When homeowners hear the words “renovate” or “remodel”, most will have visions of granite countertops and hardwood floors dancing in their heads.
But, according to experts, you should be thinking structure over style; the outside of your home provides protection from the elements and should be your top priority when you’re deciding where to invest your renovation dollar. Ask yourself these questions. If you answer “yes,” it’s time to consider making some repairs.
Is your roof sagging? Tackle your roof first: Look for sagging areas, cracked or worn shingles, mold or rot, and dangling gutters and downspouts. Unless you’re experienced, don’t walk on an old roof yourself to look for damage – hire a professional. If your roof is in need of repair, don’t give in to the temptation to save money with a cheap fix; invest in high-quality shingles and installation.
Brick flaking? Examine your home’s exterior for signs of wear and tear. Chipping, peeling, and bubbling are symptoms of siding that may need repair or replacement. When it comes to brick, flaking, cracking or crumbling mortar may signal the need for TLC.
Basement leaking? Your basement is another area of the home that should be top-of-mind when deciding what to fix. Don’t ignore leaks, even small ones. Make sure that water isn’t getting in from outside. By fixing cracks in the foundation and properly insulating the basement, you’ll conquer “damp basement syndrome.”
Energy costs skyrocketing? Any renovation that improves efficiency is worthwhile. Greening your home can provide a recovery rate of up to 60 percent of the cost of the renovation. In old homes, windows, doors and skylights can be a big source of heat loss. To keep heat in and cold out, windows need to be double- or triple-glazed. Consider upgrading old windows and exterior doors to models that qualify as energy efficient.
Granite countertops can wait; these repairs can’t.