While it’s often confused with quality of life, standard of living isn’t quite an interchangeable concept. At its simplest, quality of life is a more subjective idea, based largely on a person’s happiness. Standard of living, conversely, is more easily quantified. Most often used to compare two geographic areas or socioeconomic classes, it takes factors like economic growth and stability, quality of the environment and education, and health and safety into consideration.
Home improvements on a personal or family level might seem more relevant to an individual’s happiness and quality of life than their standard of living, but many upgrades can make your life as a whole a better one, including education, well-being, and wealth. From installing soundproof panels to replacing your roof, you’ll find that your standard of living can undoubtedly improve thanks to home upgrades.
Increase your income.
At first glance, the idea that a home improvement could increase your income seems counterintuitive. After all, you’re spending money to finish a renovation or DIY project—no budget is so good that it actually earns you money along the way. But the right home project can absolutely give your earning potential a boost.
If you work from home, an organized, efficient workspace will let you be more productive, and if your income is based on your output, it can help you earn more in the same amount of work time. The right project can even let you launch the side hustle you’ve been considering. Install soundproof panels to step into a voiceover role, or begin a transcription gig in the quiet setting these jobs require. Include a workspace in your new addition where you can write the novel you’ve always dreamt of or launch an Etsy shop selling your handcrafted artwork. It may take an investment upfront, but the right home project can earn back that money and more.
Improve your literacy.
Literacy and education are other factors of one’s standard of living that don’t seem to be related to your house or home upgrades. But, like your income, they can be increased with the right tweaks. If you don’t read as much as you’d like because the only comfortable spot is in front of the TV, a home library, even on a small scale, complete with a cozy reading nook can encourage you and your family to read more.
Don’t have enough storage space to invest in those classic novels or must-read nonfiction titles on your to be read list? Consider adding some built-in shelving to stock up on books to your heart’s content. Of course, we have the internet for all of our fact-finding needs, but when it comes to improving your family’s literacy and gaining a well-rounded education, you can’t beat a book, whether you’re in the classroom or curled up in your favorite chair.
Better your health.
It shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that your home can directly impact your health—or that an improvement to your home can improve your health in the process. Air quality and ventilation upgrades have been especially popular home projects in recent years, letting families enjoy fresh, clean air in their houses. Whether you’re installing an entire ventilation system or adding carbon monoxide detectors, air purifiers, or other tools to get a bit of a health boost, you’ll find that the right home upgrade makes a world of difference, even if the initial stages of the project feature less-than-ideal levels of dust and other allergens in the air. It will pay off in the end.
Improvements in your home’s air quality aren’t the only way a renovation or other home improvement project can improve your health by upgrading your house. Consider researching water filtration systems for home and installing the right service for you and your family.
You’ll find safer, more pure drinking water to keep your loved ones healthy and hydrated. More concerned about the quality of food you’re serving in your home? Adding a garden is just one way you can add fresh, healthy, and nourishing ingredients to your at-home menu. On a smaller scale, a planter of herbs on the windowsill can add some extra flavor and nutrients to your favorite dishes.
Improve your safety.
Making home improvement can also improve you and your family’s safety, another facet of the concept of standard of living. You may want to install a security system or other protection system for maximum safety, but it’s important to look at your home itself as well—is it a safe place for you and your family to live?
If you’ve noticed water damage, for example, compare Fairfax Roofing Companies to find a professional to fix the issue. It may turn out to be minor, but if there’s a danger of your roof caving in, you’ll be grateful that you took the initiative to proactively save the day. Fix any wiring or plumbing issues, fire hazards, or other concerns that could cause an emergency. It might not seem like an immediate priority, but a home renovation project now is far better than living with the potential of disaster down the road.
Increase your happiness.
Individual happiness might be more closely related to measuring quality of life than calculating standard of living, but it’s nevertheless a factor—and one that can quickly be improved with upgrades to your home. Add a special place for you and your family to unwind, or fix those minor annoyances that build up over time. This could be as simple as replacing burnt-out lightbulbs throughout the house or as major as adding a brand-new wing to your home entirely. If you’ve always dreamt of a large kitchen, remodel yours to create the cooking space of your dreams. One project at a time, you can make your home the best place you could ever want to be and reap the mental health benefits that come with it.
On a technical scale, standard of living includes formal measurements of factors like economic growth, quality of education, and safety. On a smaller, more personal level, families and individuals can see improvements in both standard of living and quality of life by upgrading and improving their homes. From decreasing the noise pollution in your office, so you can start a side gig to putting on a new roof to give your loved ones a safe shelter from the elements, the right home upgrade just might change your lives.