As a homeowner, you probably put in a lot of work when it comes to maintaining and upgrading your palace. It often seems like the work is never-ending. You’re either repairing, cleaning, adding on, or improving some area or another. All this is done to keep your family healthy, safe, and happy.
In between the usual maintenance and extensive upgrades, there may be a few that are easy to overlook. Who can blame you when we’re all so busy? That’s why we compiled this helpful list of the best house upgrades you may have forgotten but will want to consider.
1. Upgrade Your Driveway
Admit it. You don’t give much thought to your driveway. Most of us don’t. There are so many other things that require our attention around the house that where we park our cars is often overlooked and taken for granted. However, having an attractive, well-maintained driveway is essential on many levels.
First, the obvious: we want the exterior of our homes to be beautiful. So, it makes no sense to invest in landscaping and structural exterior home upgrades when the driveway is a crumbly mess. This paved path is front and center at most homes, so why not make it stand out well?
Consider making it unique by using paving stones or decorative brick. If those materials are outside your budget, many asphalt paving companies can spiff up new pavement by adding a glaze or finish to the material. There are other reasons a new driveway is one of the best house upgrades you can invest in. An eroding and cracked driveway can cause water to puddle and even seep into your foundation and basement. This will end up creating more mess and costing more money in the long run.
Cracks and splits in your pavement can also make space for growing weeds and insects to gather and make nests. Most of all, keeping your driveway nice and smooth can help prevent injury to yourself and others. Creating an eye-catching area that’s safe for everyone to walk, play, and park will surely add to your property value. If you want to add a touch of class (and safety) to your home, think about installing some driveway gates. They add that something special to the curb appeal and can help keep pets and kids on the property while keeping intruders out.
2. Make Sure Your Plumbing is up to Date
Old pipes and accessories may not bother you now, but if your plumbing is over 30 to 40 years old, you should consider updating it. It’s only a matter of time before degrading pipes start leaking or cracking under the elements. A leak could prove catastrophic for your home and bank account. Updating your plumbing is one of the best house upgrades you can do to the interior of your home.
A plumber can inspect your pipes, fixtures, and faucets for structural integrity, leaks, and efficiency. They’ll recommend upgrades and explain how you can save money with them. If you can’t afford a complete overhaul, start with the most vital issue first. For example, if you have old lead pipes, you may want to replace them as soon as possible, especially if you have children.
If the bathrooms have old toilets, make that next on the list. Switching to newer fixtures will save on water and be more aesthetically pleasing. When experiencing low water pressure, the problem may be solved by replacing a faucet or showerhead.
When the drains are running slow, or there are clogs, you’ve probably got a build-up of hair, soap scum, and other materials. Calling a few drain and sewer cleaning companies for estimates can help ease your mind. Another thing to think about is if you have a septic system, you’ll need to schedule regular inspections and septic tank pumping. While this is not technically an upgrade, it will keep your septic system in good working order, so no upgrades are needed.
3. Invest in Recent Technology
Even if you’re not tech-savvy, there are a ton of simple technological upgrades you can make in your home that will save you money, time, and headaches. We promise if you can use a cell phone, you’ll love these upgrades. Start with looking at tankless water heaters.
These gems are just what their name implies; they heat your water without a big old tank taking up room in the basement. They also give a continuous hot water supply, so you won’t need to worry about running out. The U.S. Department of Energy states that these types of water heaters are up to 34% more efficient than their counterparts. They’re also lower maintenance and safer as they don’t leak or hold stagnant water that can form bacteria over time.
The system is hooked up to your Wi-Fi and smartphone and will alert you about needed maintenance and water usage. The units range from $120 to $1,000, depending on your needs. While you’re improving your hot water efficiency, you might consider a new smart thermostat. These vital gadgets can also help you save money because you’re not only able to program it to regulate temps while you’re home, but also while you’re away from that nifty smartphone.
So if you don’t want the air conditioning on all day while nobody is home, go on your phone and program it to kick on when you are on your way home. Another great technology upgrade is a home monitoring or security system. Ring doorbells have become quite popular for several years and with good cause.
These doorbell cameras will alert your cell phone to visitors at your door. It will allow you to see them and even speak to them whether you’re home or not. The bell also records all activity on your porch and the front of your house. These camera bells have become criminals’ worst nightmares and made many people TikTok famous as well!
4. Improve Your Water Quality
In the grand scheme of things, the best home upgrades are those that keep you and your family healthy. So, improving the quality of your home’s water should be at the top of the list. Obtaining good water quality is more than simply ridding it of harmful bacteria and chemicals, it’s also about a good, clean taste and making it less harsh on skin, hair, clothing, and appliances.
There are some very simple things you can do to improve the quality of water that flows from your faucet, and they don’t cost a thing. Running the cold water for two to three minutes before drinking or cooking with it can help improve the quality by flushing out water that’s been sitting in the pipes. Don’t use the water for drinking or cooking.
