If you haven't heard already, Congress reinstated some federal income tax credits for certain home improvements as a part of the recent "fiscal cliff" deal.  These credits - up to $500 for qualifying improvements to make your home more energy efficient, expire at the end of December this year, so now is the time to make plans to take advantage of that credit.  Energy-efficient appliances such as water heaters, water pumps, and air conditioners qualify, but so do EnergyStar-rated replacement doors and windows, insulation, and roofing, among other products.

Some individual categories such as windows have a cap, but you can combine product categories to take the entire credit.  The amount is based on 10% of the cost, so if you have a combined expenditure of $5000 in energy-efficient improvements, you should qualify for the whole amount.

There are certain rules and requirements, so it's best to seek the advice of your tax professional, especially if you have claimed any prior improvements for credits since 2006, since the new credit amount is cumulative since that time.  However, if you had improvements that didn't qualify for the maximum amount, you may still be entitled to a partial credit.

For more information on these credits and how to take advantage of them, read the full article here.  One additional benefit to improving your home with energy-efficient remodeling products is that not only will you save money on your taxes next April, you'll save money on your utility bills from the point you install them, and you'll add to the value of your home.  Overall, that sounds like a good financial decision!

Quarve Contracting is a full-service Minneapolis/St. Paul exterior home remodeling contractor.  We install energy-efficient roofing, siding, doors, and windows which carry the EnergyStar rating.