Home renovations are a great way to upgrade the look and functionality of a home. They can range from simple projects like adding a new coat of paint, to more complex projects like a complete kitchen or bathroom renovation. It’s easy to get caught up in the “fun” renovations that add a big visual impact to your home while neglecting other renovation projects that may actually be more important. Here are the most common home renovations that people forget to do (but really shouldn’t), according to three home renovation pros.
MEET THE EXPERT
- Matt Teifke is the founder and CEO of Teifke Real Estate in Ausin, Texas.
- Michael Valente is a licensed realtor and founder of Renovation Sells, which has locations across the United States.
- Molly McGinness is the owner of Cape Cod-based design firm Molly McGinness Interior Design.
Update Your Windows
Upgrading old windows can be an expensive endeavor that homeowners tend to put off for as long as possible, but experts agree it’s a renovation that is well-worth prioritizing. Not only will upgraded windows increase your home’s energy efficiency, but they will also make your home more aesthetically pleasing and help with soundproofing too.
“Consider replacing your single-paned windows with double-pane ones that are often filled with an inert gas like argon or krypton,” says Matt Teifke, founder and CEO of Teifke Real Estate. “These can help create a more efficient home by providing better insulation and blocking out exterior noise.”
Depending on where you live, there may be rebates or grants for energy-efficient window replacements that you can take advantage of to help with the cost of new windows.
Replace Outdated Electrical
Upgrading old electrical in the home is something people tend to address only once something has actually gone wrong. Older houses are particularly prone to having outdated electrical systems, but newer homes can have problems too, particularly if there were additions to the home over time without a professional electrician involved.
“Updating your electrical system is an important renovation people often forget to do,” says Teifke. “This can range from replacing old outlets and switches to installing a more modern, energy-efficient system,” he says.
Aside from the obvious benefit of keeping your home safe and preventing electrical issues down the line, updating old electrical systems also helps make your home more energy-efficient which will save you money in the long run.
Upgrade Old Light Fixtures
Installing new light fixtures is a renovation that homeowners tend to forget about unless they are doing a big remodel. However, there are lots of reasons to tackle this simple upgrade even if you aren’t in the midst of a larger project. First, it’s an easy way to upgrade your space on a budget.
“While most people focus on the larger details of a room, a small detail like this can help make the room look updated with minimal effort,” says Michael Valente, licensed realtor and founder of Renovation Sells.
In addition, the impact that proper lighting can have on a space cannot be understated. It won’t only make your space look brighter and more inviting, but it will help it feel more functional too—nobody wants to spend time in a dark and dreary space, after all.
Another small yet impactful renovation that homeowners tend to forget about is upgrading hardware throughout the home. Hardware like door knobs, cabinet handles, and drawer pulls are easy and relatively affordable to replace.
“This is something that tends to be ‘builder grade’ in homes that aren’t custom and is an easy change-up,” says Molly McGinness, owner of design firm Molly McGinness Interior Design.
Consider choosing hardware in a new style or finish for a more elevated and bespoke look.
“A new style door knob throughout the whole house can make a big impact,” says McGinness. “Just don’t forget to change out the hinges to match!”
Upgrade Your HVAC System
Upgrading your HVAC system is another important renovation that is often put on the back burner by homeowners. In fact, it’s one of the most important home renovations that people tend to forget about, says Teifke. Rather than waiting until something goes wrong with your home’s HVAC, replacing old heating and cooling systems is a great way to increase your home’s energy efficiency and save money on energy bills.
“Consider investing in a new air conditioner, furnace, and/or thermostat to ensure your home is running as efficiently as possible,” says Teifke.
While you’re at it, it can also be a good idea to have a licensed HVAC technician look at your home’s ductwork to ensure it is installed properly and efficiently, particularly in older homes. Reworking the ductwork may be just what your home needs to make use of your existing air conditioner and furnace, or help new systems operate efficiently.