Rockwell Room 974x423 - 5 Projects that Will Add Permanent Value to Your House

5 Projects that Will Add Permanent Value to Your House

While many trendy projects will temporarily make your home more appealing to buyers, very few add permanent value. If you want to boost the value and function of a house for many years to come, then you need to start thinking about some bigger renovations. Here is a look at five upgrades that are sure to increase the resale value of your home.

Install an In-Ground Pool

Depending on where you live and the state of your neighborhood, an in-ground pool could potentially increase the value of your property by thousands. As a general rule, a pool will boost your property value if you live in a nice neighborhood that has great pool weather. For example, a home with a pool will be more valuable in Arizona than it would be in Oregon or Maine. If you want the pool to last, then you should consider lining it with cement instead of fiberglass. Before installing a pool, however, you might may want to consider how it is going to impact your insurance premiums and property taxes.

Turn the Basement into a Living Space

Finishing a basement is another great way to permanently increase your home’s resale value. Unless you have quite a bit of experience working on homes, you might want to leave at least a few aspects of this project to the professionals. You will most likely need to add extra insulation to the walls, install new flooring, and run electrical wires to new outlets. Installing new safety devices should be a priority as well. That includes radon detectors, smoke detectors, fire alarms, and fire extinguishers.

Install a New Roof

A modern roof could boost the value of your property for 40 years or longer — depending on what materials are used. Traditional asphalt shingles are usually the most affordable option, but they rarely last for more than a decade or two. If you want a long-term investment, then you should install clay or slate tiles. With the proper maintenance, those materials will last for up to 60 years.

Invest in Solar Panels

High-efficiency homes are more popular than ever, and most homeowners will benefit from adding at least a few “green” systems to their property. Solar panels are a relatively large investment, but they could increase the value of your home by tens of thousands of dollars. After installing those panels, you might also receive state and federal tax credits. As an added bonus, the panels will also lower your energy bills while you are still living there.

Remove a Wall or Two

Knocking down a wall is another simple project that could make your home much more valuable. Open floor plans are highly sought-after, but you need to be careful about which walls you remove. As a general rule, you want to remove walls that are in public spaces like a kitchen, dining room, or living room. You also want to be sure that you don’t remove a load-bearing wall. While removing a load-bearing wall is possible, it can be extremely expensive and is generally more trouble than it is worth.

Refinish Your Cabinetry

Nice-looking cabinets are always a selling point for a home. After all, they have the ability to make or break a kitchen’s aesthetic. And when you choose a timeless finish and take good care of them, cabinetry can last decades. Of course, replacing a kitchen full of cabinets can be prohibitively expensive, which is why many turn to refinishing to get a more updated style without breaking the bank.

Before carrying out any major renovations, you must first think about how long you plan on living in your home. Some of these upgrades won’t pay for themselves for at least a few years, and you might lose money if you plan on moving in the near future.

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Renovating Your Home 974x423 - How to Reinvent Your Home On a Budget

How to Reinvent Your Home On a Budget

If you are ready to see a major change in your home’s décor and curb appeal, you are not alone. You may think that you would need to have a huge home renovation budget to achieve the desired results, but this may not actually be true. There is often a less expensive way to achieve the same overall look or effect. Here are some examples of projects that you may be able to complete on a dime with a little extra effort.

Update the Landscaping

You could pay a huge fee to a landscaping company to revamp your home’s curb appeal, but this is not necessary. With your own effort, you can save a fortune on labor expenses. In addition, you can complete the work in stages as funds are available. Little things, like planting new flowers, edging your lawn, or adding small decorative items, are just a few of many budget friendly ideas to bring new life to your drab landscape. It may take you several months or longer to accomplish your goal, but you will nonetheless generate the curb appeal that you desire over time.

Upgrade Molding and Trim

If your home’s interior is lackluster, consider upgrading the molding and trim. Some homes were built with very thin and non-decorative trim. They may not have any crown molding, and the windowsills may even be dull. Properly installing trim is a skill that is easily learned, and it can have a profound impact on home décor. There are numerous trim and molding styles available that you can choose from that can impact the home’s décor in wonderful ways.

