Summer is one of the most popular times for homeowners to take on home improvement projects. While people are renovating and updating their homes year-round, summer seems to be the time when big projects and updates happen, whether it’s due to extra time or the warm, dry weather. If you’re ready to make some home updates this summer, here are some easy home updates to help you maintain a beautiful home and how to get them done.
The first thing you’ll need to consider before preparing for your easy home updates is how you’ll finance your project. Homeowners in 2018 spent between $5,000 and $10,000 improving their homes. There are a variety of home loan options you can choose from, depending on your situation. Here are some of the top financing options:
The simplest option for financing your easy home updates is to use cold, hard cash. If you’ve got some savings set aside, using that would be the easiest way to fund your project without having to worry about going into any debt. You also won’t have to worry about interest adding up that would charge you more for the project overall.
After using cash, a personal loan may be your next best option. Personal loans are the easiest to find and be approved for. There are quite a few options for interest and repayment plans, so make sure to do good research before you make a final decision. If you get approved for a personal loan, a lender could transfer the money in as little as one day.
Home Equity Loan
A home equity loan is also known as a second mortgage. It’s a loan that is paid out in a lump sum and repaid over a set amount of years. One of the best benefits of home equity loans is they generally have a fixed interest rate so you won’t have to worry about that changing over the life of your loan. They do come with one large risk, however. When you take out a home equity loan, your home is put up for collateral. If you are going to take out a home equity loan, have a plan for how you’re going to make the monthly payments. If you miss too many, you could lose your home.
Maintain Your Floors
One of the most common and easy home updates is to maintain the quality of your flooring. Especially in high traffic rooms such as the kitchen or living room, you want to make sure you are keeping the flooring, whether hardwood or carpet, clean and in good shape. Well maintained flooring can take the look of a room from shabby to high quality.
Maintaining hardwood floors can often be difficult if you don’t know the proper steps to take. But there are a few everyday things you can do to keep up with maintenance:
- Clean spills immediately: Using a dry cloth, wipe up any spilled liquid immediately. Moisture that sits on or in the cracks of hardwood flooring can cause mildew and damage to the wood.
- Use furniture pads: To avoid extra scratches on the hardwood flooring, use furniture pads. This is especially important for chairs that move frequently. You may also consider putting a rug under your couches and living room chairs.
- Vacuum and sweep weekly: By sweeping or vacuuming up dirt and debris weekly, you’ll keep it from building up in the cracks.
- Use a cleaner specifically formulated for hardwood floors: These types of cleaners shine and help to maintain your hardwood flooring. Use these at least once a month.
On the list of easy home updates is carpet maintenance. Depending on how worn down or used the carpet in a certain room is, there are a few options you can choose from. The first option is to simply get your carpet cleaned. A good quality carpet cleaning can not only make your carpet look newer by cleaning out dirt, but it can also make it look better by fluffing up downtrodden spots. If your carpet has stained spots, some cleaners may be able to get them out. Otherwise, you may need to consider replacing the carpet entirely.
Update Your Roof
One major project that you should always invest time and money in is the update your roof. This definitely wouldn’t be considered one of the easy home updates you could pick from, but once you’ve taken the time to update your roof and get a good quality option installed, it will make small updates like replacing missing shingles, much more doable and easy.
Updating a roof is not only important for the looks and value of your home, but it will also keep you from having to pay for repairs due to leaks or debris that can get into your home through a shoddy roof. Before you invest in updating your roof, hire an inspector to perform a roof leak detection, and get any required repairs done.
Another great option for easy home updates is to do maintenance in your kitchen. There are quite a variety of ways you can update or maintain your kitchen, ranging from quick and budget-friendly to long-scale and expensive. Depending on whether you’re just trying to maintain your home or increase the value for a potential future sale, here are some easy home updates you may consider:
If you are looking to maintain your kitchen for your personal use, a great option is to update your kitchen appliances. Especially if they are the same appliances that were installed when you purchased the home, they may be ready for an update. Because this is a more expensive update, you’ll want to start by replacing the most used or most in need appliances. These will usually be the oven or stove. If you are going to replace your kitchen/freezer, you’ll need to do some planning and scheduling to ensure that your food stays frozen, cool, and fresh. Replacing your fridge and then having to replace all of your food as well will end up raising your total bill by quite a bit.
