Some home improvements increase real estate value while others count more towards quality of life improvements. Ultimately, you still get to feel good about investing in your home, whether it be a new arbor complete with climbing vines or a practical new fiber cement siding. According to the 2022 Houzz and Home study, 55% of homeowners plan to renovate their homes in 2022, while 46% plan to decorate. Their planned expenditure on those improvements has also risen for the first time since 2018 to a median of $15,000. That represents a 50% jump from the $10,000 median spend in 2018. If you’re also looking to make improvements to your home, here are seven cool home improvements you can implement:
There’s nothing quite like a new coat of paint to breathe new life into your home. According to Houzz, it was the number one home improvement purchase among home renovators in 2021. Light fixtures followed by faucets and shower heads came next. If you need some inspiration, a good place to start is magazines, catalogs, Pinterest, and Instagram. Look to your fabrics for color inspiration and do learn some color theory. It will help you create a color scheme that won’t be jarring to the eyes. For your walls, you may want to stick to neutrals.
Even though leading paint brands such as Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore, and PPG concur that gray-green is this year’s color, 81% of interior design experts say whites and creams are the best colors to use when selling a home. They provide a clean backdrop against which your furniture and accent pieces stand out. However, Houzz’s study reported that 60% of homeowners who renovated in 2021 were long-term homeowners, which means that not everyone needs to play it safe in their color schemes. Gray-green is a subtle hue that may provide a room such as a kitchen with a nice pop of color. Other trendy colors that aren’t light shades of green include Graham and Brown’s pale and powdery blue, Dulux’s bright sky blue, Krylon’s vibrant teal hue, Pantone’s vibrant shade of periwinkle, and HGTVs washed-out indigo. If you are hesitant about bold colors, you can still be daring in bedrooms, laundry cabinets, pantries, and so on.
Before heading out to the paint store, narrow down your paint options; otherwise, you may be paralyzed by all the options. If you’re unsure about paint color, speak to a color consultant before calling the painters. They can help you create flow within your home and create the type of moods you wish to have in your home. A good color consultant will involve you in the process, working off of your opinions and preferences. Before you commit to any color, sample it first to avoid costly do-overs. Professional painters can do a great job the first time, make a relatively small mess, and clean up afterward. If you DIY the job, a home cleaning service will lighten the workload for you.
A stunning new garden is one of the best cool home improvements to keep you outdoors for longer. According to a National Gardening Association survey, 2021 saw more than half of American adults spending an additional two hours outside. Furthermore, COVID-19 saw the addition of 16 million new gardeners under 35. So whether you have a small or sprawling yard, there are plenty of ideas to help you create the perfect garden. But first, you need to study the area you’ll be planting your new garden. How much sunlight does it get? You should also read plant tags to figure out if they can survive in your region. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a handy plant hardiness zone map that allows you to input your zip code to determine which plants will thrive in your location.
The kind of garden you plant is up to you though a landscape designer can help you bring the perfect home garden design to fruition. Many more homeowners are willing to experiment with color in their gardens. You could have a go at creating a cottage garden known for its colorful mix of flowers, herbs, and edibles that seem to be overtaking your yard. They often include plants like bellflowers, daisies, coralbells, delphiniums, and foxgloves. If such controlled chaos seems too daunting, try creating a garden room that blends the outdoors with the indoors. Homeowners with limited outdoor space can plant herb gardens for consumption in a collection of pots and other containers. Don’t forget to add vertical interest to break up a flat design’s monotony. Aim for a variety of tall and short plants. And add a bird feeder while you’re at it because birds love gardens.
A home addition is quite an expense. According to HomeGuide, the average room or house addition costs between 22,500 and $74,000. Some popular additions include extra bedrooms, bathrooms, sunrooms, and bump-outs. Adding a second story is one of the most expensive additions starting at an average cost of $100,000. Here are some other average costs:
- Room = $17,000
- Bedroom = costs an average of $10,300 to $24,900
- Master Bedroom Suite = $78,000
- Bathroom = $32,000
- Kitchen = $34,000
- Family Room = $59,000
- Sunroom = $8,100 – $30,000
- Mudroom = $7,500 to $25,000
According to Angi, a 2-foot cantilevered bump-out would cost you an average of $5,000, while a 4-by-10-foot bump-out would cost an average of $30,000. Bigger bump-outs typically require additional support posts, unlike smaller ones which can be cantilevered. If you want to bring the costs down. Speak to your home remodeler about the factors that can lower the costs of your home addition. The size of the addition is typically the major factor in the cost.