Paint the Cabinets

Another easy change you can make that makes a big difference is to paint the cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom. This is a cost-saving alternative to replacing the cabinets, and it can breathe fresh life into your space. You can even update the hardware for more impact. Keep in mind that renovating the entire kitchen or all of your bathrooms may be a possibility as well.

Get a Loan

If the project you are hoping to accomplish costs a little more than you can afford at the moment, you may consider getting a loan. If you’ve built up equity in your home, you may be able to use it through your bank to get a home equity loan. For example, if you are a military veteran, there are several VA home loan options to help complete your project. Make sure to shop around for the lowest rates; this will make sure you stay within your monthly budget and still increase the curb appeal, and property value, of your home.

When you start to feel the itch for a new look, you don’t need to shell out a ton of cash for a full-scale renovation. With a little bit of creativity and strategy, you can achieve professional results with relatively little output. After all, why spend more money than you need to?

Home House Renovation Remodel New Furniture Modern Beautiful Sale Buy 800x423 - How to Make Your Home Feel New Again

How to Make Your Home Feel New Again

Coming home to a fresh, inviting atmosphere is one of the most relaxing aspects of each day. It can bring immediate calm, especially if your home feels fresh and new. Give your house a simple facelift with immediate results with these easy projects.

A New Front Door

A whole outdoor renovation may be out of the question, but you will be pleasantly surprised by how much of a difference a new front door will make. A relatively affordable project, it creates an inviting look right from the driveway. You can modernize the aesthetic of your house with a colorful door or go for a classic look with a wooden door. Be sure to consider the trim that outlines the door, and go for a look that matches the siding and windows.


Relevant: This Old House | Pick a Front Door

Fresh flowers

Look no further than a meadow for a simple way to freshen up your interior or exterior. Take your kids outside and pick some wildflowers, display them in mason jars on your coffee table, kitchen counter, or bathroom and voila! A new look.

For an outdoor upgrade, consider adding window boxes to your exterior and rotate seasonal favorites: marigolds in the spring, Black-Eyed Susans in the fall. Pansies do well pretty much all year. This low maintenance and cost effective tip is sure to please.

Deep Cleaning

No one likes to do it, but performing a deep clean can certainly enhance your home. Think about the tops of the cabinets, crevices behind the appliances, and corners of your shower. Does the thought of this make you shudder? Time to get out those rubber gloves and tackle dirty and leaky showers. Make it a family activity and spring clean (no matter the time of year). Even the oldest houses look good after a cleaning and a fresh coat of wax.

If you can afford it, call a service to deep clean your house, and you will not regret it. While you are at it, when is the last time you cleaned your carpets? Carpet cleaning companies will even scrub your furniture and upholstery, which can do wonders.


Relevant: Sealrite Solutions | Leaking Shower

Bring More Light in

Cleaning your windows, adding lamps, changing light bulbs, or any way you can bring more light into your house is a surefire way to brighten the atmosphere. Dark spaces tend to hide dust, so lightening up your space will also encourage you to keep the room tidy. You could also examine if the color of your walls is making the room feel darker than it really is. Why not experiment and try funky table lamps or grand chandeliers for a cool space enhancing technique.


Relevant: WikiHow | More Light

Change the Fixtures

Everyone seems to have at least one brass doorknob or faucet in their home holding out from the 80s. Consider replacing these with a more modern brushed nickel, stainless steel, or gunmetal look.

Even your kitchen will benefit from the relatively easy replacement of cabinet hardware. Look for modern trends at your local hardware store, and you can change them out in under an hour, freshening up your kitchen in no time.

Throw Pillows

Many of us have fallen victim to a new sofa trend only to regret it a couple of years later. Still more of us keep our sofa for its comfort, not its looks. An easy way to add style to your living space is with bright throw pillows. Aim to pick up an accent color in a nearby chair or piece of artwork, and your pillows will tie the colors in the room together nicely.


Relevant: Ballard Designs | Choosing Throw Pillows


Your flooring gets a lot of use and little recognition. If you have carpet, consider switching to hardwood floors. Not only do they modernize your home, but they also help alleviate allergies. Carpet houses an unfortunate amount of unwanted creatures and other particulates, from dust mites to potato chip crumbs. Hardwood, laminate, and engineered wood floors will all freshen up your space and help you keep your house clean.


