March 13, 2014 (Golden, Colo.) — As April 15 approaches most homeowners will have filed their tax returns and have started to think about how to use their refund. A recent statement from the Internal Revenue Service revealed that the average 2014 tax refund is $3,116, based on the 48.3 million tax returns filed. HomeAdvisor’s personal finance expert Leah Ingram says that it makes smart financial sense to invest these tax refund dollars on a home improvement project.
“Investing the refund in a mid-range home improvement project can increase the home’s value and possibly qualify for a tax credit the next year,” said Ingram.
Ingram recommends five renovations for homeowners to use their refund on:
• Replace the garage door: Installing a new garage door can increase the value of the house, improve curbside appeal and decrease energy costs. According to HomeAdvisor’s Cost Guide, the average cost nationally of installing or replacing a garage door is $1,128.
• Install egress windows: Adding an egress window to a room such as a basement not only provides a safe escape route in case of a fire, but also increases the number of rooms available to be converted to bedrooms. Installing egress windows can increase a home’s value, safety and natural lighting.
• Add new insulation: Investing in new insulation can decrease the amount homeowners spend on energy costs. On average, 50-70 percent of a homeowner’s energy bill is spent on heating and air conditioning costs, according to the Department of Energy. The average cost nationally of installing insulation is $1,606, according to HomeAdvisor’s Cost Guide.
•Install a steel entry door: A steel entry door is inexpensive to install, durable, fire resistant and doesn’t need ongoing maintenance. A steel door can be painted any color or design. According to HomeAdvisor’s Cost Guide, the average cost nationally of installing a new door is $1,105.
•Paint the exterior of the house: Painting the exterior of a house is one of the simplest ways to improve the look of a house, as well as give it a fresh design with a new color. The average cost nationally of painting the exterior of a house is $2,900 according to HomeAdvisor’s Cost Guide.
“Homeowners who complete energy efficiency home projects such as installing new windows, new doors or insulation can receive residential credits or tax credits,” said Ingram. “Homeowners should speak with their accountant about how they can benefit from tax credits, which can add up to as much as 10 percent of the purchase price of the qualified products.”
HomeAdvisor is a leading website and mobile app provider offering resources for home repair and improvement projects. HomeAdvisor’s patented ProFinder technology matches homeowner projects to the nation’s largest network of over 80,000 pre-screened, customer-reviewed home improvement professionals. Homeowners can make informed home project decisions using resources including: Pro Reviews, featuring reviews from homeowners who have actually been connected with the service professionals they review; Cost Guide, providing average costs for projects coast-to-coast; Home911, offering dedicated 24/7 emergency home repair support; DesignMine, providing inspiration and collaboration for remodeling projects; as well as robust home tips and project planning tools. Access to all of the site’s features is free for homeowners, with no membership or fees required. HomeAdvisor is based in Golden, Colo., and is an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI).
Contact: Brooke Gabbert
Senior Director, Corporate Communications