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Improving the Look and Feel of Your Home

Now is the perfect time to give your house a much-needed makeover. Last year, homeowners spent an average of $13,000 to improve the interiors and exteriors of their homes.

While $13,000 can get you far, there are several projects you can tackle for much less. Take on one or two of the projects below to keep spending within reason while drastically improving the look and feel of your home.

Here is a breakdown of some of the trendiest and most popular home improvement projects in 2020.

Replace Your Roof

The average rooftop lasts an average of 20 to 30 years, according to U.S. News and The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). If your roof is missing several shingles or displaying obvious signs of water damage and/or wear, prioritize replacing your roof. Don’t wait until it is visibly bowing or buckling under years of pressure, and you are gambling with the possibility of costly repairs every day.

Replacing the roof is a worthwhile investment when improving your home. While roof replacement and/or roof repairs are functional and necessary, they can drastically improve your home’s appearance and save you money!

For example, metal roofing is durable, long-lasting, and “can save your home up to 40% in energy costs,” according to the Metal Roofing Alliance. Flat metal roofs are the perfect option for a chic, minimalist look. They’re well-insulated, cost-effective, and typically made from recycled materials, like aluminum. Plus, over time, many companies have mastered the ability to make metal mimic the appearance of other materials. Now it is possible to install an energy-efficient metal roof that is nearly indistinguishable from a traditional roof with asphalt shingles.

Contact a residential roofing company for an estimate.

Take Another Look The Garage

Another important area of focus when improving your home should be your garage. Start with the garage door. There are several ways you can revamp the exterior of your garage that will boost your home’s curb appeal and leave it looking like new.

Replace a tired, old garage door with new, well-insulated overhead doors for significant savings on your monthly heating and cooling bill. Swap plain or worn doors with new doors with stately frosted windows, bold, all-black garage doors, or garage doors with striking patterns, materials, and textures. For a modern, trendy look, consider installing barndoor-style garage doors, rustic wood doors with ornate details, or repainting doors vibrant colors that make a statement.

Whatever your new garage door looks like after repainting and/or working with an overhead door company, an upgrade is a worthwhile investment. According to Home Advisor, replacing your garage door packs an impressive potential return on investment (ROI) of 97.5%!

Revamp Your Driveway

Add some character to your home by giving your driveway a new look. Homeowners in 2020 are changing things up in the following ways:

  • Expertly combining materials. Team up with asphalt paving contractors to pave your driveway or reseal it. (Remember, to keep driveways looking their best, it is wise to reseal asphalt driveways once every two to three years.) While working with them, why not ask about all your options? In 2020, more and more homeowners are sprucing up paved asphalt driveways with brick or natural stone borders. Use borders to create a sharp-looking drive with multiple colors and/or textures.
  • Highlighting driveways and walkways with eye-catching landscaping elements. Another way to make driveways pop is to blend hardscape and softscape components. Line driveways with plants, bright, colorful flowers, or a retaining wall and garden. Mix textures with attention-grabbing green plants and man-made materials.
  • Adding geometric patterns. Landscaping, hardscaping and residential paving contractors want you to know that your driveway doesn’t have to be drab! A smooth and simple driveway may suit you just fine. If you would like to add a bit more personality when improving your home — inside and out — consider adding striking, geometric patterns to your driveway. Herringbone, Brick Bond, hexagonal patterns, modular patterns, basketweave patterns, and more are all a possibility, depending on the material or materials you would like to use. Ask your contractor for more information.
  • Lighting it up. Inlaid lights look sharp, but they can be practical too — especially if you have a long driveway and/or live in an area that gets particularly dark at night.

Install A Swimming Pool

Are you looking for an addition to your home to instantly boost curb appeal and keep you entertained for days on end? Improving your home can be as straightforward as adding a swimming pool.

Swimming pool installation can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be. An in-ground pool without frills will keep you and your family cool this summer. If you want to kick it up a notch, consider the possibilities. Some options include:

  • Add a tanning ledge or sun shelf. “The shallow end isn’t just for kids anymore. More and more grown-ups are wading into the trend of tanning ledges,” Realtor.com writes. Once complete, homeowners can purchase lounge chairs specially built for these features. These lounge chairs are water-compatible. It’s okay for them to get wet and remain wet on your shallow tanning ledge.
  • Keep it sleek and modern. Look up minimalist pool designs and/or ledge-free pool design. Pools without ledges or clean lines only look much less conspicuous and blend in nicely with the surrounding landscape. Want to take that idea one step further?
  • Pools that fit your existing landscape. For an even more natural look, opt for a pool that is built to custom-fit your existing landscape. What exactly is possible? Currently, pool installation companies are “creating pools that serve as retaining walls on sloped lots, or have bars in them, or include a water feature in the middle,” Realtor.com continues.
  • Build an Amish pool house. Pool houses are beautiful and versatile additions. The structures have several possible uses, including acting as a shed, changing room, guest room, or simply providing extra room for storage. Build pool houses with cabanas-like exteriors or overhanging rooftops for an outdoor bar, sitting area, and/or covered lounge area.