Relevant: Armstrong Flooring | Hardwood Flooring Installation

Embrace the Character of Your Home

Perhaps the best thing you can do to make your home look new is work with its character, not against it. Older homes carry a charm that is impossible to mimic. Sure, new homes are shiny and tempting, but your older home can be too. Enjoy your built-in shelves, arched doorways, and authentic brick exteriors. Don’t be afraid to spruce up the paint, so long as you’re not covering up things that could add to the value of your home. Remember to make it feel fresh with small accents while celebrating its unique soul.


Relevant: Etsy | Embrace Your Imperfect Home

Make Your Home Feel New Again

Your home should bring a sense of peace and calm to your life. You don’t need to buy a new home to feel a sense of freshness. Instead, invest your time, energy, and dollars into some simple ideas to see significant results.


Here are a couple other articles we think you’re really going to enjoy:

smart home automation app 800x423 - 4 Detectors You Absolutely Need In Your Home

4 Detectors You Absolutely Need In Your Home

Being able to monitor what's going on in your home is a good way to keep safe. You don't always need to invest in expensive cameras, though. Sometimes simple monitors will do the trick. Below are four monitors that every homeowner should install.

1. Smoke Detector

Perhaps the most ubiquitous detector, the humble smoke detector plays a huge role in keeping your house safe. It doesn't matter where the smoke is coming from — this detector will send out a loud beep to let you know that things aren't safe. Some smoke detectors are even hooked up to monitoring systems, which will let those in a position to help know if something's going on in your home.

2. Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide is a quick and silent killer. Unfortunately, this odorless gas can't be detected by humans, and even the warning signs of it being in a home often only come when it is too late. A carbon monoxide detector helps to make sure that CO doesn't exceed a particular threshold in the air. These monitors are easy to install and run on standard batteries, so there's no reason to avoid having one in your home.

3. Flood Detector

The flood detector may not be as common as some of the detectors on this list, but flood detectors are key for home automation. The flood detector keeps track of the moisture in your home, alerting you to situations that might potentially provoke a flood. This isn't a weather device, though — instead, it largely works to keep you apprised of any situations involving your plumbing.

4. Motion Detectors

A good motion detector can be a vital part of a security system. Once you engage your security system, these detectors will spring into action as soon as any motion is detected in the area. Some turn on lights, while others sound a chime. You can even buy motion detectors that will automatically cause the security system to sound an alarm. These motion detectors can let you know when an intruder is trying to break into your home or when a child is up past his or her bedtime.

There are many reasons that one should do upkeep on their home, and these detectors are definitely a necessary upkeep task that falls in line with security and safety. These four detectors can help to keep your home and family safe. Whether you are worried about house fires or plumbing problems, these detectors will help you. If you're willing to invest in the right monitoring devices, you can get an early warning about many problems that can cause major problems.

Pool 974x423 - 5 Hidden Dangers in Your Yard That Need Immediate Attention

5 Hidden Dangers in Your Yard That Need Immediate Attention

There is a common saying that goes, "there's no place like home." Most of us grow accustomed to our homes and the comfort it provides both inside and outside. However, there has been a growing trend in premises liability issues where people have been suing homeowners who had no clue that there were hazards in their yards. From experts in the field of accident insurance, “slips, trips, and falls at the grocery store or any accident on someone else’s property due to the owner’s negligence could fall under this category of personal injury cases. This category could also include a loose dog that bites you, an unfenced pool that a child may fall into, or slippery steps."

Today, we will be going over five hidden dangers in your yard that you need to address immediately.

Attractive Nuisance

Attractive Nuisance is a standard legal term for something that may be a distraction for a young child like yard ornaments. Children generally can't be held negligent because of their age, even if they were trespassing on your property. Legal specialists describe it as, “an attractive nuisance is something that is so interesting that it would entice a child into entering another's property. For instance, many courts require that the object be man-made and many require that you "maintain" the nuisance in order to be liable.” The best way to handle this is to either take down these objects or secure your yard with a fence to keep people out.

Keep Walkways in Good Repair

Any walkways that go through your yard to your front door should be clear from obstacles and in good repair. If the walkway is damaged, then repair it. Remodeling experts explain, “walk with a friend side-by-side and measure how much room is needed for a walkway. You may be surprised and wonder why most walkways are only 24 inches to 36 inches.“ If you have low hanging branches, you may want to trim them to prevent people from walking into them.  At night time make sure these paths are well lit to prevent a person from falling.

