Whether you’re interested in improving your home to get a better price when you put it on the market, or you’re just looking to make your home more comfortable and enjoyable for you and your family, there are tons of options. You could completely renovate your kitchen. You could reinvent your bathrooms. You could finish out that basement. However, which ones offer the best return on your investment? Which are the smartest home improvements you can make? Let’s consider several options that should be at the top of your list.

Your HVAC System

Let’s start with what is probably the most overlooked item on your list – your heating and cooling system. HVAC systems are responsible for keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. They’re the (hopefully) silent backbone of any home. They’re also prone to wear and tear, and while annual maintenance will prolong the life of your system, you’ll eventually need to replace it. There are other benefits to replacing your HVAC system, too.

If your home has an older system, you’ll find that HVAC technology has advanced quite a bit in the last few years. Today’s systems are quieter, more energy efficient, and higher performing than ever before. That means you’ll pay less in utility bills, and be more comfortable all year long. Of course, there’s also the fact that if you choose to sell your home in the future, a new HVAC system will be a major selling point, helping you to get a higher asking price for the home.

Your Roof

The roof of your house is one of the most crucial parts of the structure. You expect it to protect you from harsh sunlight, from wind and rain, hail, sleet and snow. You also expect it to do all of that silently, and without complaint. The problem here is that roofs wear over time – conventional asphalt shingles only have a lifespan of about 25 years, and if you purchased an existing home, that means you are already working with less than that.

A leak from damaged or missing shingles can cause damage to the underlayment beneath the roofing material, and ultimately cause you significant damage, including the potential for mold growth in the attic. Replacing your roof makes a great deal of sense if you have an older home, or if you’re thinking about putting it on the market. You can also make use of longer-lasting roofing options. Metal roofs can offer up to 50 years of life, and you’ll even find some roofing materials that can last longer than that – slate shingles, for instance.

Your Windows

What’s the single largest source of energy loss in your home? Most people wouldn’t guess that it’s their windows. If your home has older windows, you could be losing a great deal of heating and cooling-related energy through them.

Replacing your home’s aging windows with modern double-paned options can yield big savings over time. You’ll even find an incredibly broad range of replacement window options out there, helping you achieve the look and feel that you want for your house. Many of those options also add to the energy-efficiency of your home, including low-E coatings, low SHGC windows, and more. Of course, there’s also the fact that new windows can be a big selling point if you choose to put your home on the market.

There you have them – three of the best home improvement options that deliver an excellent return on your investment, whether you’re thinking about selling the home, or you plan to live in it for years to come.

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