Now that you have purchased a new home, your mind is probably awash with ideas about how you can improve the place. After all, you don’t have to worry about consulting a landlord anymore, so you can customize your home in any way that you want. With so many possibilities at your fingertips, you might find it helpful to check out our list of the five best upgrades for a new home.
1. Energy-Saving Measures
We mention this first because it is probably the only item on this list that will pay for itself. Having an energy-efficient home is a must if you don’t want to get saddled with high electric bills. It’s important to realize that sometimes you can be charged for electricity that you didn’t actually use.
Electric companies will sometimes bill you according to your average energy usage. They take all your electric bills from the previous year and average them. Some companies, like this one, will attempt to sell such plans to their customers as a way to save money during the hottest and coldest months. However, it’s a dirty trick. An averaged electric bill will only help you during the harshest weather. For the rest of the time, it will probably make your bill higher. If you want proof of this, look at the average annual electric bill for your state and compare it to your own.
Because so many companies do this kind of billing, it is important to save energy everywhere that you can. Even one month of high usage can raise your average, which means you will be paying extra until the average comes back down. Here is a quick checklist of upgrades that can and will lower your electric bill:
- LED lighting
- Energy-efficient appliances
- Double or triple-pane windows
- Well-sealed doors and windows
- Small or tankless water heater
- Swamp cooler
- Better insulation
2. Custom Flooring
If you don’t like the floors in your home, you should consider them a top priority. Although it’s easy to take them for granted, floors are one of the most crucial parts of your home. You will be in contact with this surface more than any other in your home, so you want it to meet your standards.
There are many good reasons to switch your carpets for hardwood flooring. First, carpets tend to look really old, really fast. If you have small children or pets, you might as well get rid of all your carpet. It will only become stained and nasty. What’s more, hardwood floors are much easier to clean. Instead of renting a rug doctor, you can stick to a mop and broom.
When properly installed, wood floors tend to last a lot longer than carpet and are much more visually attractive. Even if you opt for artificial wood, it will still be much better-looking than most carpet.
As for marble and other stone floors, these are obviously the most beautiful choice. However, you should be careful about using natural stone. Unlike wood, stone cannot bend. When it flexes, it breaks. Thus, you had better make sure that every inch of that room is completely level before you even think about putting stone floors down. Otherwise, you will break tiles whenever you step on an uneven spot. Also, stains on marble or granite are much harder to remove than wood. And of course, marble is also far more expensive.
3. Extra Storage
There isn’t a whole lot to say about this factor, other than this: You probably won’t stop acquiring new possessions any time soon, so make sure that you have some extra room to accommodate them. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that you will never need more space than you need right now. Think about the future and give yourself some extra space with which to play.
4. Stone Countertops
While stone isn’t always the best choice for flooring, it is often the best choice for countertops. For one thing, it’s a completely natural surface. Thus, you can feel good about preparing food on something that is free of anything harmful. If you choose to treat the stone with some kind of sealant, make sure it is food-safe.
The beauty and toughness of a stone countertop can really add a touch of natural elegance to your home, and it’s also a long-term investment that can increase the value of your home.
5. Roughed-In Plumbing
We definitely recommend the use of roughed-in plumbing. If you have never heard the term before, all you need to know is that roughed-in plumbing is much easier to access. In a roughed-in system, several things are set up differently. However, the major difference is that all the pipes, drains, etc. are run in such a way that you can access them without disassembling big sections of your home.
Why is this so great? Because it makes plumbing repairs far easier. You may not be in the habit of fixing broken pipes, but you really should be. Replacing a broken or leaky pipe is truly an easy job, as long as you have good access to the afflicted section of pipe. With roughed-in plumbing, you will almost always have easy access. If you choose to hire a plumber, they will probably charge you less money for working on a system of this type.
All of these upgrades will add value and convenience to your new home and are generally worth the trouble and expense. However, there are other home upgrades that you can probably forego. These would include fancy crown molding, hot tubs, expensive bathroom fixtures, and pretty much anything that is purely cosmetic. Why waste your money on fancy decorations when you could have useful things that serve your needs and add value to your home? If you agree with this attitude, feel free to fill out the contact form below so that we can continue to keep you well-informed.