This year, instead of trying to lose weight for the 30th time, why not do something that will be guaranteed to make a lasting improvement in your life? Try a home improvement project for something that will yield tangible results that won’t disappear the next time you have a cookie. Here are some project ideas that will make you smile all year long:
Install a Security System
According to the FBI, home break-ins are the most common threat to homes; a home burglary occurs every 13 seconds and only 17 percent of homes have a security system in the U.S. A study by Dr. Simon Hakim of Temple University states, “An alarmed single family home is more than 60 percent less likely to be burgled than a similar home without an alarm.”
Household security comes in many forms. Video cameras, audible alarms, automatic police summoning and other options are available through companies like Lifeshield.com Security Systems. Some systems can be installed as a DIY project in less than an hour. Professional installation is another option. With a security system, your vacations will never be ruined by the fear that someone might have broken in while you were gone. Also, insurance agencies can offer discounts up to 20 percent when a home security system is installed, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
A fresh coat of paint makes both interior and exterior walls look like new. Your mood is sure to improve when you see clean newness instead of dingy old coatings. Better yet, change the color to kill boredom and brighten your days. If you have good dexterity, try doing the work yourself. Otherwise, hire professionals to avoid drips and accidental painted moldings.
According to HGTV.com, each color can effect your mood:
Green: Newness and birth, seen as talkative and stimulating to conversation.
Turquoise: Vibrant and spirited, represents a kinesthetic, athletic tension.
Blue: Fresh and vital, can give us clarity.
White: Heavenly and innocent, represents cleanliness and the absence of pain.
Yellow: Intellectual and innocent happiness, associated with “higher powers.”
Red: Powerful and emotional, full of ego and “inner flames.”
Gray: Solid and supported; can feel warm, cool, or no temperature at all.
Brown: Security and contentment; it is the protector.
Expand Your Usable Space
Transform the attic into an extra room or turn your basement into a game room. Adding more square footage to your home with a new room can be an incredibly expensive project. Attic spaces often work well for craft rooms and game rooms, especially if they have high ceilings. If you have kids, you can add swings to the rafters, and create a cool play room just for them.
Although you can recoup some of your investment, anywhere from 50 to 83 percent, this projects costs can really increase more than you expect. According to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value report, an average basement remodel, with an addition of a wet bar, costs $64,000.
A New Kitchen
For this area of the home, most of the savings are in the planning. The kitchen is highly sensitive to design trends, so it can easily become outdated. Do a full renovation to give yourself all of the conveniences of modern developments as well as make your entire house look newer. Without the appliances, the average kitchen renovation costs between $15-20,000, according to MSN.com. Some major kitchen renovations can yield up to 92 percent returns when selling, according to HomeAdvisor.com.
The most important things to update for the kitchen for monetary value, according to MSN.com, are adding a window (costs about $1000) and a French door (costs about $3000), which can get double return on investment.
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