The 10 Best Ways to add value to your home

Green is in, so many companies are looking for ways to reduce costs and minimize their carbon footprint. One way is to offer telecommuting options for employees. Millions of Americans work from home, and that number grows every year. This has made a home office more of a necessity than a luxury. Creating a dedicated work space not only adds value to your house, but it also makes your telecommute tax deductible. Converting an unused den, sunroom or extra bedroom is a great way to take care of business from the comfort of your home. You’ll want to make sure that you have plenty of space to spread out your work load and ample cabinets for storing supplies and archival paperwork. You also need an ergonomic workstation. The rule of thumb is a 26-inch (66-centimeter) high desk and a computer keyboard situated 23 to 28 inches (58 to 71 centimeters) from your body. Your chair height should be 15 to 21 inches (38 to 53 centimeters) from the floor. If you live in an old house, make sure the electrical outlets have been updated with grounded outlets to accommodate three-pronged plugs. Phone lines and data ports are also a big plus.

Curb Appeal

If your house doesn’t look appealing from the outside, chances are a potential buyer will never make it inside. According to Bankrate.com, a good first impression can add five to 10 percent to the value of your home. If the exterior color of your house is dated or fading, painting is a good place to start your improvements. Choose colors and exterior details that match the period of your house. Shutters add charm and depth, but not if they’re hanging crooked or flaking paint. Paving a driveway or walkway that is in disrepair is a must, because this is what leads people to your home — you want it to be welcoming. Attractive, manicured front-yard landscaping will also add value to your home. Drought-tolerant plants and easy-to-care-for perennials are a good option if you don’t have a green thumb. And don’t forget about your backyard either. Outdoor living is very popular as more people wish to commune with nature in the comfort of their own home. Sprucing up a deck or patio with attractive furniture, raised garden beds and maybe even a water feature will give you years of enjoyment and appeal to future buyers.

Add a Deck

If you think adding a sunroom is a cost-effective way to increase your home’s value, nailing on a deck is truly a bargain. According to Remodeling Magazine’s “Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report for 2007,” more than 85 percent of your wooden deck’s cost can be recouped if you sell your home, compared with 78 percent of a bathroom remodel and 68 percent of a family room addition. Ten or 20 years ago, tacking on a simple wooden structure was fine. But today’s homeowners crave outdoor living space, and are looking for something a little more special than yesterday’s plain planks. So if you’re going to add a deck, take some time to come up with an interesting shape, and consider adding enhancements such as a built-in fire pit, benches or raised garden beds. Using higher-grade materials for the flooring and railings not only further enhances this addition, but can make it easier to maintain, too.

Add a Sunroom

Sunrooms are a bridge between your home and the outdoors, and are part of today’s popular “outdoor living” trend that includes outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and upscale patios. Sunrooms are either unheated (three-season) or heated (four-season) and often include features like cathedral ceilings, skylights and tile flooring. Adding a sunroom is an affordable way to increase your home’s square footage. In fact, it’s typically less than half the cost of adding a standard room to your home. Even better, sunrooms are very attractive to homebuyers, especially those in colder climates; in the United States, sunrooms are most popular in the Northeast and Midwest. When adding a sunroom to your home, select a spot that’s near a gathering area — the kitchen, family room, living room or dining room — as sunrooms typically become preferred eating spots and overflow areas when entertaining guests.

Article courtesy of: http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/5-ways-to-add-value-to-home.htm

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