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The Best Home Improvement Projects for Your Money

For many homeowners it makes financial sense to stay in their current home, which is why many look to make improvements and remodel. Before you get started on that new addition or remodeling project, take a moment to consider its potential return. You'll find that not all home remodeling jobs are created equal, which is why you should research the best investment for your money. We've compiled a list of some of the more popular home improvement projects to enhance your home's curb appeal and increase your quality of life.

There are plenty of design options when it comes to your entryway. You could start with creating a welcoming walkway to usher visitors to your front door. With concrete, the decorative options for entrance walks are endless. Stamped or stenciled patterns, engraving, exposed-aggregate finishes, colored concrete and concrete staining are just a few of the ways you can enhance your sidewalk design. To give your front entry even more allure, consider widening or flaring the concrete sidewalk or making it circular rather than straight.

To give your entryway the utmost in elegance and grandeur, consider adding architectural accents, such as columns, balustrades, pilasters, wall caps and archways.

When it comes time to selecting your front door, you'll need to decide whether you want a wood, steel or fiberglass door. If your budget allows, a mid to high-end fiberglass door offers the most in design flexibility, durability and efficiency.

The entryway of this home features a cement walkway accented by subtle landscaping which leads to the column covered front porch and Arcadia fiberglass door from Therma-Tru's® new Classic Craft Canvas Collection. The exterior features a stone facade using Cultured Stone®.

Just recently Therma-Tru® and Fypon® teamed up to create flexible entryway solutions that accommodate a wide range of styles, budgets and needs. Therma-Tru's® new Classic Craft Canvas Collection entry door series means you can paint it any color you want and still enjoy the benefits of fiberglass — high efficiency, security, durability and low-maintenance.

While turning your dusty old attic into a functional bedroom is certainly more expensive then updating your front entry, you will recoup on average about 80 percent of your project's cost if you decide to sell your home. When it comes to adding new livable space to your home, building an attic bedroom is a lot easier on your budget then an addition. When you add to the footprint of your house you have additional structural costs like a new foundation, which you don't have with an attic conversion.

If you only need to replace one window for your remodel or addition, you'll want to check out Pella's® exclusive Designer Series® windows. With triple-pane glass that can decrease energy bills by as much as 28 percent and reduce exterior sounds up to 85 percent, these are among the most efficient windows available. Plus, Pella® windows are designed with built-in cellular shades, blinds or decorative panels and a removable grille so you can easily change window fashions as to match your seasonal décor.

If you are looking to extend your outdoor living space, you can do it quite affordably and quickly by adding a deck. Pressure-treated wood is the cheapest solution, but if you're looking to enjoy your deck without the added upkeep, then you'll want to use composite materials. There are plenty of free deck design programs available so you can get creative with your new outdoor project, while staying within your budget.

The Trex® Deck Designer allows you to easily customize your deck with different colors, textures, design shapes and outdoor living accessories to create the outdoor living space of your dreams.

Another popular home improvement project is replacing your home's exterior with vinyl siding. Your home instantly looks brand new and you can rest easy that you won't have to endure peeling, cracking or fading for the next 25 years or so. Keep in mind that the quality of your siding has a lot to do with its lasting appeal and endurance.

Typically when you remodel a room, you will need to update the windows. This doesn't mean that you have to purchase brand new windows to successfully complement your new design. If your windows are in decent condition, you can simply replace or paint the trim, add new glass and/or dress up your window with fresh window treatments.

Of course if your windows need to be replaced because they are old and broken and no longer energy-efficient you'll want to select the best windows for your home because this is a project that can cost upwards of $10,000.

You make also enjoy reading additional articles from our remodeling section.

Design Tip
No matter what type of remodeling project you are doing, you'll most likely need paint. This is a great opportunity for you to use an eco-friendly paint, which thanks to new technology is available in a wide palette of colors, textures and quality. Look for paints that emit little or no VOCs (pollutants known as volatile organic compounds) by using water as a base instead of traditional, petroleum-based oil solvents. Natural paints, which tend to cost more, are usually made from citrus and other plant ingredients, milk protein or clay. Be sure to read the label because some paints are better for certain applications than others.