Being a homeowner is a job that is never finished, and let’s face it, we’re not all Bob Villa.
So while you might not be knocking out a wall and installing a new walk-in shower or breakfast nook anytime soon, that doesn’t mean you can’t be house proud!
Here are some simple and affordable home improvement ideas that almost any homeowner can benefit from. After all, spring is less than two months away.
Install New Locks
Want to keep your home safe from burglary? Invest in some simple locks. Contrary to common assumption, the majority of robberies in Ontario occur during daylight hours between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Of these, a startlingly large percentage of them are committed without the use of forced-entry.
So while we typically think of robberies as dramatic nighttime heists aided by the use of sophisticated burglary tools, it’s far more likely that a crook will just literally let himself in through an unlocked window while you’re off at work.
A few new locks for your windows, doors, and any other access points can go a long way towards making your home secure. Burglars typically rely on speed and convenience when choosing a target. Anything that makes them slow down or presents an obstacle will make them think twice and likely choose a different home.
If you have a sliding patio door, consider a door bar or other security device to help make it a less inviting target for robbers. Also, don’t forget to talk to your broker. Significant security upgrades can often mean savings on your homeowner’s insurance as your risk decreases.
Update Your Thermostat
If you’re anything like the rest of us, you probably don’t think about your thermostat very often. It’s just one of those fixtures you don’t really pay much attention to unless something is broken (and then it’s ALL you’ll think about).
It might be time to start paying attention though! A modern programmable thermostat is a simple home improvement you can install that will make your home a much more comfortable place.
A good modern thermostat can help you fine tune the temperature of your home, offer more accurate measurements, and help you save money by being more efficient. For example, you can program it to reduce the temperature while you’re at work and warm up the place just before you get home.
Best of all, you can program it to automatically raise the temperature just before you get up – no more miserable mornings where you have to walk over the cold kitchen floor to turn up the heat!
Plant Some Trees
Planting a few trees is an investment in your future. Sure, they might just be tiny saplings when you plant them, but give them a few years, and they’ll be providing shade that will keep your home cool while adding some natural beauty to your backyard.
Homes with mature trees command higher property values than those without. So a quick trip to the garden center and an afternoon of shoveling could mean a significant boost to the value of your home years down the line. A nicer looking home plus shade plus a payoff? Sounds like a good deal to us!
Hang Interior Shutters
Looking for a quick way to make your home look nicer and give you some extra privacy? Consider adding some interior shutters on your major windows. Not only are they more effective than blinds at cutting down on unwanted light (no narrow beams sneaking in between the slats), but they look nicer too.
As a bonus, a good set of interior shutters can actually help keep your home cooler in the summer months. The less sunlight heating up the living room, the less your air conditioning needs to work to cool the place down, sparing the hydro bill.
Keep the Air Flowing with a Ventilation Fan
If your washroom doesn’t have a ventilation fan already, it should. A fan will not only help get rid of post-shower fog and steamy mirrors, it will also help preserve the value of your home. By keeping the air moving and not allowing moisture to accumulate, a fan can help you avoid mold and mildew – two things that are not only harmful for your health, but expensive to get rid of.
Installing a ventilation fan isn’t as big of a job as you might think it is. It can involve a little bit of work though, so if you’re not feeling particularly handy yourself, you should be able to hire a contractor to install it for you at a reasonable rate. Think of it as an investment in your home and your morning routine (no more waiting for the room to de-fog to style your hair).
Take Care of the Little Details
There are tons of little things you can do to improve the overall look and feel of your home. These “five minute jobs” are easy to do when you take them one at a time, and while no single thing is likely to improve the value of your home on its own, when taken in a group they can really help!
Simple things like changing out your old plastic light switch and outlet plates to match the color of the wall or the décor. Getting rid of old, wiggly cabinet handles and door knobs with replacing them with new ones. Swapping out your old light bulbs for high-efficiency ones. Giving the front end of your home new life by painting the front door a fresh colour. Replacing your old faucets with a more modern design, and so on!
Not every home improvement needs to be a major renovation. If you make one small improvement a month, your home will look and feel like new by the time the next year rolls around.
And remember, we’re always here to chat. If you’re planning a home renovation it may affect your insurance policy. Call or email your broker today to make sure you’re covered.