Expensive Home Renovations That Will Save You Money

Today we welcome back Daisy Flower, our Thursday contributor.

When we first moved into our house eight months ago, there were some issues with it that we had to fix right away. One of these issues was that our home had asbestos insulation in the attic.

We didn’t want to live with asbestos, though it is fine as long as you don’t disturb it. We didn’t know whether it had been disturbed and we were also planning on converting our loft (which was the access point to the attic) into our master bedroom. We didn’t want to take the risk.

After spending thousands of dollars (which luckily we were able to negotiate into the price of the home) on removing the asbestos, we evaluated whether or not it would save us money in the long run.

We determined that it probably wouldn’t save us money,  but it would likely make us money in the future, because we would actually be able to re-sell our home for a reasonable price. We are planning on staying in our house for 5-10 years.

There are so many other improvements that you can make to your home that will end up saving you money almost immediately, or at least make you money in the long run.


If you buy an older house that hasn’t been renovated at all, it’s likely that you have single pane windows. This can create huge inefficiencies in the heating and cooling of your home, and end up costing you a lot of extra money. While replacing your windows to double pane, efficient windows will likely cost you thousands of dollars, you’ll see your heating bill drop significantly right away.


A poorly insulated home not only creates inefficiencies in heating and cooling, but it  can also create sound barrier issues.

R-40 insulation is the best you can get, and will help your heating bill immediately. Check what you currently have in key places such as your attic. If you don’t have a decent insulation level, splurge and replace the insulation with R-40. This doesn’t have to cost a ton (check on Craigslist for deals) but it will help immensely with your heating bill, again.

Plumbing Upgrades

There are some houses out there that still have galvanized piping. This is generally okay for the first decade of the houses’ existence, but galvanized pipes can rust and deteriorate over time, which can create a major disaster if they burst.

If you have galvanized piping and go on an expensive adventure to get rid of it and replace it with something new and improved, your insurance rates will likely drop. Just let your insurance company know that you’ve replaced the piping. You might see a home insurance expense drop of almost 25%.


I’m surprised as to how many people just allow their homes to go on with terrible roofs.

We replaced the roof when we moved into our house, because it was leaky and in poor condition. When we provided proof to our insurance company that the roofing was replaced, it saved us 20% on our home insurance cost, and it also saved us in the way of potential mold in the future. Water was getting in behind the roofing shingles, and created some issues in the trusses, but because we caught it right away and replaced the shingles, we won’t have to replace the trusses in the near future.

All of these things are expensive initially, but will pay off exponentially during the time you own your home.

What expensive changes have you made to your home that ended up saving you in the long run?

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  1. Josh @ CNAFinance.com says:

    Great post! It’s amazing how many people avoid costly renovations because they don’t want to spend only to turn around and have to spend more to make the renovations and fix the problems that the original problem caused. I love the breakdown here! Thanks!

  2. Bryce @ Save and Conquer says:

    We’ve done all the things you listed: new windows, insulation, copper pipe plumbing, and a new roof. We also landscaped and remodeled the bathrooms and kitchen. The next thing on the list is solar panels. We may wait on that since electricity generated by natural gas has become so cheap.

  3. I replaced my AC/Heating about 8 years ago. It saved me a lot in operating expenses. This true for other replacements too such as the water heater, appliances and lights.

  4. We don’t live in a house, but we did change our doors (to something better insulated and stronger) and also replaced the old windows. The heating cost dropped A LOT. We also care for the plumbing.

  5. When I see new construction homes that are done in low-end cookie-cutter suburban neighborhoods, I know how much they cut corners in regards to things like insulation and low sloped roofs. It’s tragic because in the long run, that stuff really affects you, especially in areas with extreme heat or cold (my dad had crazy utility bills in summer in his old house in a suburb of Dallas, TX).

    I know when I do buy a house, I’ll be looking for either a low price so I can make these type of changes, or good bones to begin with.

  6. All great points. I try to assess the value of larger investments on anything I buy. As for the home, what do you think of installing solar panels?

  7. A somewhat cheaper home improvement project is to replace your hot water heater with a heat pump style water heater. It saves me $20 a month on my electric bill.

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