How To Prioritize Home Repairs And Upgrades
When your house needs multiple repairs at once, it can feel a little overwhelming. Tackling home repair projects one at a time is easier on your budget, but it's important to address time-sensitive repairs first. This guide will help you prioritize your home repairs and upgrades to optimize safety, cost, and convenience.
Priority 1: Safety Concerns
The most important home repairs to address first are those that maintain the safety of your household. Water damage cleanup is a notable example. Uncontrolled water can damage the structure of your home, create slip and fall hazards, and promote unhealthy mold growth. Large roof leaks and plumbing leaks should usually top the list of repairs.
The electrical system is the next concern for eliminating safety risks in your home. Electrical shorts and arcing are fire hazards, especially when they take place behind your walls near flammable materials like insulation. Warm outlets or switches and excessive breaker tripping are signs of electrical problems that should be addressed immediately.
Priority 2: Structural and Functional Deficits
Once any urgent safety hazards are resolved, you should focus on damage that affects the structure or function of your home. Signs of structural problems include foundation cracks, a sagging roof ridgeline or fascia, and cracks near the edges of windows and doors.
Functional deficits can significantly impede comfort and convenience in your home, so they are worthy of priority consideration. Leaks in your air ducts can cause your HVAC system to underperform. A stuck garage door blocks one of your home's most convenient access points. These are just a few examples of functional problems you will thank yourself for addressing quickly.
Priority 3: High-Return Projects
Once you have completed all safety, structural, and functional repairs, you can turn your attention to projects that provide a high return in convenience or comfort. Look for ways you can significantly upgrade your home with low up-front costs. Prioritizing high-return projects will let you enjoy immediate benefits without straining your budget.
Lighting upgrades are a classic low-cost favorite that can help to open up any room. Fixtures such as a ceiling fan or hanging entryway lamp are not too difficult to install, but they will have a big effect. LED fixtures can even be installed without running any new wiring.
Kitchen cabinet renovations are another project that can surprisingly be completed on a budget. Instead of replacing your cabinets, you can significantly cut costs with upgrades like repainting them, adding laminate veneers for a natural finish, or replacing knobs and hinges.
Priority 4: Appeal
At this point in your home improvement checklist, you are essentially free to pursue any upgrades that catch your eye. After any time-sensitive repairs are complete, many homeowners choose to turn to exterior upgrades such as painting siding or landscaping. Hanging a new door can add character to your home and make it more welcoming for your guests.
Upgrades that provide long-term return on investment are another option. Energy-efficiency upgrades such as a new HVAC system or windows with low-emissivity coatings will reduce your environmental footprint and pay for themselves over the years.
If your home has a basement, you may want to consider finishing your basement to make use of this extra space. A furnished and climate-controlled basement can be turned into a room for relaxing, hosting guests, or virtually any purpose. Finished basements also provide a 70 percent return on your investment on average.
Home repairs and upgrades are much easier to accomplish when you have an organized plan to manage them. Keep these tips in mind so you can stay safe and under budget while you work toward the home of your dreams.