5 Best Values for Your Home Improvement Dollar

If you’re considering having some remodeling done, it pays to know what will add the most value to your house. Here are some of the best ways to spend your hard-earned home improvement dollars.

Install a Steel Door Replacing an existing wooden or fiberglass front door with a steel entry door is the number one project in Remodeling Magazine’s 2014 Cost vs. Value Report. Is it any wonder? It adds 96.6% of the cost of the job to the value of your home, improves security and increases energy efficiency. It also makes a strong first impression and adds curb appeal.

Update Your Kitchen The kitchen is considered the heart of every home. If yours is in need of an update, the changes are usually money well-spent. The average cost of a minor kitchen remodel nationwide is under $19,000, according to the Cost vs. Value report. By adding new cabinet doors, appliances, countertops, paint and fixtures, you can recoup about 83% of the cost in your home’s value, according to the same survey. If your kitchen is small, you can also consider opening up a wall or reconfiguring your counter space to make the room look bigger.

Create a New Bedroom If you’ve got an attic in your house, don’t let it go to waste storing old clothes and trunks full of memories. Converting your attic into an extra bedroom is another smart way to get a good bang for your renovating buck. Adding a bedroom without the expense of a new addition is a cost-effective way to enhance the value of any home, especially with an average cost recouped of just under 85%, according to Remodeling Magazine’s report.

Add a Deck Installing an outdoor deck adds value to any home because it gives you more living space to enjoy with family and friends. According to the Cost vs. Value report, composite decks add over $11,400 in resale value to your home and wooden decks add over $8,300. You can’t go wrong with either, because wooden decks recoup almost 87.4% of your cost compared to 74.3% for composites.

Redo the Bath Although it doesn’t pay off as much as a new kitchen, updating your bathroom by getting rid of that tired, old sink and dated green tile from the ’80s is a smart move for your home. On average, bathroom remodels returned 72.5% nationwide.

If you have the space and are considering adding a bathroom to your home, it’s probably a good idea. It can add as much as 20% to your home’s value, according to experts at the National Association of Home Builders.

Source: 2014 Cost vs. Value Report

– Adapted from AHS Home Matters Inside & Out June 2014 Newsletter

Consider Animals During Cold Weather

When winter is approaching, animal lovers should start to think of home  improvements that affect their pets and other animals, such as birds who visit  their yards.

For the most part, cats and dogs don’t like to be stuck outside in rain,  wind, snow, sleet or ice. However, they do enjoy being outside when the sun’s  shining and it’s a moderate day. Anyone with animals knows that we make  accommodations for our pets to make their lives happier. Let’s explore some  ideas.

Lots of housecats are outdoor/indoor cats. They like to go in and out  frequently, more frequently than owners prefer to let them. In the colder months  of the year, this becomes more of an issue because heat escapes the house every  time the door is opened for the pet. The same situation occurs with dogs. If you  have a fenced in yard and your dog has free range, they also have the  opportunity to go in and out as often as their owner allows them.

Installing a Pet Door

Installing a pet door can solve this problem leaving you with less hassle and  more heat, and as a result, your pet will be happy with their new freedom. This  also is a huge benefit when you are not home. If you are someone who works long  hours or travels a lot on business, installing a pet door could be a perfect  solution.

Pet doors can be installed in most doors and there is a variety from which to  choose. Panel pet doors can be installed in sliding glass patio doors. Custom  pet doors can be made for French doors. They also come in all sizes for a cat up  to a giant dog. You can get electronic doors that will only let your pet in. And  if your pet wears out your existing door, replacement parts can be ordered.

Build a Doghouse

If your dog likes to be outside all day while your family is busy at work and  school, build them a doghouse before the weather gets too nasty. How terrible to  be at work and know that your dog is sitting in snow, sleet or rain. The crafty  ones among us could build a custom doghouse to be a perfect fit. Put a piece of  carpet or small rug inside to give the dog something soft on which to lie.


Think of all the birds that visit your yard. Before it gets cold out, place  several bird feeders and/or birdhouses around your yard. Not only will this  provide you with peaceful, fulfilling rewards as you watch the birds gratefully  feed from them but it also provides the birds with food when everything is ice  or snow covered. Be sure to remove or turn birdbaths upside down now before it  gets cold. If the water in it freezes, your birdbath will most likely crack.

These small changes will bring you and your animals much happiness. Act now  before it gets too cold and your motivation level drops with the temperature.

from Homesense by Servicemagic

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