The excitement drawn from being a young homeowner is a feeling that should never be lost. The good news is routinely making around the house home improvements can help you do just that. However, not all renovation projects will yield the same results; some will improve your home’s aesthetics, while others will make it more functional. Here are six around the house home improvements to consider before you decide on what to proceed with.
1. HVAC Systems
Nothing can increase your home’s comfort levels like ensuring the HVAC system functions optimally. Besides that, you’ll get to enjoy lower monthly energy bills. At this point, you’re likely wondering, ‘What around the house home improvements can I make for my HVAC system?’ Examples of projects to consider include professional air sealing, upgrading your home insulation, installing a smart thermostat, upgrading to a heat pump water heater, installing solar panels, boiler installation, and getting energy-efficient window replacements.
There are instances when upgrading your heating and cooling system may be the most viable option. Air-source heat pumps are a reliable and affordable HVAC solution. According to Sealed, they can help homeowners save between 4.3 and 7.1% when they sell their houses. In addition to cleaning and dehumidifying the air, these pumps serve as two appliances, heating and cooling the house in the summer and winter.
They consume only one-third of the energy that conventional HVAC systems do, and when used in conjunction with improved insulation and expert air sealing, they can eliminate the majority of energy waste. This is a perk for customers looking for environmentally friendly heating and cooling systems, particularly if converting from electric heat pumps to heating oil. Always hire a professional to handle any HVAC repair or upgrade.
Homeowners are increasingly investing in home improvements that work to lower energy costs, especially passive and net zero homes. One of the ways of achieving this is by converting your home HVAC system from using fossil fuels as the energy source to electricity. Transitioning to electricity can increase comfort while also improving air quality.
Burning fossil fuels to run your HVAC system puts you at a higher risk of complications usually linked to carbon monoxide exposure and gas leaks. Switching to electricity can lead to a 103% return on investment in HVAC conversion, according to Sealed. The qualitative data indicates that it improves air quality, which is better for the planet, and lowers energy costs.
2. Septic and Sewer Improvements
It’s easy for septic and sewer systems to be forgotten when making around the house home improvements. There are stark differences between a sewer and septic system, and the considerations taken into account when installing shower systems, toilets, and sinks all depend on whether you’re using a sewer or septic waste drainage system. The main difference is that sewer systems are set up by the local government, and septic systems are in-compound waste management systems built by the homeowner.
Generally, sewer systems require less maintenance by homeowners, and a monthly fee is usually paid to the local government providing the service. On the other hand, septic systems don’t require the homeowner to pay any fees to the city. Still, they may need servicing from septic tank cleaners and septic system repair companies occasionally, and a fee will be charged for these services. Septic systems generally have a lot of ongoing maintenance requirements.
If your property uses a septic waste disposal system and is near salt ponds, getting an upgrade is in your best interest. Conventional septic systems around such critical resource areas aren’t suitable due to nitrogen emissions. A denitrification system is used to address this problem. It entails the addition of a pre-treatment unit stocked with microorganisms that change the kind of nitrogen in the system.
The system uses bacteria in the pre-treatment unit to convert the nitrogen in the waste. The waste is channeled back through the septic tank before being dumped into the leach field. The ethanol from the septic tank is pumped up to the disposal field through a little pump chamber. Salt ponds are critical resource areas that serve as habitats for marine organisms and contribute to the coastal ecosystem. So it’s important to do everything you can to avoid contaminating them.
Sewer cleanouts are crucial pipes located outside homes to prevent sewage backups and floods. They transfer waste contents from other pipes to the city sewer line. Sometimes, these pipes get clogged, which can cause a load of issues if not addressed. Clogged pipes can be caused by improper installation, sagging, tree root interrupters, or by flushing down household objects like flushable wipes and grease.
Qualified plumbers can determine the condition of sewer pipes by running a camera through them and tracking the camera head using a locator. Scoping sewer lines is essential to prevent major backups and ensure the health of the sewer system. Professionals recommend doing it every two years, especially for tenants and homeowners. Older houses may not have cleanouts, and burying them can lead to further damage or more expensive repairs. If you notice signs of a clogged sewer line, contact a qualified utility contractor to look into it.
3. Decorative Projects
Decorative projects are a must-have on your list of around the house home improvements. This applies both in the house as well as outside. For your indoor spaces, consider: installing new ceiling dome kits; kitchen upgrades; door knob replacements; bathroom additions; window treatments; and making use of functional decorative furniture. You can install balcony lighting, paint the building, build a deck or patio, or create gardens and fountains for the outdoors. It’s important to get advice from a professional interior designer if you lack the knack for your indoor decorative needs.
Canisters are a popular indoor decor piece placed in bathrooms and kitchens. They provide a visually pleasing way to store daily-use items on the countertop. Natural materials like wood or stone create a spa-like feel, while ceramic or glass canisters exude delicate elegance. Solid canisters are preferred due to their versatility and ease of swapping out storage items. Wall pegs or hooks are also great for adding visual interest to blank spaces, such as in the bathroom, where a mini picture frame and wooden wall pegs can hang bath towels.
