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Home Improvement Stimulation

February 23, 2009

I have a job. My husband has a job. It’s highly likely we won’t lose them, but knock on (reclaimed or sustainable) wood anyway. We own a small home. We’re not behind on our mortgage or car payment. We don’t have boatloads of cash laying around, but compared to many, we’re doing alright. So if you’re in a similar boat and wondering what the newly signed stimulus package is going to do for you, I’ve discovered one thing that I actually understand: tax credits. Specifically, tax credits for Energy Star-approved products.

Although they’ve been available in the past, the stimulus package has upped the ante for these tax credits, raising the  amount from 10 to 30-percent of the cost of the product up to a certain number. So while we’re not going to get our money back on the new heat&air unit/space ship we had installed last week, some of our other projects this year should be eligible. The first big thing on our list after that nice fat tax return comes in is to finally get some access to the attic and make use of that space. Currently the access hole seems to have been designed for elves; my husband can hardly get his shoulders through. But easy enough, we can have the old, busted attic fan removed and install a proper set of attic stairs. But before we start throwing all of our crap up there, it’s highly likely we’ll be putting in some new insulation. Our house was built in 1952…I’d venture a guess that the insulation is just as old. But luckily, insulation is on the list, as are windows, which are the next big step for making our home more energy efficient. We’ve tried hard to only make sustainable, energy efficient improvements to the house, and the increased tax credits available just made that a little easier.

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