So, you’re ready to do some home improvement but don’t know where to start? Well, rest easy because we’ve got some great tips and tricks for you. Whether you’re selling your house or want to spruce it up and make a warm environment for you and your family, home improvement doesn’t always have to cost you an arm and a leg. Best of all, you can do most of it yourself. From weekend home improvement projects to best home improvements to increase value, there are plenty of things to improve your home. But, before you hop in, you’ll want to keep some things in mind. So, get out your toolbox, here are 25 Smart Home Improvement Tips You Need to Know.
Being zealous to take on any project, it can be easy to forget basic safety. Sometimes you might try to cut corners to save some money to the detriment of your safety. But, no matter what, always wear the appropriate equipment whether it be eyewear, gloves, foot protection, or something else.
Buy a good ladder and be careful
300 people die from falling off ladders each year and 164,000 people end up in the emergency room. On top of that, the United States is the world leader in ladder deaths. So, buy a strong, sturdy ladder, and follow appropriate safety guidelines.
Hanging pictures is the most frustrating task when decorating your new home. While there are numerous gimmicky tools to help you solve this problem, all you need is some blue painters tape. Stretch the tape from one hole to the other and then place the tape on the wall where you want the picture to be. Hammer in the nails at each end of the tape.
Measure thrice, cut once
Whenever doing any project, always remember to measure thrice (that’s 3 times) and cut once. Be meticulous, take your time, and be sure what you’re doing is exact. Otherwise, you might make more work for yourself down the road.
Invest in energy saving improvements
If you’re a homeowner, no one has to tell you energy is expensive. It can suck the money right out of your wallet. A top priority should be finding the energy holes in your house and fixing them. It could be as easy as replacing your light bulbs to LEDs, upgrading your appliances, getting a smart thermostat, or installing better insulation.
Close your closet doors
Speaking of saving on energy, you should shut your closet doors regularly. Yes, it might sound ridiculous, but it’s true. Making sure your closet doors are shut insulates your house and saves on energy.
Invest in some quality tools
Ditch the cheap tools you got for Christmas or those old tools you’ve been using since college and go invest in some quality tools that you can use for years. It shouldn’t have to be said, but having good tools will make your job much easier.
Make your own cleaning solutions
If you want to keep your house fresh and clean, save some money, and stay healthier, then make your own cleaning solutions. There are plenty of easy recipes online without the harsh chemicals of store-bought cleaners.
Remember to replace the furnace filter
Let’s face it, most people forget to replace the furnace filter. A clogged up filter will put extra strain on the blower, making it work harder and potentially wrecking your furnace in the process. Set a reminder on your calendar to replace the filter regularly. Depending on the filter, you might have to replace it once a month or once every three months. Regardless, make sure to replace it.
Turn down your hot water heater
Usually, a hot water heater is set at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but it doesn’t need to be that scalding hot. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends putting it down to 120 degrees, instead.
Find the projects that'll give your home the most value
If you’re looking to sell your house, it goes without saying you’ll want to spruce up the property. However, it doesn’t make sense to put money into projects that won’t give you much of a return. Once you’ve figured out what those are for you, prioritize them by value and start checking them off the list once completed.
Replace cabinet pulls
Maybe you want to upgrade your kitchen but don’t have the money. An easy and quick way to give your kitchen a tiny spruce is to update the cabinet pulls in your kitchen. You can do it yourself, and it won’t break the bank.
Depending on the age of your faucets, you might need to replace them. Whether hard water has damaged them, or they’re not cosmetically appealing anymore, replacing a faucet is easy and fairly inexpensive.
Install a shower timer
If you have kids, or if you’re honest with yourself and know you stay in the shower too long, installing a shower timer might be just what you need. It’s easy and will help you reduce the amount of water you use.
Replace your garage door
It might sound strange, but replacing your garage door can give you one of the highest returns on investment, approximately 82.5 percent. If you get a little better-looking door than you already have, it’ll greatly improve your house, make it sell faster, and for more.
Replace your front door
While you’re replacing doors, you’ll want to turn to your front door next. Upgrade to a steel entry door, and you’ll likely see a 101.8 percent return on investment.
Replacing outside light fixtures
Outside lighting fixtures near your entryways and garage can look pretty worn and rusty over time. If yours look like they need to be replaced, there’s no easier way to give your house good curb appeal than replacing them.
Remove popcorn ceilings
Everyone loves popcorn, but today, unfortunately, no one loves popcorn ceilings. They scream outdated. The bad news is this isn’t an easy process and requires many steps and patience to see it through, including asbestos testing if your house was built before the 80’s.
Painting the interior trim
Painting the interior trim is no small feat, but if your house has an outdated trim, giving it a modern and updated look will certainly improve the quality of the home. Unfortunately, this will require patience and plenty of research. Use the wrong brushes or rush the project and you might do more harm than good.
Know when to get a contractor
Some home improvement projects can easily be done by a novice repairman. Do a little research, maybe ask a friend to give you a hand, and get the task done. Others, however, are much more difficult and should not be done by an unskilled professional. Know when to call a contractor or professional when a job seems like too much. It’ll give you peace of mind knowing it was done right.
Fresh coat of paint
If you want to sell your house, putting up a neutral coat of paint will help make your house look new, clean, and fresh. Or, if you’re sticking around, putting up some color will certainly make you feel more at home. You’ll be simply amazed at what a change it will make!
Turn a closet into a home office
Who said you needed a large home office? If you’re looking for a home office, but you’re tight on space, you can convert your closet into one.
Solar energy has become the new thing to do. Installing solar panels will save you money in the long run on energy costs, and if you do it before 12/31/2019, the U.S. government will give you a 30% tax credit.
Do some landscaping
Not all landscaping has to be done by a professional. Whether you want to add a stone path, do a little gardening, or just improve the look of your lawn, a little bit of work on the outside of your house can go a long way.
Replace a shower head
If you haven’t’ replaced your shower head in a while, it might be time to replace it, especially if you have hard water. Hard residue and scum can build up over time, reducing the water pressure. Fortunately, replacing a shower head is cheap, easy, and will greatly improve your showers.