Outdoor spaces are versatile and can be used for various activities, such as breakfast, meditation, or gardening. Define the style and vibe using a motif concept to create a functional space. Choose a color palette that contrasts with the interior for a vibrant outdoor space; you can use a contrasting and foam palette, such as pink, yellow, teal, or orange. Combine cool colors like blue, green, and teal for a relaxed atmosphere. Use what you have at home and be creative with your exteriors, like using decorative stamped concrete slabs interchangeably along your outdoor pavement instead of ordinary ones.
4. Electrical Wiring
It’s time to upgrade the electrical wiring in your house when you start getting high power bills, you start worrying over the potential of a fire breakout due to electrical malfunctioning, or you’re stressed by several broken electrical appliances around the house. Heavy-duty appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners can corrode their wiring, causing electrical overloads that lead to increased utility costs and a higher risk of a fire breakout. When buying new wiring for your around the house home improvements project, consider the use of the wire and whether you’ll need ones with indoor or outdoor insulation.
Lack of adequate electric grounding can lead to tingling sensations and appliance damage. To prevent this, install three-pronged outlets for major appliances. These come with the earthing terminal, ensuring excess electricity goes into the ground and consequently prolonging the longevity of your electrical appliances. This protects against electrocution and ensures a safe home environment. All qualified residential electricians will tell you that improving your home’s electrical, audio, video, and telephone wiring is crucial for optimizing your digital and communications experience.
To save money on your electricity bill, consider upgrading your main switch panel if the current wiring is in order as part of your around the house home improvements. If your house has a 100 amp supply, install a 200 amp panel instead of replacing the entire wiring system. Smart meters can also help save electricity bills by monitoring room heating habits and shutting off appliances when not in use.
If your home is 10-20 years old, it’s crucial to have an electrical inspection by a licensed electrician. If issues like circuit breaks, tripping fuses, malfunctioning appliances, flickering lights, or old exposed wiring are discovered, it’s time to replace your home’s electrical wiring. Quality wiring can last a century, so let the pros handle the job.
Before planning a home improvement project, it’s essential to understand the motivation behind the project before engaging in around the house home improvements. This can include maintenance, which may involve updating the electrical and plumbing system; updating rooms, which could entail replacing outdated materials and adding new appliances; Trying out new styles, where the main aim is bringing the home in line with current interior design trends; getting ready to sell which typically involves making minor repairs, applying fresh paint, or installing trendy backsplashes to appeal to buyers; and lastly to improve energy efficiency, energy-efficient upgrades, such as solar panels, insulation, or a smart thermostat, can be added to help reduce energy waste and utility bills. With the reason for renovation in mind, you can better decide what exactly you’re remodeling.
If you’ve decided it’s maintenance, maintenance-related projects often include plumbing, electrical, automation, roof, heating, cooling, water heater, ventilation, insulation, and structural or foundation upgrades. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most popular remodeling projects among homeowners because they’re the most personal areas in the house. Permits may be required for structural work, such as additions, electrical work, and plumbing changes.
Demolition is often necessary when remodeling and making around the house home improvements. Depending on your project, you’re likely to demolish and be required to dispose of the replaced sections. Most homeowners overlook this huge undertaking. So, to begin, start by renting a large dumpster for the waste resulting from the demolition. Go on to carefully demolish all of the areas of the house following the renovation plan.
6. Pool Installation
Pools in a home add enjoyment to the members living in it; aesthetically, they are so beautiful that they can easily be placed as the home’s centerpiece. Pools also serve as an exercise medium. They provide relaxation and can promote mental health benefits. An outdoor pool will specifically help you get out of the house more. This exposes you to the benefits of sunlight and gives you ample opportunity to create memories with your family.
When building a pool, you must choose between installing an in-ground or above-ground pool. In-ground pools add value to a home’s landscape but require higher initial investment and strict maintenance. Above-ground pools are more convenient because no excavation or underground pipes are required, they cost less, and they have an easier winter preparation process. However, they’re smaller and have a shorter life span, making them suitable for swimming laps or hosting water volleyball matches. An above-ground pool is best if you only want something to cool the kids off on a hot summer day.
In-ground pools offer a higher return on investment due to their larger size and flexibility. Small in-ground backyard pools are typically 10×20 feet with a depth of 5.5 feet. In contrast, larger luxury pools can reach 18×36 feet with multiple depths. These pools can be customized to any dimension or shape, with common shapes being rectangles or kidney beans. An in-ground pool is usually laid out, then form boards are placed, and the pool elevation is determined. Excavation is then done to dig the pool to the proper depth. To construct a pool, consult a professional pool designer who can help you determine your desired layout, feasibility, ideal positioning, and resources for pool supplies.
Around the house home improvements are sometimes overlooked because they’re often costly and time-consuming. Still, one can’t overemphasize how beneficial they are. As a young homeowner, your home says a lot about you and the principles guiding your life choices. You want your space to reflect your personality and design preferences. You can use this read as a guide.