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Home renovations can be excellent investments in your home. Not only can they improve the financial value of your home as a piece of real estate, but they can also improve the value and livability of your home to you and your family. Whether you’re interested in improving the cash value of your home or simply making your home mean even more to you and your family there are certain ways renovating your home is a better investment than others. These are a few renovations that can improve property value, reduce insurance costs, and greatly improve the way you view your home.

Home Improvements that Reduce Insurance Costs

Insurance costs are not inconsequential things. The more ways you can find to reduce those costs, the more money you’re returning to your pockets each month. Money you could put toward the principal balance of your mortgage, invest in retirement accounts, or use to fund your next home renovation project. Even so, some home improvement projects can help you save even more on your insurance premiums than others. The projects listed below are some of the best to consider if your primary renovation goals involve reducing insurance premiums.

1. Upgrade Your Roof

Outdated roofs can be huge problems for insurance companies. Roofs need to be replaced every 20 – 30 years, for the most part. Though some roofs have longer lifespans, failing to replace a roof in need of repair can result in massive water damage you won’t see until it’s too late.

Water is one of the most destructive things in your home and insurers understand this. The average annual savings can be as much as $380 for a new roof, per NBC. However, the real value of a new roof for your home isn’t about the insurance savings alone. Upgrading your roof to one that offers impact resistance to ward off hail and sparing your family the expense of mold remediation and repairing water damage from a leaking roof is the real benefit.

2. Install Shatterproof Windows

Storms happen. In almost every corner of our country, there are some types of storms that leave destruction in their wake. Whether hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, or some combination storms can be destructive to home windows. Installing shatterproof windows on your home can help reduce the risks of windows breaking due to wind-driven debris.

That is something your insurance company loves. Not only do the damaged windows need to be replaced in these instances, but also items that blew through the open windows or became water damaged beyond repair as a result. While the average insurance premium credit for this upgrade is rather small, never needing to pay insurance deductibles for shattered windows and lost items again can help take the sting out of it.

3. Invest in a Monitored Home Security System

Monitored home security systems today are about so much more than protecting your home from break-ins. Depending on how sophisticated your system, they can also monitor for fire and carbon monoxide. The benefit of a monitored system is priceless if it saves a single life.

However, insurance companies appreciate the fact that it can improve fire and rescue response times, helping to minimize the damage if a fire occurs and increasing the odds of saving your home from a total loss.

4. Update Your Wiring

According to CoverHound, homes built between 1965 and 1973 often have aluminum wiring, which is a potential fire hazard and can greatly increase your insurance premiums.

Updating to modern wiring and to meet current wiring codes can save you big dollars when it comes to insurance and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’ve removed a potential hazard from your home.

Other types of outdated wiring may yield similar savings for your insurance and will certainly help you have a home that operates more efficiently. This is, of course, in addition to creating a safer home for you and your family.

5. Build a Fence Around Your Pool

Many cities and counties have ordinances requiring you to build a fence around your pool. No one wants to experience the heartache of having a child wander over attracted by the fun swimming pool, slide, or diving board – only to drown due to easy access. Not to mention the liability risks.

You don’t have to build a huge high wall around your pool but erecting a gated fence around your pool and keeping it shut at all times can greatly reduce your risks and lower your insurance premiums as a result.

6. Add a New Garage Door

Not only can this addition change the entire appearance of your home (if you have a front-facing attached garage), but it can also improve the safety of your home in numerous ways, including the following:

  • Updated sensors to prevent the door from closing on children or pets.
  • Garage door insulation to add another protective barrier between the outside temperatures and your home.
  • Higher storm ratings to prevent damage from strong winds and tornadoes from collapsing the door and ripping the roof from your home.
  • Newer garage doors offer better deterrents for thieves as they are more difficult to force open as well.

These things alone offer fairly compelling reasons to consider changing your garage door in exchange for greater safety and lower insurance premiums.

