Rarely can you get anything of value for nothing; in fact, things that are "cheap" often are, and that's true when it comes to home improvements. Your home is a major investment, and so when you take on remodeling and repair jobs, it only makes sense to use quality materials and experienced professional remodeling contractors who can do the job well and stand behind their work. In the long run, it's more cost-effective because you''ll get a job that lasts longer and performs better.
When it comes to home improvements, some are investments that pay off of terms of increased home value and/or energy saving, while others are a necessary expense to keep your home in top condition and protect its current value. If you're interested in which projects deliver a payback, here are the top exterior choices (in no particular order):
- Exterior front entry door: This one not only saves you money in preventing loss of heating and cooling, it also spruces up your home's curb appeal and can deliver those prospective buyers when it comes time to sell. Choosing the proper exterior door for Minnesota's sometimes-harsh environment also means less maintenance and one that will hold up longer, an added plus.
- Siding: Low- or no-maintenance siding, especially fiber cement such as HardieZone from the James Hardie Company, is one of the top improvements you can make in terms of proportionate increase in home value. You also save on reduced maintenance costs, and if you choose steel siding or fiber cement, you'll get a product that's fire-resistant, so you may also qualify for a discount on your homeowner's insurance. And when you choose a well-insulated product such as one backed with foam insulation, you'll also save on heating and cooling bills.
- Decks: Outdoor living spaces are becoming more popular, and currently decks can deliver up to an 80% return on cost to increased home value. Front decks are a growing trend - they're the new "front porch."
- Replacement Windows: These deliver some of the same benefits as replacing your front entry door. Windows also add to your "curb appeal" as well as deliver increased energy savings and eliminating indoor drafts. When you choose maintenance-free windows such as vinyl or fiberglass, you're also saving on regular window maintenance such as refinishing and caulking. And when you choose windows that reduce UV light, you'll be cutting down on harmful rays that can fade your furniture, carpeting, and window coverings - but you won't sacrifice visible light. In addition, currently energy-efficient windows and doors qualify for a federal income tax credit, an additional savings.
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