Secure Your Pool

Most states regulate that you have a properly maintained fence and sign around any type of swimming pool or hot tub on your property. In Florida, signs are mandated by public pools but are also recommended for private pools for awareness even though it's not mandated. Safety and health worker recommend “place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool.” All of this prevents unwanted guests from swimming in your pool or hot tub, so they don't injure themselves or possibly drown.

Secure Your Pets

Certain breeds of dogs may cause fear in people because of the widespread belief that these breeds of dogs may have a vicious side to them. In the case that you have a dog, it's a good idea that they're secured at your property correctly. Just because you may have your dog staked in the yard, or have an invisible collar for them, that doesn't mean they can't get out. You need a physically secured fence in place so that someone isn't injured.

Ensure Independent Contractors

It's a good idea to get a contract signed by both parties when it comes to an independent contractor doing work for you, whether it's mowing the grass, cleaning the gutters, or patching a leak in your roof. It's best to tell them of any hazards you know about on your property ahead of time so an injury can be avoided. Make sure they acknowledge they heard you about any hazards. Also, make sure to get references from people you may hire.

Premises liability is a serious issue for homeowners these days, and precautions can be taken so you can be protected. We hope that you consider some of the hidden dangers we talked about seriously to help you sleep better, knowing your property is fully protected.

Here are several more articles to check out while you’re here:

Attention to Detail: Signs Your Home Might Need Some Maintenance

How to Add Value to a Deteriorating Exterior

5 Exterior Upgrades that Add Value to Your Home

chicago home 1 1210x423 - Why You Should Buy a Fixer-Upper

Why You Should Buy a Fixer-Upper

When shopping for a home, your first instinct might be to look for a home that is already move-in ready. However, this is not your only option. Instead, you might just want to think about buying a fixer-upper, even if it's not something that you have considered so far. These are a few reasons why this might just be the best way for you and your family to buy a home.

There are Loans Designed Just for This Purpose

For one thing, if you're unsure about how you're going to finance your home purchase, you might be happy to know that there are special loans and mortgages out there that are just for people who are looking to buy fixer-uppers. From hard money loans to a 203(k) home mortgage, you might be surprised by what your options are for borrowing money both to purchase the home and fix it up.

You May Be Able to Buy a Home Sooner

Many people fear that they will never be able to afford a home of their own. If houses are expensive in your area, then buying a home that's move-in ready might still be a long way away for your family. If you are able to find a great deal on a fixer-upper, however, you might find that home ownership will be achievable for you much sooner.

You Can Get More Home for Your Money

Even if you have the money to buy a home, you might be concerned that you don't have a big enough budget to buy the home that you actually want. One good thing about buying a fixer-upper is the fact that it can help you get more home for your money. This means that even with a smaller budget, you might be able to afford a bigger home or a home in a nicer neighborhood if you're willing to put a bit of work into the home that you buy.

You Can Customize Your Home to Suit Your Wants and Needs

Lastly, by fixing up your home yourself, you can customize your new-to-you home to suit your wants and needs. You can pick the flooring, the wall colors and more. It's a great way to get a custom home without having to pay custom-built prices.

As you can see, there are a few different reasons why it can be a good idea to buy a fixer-upper. If you have been thinking about buying a home, consider looking at properties that need a little bit of work for these reasons and more. You might just find that it's the perfect way to buy your dream home.

home chandelier 800x423 - Best Decor Tips For Getting The Most Out Of A Room

Best Decor Tips For Getting The Most Out Of A Room

When decorating any room in your house, it helps to understand how important lighting is. Many interior designers will tell you how important light fixtures are and how much they can make a difference in a home. Failure to use them correctly can be a major faux pass when it comes to decor.

Decorative Chandeliers

One popular trend among homeowners today is using decorative chandeliers. Even though a period of time passed when they weren't being used in homes, they are enjoying a resurgence. Chandeliers do double duty as decorative art pieces and lighting fixtures. Combining decor with practicality is something that interior designers are embracing more and more each day. They feel that light fixtures should match your decor in order to have a trendy home.

