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Before your family starts the annual negotiations about this year’s vacation destination, consider pitching the idea of a home renovation stay-cation. The time and money you would normally spend traveling can be better used to improve your home. After all, a vacation only lasts for a week, but you’ll enjoy these home improvements for a long time.

Add a home theater

An unused basement, empty recreation room or attic can be turned into usable space when you convert it to a home theater. A home theater project can be relatively simple. All you really need to do is paint the walls a dark color then install comfortable seating, surround sound and a decently-sized screen. However, you can also take this project to the next level by adding stadium seating, a projector, floor lighting and even a popcorn machine or soda fountain. The cost and time commitments involved in building your home theater are completely up to you, making this project a flexible and fun stay-cation addition.

Install satellite TV

Satellite TV brings the vacation to your living room, and to any other room with a satellite connection. Dish Network offers unlimited channel options, including international networks and premium sports stations. This includes access to the Hopper, which is a whole-house DVR system that lets you record up to 2,000 hours of HD-TV and then play it back in any room in the house. You won’t have to strategize about which room to record a show in, knowing you’ll be stuck with that TV for the play back. With the Hopper, you’ll have true viewing flexibility. A satellite subscription will provide hours of daily relaxation and entertainment, so choosing this project as your stay-cation investment will definitely pay dividends.

Put in a pool

If you’re looking for a project that will excite the kids, or if you just want to create a backyard oasis, consider adding a pool. Pools are available at all price points, from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the options you choose. Pre-made above-ground pools are the least expensive, while infinity pools represent the height of luxury. No matter which pool you choose to build, remember that, if you have children, you need to include a safety fence in your budget as pools are dangerous for unsupervised kids. With the right safety mechanisms and design, a pool will provide year after year of summer relaxation and fun.

Give them a secret entrance

For a renovation with a bit of whimsy, consider giving your kids a secret entrance to their playroom or bedroom. Channeling the magical and the fantastical, these entrances are concealed behind functional dressers. New entrances that can be hidden under chair cushions and equipped with slides are also in development. For a do-it-yourself version of this addition, you can camouflage doorways with curtains, beads, posters or paint. Kids will love that you’re focusing your project on their space; this renovation is sure to make your children feel valued and to highlight imagination’s power.

Wrap it all up

This year, consider transforming your vacation into a stay-cation. Instead of spending time and money on a short vacation, you’ll be using those funds to invest meaningfully in your home. Whether you install a home theater or spruce up your kids’ playroom, you’ll enjoy your stay-cation additions for many years to come.