Every homeowner will aspire to have the perfect home, and home improvement projects are the way to achieve those goals. There are lots of areas across your house that you can look at improving, some which will improve your property value and others that will benefit your energy efficiency.
Every improvement you make to your home is somewhat of an investment if it achieves either of those things, even better if it achieves both. Improving your home is also a great way to put your personal stamp on it, and decorating rooms to your taste can make you feel happier spending time in those spaces.
There are plenty of great benefits to home improvement, so here is a list of 20 great projects to get started on:
One of the biggest home improvements you can make is making your home eco-friendly and energy efficient. Installing systems and upgrading your home to meet better standards will help to save you money as well as make your home better for the environment.
To improve the energy-efficiency of your home and rely more on green energy, there are several steps you can take. San Diego is a city that prides itself on eco-friendlier investments and improvements, and you should try to meet these ideals with your own home. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Solar Panels
One of the easiest and most popular sources of green energy for your home, solar panels are very popular throughout San Diego, and most people already have them. There are plenty of great reasons they are a great investment, especially if you are striving to be eco-friendlier.
With just a little research, you will find the many solar panel myths to be nothing more than just myths, and the benefits clearly make them a worthy investment. Its super easy to get solar-panels fitted if you are living in San Diego, as many companies exist for this purpose and you have lots of worthy choices to take your pick from.
- Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
With the hot and cold weather transitions in San Diego, replying on our heating and cooling systems is something we all do. Heating and AC are big areas for money loss if your system isn’t running as efficiently as it could be. Getting a new heating and AC system fitted could save you lots of money and improve your energy rating.
Once you have your solar panels fitted, you can also get them linked to your new green energy source. Whether you need a new system fitted or just AC repair or AC tune up, you can find great heating and AC services at sempersolaris.com.
This is a local San Diego-based company that also deals with solar panels and roofing and offer great, expert advice and assistance. They are familiar with the rules and regulations for San Diego and can fit and install your new system, or even new roofing and solar panels, correctly and professionally.
- Upgrading Windows and Doors
If your windows and doors are old and out-of-date, upgrading to new fitted windows and doors from modern materials means no more drafts, making your home instantly more energy efficient.
Not only do new doors and windows improve the aesthetic of your home as a stylish upgrade, they also help to regulate the temperature of your home. A functional part of every home, opting for new modern solutions will improve your home entirely.
Insulation is also something that has improved over the decades, as we are finding out which materials are most effective at insulating the home, without costing the environment. It may take a little research and matter of opinion to decide which kind of insulation works best, but if your insulation has not been looked at for over a decade, it is worth getting it checked out.
Whether you choose to add more insulation or re-do it entirely is up to you, but it can make a big difference. Insulation helps to regulate your home’s temperature, so make sure your insulation is up to scratch.
- Using Programmable Thermostats
You will probably have heard about programmable thermostats, including those you can control on-the-go from your phone. Making this upgrade might seem like a small change, but it can make a big difference to your daily life and in reducing your energy bills.
Having a programmable thermostat puts you more in control of when your heating comes on, so you can easily change it depending on your daily circumstances. Rather than relying on the traditional, outdated system, you should switch to the one that puts you in control.
- Installing Suitable Appliances
When choosing your appliances, it’s easy to opt for the standard, cheaper options, but investing in savvier models can save you money in the long-run. You should take care to look at the energy ratings on appliances before purchasing them, as you want to pick the ones that use electricity and water most effectively and efficiently. Make sure your appliances are energy-saving, eco-friendlier and energy efficient to save money on bills.
Updating Your Living Space:
Your living room and the rooms you spend the most time in should be both functional and inspiring. If your room is outdated or lacks oomph, give it a well-needed makeover. You want the space to feel inviting and comfortable, but also offer the practical elements too. Here are some ways you can make the room more unique, functional or just feel fresher:
- New Fireplace
The fireplace is a feature that should stand proudly in your living space, an essential focal point and feature piece in any living room. While it may not necessarily be home to an open log fire or a wood burning stove, whatever you make of your fireplace, it can be an attractive center in your space.
If your current fireplace isn’t doing its part, getting a new fireplace fitted can really elevate the space. There are lots of designs and styles for fireplaces – should you have preference for modern and sleek or large and traditional, you have lots of great options to choose from.
