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Home Improvements Done Right

April 22, 2015

Being a homeowner can be a challenge. There’s always something to do, fix or replace. Before you start your next home improvement project, think about ways you could use it as an opportunity to make your home safer or more energy efficient. We’ve outlined some ideas to get you started below.  

The roof on your home is subject to severe weather in the form of extreme heat, high winds, excessive rain or snow that can cause repeated damage requiring repairs. When it’s time for a new one:

  • Weather resistant shingles can decrease or eliminate future roof damage and may be eligible for a homeowners insurance premium discount.

  • Light-colored or reflective shingles, reduce your roof temperature by 50-60 degrees and your energy bills. (

Landscaping is great way to beautify your home and increase curb appeal. Trees and shrubs can also offer protection from weather and discourage burglars.

  • Outdoor air conditioning units exposed to direct sunlight work harder and use more energy. Planting shade around them reduces energy use.

  • Attractive low growing, thorny bushes near easy accessible windows deter would-be thieves and add character to your home. 

Household equipment like a furnace, water heater, or clothes dryer have lots of options and features to choose from. Make sure your purchase includes:

  • Certified ENERGY STAR® products. They will increase energy efficiency, reduce your energy costs and in some cases rebates, tax credits or insurance discounts are available. (

  • Insurance coverage. Most traditional homeowner’s policies don’t cover losses due to mechanical failure or electrical breakdown. Add Residential Equipment Breakdown coverage for your TV, water heater, computer and more. 

As you continue to make home improvements, it’s important to document new purchases. Taking photos and maintaining a list of make, model, purchase date and price go a long way in the event you need to make a claim. 

Contact your Farm Bureau agent to make sure you have the right coverage at the right time.