New Year Resolutions: Energy Efficient Home Improvements

energy efficient boilerAs we welcome 2013, many are looking at their own home and how they can improve it and, in turn, save money due to an increase in energy efficiency. Where many modern properties are incredibly energy efficient, older homes could contribute to a rise in monthly payments, unless some home improvements are considered.

Ever since we moved into our circa 1920’s house I have been trying to small upgrades that we are finally starting to see nice returns from.  I know doing a boiler is a big expensive project, consider doing smaller ones unless you are able to afford a boiler.

The trusty boiler is one of the worst offenders when it comes to using up energy resources. The impact that an old boiler can have on household costs is prolific, which is why replacing your boiler should come at the top of your home improvement’s list if you’re due a new one. British Gas boilers are a superb investment and with plenty of government schemes in place to help you afford this pricey commodity, you could be saving up to £200 a year on your bills in no time. It’s not difficult to do either – you can order a new boiler online and it can be installed in your home in a matter of days.

Double glazing may be at the more expensive end of the price range, but it’s an investment to be truly considered. If you’re planning on staying in your home for the foreseeable future, you could reap the rewards and see the changes in next to no time. Savings of up to £165 a year are reported; combine double glazing with some good, thick curtains and you can guarantee some excellent savings as well as a rise in energy efficiency.

Make sure that the heat doesn’t escape your home by improving your insulation. Whether its loft or wall insulation, you can make huge savings if you improve on what you have. Increasing the depth of loft insulation up to the recommended 270mm can save £25 a year, while the cost of insulating your walls can be made back in as little as 2 years.

Not all home improvements need to be costly. Replacing your bulbs with energy efficient alternatives, using thick, lined curtains on your windows or carrying out a DIY fix to keep the drafts at bay can all help to reduce your monthly payments, increase your energy efficiency and help to make your house a home.

The handyman services ! who dabbles in finance

When I was younger I had a father who took pride in fixing things around the house.  This was not only the economical for him, but it also provided him a sense of accomplishment of handyman services.  He used to fix things for a local fitness club too and was very good at it.  I used to apprentice with him and he would take me out for ice cream after the job well done.

Fast forward about 20 years and I have my own house and have a wife and kids.  I have learned to take on the same pride my father had in fixing things.  It is a sense of accomplishment when you can see that toilet, or whatever is working now due to your handy work.   If you have the skill set and the want to repair or build something there is nothing stopping you.

The amount of money that my wife and I have saved fixing things around the house is huge.  We were a one income household until this week and some minor fixes could have been catastrophic financially for us.

Recently I have tried to broaden my skill set from basic repairs to building things.  This past summer I built an 8 foot picnic table.  I am currently in the process of building a cabinet and countertop for our dishwasher.

The money saved from the basic repairs has allowed us to provide some of the basic necessities for our children when money is tight.  When money is tight sometimes you may have to stretch yourself and take on an additional task to make your way through to the good times.  A wise man once said, “a dollar saved is a dollar earned.”

Do you try to take on these chores or do you have the honey do list for the handyman?