Whether you’re planning on selling soon or just want a comfortable home to live in now, here are five projects that increase your Santa Cruz home’s comfort and value:
1. Uncover hardwood floors. Is there a hardwood floor lurking under your Santa Cruz home’s carpet? If you're not sure, pull up the carpet in an unnoticeable corner and investigate. If you find wood floors, you’ll probably need to refinish them, but that’s a lot less expensive than installing new hardwood flooring.
2. Add ceiling fans. Everyone likes to save money, and adding ceiling fans can reduce your electric bill considerably. Central air conditioning costs about 70 times more to run than a ceiling fan. In the summer, fans can make you feel 3 to 8 degrees cooler, allowing you to reduce the use of your A/C and still feel just as cool. Use your ceiling fan in the winter too. Just reverse the direction the blades rotate so the air flows up toward the ceiling, and keep the fan on low. This circulates the warm air around the room without creating a chilly draft.
3. Install a new bathroom floor. Installation is typically the most expensive part of this home improvement, so if you can do it yourself, you’ll save quite a bit of money. Choosing a neutral-colored tile adds the most value.
4. Update bathroom and kitchen fixtures. Replacing outdated or unattractive fixtures is a low-cost, high-impact renovation project. In bathrooms, put in new spa-style showerheads and towel bars. In both rooms, put in new light fixtures, sink faucets, switch plates, outlet covers, cabinet knobs and drawer handles. Choose items in colors and finishes that appeal to a wide audience.
5. Power wash your home’s exterior. Make your home look almost as good as new by power washing away the grime. Clean the siding, driveway, walkways and patio.
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Installing new hardwood flooring
Air conditioning costs about 70 times more
Ceiling fan in the winter