It’s so interesting and educational to sit on this side of the computer and read reviews from homeowners. You’ve been through it all and we are thrilled you share your experiences with us and your fellow compadres in home improvement. No matter how you look at it, it’s emotional. Whether it’s a planned renovation, an unexpected leak or bugs (yuck!), there’s always something new to learn about improving your home.

With that, we would like to take a lighter approach to this post and share some of the hottest products in home improvement.

Tax Credits & Rebates: It doesn’t matter if it’s 10% or 30%; it’s always a bonus to save money wherever you can. One of the greatest ways to gain a rebate or savings is through incentives offered by your local electric or gas company. Most offer rebates when you upgrade to energy-efficient products. And don’t think the door on these savings end on December 31st as most are ongoing. For federal and provincial tax credits, check with your accountant.

Habitat for Humanity ReStores: We have had some exceptional milestones in 2010. One of those has been our support of Habitat for Humanity and their ReStores. We had to add the ReStores to this list because they offer so many great products and deals. Have you been there lately? It’s a home renovators dream.

Lighting:  One of my greatest joys is visiting a lighting store. At one time I believed it was the different lamp and chandelier designs. It wasn’t. It was the light in general. Lighting will always be a hot product whether it’s motion detectors outside or a fabulous chandelier in your foyer. Even Vicky Sanderson of the Toronto Star included the Wake Up Light in a guest post for us. Just don’t forget the Compact Fluorescent Light (CFLs) bulbs that use about 75% less energy and lasts up to 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs.

Programmable Thermostat: If we are talking about saving money, you can’t beat a programmable thermostat.Remember the days when you manually adjusted your heat or AC for the times when you were away from home or sleeping? A programmable thermostat adjusts the temperature for you.  By doing so, it’s estimated you can trim your heating and cooling bill up to 20%. Not too shabby for a product that can cost you as low as $40.

Wine coolers
:  Until we are all prepared to have a wine cellar, a wine cooler will have to do. Portable wine coolers are the perfect addition to your kitchen or bar, especially if you are the host/hostess with the  most/mostess. A great selection is available: built-ins, counter-tops, free standing, towers, all that  store up to whatever number of bottles that meets your needs. Cheers!

Barbecue grill: I love seeing a barbecue grill on someone’s patio or deck. No matter what the weather, I consider it a staple for every home because it’s so versatile. You can grill, braise, smoke and even bake. The list of foods you can prepare on a barbecue grill is too long to reproduce here…another reason why a barbecue grill is a hot product. Make sure you have a great sauce: Smoky Barbecue Sauce.

High-Efficiency Shower Head: Installing a high-efficiency showerhead can help you reduce the amount of water used in your shower by up to 70%. This can also help you decrease energy costs by reducing the amount of water that is heated for use in the shower.

Hardwood floors: We often write about hardwood floors in our blog posts. The reason is that they are so important to enhancing the appeal of one’s home. Hardwood floors can also increase your home’s value, are easy to maintain, durable which gives them longevity and hypoallergenic. Keep this in mind–that infamous dance scene in Risky Business would not have been possible without hardwood floors.

What products would you add to the list?

Posted by Team HomeStars

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