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Financial Wellness

6 Great Spring Home Improvement Ideas

Spring is finally here, and with warmer weather comes a great opportunity to plan for better home and yard improvements. Thoughtful planning and budgeting will help make sure your project gets done on time and within budget.

Be sure to manage expectations wisely, however, and remember that all home improvements are not created equal. Some have a great return on investment (ROI), which is important if you plan on selling your home in the near future and wish to keep your listing competitive.

Others do not, and may simply be a cosmetic improvement—something you just really want for the long term.

No matter the project, don't expect to recoup the full price of that improvement on your home's appraisal if you decide to sell. It really depends on what you want and can afford. We can make it easier and affordable with our Home Improvement Loan—a great option for those who need the funds, but may not have enough equity built up to take out a home equity line of credit.

For smaller purchases, be sure to use a credit card that earns you rewards or cash back on everything you buy.

So what are some timely spring home renovations? 

Put in a New or Refurbished Deck The winter season can be hard on decks. Freezing rain, snow and ice load a deck with moisture. Your deck needs maintenance to make sure wood isn't splintered, warped, moldy or rotted. You can tell if your deck is in need of repair just by feeling it and looking at the wood. Rotted wood feels soft and spongy as a result of excess moisture, and it looks darker than other wood. You can also check if your deck is rotted with a knife or another sharp blade. If you can penetrate the wood without applying much pressure, it's likely time to get your deck replaced.

A deck upgrade is well worth the time, effort and cost. On average, a new deck will cost between $5,000 to $20,000 to install. The ROI is excellent, returning a rate of 80% or higher.

Upgrade Your Landscaping A pretty yard with inviting gardens can make for great curb appeal and be the first thing potential buyers notice. Surprisingly, if you DIY, it may not cost a fortune. Some plants and shrubs grow very quickly and will be beautiful as warmer weather arrives—especially if watered properly. If you need to remove old bushes and trees, consider hiring a contractor, which could be imperative if any of the tasks involve a safety risk. Depending on the scale of the landscaping and whether it includes replacing walkways, costs can range from $2,000 - $10,000+ with an excellent ROI, averaging 200% to 400%. 

Build a New Patio An inviting patio is always an attractive way to increase your "living" space for the warm-weather months, and it can become useful for the whole year if you go all out and add a fire pit or an outdoor fireplace. Of course, the extent of the patio work will reflect the final price, but most patios are a tad cheaper than decks and can range from $1,000 to $5,000. That's mostly because patios require less maintenance, depending on the material, such as flagstone, concrete, gravel or stamped concrete. You can expect an ROI of about 55%, and it could go even higher if your project includes better materials and a sleeker design.

Install a Fence Sometimes you need one; sometimes you don't. Whether it's for privacy, to corral your dog, or to provide security for a swimming pool, this project can range anywhere from $1,000 to $6,500 depending on size and materials. Late spring is a great time to start with a new fence and digging post holes (if you're DIYing it). The ROI on fences hovers around 50% for wood, but if you go with wrought iron or something more ornamental, you may expect up to 70% ROI.

Replace Windows If your windows are in need of repair or replacement, experts recommend hiring a contractor to do it. The best reason to replace windows is to increase energy efficiency, but such a task will always require plenty of decision-making on materials (wood or vinyl). You'll also need to consider window type, such as double hung, sliding or other types. The ROI is good for this project, and you could reasonably expect an average return between 71% and 78%. The cost could range from $10,000 to $17,000, depending on the number and size of windows in your home.

Upgrade or Replace Your Roof Spring is the time to have your roof inspected for wear and tear as well as move forward with repairs or replacement. Find a trusted contractor for this inspection as they may recognize more damage underneath than you initially identify. Most people keep their fingers crossed, hoping for minor repairs as a worst case scenario—but it may require more. Count on a new roof to range from $9,000 to $12,000. The good news is that the ROI for a new roof is excellent, ranging from 85% to 100%. Nobody wants to purchase a new roof, but it's a good thing to have for upkeep and, well, to keep you dry.

The above projects are only the tip of the iceberg in the realm of home improvements that you can undertake. Indoor renovations can also be reimagined for spring, such as a new kitchen, a remodeled bathroom, a new office space—the sky's the limit. Just remember: If you plan it right and finance it smart, your choices will go a long way toward increasing the enjoyment of your day-to-day living space.

Resources:, Home Remodeling Costs Guide, Real Simple, The Money Pit