Whether you’re moving into a new home or trying to sell your current one, certain upgrades can improve the appearance, livability, and value of the house. Here are eight upgrades that can make your house feel more like a home and improve the overall appeal of your property.

1. Change out the windows

Replacing withered windows can make a huge difference when it comes to improved energy efficiency and better insulation. Adding energy efficient windows to your home can help you save up to $500 a year on your electric bill. This investment will especially be useful if you ever decide to sell the property. According to research, investors were able to recoup about 74% of their cost with vinyl windows and around 70% with wood windows.

2. Repurpose a room

Having rooms that serve multiple purposes can add greater appeal and functionality to a house. Try repurposing an existing room, like a basement or garage, into something more valuable like a home office, a mudroom, or a workout studio. Before you dive into a major upgrade, think about what your family needs and what future buyers may be looking for.

3. Maintain the exterior of your house

The first judgement a passerby will make of your home is probably the landscaping and exterior. Thankfully, it’s relatively inexpensive to take care of your lawn and increase curb appeal. Simple steps like regularly mowing the lawn, applying fertilizer, trimming tree branches and shrubs, and adding flowers for a pop of color can beautify your outdoor space, making it both charming and enticing for potential buyers.

4. Rethink the color scheme

A fresh coat of paint could be the answer to refreshing a stale space. Before starting a paint job, measure the space you’re going to paint and choose between a solvent-based paint or a water-based paint. Regarding color, neutrals are generally a safe bet if you’re thinking about repainting the interior of your house, but you can get a little more bold with your front door or front steps. You can calculate the quantity of paint you’ll need by using this paint calculator.

5. Replace old appliances

Upgrading your 13-year-old washing machine or your faulty refrigerator to new, high-tech appliances could save you money in the long run. Modern appliances are typically more energy efficient and conserve more water than traditional models, so you’ll be able to save on your utility bills and enjoy a reliable machine that works for years to come. New appliances will also boost the resale value of your home if you’re planning on moving in the next few years.

Before dropping a ton of money on a new appliance, see if your home warranty covers a replacement first. Usually, a warranty like this will cover major system or appliance replacements if they’ve broken down due to normal wear and tear.

6. Upgrade the kitchen

The kitchen is probably one of the most valuable areas of the house and you can’t really go wrong with making upgrades to the space. Consider installing a tile backsplash behind the sink, updating the cabinetry, or swapping out old lighting for more modern light fixtures. For simple home décor swaps, you could update the cabinet and drawer handles, add a vase of fresh flowers to the kitchen island, or get new seat coverings for your bar seats.

7. Install hardwood flooring

Hardwood floors cost more than carpets, but they also last much longer. If you can afford to take the long-term approach, consider installing beautiful hardwoods in your home. Try to get an idea of material, installation and maintenance costs in your area before undertaking this project. Some key factors to consider include the type of wood, the layout of your room, and the duration and cost of installation materials.

8. Address the basement and attic

There’s nothing worse than having a musty-smelling basement or attic. Focus on remediating these spaces of mold, dust, and water leaks. Once you’ve determined that these spaces are dry and ready to use, consider transforming them into multi-purpose areas. Maybe you want to finish your basement and make it a space for your children to play or do homework or perhaps you want to turn part of your attic into a spare bedroom. However you choose to upgrade these spaces, just remember to do what serves your family best at the time and what updates could return big in the future.

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