Hot water contains metals and sediment that have a terrible flavor and can be harmful. Clean the faucet aerators (the little screens at the tip of the faucets) every month. Sediment and metals build up in the screen and can affect the quality of the water. Drain your water heater at least once a year to get rid of sediment, bacteria, and metals, all of which can affect the water pressure and taste of the water.
If you still find yourself with poor water quality, consider investing in a water softener. This is a motorized container with salt inside. The water goes through the softener and removes all the minerals and contaminants that make water hard. Hard water tastes bad but is also terrible for your skin and hair. It can also fade out your clothing and destroy appliances.
If you see water spots on glassware and detergent clumps in the laundry, it might be time to try a water-softening system. If your family spends a lot of money on bottled water, it’s worth considering getting a water filter that attaches to the faucet. Many are inexpensive and will improve the quality of your drinking water.
5. Check Your Heating and Cooling
Checking to see if you need upgrades to your heating and cooling systems should be an annual habit in all homeowner’s practices. Ideally, it would be best to have your system checked by an HVAC specialist each fall before the cold of winter sets in. They’ll clean the ducts, filters, and check for leaks, and do any furnace repairs and heating repairs that are needed.
The specialist can advise you on any upgrades that would benefit you and reduce energy costs. They can give you tips on reducing drafts and saving energy. For instance, they’ll check around windows and doors, even the attic, and let you know if you need to seal some cracks or invest in some new insulation.
The spring is the best time to ensure your cooling systems work correctly. If you’ve got window or wall air conditioning units, you may want to consider upgrading to central air. Though it can initially be a significant investment financially, it will pay off in energy savings in the years to come.
6. Improve Your Flooring and Roofing
Improving what’s above and below you is a great way to start on your journey to making the best house upgrades. We’re talking about your roof and your flooring. If you’re a new homeowner, one of the first things you want to do is ensure that your roof is in good shape.
Check for signs of damage like curling, broken, or missing shingles. Don’t wait for leaks to start invading the house call a roofing contractor. Most roofs last about 20 years before they start to degrade, so even if you’re a long-time homeowner, you may want to call a roofing professional for an inspection to see if upgrades or a replacement is needed.
The next area you want to pay attention to is your flooring. New floors can not only increase the beauty of your home but its value as well. Floors take a beating daily; between dragging the outdoors inside, spills, pets, kids, and other unforeseen circumstances, having good floors in your house is vital to safety, health, and comfort. For instance, in the kitchen, you may want to upgrade from old linoleum or vinyl to something more modern, like tile, laminate, stone, or granite.
Depending on your needs, these options offer easy cleanup, energy efficiency, and less chance of cracking, splitting, and suffering water damage. In other areas of your home, you can decide whether to upgrade to hardwood flooring or install wall-to-wall. Bedrooms are typically an excellent place for carpeting as they provide extra warmth and insulation.
7. Upgrade the Details
Once you’ve got all your major house upgrades squared away, it’s time to pay attention to the details. Look for smaller things around your house that could be beautified and modernized. Maybe you’ve got an outdated set of stairs leading to another level of your home; take it down and put up a stunning spiral staircase in its place.
If you aren’t looking for a full-on demo project, even a fresh coat of paint can make a room pop. Consider installing an electric fireplace in the living or dining room. It will add a touch of sophistication and add warmth at the same time.
In the kitchen, try resurfacing the cabinets or changing the light fixtures. Little changes like that can breathe new life into the space. If your family is growing, finish the basement or attic to give everyone more room. These areas can be used for an office, family room, spare bedroom, or even a small apartment for a parent.
Finally, go outside and look around. Consider investing in some landscaping or even a new door or mailbox. These small changes can do wonders for a home’s curb appeal.
8. Roof Installation and Repair
When it comes to home upgrades, many people tend to forget about their roofs. However, there may be important signs that you may be ignoring that could be pointing toward roof replacement. The roof is one of the most important parts of your home. Not only does it keep your head and belongings dry, but it is also a key part of the structural integrity of your house. You’d be surprised by how many people forget about this! Don’t be one of those unlucky few when problems strike (and they most certainly will).
It’s very important to stay on top of roof repair and new roof installations. You should always hire a professional to do the work and ensure a job well done. Never attempt it yourself, especially considering how dangerous it can be. When it comes to roofing jobs, always leave it in the hands of a certified professional. If you do this, you’ll be glad you did when you have a fantastic new roof over your head! Be sure to call your local roofing professional with any questions.
Upgrading your home over time can make it a more comfortable place for you and your family. It can also add curb appeal and value when and if you decide to sell it. Whether you choose to sell or stay, we hope this list of the best house upgrades is helpful for you and your loved ones.