When you’re a homeowner, ensuring your house is in the best shape it can be is always a top priority. When you are in the market for new home insurance, it is important to know the last time your home has undergone improvements or updates. In most cases, insurers will be unable to provide you with a quote unless this information can be provided. As a result, it can be hard to decipher what types of updates are worth doing to your home, and when exactly they should be done. Making big changes can be a lot of work, and most updates can be quite pricey. The good news is, many benefits come with improving your home, and there are many home updates to consider.

Not only will you be making your home a more comfortable (and safer) place to live, but you will be making it safer in many ways. Updating your home also allows it to increase in value if you ever decide to sell. Let’s take a look at the many ways you can give your home a boost.

1. Update your front porch or back deck

Let’s face it, nothing is more of an eyesore than an old front porch. Not only can it put a damper on how your home looks, but it can also be dangerous in many ways. Updating your front porch or back deck is a terrific way to modernize your home, but to also avoid any injuries or possible liability of visitors. Old wood or cracked cement are sure signs that your deck is ready to be replaced. Additionally, rusted fixtures and loose railings should also be repaired immediately. The last thing you want is for you or a guest to slip and fall on your front porch or deck.

When it comes to the back deck, look out for signs of mold or mildew in the wood. A refurbished, or completely new, front porch or deck will also add some value to your home. Since the winter months are here, now is the perfect time to start planning your home updates for the spring!

2. Consider fixing or replacing your roof

Updating your roof is another terrific way to not only give your home a new look, but to keep you and your family protected from potential water damage. When you first purchase an older home, your roof should be the first place you should have inspected. This is especially the case in Canada, where harsh winters can take quite a toll on your roof and shingles. The colder temperatures and ice can cause your shingles to become loose, which may cause water seepage in the spring. On top of this, the heavy snow and ice dams can do some hefty damage to your roof. Luckily, it can be quite easy to figure out when your roof needs replacing. Missing or cracked shingles, broken eavestroughs, and dark streaks are all sure signs it’s time for a new roof. Generally speaking, your shingles roof should be replaced every 15-30 years.

Remember, when doing any inspections or renovations on your roof, it is best to hire a professional to avoid any serious injuries! Once installed, you should follow our proper roof maintenance tips to give it the longest lifespan possible.

3. Replacing your doors and windows

Similar to above, replacing your doors and windows is a great way of breathing some new life into an older home. Doing so can also make your home much more comfortable. Older windows and doors can be a huge culprit for escaping heat in the winter and cool air in the summer. Everyone knows how pricey your heating and air bills can be. Though expensive at first, replacing or weatherproofing your windows can be a great way to save you money in the long run.

Generally, you’ll be able to tell it’s time for new windows and doors when you feel a draft when standing close by. Other sure signs include struggling to open or close your windows, or if condensation regularly appears during the winter months. Condensation and moisture build-up between your window panes can unfortunately breed mold if not taken care of properly, which is a bigger issue altogether.

4. Clean your air ducts

Not only will cleaning your air ducts result in fresher air, but it will save you lots of money in the long run. When air ducts don’t get cleaned regularly, they start to work less efficiently due to clogging from dust. Once your air ducts are cleaned, it means more warm and cool air is able to pump through your home. This results in your HVAC system not having to work as hard. When your air ducts aren’t kept in tip-top shape, they get worn out quicker, meaning your furnace or air conditioner works overtime, and replacement will have to be sooner. Your air ducts should be cleaned every three to five years for reference.

5. Replace your heating system

A new and improved heating system is a good way to make sure your home remains as comfortable as possible. Similar to previous updates, the type of heating and the last time it was updated play an important role in figuring out the price of insurance premiums. Most heating systems, such as furnaces, should be replaced roughly every 15 years. In order to make sure it is properly working, it should be serviced at least once every two years.

So, how do you know if it’s time to get a new heating system? If you tend to have high electrical bills or your home is simply not warm enough, it might be time for an update. Other signs include your home being more dusty than usual, or your furnace making strange noises. Though an entirely new heating system can be a lot of money to dish out, it pays for itself in the long run

6. Replace your electrical wiring/panel

When it comes to electrical, it can play a decent role in figuring out your insurance premiums. Generally, the amperage and whether or not you use a fuse or breaker will play a part. On top of this, it can sometimes be tricky to figure out when you should be hiring an electrician. However, if your home’s breaker is constantly tripping and your lights are often flickering, it may be time to call an electrician.

Depending on how many amps you are looking into upgrading to, you will be looking at anywhere between $300 to $5,000 to get a new electrical panel. On average, it will cost you roughly $1,800. These numbers can climb even higher if you plan on rewiring your home’s entire electrical infrastructure. The larger your home is, the higher the amp you should have.

7. Update your plumbing

Similar to your electrical, your plumbing and pipes may also need some updating. If you live in an older home, there is a good chance that older clay or lead pipes are still in place. In many cases, copper or PVC piping is also quite common. Over time, as pipes age, they start to affect the water quality and succumb to corrosion. This will cause water to taste funny and in worse-case scenarios, make the water discolour. Corroded pipes will often clog more frequently. Unfortunately, once corrosion sets in, it may be time to get a new plumbing system.

The newer your home’s plumbing is, the more money you will be able to get for it. When purchasing a house, you will need to figure out the type of plumbing and pipes your home has. This helps you get a proper price when it comes to your insurance premiums.

8. Check on your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors

When it comes to making your home as safe as possible, having your fire alarm and carbon monoxide detectors working is crucial. In most cases, people tend to simply replace the batteries on both machines to keep them running. However, this is not always the solution! When purchasing an older home, it is important to inquire about when the fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors were last replaced. This is because all devices should be completely replaced every 10 years. Over time, the sensor on alarms will wear out, causing them to not work as efficiently or malfunction. Even if your alarm may seem in working condition after 10 years, it is recommended to change it to stay safe.

Whether you have lived in your home for years or recently purchased a new or pre-owned one, these tips are crucial for everyone to follow. When you have all of the information you need regarding your home, getting the proper home insurance coverage is that much easier. Contact isure or request a quote today!

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