If you’re looking for easy home updates that will have a great return on investment and add to the value of your home, you may consider replacing or refinishing your cabinets. The great thing about this project is there are a few different options you can pick from depending on your budget.
The first option is to simply paint the cabinets. This is a simple change that has a huge impact on the look of your kitchen. The great thing about this option is it’s much cheaper as you only have to pay for painting supplies and is usually something you can do which saves you money for labor. You can also replace the hardware to match the new paint job which will add to the new look.
Another option is to restrain your cabinets. This only works if they’re made of wood. This option also takes a bit more work than painting because you’ll need to do some serious sanding to get rid of any topcoat or preexisting stain on the wood. However, this is still one of the cheaper options as you can likely do this yourself and buy the tools needed from your local hardware store.
The last and most expensive option is to entirely replace the cabinets. While this option is the most expensive, this will add the most value to your home of all the options. It also gives you the most space to customize and get the exact look that you want. Replacing your cabinets allows you to pick the shape, material, stain, color, hardware, and more. Keep in mind though, unless you have the skills to entirely rip out and replace your cabinets, you will have to pay extra for professional labor to get the job done.
If you are planning to sell your home and want to add to its total value, the best option is to take on a kitchen remodeling project. This could include replacing old appliances and making sure they all match, renovating your cabinets, refinishing your floors, painting the walls, moving counter space, and more. A kitchen remodel is something you will want to leave up to professionals as it may be required to move plumbing and electrical wires. It will also take more time and you may have to plan to be out of your home for a few weeks as the remodels take place.
Update Major Systems
While updating major home systems may not seem like they’d fall in the category of “easy home updates”, they are extremely important and shouldn’t be put off regardless of budget. Home systems such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical work are vital for keeping your home running and comfortable.
Your heating and cooling system (HVAC) is the number one home system you need to make sure is running well. If you are concerned that your HVAC system isn’t working properly or is having issues, make sure to get an inspector out right away to look for where the issue could be coming from. Often people think their system needs to be overhauled and there is a fixable issue that’s causing the problem. However, if your system does need to be overhauled, take your time to find a good, trustworthy professional to get the job done. The last thing you want is to pay a large sum to have it redone only to find out it was installed poorly.
Maintenance For Doors
Maintaining your doors and windows may not seem like an exciting update, but these kinds of projects are easy home updates that can have a big impact not only on the look of your home but the monthly utility bills you pay as well. Regardless of whether you’re planning to sell your home in the future or just want to maintain it for your personal use and comfort, this is a project you should not forget about.
Exterior doors have a big impact on how a home looks. For example, an old wooden door that has peeling paint and spots that are beginning to rot can make your home look shabby and run down, even if the rest of your home is well kept. Not only that, but an older door could also be negatively impacting your utility bills as the seals will likely be compromised. High door prices are one thing that many homeowners are surprised by but keep in mind that if you purchase a good quality door and have it installed properly, it will last a long time. A high price for a good quality option will save you money in the long run versus purchasing a cheaper door that you have to replace more frequently.
If you have doors with sliding screens, you’ll also want to keep those maintained and in good quality. While they are not usually on the front of your home, maintaining these screens is in your best interest. If you tend to leave doors open during the warmer months for airflow, a compromised screen could let in pests and bugs. Especially if you have a garage door screen and spend time in their doing work or projects, make sure to keep those screens updated, in good quality, and hole-free.
These easy home updates will surely help you as you work to maintain a beautiful home. As you move forward with your home updates, these projects will fit into whatever budget and timeline you have. Make sure to focus first on the necessities and then move to the aesthetic options. As you do so, you’ll have a home that is not only well-maintained but also a place to create memories with your family all year round.