Hunkering Down With Home Improvement: 3 Projects That Make Sense Today

One thing for sure in this unpredictable economy is that homeowners are staying put. In fact, most people do not plan to move any time soon, according to a 2011 Harris Interactive poll. This shift from sell to stay is why it pays for homeowners to look beyond resale value when making home improvement decisions.

As Designer and HGTV Personality Lori Dennis explains, “People today are looking more holistically at home remodeling, choosing projects that add comfort, efficiency and functionality.” In this new era of home improvement, three projects stand out.

Window Replacement

Nothing does more to enhance the look and feel of a home than windows — they are visible inside and outside and can add comfort by helping to eliminate drafts and regulate temperatures. They can also pay off as an investment. Advancements in energy-efficient windows are helping homeowners save 30 percent or more on energy bills, not to mention recoup about 70 percent of the cost of window replacement. The latest window designs include a combination of energy efficiency, durability and aesthetics. The Essence™ Series from Milgard, for example, comes ENERGY STAR® rated and features a beautiful wood interior and durable fiberglass exterior.

Outdoor Spaces

According to a survey by the American Institute of Architects, more than 60 percent of architects say they have seen an increase in outdoor living space requests. Since owners are thinking long-term, patios, decks, sunrooms and other spaces contribute to both the experience at home and its property value. It’s possible to earn back 50 to 75 percent of the cost of your outdoor addition.

Kitchen Remodeling

The kitchen is the heart of the home and an opportunity to set the tone for style and functionality. Two of the most popular ways to expand kitchen work space are to add an island/peninsula and natural lighting. Modern kitchen solutions feature cabinets and drawers that open, organize and spin in convenient ways. Homeowners can recoup about 70 percent of their kitchen-remodeling costs.

For more remodeling tips and window-replacement budgeting tools, visit

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