Category Archives: Home Improvement

Need New Windows? Furnace? Air Conditioner?

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Our Michigan Saves Home Loan Program connects you to more than financing options for your home upgrades. The program makes it easy to find the experts you need to complete the job. The first step in applying for a Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan is selecting your contractor. When you select a Michigan Saves authorized contractor, you know they meet the requirements for licensing, insurance, and third-party certification. Advanced Contractors have additional technical certifications and are authorized to perform a broader array of services and improvements. To choose from the authorized contractors in your area visit MichiganSaves.org, where you’ll find contact information, services provided, and customer ratings. Your contractor will provide you an estimate based on your energy assessment or choice of qualified energy improvements. Your contractor will help connect you to your financing options—be sure to ask for Consumers Credit Union by name and you’ll have a decision within … …continue

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Consumers CU Room Redo Winners Announced!

Raina S. accepting her winnings at our Stadium Office

Thank you to the many pinners who participated in our Consumers CU Room Redo Pinterest Contest! We loved watching your photos go up on Pinterest and seeing your vision for home improvements. We’re pleased to announce our winners! Raina S. – $1,000 Raina and her husband are first-time homebuyers who purchased a HUD house in Kalamazoo and are doing their best to give their fixer-upper the love it deserves. They plan to use the prize money to convert the old kitchen into a downstairs bathroom. View her Consumers CU Room Redo board here. We look forward to seeing the finished results! Heather C. – $500 Heather and her family would like to update their kitchen. Their plans include refinishing the cupboards, improving the counter space, and removing the wallpaper border. See Heather’s Consumers Room Redo board here. David B. – $250 David’s goal is to redo his basement, which is … …continue

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Update Your Bathroom on Any Budget

Bathroom

The ideal bathroom combines function with style. After all, it’s the room you head to in the morning to get ready for your day and the room you go to at the end of the day as you’re starting to unwind for bed. You want your toiletries and towels within easy reach, but the room to feel comfortable. This can be challenging, especially if you have a smaller bathroom. Whether you’re looking to make a subtle or dramatic change to your bathroom’s look, there are options within your budget. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite. Get Rid of the Colored Tub If your bathtub has been there for a few decades, it may be time for a change. If it’s still in good shape, a professional may be able to refinish it to match a more modern look. If a new tub is in order, choosing white can save … …continue

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Update Your Kitchen This Weekend

Kitchen

Do you peruse home improvement magazines or Pinterest boards of dream homes longing for an update to yours, only to decide that you don’t have the time or the money to make it happen? What if we told you it was possible to give your kitchen a new look this weekend without blowing your whole budget? Yeah, we thought you’d be interested. And it is possible. Try out a few of these quick projects and see what you think. Add a Pop of Color We’ve said it before—paint is one of the most cost-effective ways to give a room a brand new look. Whether it’s brightening up your cabinets with a new color or painting the walls, a new hue can totally change the mood of a room. Consider adding a coordinating rug (don’t forget a slip prevention mat for safety in the kitchen) or vase to make it really … …continue

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Money Saving Tips for Your Next Remodel

Remodeling

We love perusing Pinterest for gorgeous home renovation ideas. Replicating most of them would require a good chunk of change—but updating your home doesn’t have to cost a lot. Small projects can pay off in a big way. Here are some of our favorite ideas for saving money on your next remodel. Hint: It’s often about repurposing what you already have. “New” Cabinets Want to give your kitchen a facelift? Replacing your cabinets can give it a whole new look, but you don’t have to go that far. If you’re not fond of the wood, you can hire a professional to resurface them by applying a veneer to the cabinet boxes and adding doors to match. Or opt to repaint them yourself. Even just adding new hardware, like handles and drawer pulls can be enough to give them the style you’re looking for. Look-alike Materials If you love the look … …continue

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Simple Ways to Give Your Home Curb Appeal

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Making the outside of your home welcoming to prospective buyers can up its value, but even if you’re not planning to sell your home in the near future, giving your home an outdoor update can be worth the work. It feels good to come home to a beautiful house at the end of the day. A few simple projects can go a long way toward giving your home curb appeal. Here are some of our favorite ideas. Repaint the whole house or update the trim A new color of paint can totally change your house’s appearance. If yours has gotten weatherworn, you’ll want to repaint the entire exterior. If you’re just looking to give the outside more accent, though, consider changing the color of your trim or your front door for a less costly alternative. Give a splash of color with flowers Just clearing out the clutter from your garden … …continue

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The Home Improvements that Save You Money

Home Improvements

When planning your remodel, you want to prioritize your spending in the way that gives you the best results for each dollar. So why not focus on the improvements that will save you money on your monthly bills or qualify you for tax credits next April? Here are a few of our favorites. Weatherproof Your House While improving your home’s insulation isn’t the sort of thing that’s going to be noticed from the street, getting rid of drafts will always pay off. Many utility companies offer free energy audits to help you identify the necessary improvements. In some cases, you can even get tax credits for the upgrades. Check out this list from Energy Star, which describes the credits for insulation, roofs, and more. Update Your Appliances for Energy Efficiency If you’ve had your appliances for a while, it may be time to upgrade to the energy efficient models on … …continue

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The Renovations that Add Value to Your Home

Couple Painting

Besides making your living space more comfortable for you and your family, the best home improvements add value that you can recover if you decide to sell your home, even years later. When planning your remodel, prioritize your spending on the renovations that give you the most bang for your buck. Here are a few of our favorites. 1. Entryways A simple coat of paint on your front door can give your house a facelift, but it’s your home’s security that really matters. A steel reinforced door adds nearly 100% of its value when selling your home, while a new garage door can provide an 85% return on investment. With options under $1,000, either will make a great first impression on a buyer and provide peace of mind as to your home’s safety. 2. Decks and Sunrooms Adding a deck provides a seamless transition in and out of your home, … …continue

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The Home Maintenance No One Tells You About

Home

Your new car came with an owner’s manual. So did your cell phone and your coffee maker. Most of your purchases do—except what’s likely your biggest: your home. And while most issues, like clogged sinks and dead appliances, will make themselves known eventually, do you know what preventative maintenance is necessary to avoid larger problems? Apartment Therapy recently shared a list of often-overlooked tasks that will keep your home in tip-top shape. Here they are broken down by how often you should schedule them in your calendar. Monthly Clean the dishwasher drain bin – The food bits that accumulate in the bottom of your dishwasher don’t get washed away on their own. Regularly clean out any buildup in the drain to prevent backups. Every Other Month Change air filters – Not only do fresh filters improve the air quality in your home, they make you’re A/C work more efficiently, saving … …continue

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Home Equity Loans and Lines—What’s the Difference?

Steve D., joined 2007

Equity refers to the value of your home minus any owed mortgage balance. This equity can be used in the form of a line of credit or loan to fund home improvements, college tuition, loan consolidation, medical bills, and other expenses. A Home Equity Loan allows you to borrow a set amount against the equity in your home in one lump sum that you pay back in regular monthly loan payments over a specific repayment term. A fixed term home equity loan is ideal when making a one-term investment, such as a kitchen remodel or consolidation of higher interest debt. A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) allows you to borrow up to a certain percentage of your equity and enjoy repeat access to those funds as you pay them back. The revolving nature of a HELOC makes it a perfect safety net for emergencies and large recurring expenses, such … …continue

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