- Changing the Layout
Sometimes the easy solution to updating your space, is to re-organize the layout of the room. Once you have lived in the room for more than a year, you get to know what works and what doesn’t, and a simple move around of seating and tables can make the space feel completely different.
Whether you are a believer of Feng Shui or not, the layout and arrangement of a room can make a big difference to the atmosphere and functionality of a space, so play around a bit.
- Improving the Lighting
One of the big players in interior design is lighting; getting the lighting right can be tricky, but it is such an effective way of maximizing a room’s potential. Working with what you have already, changing the shades and fittings can easily improve your space.
Altering the height or length of lights and the fixture style will change the dynamics of the room greatly. Sometimes, you just need to add a standing lamp or table lamp to make a room work better. If you want to boost the eco-friendliness of a space, changing your lightbulbs and adding dimmer switches is also a great improvement to make.
Having more control over the lighting helps you to use it more efficiently and effectively. If you’re into technology, you could also consider getting smart-lighting so that you can easily set lights to different brightness levels and switch them on and off, all from your mobile phone.
A living space should ooze comfort and be a welcoming space for guests and your family. Make sure you have plenty of seating options available and cushions and blankets easily accessible. If you sit on your couch and find it isn’t comfortable, it’s time to get a new one.
Having the right couch can make your living room so much better, so if it’s a room you spend lots of time in, invest in a decent couch.
When it comes to the floor, your first step is to deep-clean. Carpet cleaners, steamers and a new coat of wax on your hardwood floors can make a huge difference and revitalize existing flooring. If the floor just doesn’t polish-up or the carpets are worn down too much, it’s time to replace them.
New flooring is a big improvement but also makes a big difference. You should always opt for flooring that is built to last wherever possible, because while the price tag might be bigger, the longer it lasts you, the better. Solid hardwood floors are a great option, and you could even invest in underfloor heating.
You can then add a nice soft touch with a large rug to add some comfort and style to the room, which is much easier to replace than a new carpet.
Spice Up the Kitchen:
For some people, the kitchen is the heart of the home, and if your kitchen is big and welcoming, then you might prefer to spend most of your time here. A large and spacious kitchen is every cook’s dream, but while you can’t always expand the size of your kitchen, you can make some improvements that will revitalize the space.
- Tiling and Splash backs
A new coat of paint always works wonders, but in the kitchen, you also need to look at the space between your cabinets. Adding patterned, or even plain tiles can really elevate your kitchen and freshen it up. Splash backs are easy and simple, but tiling can look stunning if you are picky with which tiles you use.
It is sometimes a job you can do by yourself too, so if you want a project you can DIY, try your hand at tiling. Tiling can be functional too, as it protects your walls from splashes and is easy to wipe-clean, so your kitchen can stay clean and hygienic. You can really add style and personality with your tile choices and add a pop of color and interest to the room.
Lighting in the kitchen is also super important, and there are lots of great ways you can add it to the space. One of the quickest ways to improve your kitchen space is by adding under-counter lights, which instantly improve your space and make it more functional.
LED strips are easy to fit and install and look great too. If you have an island counter in your kitchen or combined kitchen dining room, then low hanging lights above the table look great too. There are a variety of great lighting combos to try out in your kitchen, just make sure you ask an electrician to safely install fittings for you, as this isn’t something you should try to do yourself unless you are qualified.
- Adding a New Faucet
If your sink and faucet are looking tired, replacing them is an instant improvement to the space. You can find some clever faucets that have extending heads and different flow settings.
Even better, you could install a water filter so you can get fresh, filtered water, straight from your kitchen sink. Just make sure that the under-sink space is big enough to accommodate a water filter or make room for one by decluttering the cabinet.
- Open Storage
It might not be everyone’s taste, but open storage shelving can look great in kitchens. Display your favorite cookbooks and decant dried goods into glass jars for a decorative touch. Dried pastas look great in glass jars, and if you are trying to be eco-friendlier, you may already be used to buying in bulk.
Buying dried goods in bulk or from ‘fill your own container’ stores means you will already have plenty of jars ready to display on your shelving. You can also use them to display your favorite tableware, plants or your coffee bean collection. Having shelving in kitchens adds more storage space and can be a chance to add an interesting feature to the room.
- New Countertops
If you don’t want to go all out on an entire kitchen renovation, replacing the countertops is an easy way to improve the space, without changing the entire kitchen. You can get countertops cut to your measurements and then you will just need an extra pair of hands to get them fitted in. The different materials available for countertops can really change the style and look of the room.
