Americans have fallen in love with home renovations. Evidence of creative home renovations is everywhere. You open up social media and there are tons of people posting pictures of their latest creative home renovations. There are tutorials galore all over the web for help with home renovations. We have become a nation of fixer-uppers, but we are missing out on some key renovations that we should be doing.
It is estimated that about 84% of home improvement renovations are for cosmetic purposes. It makes sense we all want to live in a house that is aesthetically pleasing but while are focusing on the look are we sacrificing the function? You betcha. There are some home renovations that are being overlooked.
Energy Saving Home Renovations
While a new heating system may not be as sexy as some new granite countertops it is a home renovation that can deliver great ROI. The fact is when we are thinking about creative home renovations, we rarely think, I am going to save money on home heating oil by upgrading the heating system. We often overlook that value that some invisible renovations like a new heating system can deliver.
There are plenty of creative home renovations that can help to pay for themselves in energy savings. Energy costs climb year after year, making some changes now can mean year after year of savings instead of increased costs. Some of the renovations are things that you will likely need to address in the near future anyway. For example, if your heating system is 15 years or older, it is living on borrowed time. It is also a lot less energy efficient than the newer systems are. You can bite the bullet and be proactive and replace it before it completely kicks off.
Other simple creative home renovations you can do to improve energy efficiency include:
- Consider going solar. Solar energy services are a great option when you want to get down to that coveted zero balance due on your electric bill. How much can you save with solar energy? Tons of money. Even if you use your solar power part of the time, you will still save tons of money.
- Retrofit insulation. Yes, insulation is usually not on the top of the creative home renovations list. Insulation is often overlooked as a renovation project because it is in the walls and ceilings, who sees it? It will make a difference in your energy bill and it is a worthy project.
- Replace windows and doors. You are losing about 30% of your energy through old windows and doors.
Creative home renovations do not have to be all about how our homes look, they can be about keeping costs down. A big area that is often overlooked when it comes to renovation, in general, is the garage. It is especially overlooked when it comes to energy efficiency.
Making a few changes in your garage can make it a much more welcoming space and more energy-efficient. Simple changes like adding garage door screens can make it more pleasant to be in your garage in the spring and summer. Taking the time to declutter, and evaluate any need for repairs is also something that is largely overlooked when it comes to the garage. Fix cracks in the floor, seal out drafts, replace the garage doors if necessary to improve energy efficiency in your garage. You will make your garage a much more inhabitable space, and help to reduce overall energy costs. It is a win-win situation.
The roof is another area that we really do not think about until we notice we need roof repairs. This overlooked area of the house deserves a little attention. Your roof should be inspected at least annually and any time after a serious storm.
Some creative home renovations for your roof include things like adding dormers, making your roof more energy-efficient, and creating a living roof. At a minimum, it is important to keep up with roof inspections and repairs as they are necessary. You can get as creative as you like with your roof or not be creative at all but it is important that when you are thinking of creative home renovations that are for aesthetic purposes you do not put them ahead of roof care.
Your roof is protecting what is likely the biggest investment you ever made. You want to make sure that it always remains highly functional and able to get the job done. Here are some tips for taking care of your roof:
- Keep the gutter free of debris. Before you start that house remodeling project, make sure your gutters are cleaned out. Gutters that are clogged are not functioning. The water that gets trapped as to go somewhere and usually it is not anywhere you want it to be. Before you get to the fun creative home renovations take some time to make sure your gutters are in good shape.
- Address issues as soon as they pop up. You should not find roof debris in your yard or your driveway. If you do find debris from the roof call the roofer ASAP. The sooner you address the problem the cheaper the problem will be to fix. Quick action will minimize damage.
- Replace your roof before it fails. If your roof is getting up there in age and you have already had to have repaired a few times you might want to put those creative home renovations on the back burner. It is far better to replace your roof on your own terms than when you absolutely have to. It is a worthy investment to protect your home.
Roofing is not as appealing as new hardwood floors but you should never skip over roofing renovations to get to the fun stuff. Take care of your roof first.
How Is Your Septic System Doing?
