Four home improvements that pay you back

Homeowners are looking for value in every home improvement project they take on, whether they are upgrading for resale or their own pride of ownership.

With new technologies and products on the market, it is easier than ever to add value to your home with projects that ultimately pay you back in numerous ways.

• Luxurious looks that are affordable. Technology in home improvements has enabled homeowners to create a luxurious exterior that also saves money and recoups their investment.

This includes contemporary trends of mixed materials, colors and textures, combining the look of rich, wood-stain shake or even stone in a variety of styles and patterns for foundation cladding or deck skirting.

Polymers can actually be stained or finished to look like the real thing.

“We have come light years in achieving rich shake and stone looks for any home that won’t break the bank,” said Ralph Bruno, president of Novik Sales Corp. “There are solutions available that actually install as easy or easier than typical siding, with low-maintenance and high moisture resistance, so ground contact is no problem.”

The payback: years of savings on maintenance and rich looks that increase home values.

• Reducing labor, add­ing beauty to decks. The concept of the outdoor room tops many homeowners’ lists. One way to make any type of wood, composite or PVC deck project faster, easier and more beautiful, is to find a system that gives the impression of indoor flooring with a fastener-free look.

This is also a safety issue, since raised fasteners can harm bare feet and get hot in the sun.

There are several categories of concealed fasteners on the market, with some next-gen systems that save time and labor with more speed and stability.

“Fastening deck boards on the edge with a series of proprietary fasteners, guides and drill bits represents the latest deck technology,” said Chip Manger, vice president at Camo Edge Fastening.

“It saves up to 25 percent on installation time and up to 50 percent on costs compared to clips and is very simple to use.”

The payback: big savings on deck installation costs, better aesthetics and years of longevity.

• Guarding against weather and energy loss. Homeowners often have no idea how much damage can arise from moisture getting into the home or the inflated cost of utility bills through energy loss. A yearly audit of windows, doors and jambs, receptacles, roof/gutter lines and other vulnerable areas can protect your home from expensive future repairs.

The simple act of sealing these areas with the right caulk can make a huge impact.

“There are quality long-life sealants that adhere to a variety of surfaces with excellent adhesion and joint expansion to keep moisture out and prevent heating and cooling energy loss,” said Alan Crupper, vice president of marketing for Red Devil Inc.

“One example is Storm­guard-920, a new 100 percent silicon sealant with a quick-forming permanent seal that can be exposed to the elements like rain after just 30 minutes.”

The payback: weatherizing your home from the elements and energy loss.

• Standing water threatens property and health. The possibility of water seeping into the home is usually enough to scare any homeowner into action, but these days the Zika virus and other insect-borne diseases are driving solutions for removing standing water.

In anticipation, the Wall Street Journal reports insect repellent production is expected to triple this year.

Homeowners may think water transfer systems are cost prohibitive and difficult to operate, so they wait until it is too late. There are new affordable advancements that can remove water in tight spaces like window wells or wide open grassy areas where insects breed.

“Look for water removal pumps with attachments on the top and side, so they fit anywhere,” said Jeremy Cantor, vice president of marketing for WAYNE Pumps.

As an example, he said, “We designed one such pump called the WWB WaterBUG to be versatile and portable enough to remove any standing water on the homeowner’s property quickly and efficiently.”

The payback: protecting the home from seeping stand­ing water and keeping homeowners safe.

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Make the right choices on today’s advanced home improvement products and systems and you can have a huge payback on your investment and make a lasting impression. (BPT)

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