Adding Value to your Home with Solar Panels

Deciding to invest in solar panels might be something you’ve considered before, but never followed through on. Debating whether the time and money are worth it can become exhausting, but given a newfound convenience and lowered cost, the choice is easier than ever before. Solar panels have become a great way to not only reduce your carbon footprint but also significantly cut costs on your electricity bill with immediate results.

Environmental Impact

Having solar panels installed is a great way to invest in an eco-friendly energy source. Solar power is extremely reliable and while there’s not an unlimited supply, it’s safe to say the Sun won’t be running out of steam any time in the near future. If you decide to install solar panels, you may also encourage your neighbors to follow suit.

Cost Effective

A lot of the time, it seems we’re forced to decide between making an environmentally conscious decision and saving money. Solar panels, however, will save you money and mother nature will thank you, too. The recent plummet of prices in the solar panel industry has turned what was once a good investment into a great one. It’s entirely possible that the cost of installing the panels is the last of the electricity bills. Many solar panel owners have a total of $0 per month for electricity, not to mention the folks in some states who are actually compensated by their electric provider for the power they contribute to the grid.

Expedited Selling Process

Solar panels let you increase your asking price right off the bat, and they’ll also help your property sell a whole lot quicker. Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular, but homes on the market with pre-installed panels are still at a premium. By putting the house on the market with the panels already installed, all of the work and headache is removed. It’s entirely possible that your home will be the only one in the area that is on the market with solar panels, a guaranteed way to drive up competition and close a deal quickly.

Numbers Breakdown

So, you may be wondering what you need to spend until the investment is worth it. Yes, the more you spend up front, the more you’ll save. Still, any sized investment is worth the effort. The national average for a solar panel system to power an entire house is 5 kilowatts. Given that each watt of solar adds about $3–4 of savings to your bill, expect to see at least a $15,000-20,000 increase in home value after the panels are installed. When going through the process of selling your house, make sure potential buyers are fully aware of the full benefits of a solar powered home.

Solar panels, whether you’re planning on selling your house within 6 months or 6 years, will undoubtedly pay dividends in the long run. If it’s a boost in your savings you need, or perhaps some more disposable income, it’s hard to turn down the profits you’ll see. Just by installing the panels and letting them do the rest of the work.

The Interior Design Apps We Can’t Live Without

People are making DIY improvements to their homes in increasing numbers. Television shows and blogs have helped homeowners feel a sense of renewed confidence in tackling everything, from replacing tile to full demos, on their own.

But one of the best sources of interior design inspiration are apps—that’s right, the convenient little programs on your computer, phone, or tablet—that can help you plan out your rooms and bring your vision to life.

Houzz

This website/app is valuable for a lot of reasons. First and foremost, it’s a place for professional designers and DIY-ers to meet and share ideas. Not only can you search for a professional in your area and read reviews on their work, you can look at their portfolio to inspire your own projects if you want to go it on your own. There is also a tool that allows you to place virtual products into an image of your space to see how it looks before you buy!

MagicPlan

Determining how to arrange the items in your rooms and what fits where can be challenging. This app allows you to scan rooms in your home to create digital floor plans, which can make planning your renovation a lot easier. The app can also generate 3D models of your floor plans for you to be able to visualize your space even more realistically.

Hutch

If you have a hard time picturing new furniture or colors in your room, this app can help you out. All you have to do is upload an image of the room, and it allows you to add and remove items that you want. Looking for a new bed? Simple swap out the old and browse through the app’s collection of products to preview in the room. You can even buy items straight from the app!

Smith

If you’re still unsure of whether or not your home renovation will require a professional, this app can help you decide before you get yourself in over your head. It allows you to post the project you’re working on to the app, and browse for local contractors based on reviews and qualifications.

iHandy Carpenter

For simple fixes, like making sure that picture frame is straight, there’s no better tool than iHandy. It includes tools like a bubble level and a steel ruler to help you avoid crooked decor and to complete projects with a professional look.

For more home decorating tips and ideas, visit americanlifestylemag.com/home.