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Whether you’re looking to freshen up your home or add new features, making regular updates will not only help increase your property value but everyone in the family will also benefit by enjoying these home improvements. In our post on ‘5 Tips You Should Consider to Protect Your New Home, we discussed how new homeowners can protect their investment, however in this feature we’d like to help you with five home improvement tips to get the most out of your projects.

Prioritize Projects That Are Most Timely

Some home improvement projects are more urgent than others and they can be seasonal, prevent damage or add value to your home. Outdoor home improvements like cleaning your gutters, painting the exterior of your home or minor roof repairs should not only be done when the weather is still favorable, so as not to find yourself doing these projects in torrential rains or a snowstorm, they should be preventative to help avoid more extensive damage to your home. Neglecting your gutters, for example, could lead to foundational damage from water seeping down your walls and overtime creating mold and rot. For other projects that can increase the value of your home prioritize kitchen and bath improvements, and exterior curb appeal. After all, a well-groomed front yard and well-maintained house makes a powerful first impression.

Brush Up On Your Skills

Whether a big or small project, everyone could stand to learn a few valuable home repair or home improvement skills, unless you’re a contractor of course. You can even learn Bob Villa-worthy skills by volunteering in your community for different projects or through free clinics or online resources. There are countless online sites specializing in DIY to help you master basic and more advanced skills. Additionally, apps for iOS and Android provide step-by-step instructions for fixing and improving some of the most basic aspects of your home like trimming and painting, organizing closets, adding track lighting or bathroom mini-makeovers. Because there are some things you should never have to pay others to do for you.

Smart Home Systems

Smart homes are becoming ubiquitous with the Internet of Things (IoT) devices designed to make the homeowner’s life more convenient and secure. However, there are also several disadvantages to these systems, so if you’re thinking of upgrading your home with smart technology there are some things to consider. Smart home technology offers unprecedented control and personalization over household functions like heating and cooling, appliances and entertainment. Smart heating solutions even adapt to your usage patterns to increase efficiency and reduce your energy bills. In terms of security, they allow you to keep an eye on your home from anywhere in the world and secure it remotely.

On the other hand, one of the biggest drawbacks noted by Pay Space Magazine is that IoT devices are vulnerable to hacking. Paradoxically this may actually endanger the safety of your home they are meant to protect. One of the things you can do to mitigate this is to keep systems updated with the latest manufacturer updates. A Marcus guide to cybersecurity basics notes how operating systems and software should always be up to date. Many smart home systems are also pricey and don’t always talk to devices from competing manufacturers. Despite these potential drawbacks, however, the convenience and gains associated with these systems generally outweigh the negatives.

Vetting Contractors

When you do have an improvement project that is too big for you to handle and you need outside help, you should do your research and choose the right contractor for the job. Start with getting recommendations from friends or family members who have recently used a contractor and have done a good job. Come up with a short-list. Your next step is to invite the contractors on your list to evaluate your projects and make sure you drop the name of the person who recommended them. Design-build contractor Mark Mackmiller adds that just as a homeowner is vetting a contractor, in-turn, the contractor is vetting the homeowner and the project, so a referral from a previous customer will always get their attention. Finally, look at their other jobs and how they handled them, including quality and aesthetics, professionalism and cleanliness onsite.

Reduce Energy Consumption

Apart from smart home heating and cooling systems that can save you energy, many homeowners are taking a holistic approach to reduce their energy consumption. This includes replacing electrical appliances in the home with ones that are the most energy-efficient, adding LED lighting throughout your home, upgrading to double or triple glazed windows and using renewable energy sources like solar panels. Here in Colorado solar power has grown considerably in the last few years and it’s in part due to some of the most favorable net metering laws in the country, with no limits on the number of users. Installing rooftop solar panels can drastically help reduce the amount of energy you use from the grid and any surplus you have the utility company credits back to you.

content intended only for the use of rmfp.com By Miles Andrews