Upgrade Your Home With These Conveniences

Hello, friends.  I wasn’t sure which headline to use for today’s post, and the one we ended up using might not be the right way to say what we are going to talk about today.  While remodeling our new place, Mike and I have added some upgrades and/or conveniences that will make living in our home easier and more efficient.  Some are simple, and some are more complicated. Each of them can be installed in a home that already exists without tearing out drywall or creating a big ole mess.  You don’t have to do a new build or a remodel to install these conveniences.   I don’t have actual photos to show you yet so I will borrow some from the internet.

Screen shot from Electrolux


Upgrade #1

Central Vac – We have had a central vacuum system in each of our homes for the last 30 years.  One was a new build and three were remodels.  Somehow the professionals who install the pipes and hoses can work within the existing walls.  Although the new system in this house cannot be completed until the drywall in the new addition is sanded and painted which will happen this week, everything that can be done has been done. So, we are waiting a few more days on that.  Today I cleaned the new Carrier air conditioner system on the third floor with a traditional vacuum, and then I decided to use it on the floors.  I used an old vacuum that my husband had stored away in one of his commercial buildings.  After that work-out, I was glad we have a central vac.

Upgrade #2

Water softener – A water softener is another convenience we have had for most of our marriage.  Mike grew up with one in his home in Indiana, and he loved the way the water felt when he took a shower.  I love that we only have to use half the amount of recommended detergent when doing laundry.  The same goes for shampoo, dish detergent, body wash, and hand soap.  My hair and skin love it, and I can really see a difference when we travel and don’t have soft water.  It also eliminates most of the water spots on the shower doors, faucets, too.  It also eliminates spots that can appear on glasses and dishes after they have been in the dishwasher.

Upgrade #3

Water purifier – Even though Lexington has good water, we also have a water purifying system for our drinking water.  The biggest difference I see in having a water purifier is that there isn’t a mineral build-up on anything.  When we were living in the apartment during the remodel, we did not have a water purifier. I noticed that there were mineral deposits on the coffee maker, and my hot tea wasn’t as tasty even though I was using this same brand (available here) that I have loved for years.

Screen shot from Amazon


Upgrade #4

Ring door bell – We are having a security system installed here, and part of that system will be a Ring door bell.  This is an added security measure that any home can have even if you don’t have a security system.  It is a camera that is mounted over the door, and it is monitored with a smart phone app.  You can be anywhere in the world, and if your door bell rings, you can see who it is and you can talk to them.  It also records activity, so that if there is someone prowling around your home in the middle of the night, your phone will have a recording that you can show the police.  You can purchase a Ring door bell here.

Upgrade #5

Instant hot water heater – We first had an instant hot water heater when we lived in Switzerland as newlyweds.  Mike played professional basketball there, and our apartment had this type of water heater.  (The Europeans are far ahead of us on energy efficiency.)  An instant hot water heater heats water when you need it.  Therefore, you are not wasting energy heating a 20 or 30 gallon tank all of the time.  Right now we are living on just the third floor of our new place, and the water heater is in the basement.  Within second we have hot water when we turn on the faucet because the system has a circulating pump.  It also is a space saver.  Our instant hot water heater hangs on the wall and is a rectangle that measures about 1 1/2 feet by 2 feet.


Granted, these things aren’t going to get compliments.  It’s much more fun to spend money on furniture, art, lamps, rugs, accessories, etc.  That being said, these are some helpers that will help you enjoy living in your home even more.


Take care.

Affiliate links used.


  1. Elizabeth says

    What a great Idea, Janette. These items do make life easier. We put a central vac in my husband’s office when we built it. The architect tried to talk us out of it and I told him it was obvious that he did none of the cleaning in his life. Can you tell me what water purifier you are getting? We had a reverse osmosis system when we were on a well in PA that we named “sulfur springs”. That system takes five times the water that you actually use which can get expensive when you live in a city that charges more for higher consumption.

    • says

      Elizabeth, We got the Karsare system. They are also doing the water softener. Your story reminds me of the time when we bought a new electric stove. I wanted the traditional burners, and my husband and the salesman wanted me to have the smooth surface kind. My husband is not the cook, and the salesman didn’t live in our home. I ended up going along with them, and I never was a fan of that stove.

  2. Cindi says

    I had a central vacuum in one house we lived in. I HATED it. Pushing that head around was such a struggle. To each their own…as my mom used to say.


  3. Rick S says

    I like the central vac in the house we built years ago and the one we moved to 12 years ago. my wife and I both LOVE the Vacpan we added toe the end cabinet near the small entry where the door to the garage, and the powder room, and laundry room all meet. we are always sweeping and it is so nice to touch the vacpan with a toe and sweep and vacuum away dust and crumbs.
    If you don’t have one (or more0 being installed check them out.
    YouTube has videos of them in action.

  4. Cindy says

    When we built our house many years ago we had a central vacuum installed and I still love it to this day!
    Thanks for the suggestions. So helpful. We’re looking into the Ring now.