By Brooke Chaplan
With the New Year just beginning, it's time to think about resolutions to improve your life. Many people give up bad habits related to their health or finances while others start something new, such as taking a college class or changing jobs.
One of the most important improvements you can make this year involves your home. Make 2020 the year when you make key home improvements, such as these, that'll make it more valuable and appealing:
Foundation and Roof
Start with the basic essentials of your home. Check the foundation for cracks, settling or movement, and have those problems expertly assessed. Do the same for your roof to ensure adequate protection from the elements and to prevent interior damage from leaks due to excessive rain, snow or ice. Keeping these two areas secure will help to ensure your home remains sturdy for years to come.
To increase efficiency and save money on utility bills, schedule inspection and maintenance service calls for your home's utilities. Typically, these include the HVAC system, plumbing and electricity. If those systems are operating effectively but your utility costs remain high, it may be a good idea to add more insulation to your attic or behind the walls for extra protection in keeping your house warm during the colder months. Update your electric panel or wiring if needed to avoid possible shocks or fire in case of a short circuit or lightning strike. Repair plumbing drips and leaks and ensure drainage is working as it should, so water leaks or backups don't cause problems.
If your walls and floors are in generally good condition, consider giving your rooms a fresh coat of paint. New colors will brighten your home, and it's a fairly basic and inexpensive way to change the look of various areas. Add coordinating accents like throw pillows or area rugs, and your house can be automatically updated with a clean, attractive look.
When the weather permits, give your lawn a makeover in time for the spring growing season. Lay down fresh mulch to replace the old and trim dead branches from trees and shrubs. Replace dead plants with new ones, and consider adding patio pavers to enhance the outdoor look of your property.
With minimal cost and effort, you can keep these home improvement resolutions in the year ahead. Benefits include a sense of pride in achieving your goals, as well as daily enjoyment of your renovated living space and lawn!
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, N.M. She recommends checking your house’s insulation. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan