With winter finally coming to an end, you may be thinking about improvements you’d like to make to your home. Whether you’re planning to sell or keep your house, you’ll add to its value if you put a little work into it. Here are six home updates and repairs to consider for spring.
1. Update Your Gutters
The 2016 National Association of REALTORS Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers reported that about 35% of those who purchased homes were buying for the first time. Whether you’ve lived in your home for decades or just bought your house, it’s always a good idea to make spring upgrades — like updating gutters. Gutters protect your home from damage caused by rainwater and melted snow. Without adequate gutters, the ground near your foundation might become eroded, dirt could be splashed all over your siding, and leaks could form in your basement. The newest gutters are covered and don’t require you to clear away the leaves and other debris that can cause clogs. You can replace your existing gutters or put in gutter guards to keep out debris.
2. Repair Your Roof
Your roof protects your whole house from damage caused by rain, ice, and snow. If water seeps into the attic or into walls, a small roof leak becomes a big problem. Examine your roof from the ground for shingles that might have been knocked down in a storm during the winter.
Realtor.com reports that houses are selling almost 10% faster than this time last year, spending 63 days on average on the market, or an entire week sooner than the previous year. But even if you want to keep your home for a number of years longer, you can still make upgrades that will give you peace of mind.
If you’ve been worried about water leaks during the winter, you need to find out where the leaks originated. The part of your roof that should be repaired might be far from the leak, since water can flow all along the beams. If your roof only needs minor repairs, it could be a relatively simple DIY task. If you need major repairs, however, you may need to consult with the professionals.
3. Upgrade Your Deck
Many homeowners treasure their decks, so they feel that the expense and work of upgrading a deck are more than justified. If you upgrade in the spring, you’ll be ready for cookouts and parties in the summer.
Winter weather can be tough on decks, loading them with wetness from snow, ice, and freezing rain. You can determine if your deck should be repaired by touching and examining the wood. If a piece of wood is soggy and darker than other pieces, it’s probably rotted.
You can also use a knife to check for rot. If the blade goes into the wood easily, you probably need to repair or replace your deck. You should also look for mold, mildew, splintered areas, and warping.
You may be able to perform small repairs yourself, but if you find widespread rot or other major problems, it’s best to hire a professional to repair or replace your deck.
4. Upgrade Your Kitchen or Bathroom
Under most conditions, stainless steel pipes can last for over 100 years. But you may have other plumbing fixtures in your kitchen or bathroom that need attention. A kitchen upgrade can add style and resale value to your home.
If you install a new sink and faucets or replace old appliances with the newest models, you’ll immediately make your house more attractive to buyers, or more pleasant to work with if you’re keeping your home.
Bathroom upgrades also increase your home’s value. If you put in a new sink and vanity or a new toilet, these simple changes will give your bathroom a fresh, modern look. Depending on how handy you are around the house, you could make many of these changes yourself.
5. Inspect Your Air Conditioning System
During the summer or in climates that are warm year-round, air conditioning is essential to the comfort of your home. It’s best to have your central air conditioning setup inspected in the spring so that you’ll be ready when summer hits.
Air conditioning is important to livability not just because it cools the air, but also because it can act as a dehumidifier and prevent the growth of mold in your walls. A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professional should inspect your system.
Ask your HVAC professional if they recommend placing a UV light in the air conditioner to further combat mold and similar germs.
6. Clean Your Windows and Inspect Them for Damage
Spring is the time to get outdoors and clean your windows on the outside. This is a task you can easily do yourself. Once you get your windows clean, they’ll be ready for sunshine and longer days. While cleaning your windows, you may find that the winds plus the cycles of freezing and thawing that come with winter in cold climates have caused some of your window panes to crack.
If you replace the broken panes, you won’t spend much, and you’ll improve the look and energy efficiency of your house. You should also examine your window sills and window trim, looking for indications of damage or deterioration due to water.
If you paint over or replace the trim on your windows, you’ll add significantly to the value and appeal of your home.
After winter, homeowners typically look forward to spring as a time to make necessary changes. Some upgrades, like replacing broken window panes, are simple and inexpensive. Others, like replacing your deck, are more involved and cost a bit more.
But any improvements, whether you make them yourself or hire a professional, can add to the value of your home and give you peace of mind. The investment will be worth it — whether you’re selling or staying.