger showers continue to be popular bathroom renovations, making this design style practical and fashionable.
2. Cool Roofing Materials
Investing in cooling roofs can reduce heat inside your home as well as energy bill costs. The roofs work by reflecting sunlight, which means they absorb less heat than a standard roof. The materials used are available in the form of reflective coatings, tiles, shingles, sheet coverings, and metal roofing. While the most effective cool roofing choices are available when a complete roof replacement is done, it’s still possible to upgrade your existing roof and achieve some of the benefits through retrofitted reflective materials or reflective coatings.
3. New Garage Door
A brand new garage door — now available in a wide range of incredible styles and color choices — is a quick and simple way to give your home’s curb appeal a major boost. Before choosing a new garage door though, take into account how you use your garage space. For example, do you use it as a workshop? Then it might be a good idea to consider a door with windows or better insulation to make your time out there more comfortable. As a bonus, replacing your garage door has been ranked as one of the highest return on investment home projects when it comes to resale value.
4. Heated Flooring
Radiant-heat flooring is a system installed beneath the floor that serves to warm up rooms from the bottom up. While incorporating radiant heat requires gutting your existing flooring, which is a major project, the upgrade results in big benefits, such as luxuriously warm floors on cold mornings and a quieter heating alternative to rattling forced-air vents and radiators. In addition, radiant heat is considered more energy-efficient and can be installed in chosen rooms throughout the home, such as just the bathrooms, or house-wide. Popular in all climates, radiant heat works best with porcelain or ceramic tile floors and natural stone, but can also work with certain vinyl and laminate floors. Homeowners are also starting to incorporate heated flooring into their outdoor living spaces.
5. Automated Bathroom Vent Fans
Homes with outdated our undersized bathroom ventilation fans are more common than you’d think. Your exhaust fan should be able to clear a fogged-up mirror and alleviate humidity quickly. Try to find a vent model featuring a humidity sensor that automatically activates the fan. This ensures the most efficient use of the fan, as it’s only activated as needed.
If you live in an older home, you may find that you don’t have any bathroom ventilation at all. Or the exhaust is fed into an attic or another adjacent area of the house. While installing a brand new ventilation system will be a bigger project than an upgrade, the benefits of your investment will also be big — including important mold and mildew prevention.
6. Tankless Water Heater
Space-saving and energy-efficient, swapping out your traditional water heater for a tankless model is a great investment. Tankless water heaters work by heating water as needed, rather than expending energy to keep a huge tank of water heated just in case. In addition, tankless models are much smaller than standard water heaters and have almost double the lifespan. They remove the limitations of standard hot water heaters, making it so that your hot water supply doesn’t depend on the size of your hot water tank. Although tankless water heaters do cost more than traditional models — including purchase price and installation costs — the benefits typically outweigh the additional expense.
7. New Deck or Patio
The popularity of outdoor spaces continues to grow as homeowners seek to expand and enhance their at-home living area. Whether big or small, incorporating a new deck is an easy way to inject a lot of value into your property. Throw together some furniture and lighting, and you now have a spot flexible enough to handle work, play or entertaining. With lumber being on the expensive side in recent months, a wood deck may seem extravagant. Just keep in mind that the resale value of a wood deck makes up for the initial investment. That being said, composite decking’s durability and eco-friendliness makes it a sound investment as well.
8. Updated Kitchen Storage
Another project that not only makes life better for you, but also adds value to your home is increasing your kitchen storage. Building out your kitchen’s storage capacity so that it can handle all your appliances, utensils and pantry items will pay you back tenfold by way of functionality, order and your overall enjoyment of the kitchen. From simple solutions, like adding organizers to existing drawers and cabinets, to more elaborate plans, like having a traditional pantry built into a corner or nearby closet, upgrading your storage space will not only make your everyday kitchen experience better — it’ll increase the value of your home as well.