One of the most overlooked home renovation projects is revamping the septic. Septic systems are largely ignored until the unthinkable happens and septic is backing up into the house. If roofing and energy efficiency are less than enticing home renovations, septic inspection, repair, and renovation are way down on everyone’s list of things they look forward to dealing with.
The fact is a safe highly functional septic system is a necessity for health and safety. It is something that you just cannot ignore. The average 2000 square foot home should have its septic tank pumped about every three years, but that can vary depending on the number of people that are living in the home.
There are some key indicators that you may want to put off some of those creative home renovations and put the money into your septic system:
- The smell. When a septic system is struggling you can smell it outside, when it gets really bad, you will smell it inside. Act fast and call the septic service to have things checked out.
- Strange sounds from the drains. If you hear a gurgling sound coming from the drains that can be an indicator that you have a septic problem. Call and have it checked out.
- Slow drains. If your drains are suddenly running slow it can be an indicator of bigger problems to come. Call for service.
Your septic system includes a leech field outside which can fail with time. You should not notice any spongy areas, wet spots, or pooling of water in your yard. If you notice any of these things, call for septic service. A failing leach field is a serious concern. It will require professional attention. Put off your creative home renovations until you have the problem resolved.
Bathroom remodels and kitchen remodels can be a great way to ramp up the value of your home but the fact is with a faulty septic system onboard you will never get to enjoy the renovations. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking septic system renovations if they are needed. The problems do not resolve on their own. They only get worse.
If you are sick and tired of coming up with creative home renovations to tackle sad curb appeal, it may be time to consider contacting a siding contractor. Sometimes we get so focused on improving what we have we do not see that sometimes replacement is just better.
Siding could have gone in the energy efficiency improvement section because new siding will improve your energy efficiency. It will also improve the aesthetics of your house greatly. Vinyl siding comes in a wide range of colors and styles that will instantly update your home. It also is just about maintenance-free. That means no more painting, caulking, and fussing with your siding. You just grab the water hose and spray the house down.
Durable vinyl siding will look great for years. You do not have to do anything to it like treat it or paint it, it just stays looking great all on its own. New siding can go on the list of creative home renovations because you can choose the color and style that will make your house stand out on the block.
While We Are Outside
Can we talk about how we don’t really pay attention to the doors in our homes? Sure, we may throw a coat of paint on them every couple of years, but do we really give them the care that they deserve? Doors are like everything else, they wear out, they become dated, and they lose their efficacy. New doors are sort of creative home renovations, especially if you pick impressive doors. For example, carved, custom birch wood doors would really add some wow factor.
There are benefits to making replacing doors inside and out a renovation project:
- Doors are susceptible to warping with time. Your doors may not be given the tight seal that you think they are. Doors will warp with exposure to the elements. Even things like turning the heat on or the air conditioner can affect your doors. Over time they lose the ability to give you a tight seal.
- 30% of lost energy goes right out the doors and windows. New doors will help to keep your energy loss in check.
- New doors look great.
Every part of your home comes with a life expectancy including your doors. Being proactive about replacing doors for newer more energy-efficient doors can be a great renovation project that pays you back in energy savings.
Erosion, Foundation, And Basement Moisture Problems
Ignoring what is going on under feet and opting for creative home renovations that you can see is a common phenomenon. We are human we like instant gratification but sometimes as much as you do not want to, you have to put your renovation dollars toward the things you don’t see.
If you have been dealing with moisture problems in your basement they may be coming from foundation problems that are caused by erosion. How do you fix the basement issue? You start with the erosion issue. Once you identify and fix the erosion issue (it may take a forklift service full of materials to deal with) then you fix the foundation problem, then you have professional basement waterproofing services done. Sounds like not very creative home renovations, but once you take all those steps you get to the fun part. You will have a basement area that you can use. You can transform that area into more living space, a place for the family to gather, a workout room, an office, the sky is the limit.
Basement water problems are often overlooked until the next storm dumps enough water to be a real problem (like three inches or more of water in the basement). A moisture problem in the basement is a problem for your whole house. It is a prime breeding ground for mold and mildew, both of which can trigger health problems. It also weakens the very foundation your house is built on. It is worth investing your renovation dollars in repairing the problem.
There are a lot of renovation projects that are overlooked but sometimes it is more important for the safety of your home to address the things you cannot see.