Whether you live in a neighborhood where neighbors are constantly trying to one-up each other or you want to slowly prepare your home for the real estate market, there are plenty of home upgrades you can do to make your house the star of the neighborhood. From a brand-new kitchen and energy-efficient windows to replacing that old roof, here are some home improvement projects you should add to your list to earn some more bragging rights with the neighbors.
Little will get you more excited to cook than having a brand-new kitchen to cook in. Put an end to that drab and dated kitchen you currently have and revamp the entire space to be bright, airy and state of the art. If your budget allows, open up the space by removing any unnecessary walls to create an open-plan space for living, dining and cooking. As one of the most-popular trends in home design right now, your neighbors will surely be green with envy after your first dinner party in the newly redesigned space. Keep the vibe light and bright by choosing a palette of white or light-wood cabinetry and white Carrera marble countertops. Opt for the latest energy-efficient appliances to cut down on wasted electricity and save more on your energy bills.
Few homeowners get as excited about replacing their roofs as they do about remodeling their kitchens, but this essential upgrade is just as brag-worthy if done right. Aside from the aesthetic improvement to the exterior of your home (bye-bye missing shingles and washed-out color), look for roofing contractor who will offer a dependable warranty with your new roof to ensure that you get your money’s worth from this new investment. The typical roof warranty is 30 years, so try to find a contractor that will offer one for longer than that. Some companies offer lifetime warranties for roofing. Never having to worry about a roof replacement again is definitely something to brag about.
Windows can be a big investment, but it’s one that you’ll see the benefits of for years to come, thanks to energy savings and even tax credits in many states. If your windows are old and outdated, you could be losing as much as a third of the heat or air-conditioned air according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. Put an end to this wasted energy now by replacing those old single-pane windows with double-pane glazing. Select windows with a U-factor and a solar heat gain coefficient of .30 or less to make minimize heat gain from sun exposure as well as heat loss.
If your home flooring is a mix-and-match mess with different colors of carpeting and tile throughout, now is the time to revamp. Create a sense of design cohesion by choosing one or two types of flooring for the entire house. A versatile combination: a neutral ceramic tile in the bathrooms and then hardwood flooring throughout the rest of the house. Use area rugs in the living room and bedrooms to add warmth and texture to the wood floors. For ease of cleaning and durability, consider a wood laminate instead of solid hardwood, which in addition to being more less expensive also requires less care.