Sim­ple up­grades for older homes

The Progress-Index - At Home - - NEWS -

In­creas­ing liv­ing space, spruc­ing up the ex­te­rior and im­prov­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency are at the top of the list for many home­own­ers liv­ing in older or smaller houses. But such ad­di­tions and up­grades can be ex­ten­sive and costly. By mak­ing strate­gic up­grades, how­ever, you can ac­com­plish all th­ese de­sires sim­ply and af­ford­ably.

If you’re on a bud­get, here are some steps you can take to make your home more liv­able and beau­ti­ful while si­mul­ta­ne­ously re­duc­ing your util­ity bills:

Smart In­te­rior De­sign

Smart dec­o­rat­ing can im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency. En­sure fur­ni­ture is not block­ing vents. In­stall car­pet­ing or use area rugs to make your home co­zier in win­ter.

Awnings

Con­sid­er­ing an ad­di­tion to your home? A fab­ric canopy or awning over your deck or pa­tio is a great long-term so­lu­tion to ex­pand needed liv­ing space at a low cost. Be it an out­door kitchen, liv­ing room or sim­ply a cov­ered deck or pa­tio, you can make bet­ter use of your ex­ist­ing out­door spa­ces with awnings.

And adding awnings and so­lar shades to your home can ex­tend the life of your air con­di­tioner and save you money on en­ergy bills for years to come. Re­cent data in­di­cates that the shade pro­vided by this retrofit can help re­duce cool­ing costs in some parts of the coun­try by more than 50 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to The Pro­fes­sional Awning Man­u­fac­tur­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Win­dow and door­way awnings also pro­vide an af­ford­able and quick boost of curb ap­peal by com­ple­ment­ing your home with splashes of color and adding drama and im­pact to an oth­er­wise or­di­nary façade. Con­sider echo­ing the ar­chi­tec­ture of a tra­di­tional res­i­dence or com­ple­ment­ing more mod­ern-styled homes.

More in­for­ma­tion about how to up­grade your home with awnings can be found at www.Awn­ingInfo.com.

Or­ga­nize

If you’re short on space, ex­pand your liv­ing area through or­ga­ni­za­tion. Do a sweep ev­ery few days to de-clut­ter. And think ver­ti­cal ver­sus hor­i­zon­tal, as a nar­row, tall shelv­ing unit will take up a lot less floor space than a large trunk. Con­sider opt­ing for fur­ni­ture that moon­lights as stor­age, such as a cof­fee ta­ble with a bot­tom shelf and beds with pull-out draw­ers.

If clos­ets are lim­ited, look to un­der­used ar­eas of the home, such as the foyer. For ex­am­ple, adding a row of hooks and a bench to your home’s en­try­way cre­ates a makeshift mud room and a per­fect place to store coats and shoes.

By opt­ing for af­ford­able, high-im­pact up­grades, you can achieve max­i­mum liv­abil­ity, com­fort and func­tion­al­ity in your older or smaller home.

CON­TRIB­UTED PHOTO/STATE POINT

Spruc­ing up the ex­te­rior and im­prov­ing en­ergy ef­fi­ciency are at the top of the list for many home­own­ers liv­ing in older or smaller houses.

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