Home Improvements that Provide Excellent Return on Investment While Adding Value for Your Family

Your priorities, when it comes to home renovations are somewhat different if you’re renovating to make your home more appealing to you and when you’re renovating to make your home more appealing to buyers. For instance, landscaping improvements offer a nearly 100 percent return on investment when you’re selling a home, according to HGTV. And that is only the beginning. Other exceptional resale value-boosting investments include the following:

7. Garage Door Replacements

In addition to reducing your insurance costs and making your home safer from storms, replacing a garage door recovers nearly 100 percent of your investment in improved resale value for your property. Plus, it adds amazing curb appeal if you choose the right door with the perfect “Pop!” for your home.

8. Minor Bathroom Renovations

Minor bathroom renovations are those that do not require replumbing the bathroom as far as most people are concerned. The benefit to your appreciation and enjoyment of the space is substantial, but it can also help you sell your home faster and you’ll recover the bulk of the cost in improved resale value. Some websites value the ROI of a minor bathroom renovation at 102 percent. A complete bathroom renovation, while appealing to homeowners, only offers a 70 percent ROI when selling your home.

9. Minor Kitchen Renovations

Minor kitchen renovations can have massive effects on how you feel when working in your kitchen. Kitchens and bathrooms do sell homes but be careful about spending all of your renovation budget here as it only offers approximately 80 percent ROI.

On the other hand, if the resale value doesn’t factor into your renovation budget, few renovations offer the same “wow!” factor that kitchen renovations offer or enhance your enjoyment of the space more fully. Think of how many hours each week you spend in the kitchen and what it would take to make that time more enjoyable for you.

10. Adding a Stone Veneer or Upgrading Siding

Curb appeal is attractive to buyers. It’s the first thing they see when driving by your home and can make all the difference in the world in their decision to purchase your home. Stone veneers are stately and attractive and look much more expensive than it needs to be thanks to a wide range of attractive stone veneers you can add to your home for a fraction of the price of bringing in a mason to do the work.

When you explore renovations that improve the value of your home to your family, other priorities may make the difference. These are things that just make your home the place you want to be without regard to how potential buyers down the road will feel about them. They include things like:

11. Open Concept Floor Plan

One of the most sought after features in homes today is an open or semi-open concept floor plan. No one likes the idea of being isolated and alone in the kitchen while the family is enjoying countless other activities in another room. Open concept floor plans allow you to keep an eye on the children or have conversations with your spouse while you’re taking care of other things throughout your day. It greatly improves the flow of your home and your appreciation of your home.

12. Adding a Swimming Pool

Few things improve family enjoyment of a home better than creating endless hours of summer fun together with your very own swimming pool. Whether you go for an inground swimming pool or opt for an above ground pool instead, the hours of fun and memories you’ll share can’t be replaced.

Of course, if you live in a neighborhood with a homeowners association, you’ll have to make sure it is allowable. You’ll also need to check with local ordinances about fencing requirements and other considerations.

13. Adding a Bedroom

While adding a bedroom to your home will certainly improve the resale value of your home, it will also give your family more room to spread out. Even if you don’t need an additional bedroom now, it can serve as a guest bedroom or office space while giving your family room to grow. If you have children sharing a bedroom it offers the benefit of more peaceful nights, fewer fights, and gives them each a place to call their own.

14. Adding a Bathroom

Even if you have four people living in your home and four bathrooms in your home it can feel like you never have enough bathrooms. Give your family the gift of an additional bathroom and see how much more peace and harmony you feel in the air when lines are shorter and no one is fighting over the bathroom as you try to get ready in the morning.

15. Installing Central Air Conditioning

Keeping your cool can be hard to do if your home doesn’t already have an efficient central air conditioner. During the worst dog days of summer, it can be all you can manage to get up and head out the door for work in the morning without the comfort a central air conditioner can bring. Even better, it is far more efficient than window units and portable air conditioners, which can help you cut your energy costs.

Don’t forget to install smart, programmable thermostats to help you keep your energy budget in hand and under control. An investment in central AC is an investment in summertime comfort for your entire family.

While nearly all renovations and updates do add value to your home, the most important value they bring is to your enjoyment of your living space. Not all renovations have to involve new plumbing and wiring. Some are as simple as adding paint, lighting, and window coverings to create a home theater while others are far more involved. When you consider that, all the ways listed above of renovating your home are excellent investments that either make your home a safer place, enhance the value of your home, or allow you to enjoy your home more.