Ideas for Making Your Tax Money Work for Your HomeCarol J. Alexander, Writer
Every year, Americans anticipate their tax refund — which averaged about $2,700 (for individuals) in 2020 — usually knowing how they’re going to spend that money before they even get it. Some plan vacations or shopping sprees, while others use it more discerningly, saving it for a rainy day or potential emergency, or investing in home improvement projects.
And while trips — especially with quarantine burnout — or tech toys may seem like more exhilarating things to spend the money on, protecting and improving your valuable real estate can be a better long-term financial strategy. In fact, home improvement is downright rewarding when you invest in something that brings you joy. Here are a few practical ideas to consider:
One of the best uses for a tax refund is right over your head. Investing in a new roof not only adds curb appeal, it also protects your home and its precious occupants from the elements. Just make sure to choose the right shingles for the job.
To get the best bang for your buck, choose Class 4 impact-resistant shingles, such as Atlas Roofing’s StormMaster® Slate, which offers the look of natural slate, or StormMaster® Shake, which gives your home some rustic charm. Both are available in colors that pair beautifully with Pantone’s 2021 color palettes.
In addition to their beauty and color, both lines of StormMaster shingles feature Scotchgard™ Protector by 3M.
“These shingles look fantastic because they resist unsightly algae, and their beautiful color isn’t going to get covered with black streaks,” says Sherry Holmes, professional contractor and TV co-host.
Get in the Dirt
You’re likely spending more time at home these days, so why not give your backyard some attention while also expanding your living space?
Add some socially distanced group seating for family or neighbor gatherings. Create a new play area for your kids — or dog. Hang a comfy hammock, where you can take your Zoom calls. Plant an edible garden.
Whatever you do, you can’t go wrong with some sunshine and Vitamin D.
Get a Facelift
Your garage door takes up 30% to 40% of your home’s facade, which is a lot of space that you can refresh. Now’s the time to replace your existing garage door with something stylish and up to date. But don’t forget the opener. Nothing deflates that new-door experience like the creak of an old spring.
For a quick and easy alternative, consider repainting the garage door, front entry door and shutters with Pantone’s 2021 Color of the Year, Ultimate Gray.
“A sensible option to using your tax refund, would be to invest in making your home a connected home,” Holmes says. If you’re not already bossing Alexa around, now’s the time to get started. Everything from doorbells to ovens now comes with WiFi connectivity.
“An easy way to move toward a smart home,” she adds, “is to get a smart thermostat.” It will help you slash your energy bills by letting you monitor and adjust your temperature remotely.
She also recommends whole-home systems that link air quality, security, water, and energy controls in one place.
So when that tax refund arrives, resist the temptation to buy everything in your Amazon cart and consider hitting a home improvement store — or better yet, call a roofing contractor for an estimate on a new Atlas roof.