What makes a home investment a smart one? For starters, and this is the obvious one, it should pay dividends when the time comes for you to put your home on the market. A smart home investment is one that makes your home more desirable to potential buyers. But more than that, we firmly hold that a truly great home expense is one that allows you to invest in the present, too—upgrades and additions that will improve your quality of life right now! After all, you’re still living there! Long-term payout and immediate benefit? Now that’s something our wallets can get behind. Read on for 11 changes we recommend making to your home—from the nitty-gritty fundamentals to flourishes that promise to bring you joy every single day.
This may come as a surprise, but appraisers take plumbing into heavy consideration when assigning a valuation on a home. Though re-piping sounds like a huge headache (and mess!), it’s actually rather straightforward these days. Improved technology means the whole undertaking will take less time and cost less money than you’re probably imagining. Tackle this first before your consider any superficial updates.
Double-paned windows can greatly reduce the noise factor from outside your home, as well as act as extra insulation from the cold and heat, so they’re a wise purchase. The latest technologies have also produced all sorts of energy-efficient options, which can minimise your cooling, heating, and lighting costs. Plus, the appeal is universal: Buyers will love it, and so will you!
No matter how you slice it, walls and ceilings with a textured finish are not chic. In fact, they scream outdated in a very big way. Do yourself and your home the favour and skim coat that mess away in favour of the classic, modern appeal of a smooth finish. Bonus: The clean slate means you can experiment with paint and beautiful wallpapers.
This is another one of those essential investments. If your home’s insulation is not what it should be, you may be losing around 30 per cent of your home’s heat or air. Laying insulation, and adding caulking around doors and windows, are both straightforward DIYs.
A bright, well-lit interior is fundamental to loving your home a little bit more each day. And though floor and table lamps are great décor elements, you should have a source of overhead light in every room. If you live in an older home without ceiling fixtures of any sort (many midcentury homes lack them), hire an electrician to rewire your home. While you’re at it, install dimmers to optimise your lighting throughout the day.
A renovated kitchen is one of the best investments you can make for your home. Plus, seeing as kitchens are increasingly the epicentre of homes, an updated one will make you happy every single day. Consider cabinet upgrades, new countertops, energy-efficient appliances, and overall flow—an open, airy design is always good. One word of caution: Create a budget and stick to it. Though an upgraded kitchen is a great investment (expected return is said to be 85 per cent!), you don’t want to let things get out of hand. There’s probably no need for that commercial-grade pizza oven.
Interior doors deserve to be substantial, too! In addition to better controlling sound and temperature, solid wooden doors will impart an enduring richness to your home that will greatly increase its overall value.
Nothing gives the appearance of a high-end, custom design quite like built-ins. Plus, who wouldn’t want to have a beautiful library room in their home? This aesthetic investment will have a long-term payoff, and it’s an elegant way to make any home feel personal and lived-in. The special detail won’t be lost on future buyers, either.
This one’s a no brainer, isn’t it? Gorgeous hardwood floors appeal to a wide variety of personal tastes and are simply timeless. Though carpet may be practical, it also tends to look dated, drab, and worn fast. Shop around at liquidation centres or salvage yards to yield great installation materials at a lower cost. Even affordable oak flooring looks beautiful when dressed up in a rich stain.
Along with replacing hollow core doors, you should also swap low-grade door handles and other hardware and fixtures throughout your home. If you can’t quite afford to renovate or gut your kitchen or bath, this budget-friendly alteration can be a big-impact alternative. You’ll be blown away by how transformative something as simple as sleek modern drawer pulls and shiny sink faucets can be.
Louise Desrosier for Milk Magazine
Not trying to gut that blah bathroom entirely but still want to make it shine? Want to make your home’s entryway feel like the romantic foyer of a historic Parisian flat? Us, too. Crown moulding and wainscoting can transform even the blandest of bare walls into something a little bit magical. If you live in an older home that lacks period moulding, that’s probably a sign of a shoddy remodel; do your home a solid and restore it to its former glory.
What investment are you considering for your home? Share your plans in the comments.