Embracing High Ceilings

This is especially good for smaller rooms. The higher the ceiling, the more space it feels like you have. It also allows you a little more freedom with your decorations. You can use taller pieces of furniture, or you can use paintings and pictures to emphasize the height of the room. Just make sure that you keep the top corners dusted of cobwebs!

Choosing A Room's Paint

The wall color of a room can change the way it is perceived, as well as the general mood that it gives off. To make a small room look and feel bigger, you can paint the walls warm, dark colors. To make a larger room feel smaller and more intimate, light and cool colors are the best choice for your walls.

To make any room feel longer than it is, painting horizontal stripes on the wall is a smart decor idea. At the same time, painting vertical stripes on a wall makes the room look and feel taller.

Vary Your Flooring

There is no reason why any house should have to have the same floors in every room. One easy way to get the most out of any room is to add the proper flooring to it. Different rooms can and should use different types so that each one has its own decor. However, be sure to limit yourself to no more than three different styles of floors. This will bring together the decor of each room to create a house that reflects your personality, without becoming a hodgepodge of styles.

No matter what you end up choosing for your home, make sure that it is something that you personally like. Just because trends say to do one thing, doesn’t mean you have to do it. You are the one living in your home, so make sure this is something that you want to see every day.

If you are getting ready to repaint your house, check out our services here! We’d love to help with your next project!


Pick Your Perks When Opting for a Custom Home Build

6 Tips for Decorating Rooms with High Ceilings

Coordinating Different Flooring Options Throughout Your Home

building a home 800x423 - What You Should Know About Building Your Dream Home

What You Should Know About Building Your Dream Home

Getting to build your dream home is an exciting time. Many people dream about designing their home, right down to the details, but not everyone gets this opportunity. You want to make sure that you do it right, because you are going to be living in this home for a very long time. While you may have some bumps along the way, here are a few things you can do to make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

Acquiring the Land

When you are looking to build the dream home, the first thing that you will need to know is that you need to first acquire the land. Since you will be constructing a property, it will be necessary to buy the land in which to build on. Similar to buying a house, you will need to find vacant land and then complete the purchase process. You will need to get help from a real estate agent, make an offer and then get it accepted. There will also be a closing as well. Once these steps are completed, you will then have legal ownership of the land you want to build a home on. Make sure you do your due diligence, just as you would if you were buying a home. You should make sure you are in a good neighborhood with good schools and fun things to do nearby.

Design Your Home

Once you get the land to build a home on, the next step will be to design the home. This process consists of putting together the shape and structure of the home’s exterior. It will also include the layout and floor plan of the inside of the home as well. During the design process, you will also put in where you want fixtures to be and how many cars will the garage be able to store. When designing a home, you will want to plan your real estate to be as large as you want it. As Gateway Access Realty points out, you can build a small home with all the fancy things, or you can build a larger home with options to upgrade in the future for the same amount of money. What you do will depend on your family and what your plans for the future are.

Don’t Forget the Paperwork

After acquiring the land and designing the home, you will then need to get the proper permits for both building and zoning. These permits will give you complete authorization to build on the land that you purchased. Once the permits are valid, it will then be time to actually build the home. The construction process will include gathering the materials and then putting them together to make a new home. Make sure you hire the right contractors for this part. Your dream home is important, and you don’t want to skimp on the any of it.

modern 3 800x423 - Different Ways Color Can Be Used To Convey a Home's Personality

Different Ways Color Can Be Used To Convey a Home’s Personality

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Color is one of life's most sensual pleasures. Many people love the beauty of a long emerald green lawn, a vivid turquoise sky, a dawn filled with hints of violet and deep orange. Many homeowners look for ways to bring colors into their home. Color accomplish many goals. Colors are a great way to bring a lot of personality. It's easy to paint a room a bright shade of sunny yellow that's always welcome any day of the year. When it comes to using color, it's a good idea to think about all areas of the home before starting. Every single room has something special that makes it stand out.

An Entire Home Plan

One way to use color is to create a plan. For example, if you want your home to give a playful and bold impression, you can consider either painting all of the walls a different color or painting all of the walls white so you can accent the room with loud pops of color in the form of decorations. The overall plan should include every space in the home including the bathrooms and the stairways. Each area should have a connection that brings the person to the next space. For example, if you paint all the areas of the different colors, it's helpful to think about a specific color palette that from a specific part of the color wheel. Using varied shades of green and blue creates an organic whole that makes the entire home feel coherent and pleasing as people go from one room to the next.