The purpose of the addition also determines the price. The fewer services a room requires, the cheaper it is. These services include heating and cooling, doors and windows, plus extensive plumbing and electrical work. Other than additions, there are other ways to expand square footage, such as camel backs, garage conversions, and basement renovations. You also need to consider whether you’ll be building up or out. Custom home builders can help you determine whether your home can hold another floor or whether you are permitted to build outwards. Moving too close to the property line is an issue. Whichever cool home improvements you choose for your home addition, get a good general contractor as they can offer valuable input, obtain the correct permits, and manage the construction project.
New Energy Units
A home generator installation will keep your home running just fine in the event of a power outage. This is one of the cool home improvements you should consider, as it can even raise your property’s value. But before you run out and buy one, ask yourself whether you really need one. If these scenarios apply to you, getting a generator may be a wise investment;
- You experience frequent power outages
- You work remotely from home
- You own a sump pump
- You rely on electronic medical devices
- Your climate makes heating and cooling essential
- You use well water
- You live in a fire-risk zone (utility companies sometimes shut off power in densely wooded and drought-stricken areas in case there’s a high fire risk)
- You have plenty of cold food
According to Angi, the average cost of a 20-kilowatt generator is $5,000. This can provide power to the lights, house receptacles, and a 5-ton central air conditioner. To get an idea of what size generator you need, list every essential appliance you want running in a blackout, including their wattage, then add them all up. The average installation cost for a 20kW generator is $4,520, which adds to a total of $9,520 for the generator plus installation. If you go higher for a budget of $15,000, you can get a whole-house generator that can power an average 5,000-square-foot home. Alternatively, you could get a small portable generator for around $1,000. These have a rating of 4 kW to 10 kW. A 10kW generator can power two large appliances and several smaller ones and are good for less serious blackouts such as the occasional thunderstorm.
If you’re looking for cool home improvements on a budget, new upholstery is a great way to give your furniture a new lease on life. Even mobile homes can benefit from new upholstery. But first, you must determine whether your furniture is worthy of the treatment. Start by inspecting the frame to ensure it is made of good material, such as solid wood and that it isn’t warped or sagging. Depending on the work required to get your special piece back in good shape, you may find it better to buy new furniture instead. The average cost to upholster furniture is $715 per item. If you’re moving, you can ask a move out cleaning service whether they offer upholstery services.
When it comes to roofing, homeowners can choose between asphalt, wood shingles, wood shakes, slate, composite shingles, clay/concrete tiles, metal, or even exotic options like green roofs. For 2021, Houzz reported new roofs as the most popular exterior upgrade amongst those who renovated. It was an especially popular upgrade with long-term homeowners (23%) and recent home buyers (21%). But which is the best roofing material for your cool home improvements?
Asphalt shingles are used in more than 80% of residential roof and reroofing projects due to their affordability and durability. Three-tab shingles last between 15 to 20 years, while architectural shingles last between 20 – 30 years.
- Metal roofs = 40 to 70 years
- Wood shake = around 30 years
- Composite shingles = around 50 years
- Clay tiles = 50 to 100 years
- Slate = 75 to 200 years
According to the Office Of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), the average cost of a new roof in the US is $10,000. However, this varies greatly depending on the material, home size, slope and pitch of the roof, old roof removal, permits, and local labor fees. According to Home Advisor, labor will account for 60% of your new roof cost, while the rest goes towards the materials. Slate, copper roofs, metal shingles, clay tiles, and solar roofs are some of the most expensive roofs to install. Do check with your home insurance to know if your policy covers a roof replacement, especially if it has been damaged by acts of nature or other forms of sudden destruction.
The last of the cool home improvements you can make for your home is new windows. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), those with single-pane windows stand to save about $126 to $465 annually on energy costs if they upgrade to EnergyStar-qualified replacements certified windows. Those with double-pane windows could save about $27 to $111 if they upgraded to the same. But that isn’t the only reason you may want to consider changing your windows.
You may need more lighting in a room, increased functionality, or simply great-looking windows. You have casement windows that swing open for great airflow, picture windows that frame the outdoors beautifully, easy-to-operate sliding windows, skylights for lots of natural light, and so on. According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of replacing windows ranges from $300 to $2,100 per window, with a national average cost of $850. New windows are cool home improvements to consider if you have high energy bills, decreased window functionality, decayed frames, noise issues, and leaky windows. If you need help cleaning them, consider calling a window cleaning service for assistance.
If you’re having trouble coming up with cool home improvements, make it a point to note down things that bother you about your home. Even small improvements have the potential to really improve your quality of life. If you need any assistance with cool home improvements, contact us today.