Most people realize that certain improvements are a good "investment" if you are planning to sell your home soon.
What about a value for your house if you plan to keep it for a few years? People think in turns of a Return on Investment or "ROI." Fixing the kitchen or updating baths will probably pay off, if you sell. Putting in solar power or heating will surely pay off within about seven years, even on the rainy side of the mountains, according to my latest reading. It may be sooner on the "Sunny Side" where I have lived most of my life. For an immediate return, or at least, immediate savings, have you considered new exterior vinyl siding installation?
You may say, "My house is already insulated!" But, I learned recently that you have probably overlooked something important. Take the example of a house of about 1800 square feet (30' x 60'). I can show you figures which demonstrate that you are Missing Insulation on the 130-plus two-inch studs on the typical stick-built house. This leaves you a total gap of over ten feet in your insulation! That is a pretty large hole! The only way to compensate for this is a "Wrap" around the whole house. And why not put on siding that you will never have to paint again?! My last house had siding that had to be touched up twice a year! I miss the house and yard, but not the painting!!
Most new construction seems to use a moisture barrier wrap like Tyvek. It really provides no insulation, and it may allow some moisture to enter, as well as to leave your house. (I will have more to say about moisture from inside your house in another edition of this blog).
We prefer a foam- and foil-based insulation wrap that allows moisture to escape, but with much less ability to enter your house. For those of you concerned about all the radiation around us from cell phones and towers, the foil covering of our wrap (like Fome-Core, which is a brand we have used) is an excellent shield from the radiation from power lines and cell towers. This foam is (only) about six times as thick as your coffee cup, but much thinner than any other types of insulation. It is folded, up to fifty feet in length. This leaves few gaps around your house--four or five for that 1800 square-foot house, compared with about 135 stud gaps.
This investment in your home will save lots of time and trouble, and will likely save you 30 to 40% in energy costs year-round! The savings from the best quality vinyl siding will go a long way toward your very affordable payments!