Outdoor Kitchens And Cozy Patio Areas

Homeowners are spending more time relaxing and entertaining outdoors — and that means that elaborate outdoor kitchens are emerging as a trendy and increasingly common feature.

Many homeowners are going the extra mile to put together an outdoor kitchen. Modern outdoor kitchens include just about everything you may need, including grills, sinks, refrigerators or mini-refrigerators, dishwashers, and trash disposals. While it was once pretty standard to be in and out of the house during BBQs and other events, fully functional outdoor kitchens now make it possible to prepare the meal, cook it, and clean up after — all while enjoying the outdoors and sticking around to entertain guests. Some are even adding cabinets and storage to stow some utensils and food items outside of the home.

Class it up even more with unconventional elements, like an in-ground hot tub, pizza oven, and/or infrared heaters that make it possible to lounge and entertain outdoors year-round.

Dramatic Accents And Minimalist Landscapes

When it comes to improving your home, exterior contractors agree that changes can be simple and impactful — or even ultimately save you time and money.

To improve your exterior’s aesthetics without sinking too much effort and time into projects, consider adding a fresh coat of paint. In 2020, a growing number of homeowners are using black as an accent. Make weathered brick or stone exteriors pop by painting trim a dramatic color, like black. Paint fences black to make the greenery and colors of your landscape pop and to make dirt less noticeable and extend your time between washing and cleaning. Another option is to pair neutral shades like white, grey, or cream-colored paneling or earth tones like grey and brown with a dramatic pop of color by painting the front door and/or shades bright yellow or bright blue.

Low-maintenance yards are another option to seriously consider when improving your home. Because homeowners are spending more and more time outdoors, they want their landscapes to look as healthy and as green as possible. Low-maintenance plants, like ornamental grasses or groundcover plants (e.g., lily of the valley, clover, jasmine, and succulents) reduce the need for mowing and require little water once fully grown. You can also cut back on mowing by adding a native perennial garden or plant bed. These plants are naturally suited for the conditions in your area and support local bird, bee, and butterfly populations.

Spruce Up Your Home’s Interior

Of course, the process of improving your home would be incomplete if you focus on the exterior of your home alone. It is also important to take another look at interior rooms when improving your home. Look to some of the latest interior design trends for inspiration.

  • Nature-Inspired Rooms. Start literally. Whenever possible, bring as much natural light into rooms as possible. Brighten up rooms with indoor plants, indoor gardens, and living or green walls. Call to mind streams, ponds, and soothing bodies of water with modest or not-so-modest indoor fountains. Working literal natural elements into your home is just the first step. Amp it up by choosing decor and furnishings that remind you of being outside. “Think botanical prints, lush greens, and replications of wood grains and stone veinings for pillows, rugs, and upholstery, along with delicate wild flora and fauna motifs in homewares,” Architectural Digest writes. Choose natural stone and wood for furnishings, decorate with earth tones, and/or choose art that directly features or is heavily inspired by nature.
  • High-Contrast Decorations. Mix patterns. Once considered a faux pas, more and more designers and homeowners are coming around to the opinion that mixing patterns can work, if you do it right. Choose patterns that have a color in common to keep the look stylish and daring, but cohesive. Pair bold, vibrant colors with markedly demure or subtle ones. Striking black furniture in all-white rooms or dramatic black or dark red accent walls are quickly coming into vogue. When choosing furniture, decor, and any other elements for your home, embrace drama — don’t avoid it.
  • Curves. When improving your home, one of the latest interior design trends is to choose curved, semi-circular couches and loveseats. Bring the living room together with an oversized, circular ottoman in the center of the room or seating area. Designer Breeze Giannasio describes the trendy couches this way: “We’ll see some ’60s and ’70s throwbacks with a modern twist and a focus on line and curve.”
  • Free-standing tubs. With stress and anxiety levels across the world at an all-time high, self-care is becoming a top priority — and, with it, free-standing tubs are becoming more and more popular as well. Free-standing tubs bring the spa experience into the home. Free-standing tubs enable homeowners to take luxury soaks with candles and salts, bubbles, and dried flowers. (Bonus: You won’t have to purchase an overflow drain cover to fill your tub up enough to take a proper bath as with most traditional bathtubs and bath/shower combinations.) Free-standing tubs stand alone in a comfortable nook, enabling you to sink into the bath and forget about the rest of the room and life’s greater worries. Plus, homebuyers are increasingly looking for luxury baths — meaning your new tub will promise a considerable return on investment.

Have you ever thought of making little changes or not-so-little changes to meet your goal of improving your home? Now is the time — just ask the vast majority of Americans. According to a Bank of America study, 70% of U.S. households began tackling home renovations and home improvement projects in recent months and many of them even plan to keep in up next year in 2021 as well.

Start with a list of musts (i.e., if replacing your roof is well past due, do that first!). Add some wants if your budget allows for it. From there, gather materials, contact relevant professionals for estimates and consultations, and begin tackling the items on your list one-by-one until you are unmistakably — and dramatically — improving your home inside and out.

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