Moonworks' Home Improvement Blog

8 Most Cost Effective Home Renovations

Home renovations

Homeowners renovate for many reasons — to improve the appearance of the home, its function, or to cut energy costs and save money going forward. In addition to these reasons, many homeowners renovate to increase the value of their homes, particularly if they plan to sell in the near future.

Most home renovations will increase a home’s value, but for many the increase will not cover the entire renovation cost. According to studies, different home renovations have differing returns on investment (ROI). It’s helpful to know which renovations yield the best return when making decisions for your home. Here is a list of the most cost effective home renovations for 2016, according to Remodeling’s 2016 Cost vs. Value Report.

1. Fiberglass attic insulation is the only renovation to top 100% ROI in this year’s listing. It is also one of the least . . .

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What to Do When You Can’t Afford to Renovate


Most home renovations cost thousands of dollars, but homeowners often don’t have any way to pay for that new roof or HVAC system they so desperately need. It is possible to renovate your home when you don’t have cash in hand. The answer to your cash crunch may be closer than you think.

Get a Second Job or Work Overtime

If your schedule allows, you may want to take on more work in order to pay for a needed home renovation. It might take a few months to save up enough money to install a Gutter Helmet® or replace your rotting windows, but unless the renovation is urgent, such as replacing a leaky roof before hurricane season, you may feel more comfortable waiting until you have the money in hand to complete your project.

Borrow from Your Retirement Account

Your house is usually your largest . . .

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5 Advantages to Installing Gutter Helmet® Now

Installing gutter helmet
Installing Gutter Helmet® now means clean gutters year-round.

Spring may seem like an odd time to install Gutter Helmet®. After all, it’s not a common season for gutter problems. You likely just cleaned your gutters out in the fall before harsh winter weather, and the trees are budding, not dropping many leaves. However, there are some good reasons to install Gutter Helmet® in the spring.

1. To Fix Leftover Winter Problems

If you didn’t clean out your gutters last fall, they may still be clogged with debris and require attention before damage results from spring rains. Ice and snow may have taken their toll on your gutters over the winter, making replacement necessary to prevent further problems from occurring as seasons change. Installing Gutter Helmet® can help reduce any risk of future issues.

2. To Avoid the Fall Rush

Waiting until late summer or . . .

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How Much Can a Home Energy Audit Save You This Year?

Home energy audit
A home energy audit can help a homeowner save on energy costs.

A home energy audit, also called a home energy review, is a multi-step process that analyzes the ways your home uses energy and provides helpful suggestions on how to save on utility costs. In addition to helping homeowners save money, home energy audits also help to identify safety issues that homeowners may not know they need to address. Moonworks offers free home energy audits to customers.

The idea behind having a home energy audit is to discover the ways your home is wasting energy and make the appropriate changes to reduce or stop the waste. The improvements suggested for most homes vary in cost and savings. Auditors can usually offer detailed information about exactly how much energy can be saved if an improvement is made.

Home energy auditors use tools . . .

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5 Ways Old Windows Cost Homeowners Money

Older windows can be costly for homeowners.

You might not realize that your old windows are costing you money. After all, they usually just sit there quietly in the wall, keeping out the weather and letting in the sunshine day after day. But if your windows are older than 10 years, they are probably impacting your budget more than you realize.

Here are the five main ways old windows cost homeowners money.

1. Higher energy costs.

Older windows may be single pane and may have cracks in the glazing or in the trim that allow air to enter the home. This results in higher costs for heating and cooling. Windows can sometimes be caulked to stop some of the air flow, but even caulking and reglazing single pane windows, which is a time consuming process, will not result in the maximum amount of energy savings.

2. Lost sleep (read: productivity).

Newer . . .

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5 Reasons Not to Do-It-Yourself When Updating Your Home

There are many unforeseen difficulties in doing home renovations yourself.

When you find out how much your home renovation is going to cost, the temptation may be strong to do it yourself and save a big chunk of that dough. Before you decide to tackle that home project all by yourself, however, you may want to consider the following reasons why DIY might not be the best idea.

1. You may not be able to handle the project.

Many home renovation projects seem simple enough until you get into the middle of them. Then, with everything torn apart, you start to encounter problems. There might be hidden damage that you don’t see until you are deep into the project, or you may find out you need plumbing or electrical work that you didn’t anticipate. Most people without a background in contracting can’t handle anything more than a simple . . .

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Thought Leader Series: Small Kitchen? DIY Tips to Utilize Your Small Space

Utilize your small space
Lorena Brockman is a blogger for and has notable know-how in blogging, home improvement, and has been deemed “Greatest Auntie Ever” by many. To learn more about Lorena, visit her company’s blog at

The kitchen is the center of many homes. It’s not just a single-use room; it’s the location of numerous activities. Of course, mealtime is the main purpose, but it’s the gathering place for homework, parties, and almost anything else you can think of. Many people have a small kitchen, but that doesn’t mean it has to cause a kink in your activities. Some clever and innovative thinking can turn the smallest kitchen into a space-saving haven.

Do you have a small kitchen? Here are some DIY ideas to utilize your small space.

Utilize your small space

Heads Up

Smaller kitchens are . . .

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Solve Your Spring Gutter Problems

Spring gutter problems
Checking and cleaning gutters in spring can help prevent future problems.

Just because it’s spring doesn’t mean you can’t have gutter problems. Sure, you cleaned your gutters after the last leaf fell in the fall, like you do every year. But leaves are not the only thing that can clog a gutter, and winter weather can be hard on gutters as well. Spring can be a prime time for gutter problems, and they aren’t problems people typically expect.

What Happens to Gutters in Spring?

Spring can be the time of year when homeowners see problems that were actually created in winter. Even if your gutters were cleaned in the fall, a buildup of ice and snow over the winter can damage your gutters in more ways than one. When all the snow and ice melts, you may notice that your gutters are . . .

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What to Do When Winter Roofing Issues Spill into Spring

Winter roofing
Shingles that are pulling up from the roof could allow water to enter your home.

Winter roof problems may not cause noticeable issues during the winter months, but you may notice leaks, loose shingles, or other problems come springtime when ice and snow melt to expose the shingles. Most asphalt shingle roofs begin to show wear after 10-15 years, with other types of roofs lasting up to 25 years before needing replacement.

Some warning signs of roof problems include the following:

Cracks in caulk
Rust spots on flashing
Curling, blistering, broken or missing shingles
Cracked rubber gaskets around vent pipes
Moss or lichen on the roof (black stains are not indicative of damage)
Damage on ceilings and walls inside (may be caused by something else but should be checked)

Any of these warning signs may signal a roof that is leaking and causing damage inside your home, even if . . .

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It’s Prime Time for Home Renovations

Home renovations
Spring can be a great time to do renovations to your home.

Springtime can be the best time to renovate your home. The snow has melted and the weather has warmed up enough to do all the projects that seemed so impossible during the cold, wet days of winter. Whether you want to replace your roof, add insulation, or simply install new, more energy efficient windows, now is the perfect time of year to work on your home.

Advantages of Spring Renovations

One major advantage of spring renovations is the ability to use the outdoors during the course of the renovation. From being able to store materials outside to the air flow that opened windows can generate, it is much easier to renovate your home in seasonable temperatures than it is during the winter.

This is not to say that renovations can’t be done . . .

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