Home improvement decisions can be challenging for some, especially when there seems to be a never-ending list of projects to tackle and invest in. Where do you begin? For many, the answer is simple: what would give you the most value? As it is the largest component of your home, roofing is an area that a lot of people gravitate to. But what if your roof is in perfect condition? Here are three other home improvement projects that add considerable value to your home:
#1: Window Replacement
WINDOW DAMAGE: Condensation between glass panes is among the telltale signs that window issues are present.
Damaged and drafty windows not only make your home look unkempt, but they can also compromise security and comfort while causing your home to use more energy than necessary. To find out if you need new windows, look for these signs:
- Extensive frame and glass damage – Window problems don’t always have to equate to replacement. However, if you’re looking at extensive damage, like warped window sashes or frames, getting new windows becomes the more practical approach. In such cases, repair is still possible but you will end up dealing with problems again. Are your windows fogging up, drafty and difficult to open or close? These are clear signs that your units are damaged beyond repair.
- High energy bills – If you think you are paying more for electricity than what you are consuming, your damaged windows could be the culprit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafty windows can cause a 10% to 15% increase in energy consumption. This is because, in the summer, heat enters your home through your windows, while heated indoor air escapes through them in the winter. This forces your heating and cooling systems to work harder throughout the year to maintain indoor comfort, resulting in high energy bills for you.
- Condensation between glass panes – If you notice condensation or fogging inside your multi-pane window, it means that seals around the panes have been compromised, allowing gas fills to leak out. As a result, your window is no longer insulating as expected, letting more heat than usual pass through it.
Window Replacement and Home Value
When you opt for window replacement, you will not only give your home a cost-efficient facelift, you’ll also effectively recoup your investment through increased home value. In fact, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost Vs. Value Report, a vinyl window replacement project provides a return on investment of up to 73.9%. Moreover, you will also enjoy better privacy, security, and safety, as well as reduced noise from the outside.
#2: Siding Replacement
If you want to make a significant change to your home exterior, then siding replacement is something you should consider. As it wraps around your property, siding greatly affects your home’s form and function. Not sure if it’s time to get new cladding? The following signs should help clue you in on when to get started with siding replacement:
- Hail damage – Hail can cause anything from minor chipping to extensive dents and cracks. If most of the siding panels have been damaged by hail, it will be wiser to just replace them entirely than to have them repaired.
- Dry rot – Caused by fungus feeding off moisture, dry rot decomposes wood. Aside from being an eyesore, it weakens siding material, compromising the structure.
- Cracks – Water can easily penetrate through cracked siding. If a significant portion of your siding has cracks that have been developing for a while, it is highly likely that water has seeped through, resulting in deterioration.
UNSIGHTLY AND INEFFICIENT: Old, damaged siding is not only unattractive, it also sabotages your home’s protection and comfort.
- Loose pieces – There are a couple of reasons why siding panels and parts may loosen, such as improper installation or wind damage. Regardless of the cause, loose siding cannot perform its job of protecting and insulating your home.
- Interior wall peeling – Peeling paint or wallpaper indicates that your siding has failed in keeping moisture at bay. This also makes a home look dated, appearing older than it is.
- High energy costs – Aside from old, faulty windows, damaged siding can also cause your energy bills to rise. This is because its insulative abilities have been reduced, preventing it from creating an effective thermal envelope for your home and letting outdoor heat in and indoor heat out. This pushes your HVAC system to work doubly hard to achieve ideal temperatures, which leads to spikes in energy use.
Siding Replacement and Home Value
There’s no getting around severe weather, but replacing old and damaged siding will allow you to provide your home with the protection it requires to withstand the elements. Aside from this, siding replacement offers:
- Enhanced exterior and curb appeal
- Increased property value
- An ROI of up to 76.4%
#3: Gutter Replacement
CLOGGED GUTTERS: When debris accumulates in gutters, it causes damage and impedes functionality.
If you’re like many people, you have not paid much attention to your gutters, which is a shame given how much they actually play an important role in keeping your home safe from water damage. By directing water away when it rains, your gutters help ensure your property’s roof, walls, windows, doors, and foundation are protected from the effects of moisture exposure. Regular cleaning or protective systems can help extend the lifespan of gutters, but many homeowners don’t understand the importance of maintenance until they start having problems.
Unfortunately, signs that gutters need repair or replacement aren’t always obvious. Call a gutter expert right away, however, when your gutter system is:
- Pulling away from your roof
- Looking uneven
- Rusted and/or cracked
- Sagging in some parts
- Causing water to pool around your home or exterior paint to peel
- Leading to basement flooding
Gutter Replacement and Home Value
Gutters can be considered a complementary component to your roofing system, so its condition will heavily affect your roof’s current state. If your gutters are in bad shape, for instance, and the resulting issues lead to a mid-range roofing replacement project costing you about $20,664, you can expect a recoup rate of 68.8%. It’s not very attractive compared to window or siding replacement. The more practical choice is to invest in gutter replacement right away, should issues present themselves, rather than wait for things to worsen.
Whether you choose to replace your roof, windows, siding or gutters, remember that one thing is for certain: any investment you make for your home will be worth it as long as you prioritize the projects that need to be done first. To make sure that you’re making the right decision, enlist the expertise of a reliable home improvement professional in your area to perform a thorough inspection to see what aspects of your home require immediate attention. Many reliable home remodelers offer free inspections; don’t hesitate to take advantage of one today.
Bob Baker is the owner of Hinkle Roofing, a remodeling company that has been serving Birmingham, Alabama and the surrounding communities for more than 100 years. A seasoned industry expert, he is inspired by satisfied residential and commercial customers. For updates from Bob, check out the Hinkle Roofing blog!