There have been so many changes to tax laws this year, it’s hard to keep up with! But one thing is for sure, a lot of folks are getting refunds that add up. If you are expecting a reimbursement this tax season, it’s important to think about how to best spend the funds. We believe one of the biggest and best investments you will ever make is your home. Choosing to invest in products that increase your home’s value - especially in this housing market - are a great financial move.
So how do you decide what projects to tackle?
Determine the amount of your tax refund you want to spend
First assessing how much money you are wanting to invest into a home project can help you identify which projects would be most beneficial at that price point. For example, if you have $500 to spend, the projects that will make the most difference in your home value will be a lot different than if you have $3,000 or more to spend.
Smaller Home Projects for your Tax Refund
If you have a smaller amount to spend - say less than $1,000, focusing on curb appeal projects will give you the most bang for your buck. These might be upgrading fixtures on your porch, updating your shutters, touching up paint jobs, or adding to your landscaping. These may also include repair work from anything that had wind damage from this winter’s storms.
Medium Home Projects for your Tax Refund
Some medium-sized projects you should consider as a good investment are replacing your garage door - which is one of the biggest returns on investment you can make in your home - or replacing a few of your older windows that are not as energy efficient. Many people think they need to save up and replace all their windows at one time, but this isn’t really the case. You can focus on one floor of your home or one room of your home at a time so you can accommodate your budget along the way.
Larger Home Projects for your Tax Refund
If you are expecting a larger refund this year, replacing your exterior doors can have a big impact on home value, and home safety. We see time and again how few people realize the entry points to their home leave them exposed to security risks because their doors were not installed correctly originally or have just needed to be upgraded for a long time. Your entry doors can also make a big difference in your home’s curb appeal as well! Investing in your home’s siding is another larger project that has big returns on home values, especially when you choose to invest in low-maintenance siding options such as seamless steel.
Other larger projects that tend to have a high return on investment value are kitchen and bathroom remodels.
When you have chosen what type of project you want to invest in with your tax refund dollars, the next step is choosing products that are a good fit for our climate, make sense with your budget, and provide the best return on investment. To identify these, you’ll want to focus on a few key factors.
You can find energy-efficient versions of just about any product nowadays. One of the keys is choosing the most energy-efficient options for your climate. Some products, especially materials, are more efficient in some climates than others. In a climate like Kansas, where we experience both extreme cold and extreme heat, it’s good to look at the different values of the material to see how it is rated to perform in each of those scenarios.
Products need to stand the test of time and normal wear and tear, or you’ll be stick constantly replacing and fixing them. This is one of the reasons we use products made of materials that are not likely to bend, break, or warp. For us, that means we use fiberglass windows and seamless steel siding. These products are much stronger than vinyl options.
If you’re going to put it on your home, you want it to look like it fits - not like you cobbled a bunch of random pieces together. To do this, the more color and customization options the product has, the better. One of the ways we help our customers with customization is through color matching - both on exterior siding and on interior trim. Our windows are custom-stained in our shop to match the trim you already have in your home!
I don’t know anyone who likes to spend their limited free time cleaning out their gutters, re-caulking their siding, or re-painting their window frames. Choosing products that don’t require these tasks frees up your time and also makes it easier to know that your home is protected from the elements, even when you don’t have time to get to the honey-do list. Often homeowners will choose products that are not maintenance-free or low maintenance, but then they treat them as if they are. This can lead to bigger problems in your home as the materials are not kept up and allow pests, water, and even mold to get into the structure of your home.
Getting What You Pay for in Home Projects
Home improvement takes a lot of time and effort. Choosing your preferences on materials, contractors, colors, and styles requires so much attention to detail and can be a lot to burden yourself with on top of normal life responsibilities. Additionally, there can be wait times for products to get in, making project timelines stretch out.
We know these things make your project challenging. That’s why we think it’s very important that you get what you pay for and are pleased with the results. You don’t want to invest all that time, energy, and money into a project that just has to be re-done in a few years, or is a constant annoyance because it wasn’t done how you would have preferred. We do our absolute best to get things right for our customers.
So if you’re receiving a tax refund this year and are ready to take on a project, or just have an upgrade you need to get started on, we want you to get the results you desire and have the information you need to make well-informed decisions.