People tend to make New Year’s resolutions to improve themselves, but you can resolve to improve your home this year. From DIY projects to those that require professional help, some home improvements significantly impact the look of your home in addition to its value. The key is to make smart decisions to get the biggest bang for your buck, and that’s where our four tips come into play.

1. Improving Your Home’s Safety

Truthfully, there are some things homeowners need to do to improve home safety, but they put them off for various reasons. For instance, many people know that having their chimneys and dryer vents cleaned helps prevent fires, but these are two messy jobs that homeowners don’t prioritize. Unfortunately, homeowners suffer expensive property damage and injuries because they don’t put these tasks at the top of their to-do lists.

This year, resolve to hire professionals to clean your chimney and dryer vent. The cost is minimal compared to the property damage and hassle you’ll face when a fire occurs. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association claims chimney fires cause approximately 30% of house fires, and the U.S. Fire Administration claims 34% of home clothes dryer fires are caused by failing to clean the dryer. It’s difficult to argue against the expense of hiring professionals to clean your chimney and dryer vent when you consider the alternative.

2. Getting Organized

If you want to make the upcoming year the one that you finally reduce your stress levels, make a resolution to organize your home. Seeing clutter around your home and feeling overwhelmed by it increases stress, and having a place for each of your belongings and organizing your home minimizes stress-related physical problems like depression, ulcers, and heart disease.

You’ll also improve your physical health by organizing your home. When you have a cluttered home, you cannot dust and clean as effectively. Being exposed to dirty, dusty living conditions for a long time worsens allergies and can lead to diseases like chronic bronchitis. You’ll improve both your mental and physical health if you make this the year you resolve to get and stay organized.

3. Conducting a DIY Energy Audit

After you get organized, conduct an energy audit of your home. You have the power to become more energy efficient and save money when you conduct a DIY energy audit. Begin by locating air leaks around doors and windows and remedy them with caulk, weather stripping, or door sweeps.

Then, make sure you have adequate ceiling insulation by determining the current recommended amount of insulation for homes in your area and how much insulation you currently have. Most homeowners can handle the calculations and install insulation on their own, but you may want to hire a professional if the job seems too much for you to handle on your own.

You also need to check your windows, especially if you live in a home with several of them because you could be losing a great deal of heat through them. Make sure you have energy efficient windows. If you don’t, hire a professional to replace them for you. You will save money on your energy bills, and you will get an impressive ROI for window replacement: average-quality vinyl windows recoup about 80% of project cost in added home value.

4. Installing New Countertops

Nothing dates a home like old, stained kitchen and bathroom countertops. Installing new countertops can be expensive, especially if you choose granite, soapstone, or slate. But, countertops often are the focal point of the kitchen, and they add beauty and value to a home that potential buyers expect. According to HomeAdvisor, it costs an average of $2,902 to install new countertops. Homeowners get a better ROI by choosing mid-grade countertops within their budget while updating the look of their home and impressing house hunters.

Focus your New Year’s resolutions on improving your home. Resolve to hire professionals to handle dirtier, more complex jobs like cleaning your chimney and dryer vent and replacing your windows and countertops. You also can resolve to complete DIY home tasks like getting organized and conducting an energy audit.

Danny Knight,

Image viaPixabay by ErikaWittlieb