Using Color in Some Rooms

Another way to bring color to show off a home's personality is to use color only in some spaces, or only using an accent wall. For example, the homeowner may decide to paint the dining room a pleasing shade of mellow green to bring attention to the room's lovely expanse of dark hardwood flooring. A homeowner may also want to call attention to the fireplace in the living room. Using a bold shade of red is one way to bring the viewer's attention to the mantlepiece as well as any details such as the tiles in front of it.

Neutral Shades

Neutral shades are another popular option for the homeowner who wants to use color as a way to show off their personality and the home's personality at the same time. Colors from this area of the color wheel such as soft grey, understated beige, subtle white and cream help make any space inviting and relaxing. Shades that call to mind the outdoors make even small rooms feel much bigger. Think about using neutral shades in places where people spend lots of time such as the family room. This is an excellent choice if the home has a single style such as country French. These type of color plan allows details such as antique furnishings stand out better.

Decorating for Given Style

The decor is another way to bring out the home's personality. Choose each piece with great care. Specific colors and styles go together well. For example, Art Deco pieces look fabulous with colors such as pink and black that were popular during that era. A traditional look works well with color combinations such as green and pink. Think about the entire effect. Start with style element if possible, such as a couch or the room's large skylight and then work from there.

Creating a Focal Point

A focal point is one of the best ways to convey different moods and impressions. A focal point can be nearly anything including a beautiful rug or the view outside a window. If the room lacks a focal point, it's possible to create one. Paint the walls in the room white. This will show off the focal point better. Hang a large picture on one wall and surround it with several smaller pictures. Another way to create a focal point is by painting three of the walls a slightly different color. Reserve one wall for a contrasting color. For example, use shades of lavender on most of the room's walls. Then, take one wall and paint it a dramatic shade of deep lemon yellow. The contrast helps create a sense of fun that makes it easy to show how much the homeowner loves specific colors.

Color is one of the most essential tools in the homeowner's bag of decorating tricks. Think carefully about which colors are most pleasing. Using them well in the home creates fantastic spaces that are full of terrific personality and wonderfully vivid life.

hand holding light bulb green energy 800x423 - Four Energy Efficient Home Improvements To Modernize Your Home

Four Energy Efficient Home Improvements To Modernize Your Home

If you want to improve the efficiency of your property and modernize it at the same time, you need to ask yourself which upgrades will save money on energy and add value to your home at the same time. Choosing more straightforward upgrades may be the easier route, but sometimes complex ones, such as adding solar panels to produce electricity for your home, can provide advantages that go beyond what you have imagined and pay for themselves in minimal time.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

If your home doesn't have one, it's definitely time to get one. Programmable thermostats are virtually a must for anyone who lives in a climate with extremes in the summer and winter. A programmable thermostat enhances HVAC efficiency by enabling you to get your climate system to reach optimal temperatures for a minimal cost. It will allow you to turn the temperature down in the winter, and up in the summer when you're not home, yet have your home at the right temperature when you return. Once the thermostat is programmed, it will automatically alter the temperature, according to your settings.

Install New Doors and Windows

Although you may not realize it, styles of doors and windows do change slightly over time. More importantly, however, doors and windows have become more efficient at keeping out the cold and heat over the past ten years; newer windows and doors do a much better job at keeping interior temperatures consistent because of the low-E value of glass, as well as better weather stripping and insulation in the products. Homeowners may also be able to get special energy-efficient financing by purchasing such products. If you are a veteran, a VA energy efficiency loan can cover up to $6,000 for green home improvements.

Replace Your Appliances

Refrigerators and stoves are major energy users, along with your washer and dryer. Replacing these high-use appliances will give you more bells and whistles, and make your home more energy efficient at the same time. The same goes for your central air conditioning and heating system. Contemporary units use much less energy, thus paying for themselves in a few years.

Install Solar Panels

Generating your own electricity has become much more commonplace over the last decade as prices for the solar panels themselves, along with installation, have dropped by a combined 70 percent. In addition to making your own electricity, many local power companies allow you to sell excess electricity to the utility, so you can even make an easy profit on your green, clean investment.