When it comes to renovating an old house, it’s all about return on investment (ROI). Jumping into a costly remodel that does little to add value represents a significant financial loss, so it’s important to make smart, well-informed decisions about how much renovations cost and where to focus your efforts. Buying an old house is always a gamble and it’s usually a huge, long-term investment, so it’s essential you know where to renovate to do the most good. According to an article in Remodeling Magazine, the average remodeling job recovers under two-thirds of its cost at the time of sale. Fortunately, there’s a handful of renovation projects that are normally quite reliable when it comes to ROI.
Many old houses suffer from a lack of insulation, which results in extremely high-energy costs. Adding or replacing insulation may not be the sexiest of renovations, but it makes a great deal of sense from a savings standpoint. Check the insulation in the attic, which should have a minimum of 8 inches of cellulose or 11 inches of fiberglass insulation. If not, or if what you find is dirty, it probably means it’s reached the end of its effectiveness and needs replacing. The average cost of re-insulating an attic is around $1,300, but the energy savings will be significantly higher, making this one of the best remodeling projects for an older home.
Replacing old, drafty windows has a doubly positive impact. Not only does it upgrade a significant aesthetic feature, it’ll save money if you replace the old ones with Energy Star-approved and certified windows. New, energy-efficient windows can save you as much $465 a year in heating costs, and will recoup your investment in about 5 years. However, be aware that a full window replacement project is often unnecessary, even if your pro recommends it; focus instead on window frames showing signs of age, including rotting wood and excessive window condensation.
Hardwood flooring lends an air of elegance and refinement to any home, particularly an older house with an overall vintage look. Many homeowners assume that it will be too expensive and too difficult to maintain, but hardwood lasts considerably longer than carpeting, which wears out after about 10 years. It’s not unusual for hardwood flooring to last for decades if it’s well taken care of. Applying a protective coating every 5 years or so will add considerably to the lifespan of hardwood, which should only need to be sanded and refinished about every 10 years.
Home renovating doesn’t always have to be an indoor activity. You can also enhance your home’s look by beautifying your landscaping. There’s nothing quite like the green glow of an attractive stand of grass, which you can achieve with regular applications of fertilizer and weed control. Why not add a few design elements, like decorative flagstones or a brick-lined walkway? Brick adds an appealing touch of color set against the green of your lawn. If you’re into gardening, think about adding a flower bed lined with railroad timbers, an appealingly rustic aesthetic element. Add a fresh layer of mulch around trees and shrubs, and you’ve got a colorful lawn that’ll turn heads and add to the visual appeal and value of your home. If you need some help with your outdoor beautification projects, lawn and landscaping service prices vary greatly depending on what you’d like to have done; you can expect to pay around $320 for a minor project that doesn’t include a lot of labor or materials, meaning you’ll see a significant ROI for giving your yard a little TLC.
Renovating an older home can be a tricky proposition if there’s lots of expensive antiques and furniture in the way. To avoid doing damage, look into renting a temporary storage space to preserve them while you’re kicking up dirt and dust remodeling. Shop around for the best deals; for instance, CubeSmart Self Storage in Orlando is currently reducing storage fees by 50 percent for the first month.
A house, particularly an old one, is more than a home; it’s a major business investment. Choosing renovation projects that earn you a high return on investment is important for turning an old house into a highly profitable asset.
Guest Post by: Seth Murphy – Papadiy.com