If your cabinets are looking a bit worse for wear or drab and dull, there are so many easy improvements you can make, without ripping out all of the units. Sand down the doors, add primer and a new lick of paint, and they can look brand new.
You should also switch out the hardware, new handles or drawer knobs can easily make a difference to the space. Give the inside of the cabinets a good clean and add cabinet space savers like shelves to stack cans inside the cupboards or to keep things organized.
Freshen Up your Bathroom:
Bathrooms are a big project if you renovate the whole room and get everything replaced, which is definitely worth doing every so often. There are also other ways you can improve both your bathroom, guest toilet or powder room.
- Fitting a New Bathroom
The easiest and most dramatic change to any bathroom is to get full remodel. Modern and sleek bathrooms can improve the value of your home, as most people want a modern, clean bathroom versus a dated and aged one. It can be a big investment to get a new bathroom fitted, but the result is totally worth it.
There are so many great choices now, so you can pick out the kind of bath, shower, sink unit and toilet you want, as well as all of the fittings and faucets and the shower type you want. Walk-in showers look great against tiled walls, and free-standing baths are an elegant choice.
Make sure you browse catalogs for inspiration before picking out your final choice, as there are so many great options to choose between.
- Sleek Storage
Whether you replace all of your bathroom, or just update it a little with a fresh coat of paint and a good scrub, don’t forget to improve storage too. Many bathrooms now include fitted storage cabinets around the sink and toilet, but you can also find great shelving units too.
Organize items into baskets and store towels folded nicely to keep things looking neat. A well-organized bathroom makes the space feel cleaner and fresher.
- Have a Clear-Out
Its important to de-clutter your bathroom frequently. Bath lotions and body wash make a convenient gift, so its easy to end up with too many bottles of product that you might never end up using.
You also need to be careful with keeping opened products too long, as while they don’t have sell-by-dates, toiletries don’t actually last forever. Once opened, they can last 1-2 years, so sometimes it might be safer to throw them away. Try to recycle plastic bottles wherever you can though.
- Clean and Fresh
The best way to freshen up your bathroom – give it a thorough clean! Bathrooms are an easy place to build up limescale and mold, as they are damp, and water causes limescale build-up. Keeping on top of cleanliness with regular cleaning helps your faucets and showerheads have a longer life-span and helps your tiles and grout stay whiter.
Sometimes though, its worth replacing showerheads and faucets to improve the space, especially if they have become too damaged to clean-up nicely. Don’t forget to clean out your extractor fan and ventilators too, it may also be worth replacing these to make sure your bathroom stays well-ventilated and deal with moisture.
When making improvements to your home, don’t forget about your outdoor space! Your front porch and driveway and the exterior of your home will be the first thing guests will see, so you want to make a good impression.
The back yard is also going to be a great place for hosting and spending time relaxing when the weather is nice, so keep it looking nice too. Here are a few simple ways you can improve your outdoor space:
- Pressure Washer
You might have seen comparison pictures online, but seeing people’s before and after pictures when using a pressure washer to clean up their patio is incredible. If you don’t want to purchase one yourself, try borrowing one or even renting one. It is amazing the improvement they can make on stone and brick, and even wooden outdoor furniture.
A bit of gardening can make a big difference, so now is the time to spruce up your flower beds and bring out your best planters and pots. If gardening really isn’t your forte, perhaps a landscaper could help? Adding potted or hanging flowers at the front entryway of your home makes your house more colorful and inviting.
You could even invest in a greenhouse and grow your own vegetables if you wanted. While it is a small section amongst the many projects listed, it really is a huge project if you want it to be. There is so much potential when it comes to gardening.
- Add a Screened-in Porch
To make the most of your backyard, adding a screened porch or a roofed decking area increases the space for entertaining guests. It can be nice to have a sun-room and an extra space to relax in, and adding seating makes the space a lovely place to read or chat with friends and family. You are basically adding an extra room to the house!
Make Your Home Your Own
Your home is your space to get creative and customize however you want. There are so many great projects and ideas you can improve, upgrade and decorate your house, it is up to you how you choose to do so. It is always exciting to put your own stamp on things, and your home should be personal to you, but hopefully this guide has given you some areas to work on.
While the decorative elements will really help to make your house into your home, making improvements for energy efficiency and eco-friendliness is important too. You want your home to both look good and do good, so opt for greener solutions wherever possible.