Maintenance5 min

Turn Your Tax Refund Into Lasting Home Improvement

GoBankRates.com estimates that the average tax refund this year will total about 3 000 $. In a survey conducted by that organization, 10 percent of respondents said they plan to splurge on a vacation or luxury item when the refund arrives. But 9 percent plan to use that money for a “major purchase.”

Some homeowners may choose to buy a refrigerator or washer and dryer with that windfall. But an even better investment would be a home-improvement project that may add to the home’s resale value. For example, a siding replacement adds 12 119 $ to a home’s average resale value per Hanley Wood. Building a backyard shed can also boost the value of your home, especially if the prospective buyer has a shed-ready hobby and needs an artist studio or woodworking space.  

“Replacing home siding has consistently ranked as one of the best projects for increasing a home’s value,” says Karen Alves, LP’s Brand Segment Marketing Associate for siding. “When you sell the home, you recoup more of your investment than with comparably priced renovations like window replacement.” 

With potentially 3 000 $ in hand, a homeowner can go beyond a just-the-basics renovation to one that adds significant home value. Here are some idea-starters for how to use a tax refund for a home renovation:

  • In the Northeast and West regions of the U.S., smooth home exteriors are growing in popularity. The same is true in cities with large historic districts, like Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. A tax refund can be a good first step toward turning a rustic home exterior into a stylish smooth one that matches the local surroundings. 
  • Use the tax refund to build a backyard shed that becomes your creative getaway – whether it’s a painting studio, a yoga retreat or a songwriting haven. And don’t forget that famous authors like Virginia Woolf and George Bernard Shaw actually had “writing sheds” where they retreated for inspiration.

When your refund check arrives, resist the impulse to buy those tickets to Tahiti or jewelry store bling. Invest that money into some remodeling projects that make your home more creative and increase the asking price when you sell.

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Renovation6 min

Home Improvement Show Proves Your Siding Project Can Be A Smooth Journey

The popular Lifetime Channel remodeling show Designing Spaces likes to document the home improvement journey to show that it can indeed be a manageable experience. The program recently shared the story of James and Stella, a professional couple in Wilmington, North Carolina, who did a re-siding project that went smoothly from start to finish.

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Renovation5 min
Tips on Re-Siding in Historic Districts

If you own a home in a historic district, you can forget about replacing the existing siding with vinyl. Most historic districts require replacement siding to closely match the original, hence wood (or engineered wood) and brick. Understanding home building regulations based on historic overlays can help eliminate the headache during renovations, so it's important to stay in the know before embarking on the project.

Renovation5 min
Top Four Home Exterior Tips for Fall

With fall just around the corner, it's time to plan how you will ensure your home's exterior is ready for the cooler temperatures while also keeping up with the latest seasonal trends. Not sure where to start? We break down the top four home exterior tips for fall for a little inspiration.

Trends6 min
Using the Right Siding for a Ranch Home

Ranch-style home designs are known for low and wide single-story profiles, large picture windows, sliding glass doors and attached front garages. These close-to-the-ground homes were first built in the U.S. in the 1920s, but they didn't gain widespread popularity until the post-World War II era into the 1970s. As suburbia spread, the ranch-style house became one of America's favorites. The popularity of ranch-style homes waned in the '80s and '90s, but it's making a comeback as younger homebuyers rediscover the ranch's charm-much like they did with bungalows.