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3 Recession-Proof Home Improvement Projects

Updated: May 8

Colorado Home Services electrical remodeling project.

As interest rates continue to rise and fears of a coming recession grow, homeowners may be thinking about putting off needed home improvement projects until the market stabilizes again. Frugality during an economic down-turn is always a smart move, but that doesn't mean an investment in your home's value and comfort is a bad idea.

“Ultimately, homeowners should focus on making their homes work for their current needs, but it doesn’t hurt to pick projects that add value,” says Mischa Fisher, Angi Chief Economist via U.S. News & World Report.

Adding value while on a budget can be tricky, recession or not, but focusing on your return on investment will help protect your bottom line. Our service providers highlighted 3 recession-proof home improvement projects homeowners are focusing on this year:

Electrification upgrades

Home electrification is a booming trend in home improvement projects with no signs of slowing down. From smaller projects like new appliances, high efficiency lighting upgrades and smart home systems to large-scale remodels and new additions, many home improvement projects depend on updated electrical systems to meet current building codes. For older homes especially, electrical service and panel upgrades may be necessary to increase amperage to the home before new appliances can be installed. Flickering lights, frequent power outages and blown breakers are all signs your home is struggling to provide enough electricity. Not only can it be inconvenient and frustrating, an out-dated electrical systems can pose a serious fire hazard when pushed too far, and even influence the value of your home.

Electrical service and panel upgrades can be expensive, but a wealth of new and updated federal, state and local home energy incentives has made it much more affordable for Colorado homeowners. Depending on where you live, these incentives can even offset 90-100% of the project costs when combined. Considering how important your electrical system is to energy efficiency and home protection — and the affordability of updating your service — panel and wiring, electrification upgrades are a good idea no matter what the economy looks like.

Colorado Home Services electrical upgrade project

Balanced Ventilation Systems

Balanced home ventilation can take your existing HVAC system to the next level of efficiency and cost savings — delivering a full return on your investment in as little as 1-3 years. For homes without a thermal barrier installed, balanced ventilation systems expel, at minimum, an equal amount of stale air to fresh air introduced to your home. This promotes better indoor air quality and energy efficiency by reducing strain on your air conditioner, often replacing the need for AC all together. Balanced ventilation systems can cut AC related energy costs by as much as 50-90% in the peak of the summer, and protect the roof, insulation and structure of your home from damaging moisture and ice-damming in the winter.

A balanced ventilation system is created using a combination of active ventilation fans like whole house fans and attic fans, and passive vents like soffits, gable and ridge vents. No matter how new or old your current HVAC system is, whole house fans and attic vents will help lower home energy costs, increase comfortability on every level of your home, and extend the life of your current system. Better still, these systems are a fraction of the cost of upgrading your entire HVAC system, and often qualify for home energy rebates and incentives to offset even more of the cost.

Home ventilation diagram from Colorado Home Services whole house fans

Skylight replacements

While a brand-new skylight install may be lower on your priority list, replacing old or broken skylights should be at the very top. Old, plastic dome skylights may be wreaking havoc on your home's value and energy efficiency (damaged or not), and deliver lack-luster daylight to your living spaces. Replacing old skylights with new, high-performance glass skylights is a quick and affordable way to prevent costly damages in the future and enjoy cleaner, crisper daylight. Glass technology has come a long way in recent years, able to withstand harsh elements while preventing heat gain as much as 50% better than plastic skylights.

Speaking of new technology, sun tunnels are growing in popularity among homeowners looking to take advantage of the added value daylighting brings, without the cost of brand-new skylight. These small, tubular skylights can draw natural light into hallways, bathrooms, closets, and other poorly lit living spaces where skylights may not work, and can be installed in less than one day. Depending on the type of skylight or sun tunnel you choose, more home energy rebates and tax incentives can be applied to reduce the cost even more.

Sklylight at night from Colorado Home Services

Home improvements don't have to take a back seat during an economic downturn. Instead, take the opportunity to make smaller upgrades that suit your current needs AND add value to your home. Electrification, ventilation, and daylighting upgrades are a sure-fire ways to find long-term cost savings, added home value, better home comfort and protection before, during and after any recession to come.

Contact Colorado Home Services to learn more about affordable electrification, ventilation and daylighting upgrades today!

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