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Monday, May 20, 2024

5 Upgrades to Improve Your Home Life

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You’re looking around your house and wondering how you could improve upon it. Maybe you’ve loved it up until now, but you’re hoping to make it even better. Or, perhaps you moved into a fixer-upper, and now you’re thinking of where to start on upgrades. Whatever your specific situation, most home improvements will make you happier in your abode. Even better, in many cases, you’ll also be increasing the value of your property! Here are a few home upgrades sure to make your home your happy place.

1. Heating and Air Conditioning

Heating and air conditioning are two of the most obvious upgrades to make in your home. An older furnace may be overheating, not blowing, or noisy. It may need major repairs if the heat exchanger is cracked or the filters are clogged and dirty. And many homes may not even have an AC unit, which is becoming more essential as temperatures continue to increase. The last thing anyone in a heat wave wants is to rely on ceiling fans alone.

So, you’ll likely want to upgrade your heating and air conditioning units. You can make this improvement by installing separate units or a heat pump and AC combo. In the first case, you’ll likely spend thousands of dollars on each and have two separate systems to run. In the second case, you can save money and run everything from one centralized unit. An AC with a heat pump is also often energy efficient, so you’ll help save the planet.

2. Solar Panels

Speaking of saving the planet, another obvious upgrade is to install solar panels. With the climate changing in strange ways, people often end up without power. A wild storm knocks out the central grid of your power company, and you could go days without electricity. In some cities, rolling blackouts are common, so you lose power for hours if not days. And while it helps to have a generator on hand, it’s even more helpful to have your own source of power.

Installing solar panels will help you generate and store your own electricity using the sun’s renewable power. You’ll often still be connected to the central grid in case your panels fail for whatever reason. So, you’ll have the best of both worlds. And if you’re worried about huge expenses, don’t. Many companies offer leasing that keeps monthly payments low, and many states offer tax rebates for installing the panels.

3. Kitchen Appliances

A kitchen remodel is one of the biggest expenses you can make in your house, but it’s also one of the nicest aesthetically. You’ve likely heard that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and it’s true. Most people tend to drift into the kitchen for food, cups of coffee, and long chats. So having an updated, efficient, beautiful kitchen is a big win. Furthermore, outdated kitchen appliances can cost a ton in power bills because they’re so inefficient.

Decide how you want your kitchen to look and feel, and then consult with your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. Consultants there will often help you pick out flooring, paint colors, and lighting to go with your fridge, stove, and dishwasher. From there, you can choose smaller appliances that make your life easier. A built-in stand mixer or a coffee maker that brews espresso and froths your milk are just two examples.

4. Bigger Windows and Skylights

Many people don’t realize how much of a difference it makes to have natural light in the home. Some older homes were built with small windows or not very many of them. This lack of sunshine and daylight can make a home feel dark and dingy even with all the lights on. Even worse, insufficient sunlight can lead to a seasonal anxiety disorder or depression. And if you’re someone who can’t get outside a lot, having that light in your home can be huge.

To bring more natural light into your home, consider expanding your windows. That’s right — you’re not stuck with the windows you’ve got. You can cut out bigger spaces and install picture windows to let in more light. Another option is to add skylights into darker rooms. And there’s no reason not to do both. These upgrades can not only make your home life better, but they can also save you tons on your power bill!

5. Pool and/or Hot Tub

Finally, perhaps the most frivolous, but also luxurious, upgrade you can make to your home would be a pool and hot tub. Do you need it? Maybe not. But should you get it? Why not? Again, with all the crazy weather changes, hotter days mean more need for relief. If you or the kids want to go to the community pool, you have to pack up and head out. Plus, you may have to pay a fee and deal with overcrowding or too much chlorine.

When you have your own pool, you just go outside and take a dip. If you’ve got hot weather where you live, you probably already know the pleasure of having a pool to jump into. And if you add a hot tub to the project, you’ll have a place to relax on cooler nights as well. This combo is the height of decadence for many homes, and it will make your home life better. As a bonus, a pool can increase your property value by up to 8%!

There’s always room for improvement, especially in your home. If it’s outdated, it needs updates. Even if it’s newer, it needs your personal touch. If you’ve got the money and the will, you can spend years upgrading your home in ways that increase its value. Meanwhile, you’ll be improving your living situation. And remember, you don’t have to do it all at once. You can spend the next several years turning your home into your castle.


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