7 Practical Home Improvement Ideas You Can Start Today

Your home may be your castle, but that doesn’t mean you have to like every feature of it. Many of the most common complaints can be remedies without undertaking a major remodel. The right home improvement project can help you add space, increase efficiency or simply update its look.

1. Remake Unfinished Space

Homes with full basements offer an excellent opportunity for expansion without disturbing the exterior of your home too much. If water is an issue at all you will want to address that first. Internal basement waterproofing systems can be added to channel moisture away from the walls and into a sump pump. Elevated floors will reduce ceiling height a bit, but may be worth it to make the room more comfortable. Because your basement is at least partially underground, you will also want to make sure there is an accessible exit in case of an emergency. If you have standard windows, adding basement egress window wells can supply much needed natural light and a safe way out of the basement.

2. Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint

Changing the paint color in a home has an immediate and measurable impact on its appearance. According to proponents of color psychology, the shades you use can impact how you feel and behave within each room. Choose calming and relaxing shades for bedrooms and bright, cheery colors for areas where the family congregates the most.  If you are thinking of selling the house soon, a fresh coat of paint on the front door can enhance first impressions with prospective buyers.

3. Refresh the Landscaping

Spend a week and take on your home’s landscaping for a dramatic change. Prune back trees and shrubs so they are not up against your house. This will discourage pests from entering and minimize the potential for damage from limbs during storms. Plant some attractive flowers along walkways to add a pop of color. Perennials will require less work over the long term, but may not give the season-long display you can often get with annuals. Add a few planters near the entrance for a burst of easily maintained color.

4. Upgrade HVAC Systems

The heating and air conditioning units in a house are generally the biggest energy draws. Upgrading to a new system can save you a substantial amount of money over the long term. If that isn’t in your budget, consider adding a programmable or smart thermostat to help you increase the current system’s efficiency. Changing out filters and performing routine maintenance can extend the life of an HVAC system and help them run more efficiently, too.

5. Clean Out the Gutters

Gutters are more than decorative; they channel rainwater away from a house’s foundation to minimize the potential for damage. When they are clogged, gutters cannot perform their intended purpose. Take the time at least once or twice a year to inspect and clean any debris out of them. Check the downspouts by running water down them and watching the outlet. If they are attached to a drain system, look for signs of overflow at any connections. Installing filters or screens along gutters can make this task easier down the line.

6. Swap Out Kitchen Fixtures

If you really want to undertake a kitchen remodel, but don’t want the hassle of hearing out cabinets, walls and appliances, you can always just do a quick refresh. Updating the cabinet knobs, drawer pulls and faucet fixtures in your kitchen can dramatically change its appearances without a major overhaul. Look for options that complement your current or planned decor but that won’t become dated right away.

7. Increase Insulation

Adding insulation to a home is a fairly straightforward and affordable project that can reduce drafts and increase its overall comfort level. It will also cut back on your heating and cooling costs. Take time to learn about the different types of insulation that are available and then choose one that is a good fit for your intended application. This will maximize the impact of your efforts.

The right home improvement project can increase the value of your home and make it more functional and attractive. If you are planning to take on a DIY project, be sure you have the right tools, supplies, and information before you get started. This will help you avoid mishaps along the way.

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