Remodeling the Home

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House construction renovation abstract background

      When it comes to remodeling your home it can feel like the sky’s the limit.  It can be fun, rewarding, and it can add to the value of your house if you ever decide to sell it.  Sadly, not all the remodeling ideas are good ones.  

        It is possible to get carried away with remodeling.  You can also start the remodel for the wrong reasons.  That being said, here are a few tips and things to think about in order to have the right remodel for you home on your budget.

       We all like to think about something like a major home remodel as an investment.  If there was one room in your house where a remodel is a really safe investment it would be your kitchen.  Kitchens have changed and continue to change every decade.  Your entertainment center may have taken a quantum leap 10 years ago but when you upgrade to new computers and home theater systems you don’t actually change the room itself.  At best your new equipment might cause you to rearrange the furniture or paint the walls.  But the kitchen has technological advances that actually behoove you to shell out serious money on a serious remodel.  

The obvious examples for this are the various appliances that keep getting better and better.  But why stop there?  Most modern faucets have sprayers and hoses that make them far more user friendly.  The floor, cabinets, and countertop are the upgrades that will cause the most visually noticeable difference.

Natural stone or quartz countertops make excellent replacements for cracked tile or heat damaged Formica countertops.  There is no question that the cost of remodeling your entire kitchen could be extremely costly but it is also clearly one of the best ways to bring a positive new change to your home and simultaneously increase the value of your home.

       If you have a limited budget and you are deciding what parts of the house  to remodel because you can’t afford to do them all, then focus on the front yard.  

 

 

The front is what people see first and for some, it is all they will get to see.  If you just want to improve your house then look at it as an aesthetic upgrade and if you are planning on selling your house think of it as improving your curb appeal to potential buyers.  Either way it is a good investment of time and money.

       When you landscape and remodel your backyard, a pool can be hit or miss.  You don’t want to spend a massive amount of money on an incredible in-ground pool and then end up moving away because life took you in some unexpected directions.  If your new buyer wants a pool then great.  But that might not be the case.  There are factors to think about with pools.  How big is the yard and how big is the proposed pool?  

 

If a pool dominates the yard and you have no space for anything else it might be more of a hindrance.  How likely is it that future owners will want a pool?  In other words:  Is it hot swimming weather for 9 months out of the year like in Los Angeles, or is it hot swimming weather for 2 to 4 months out of the year like in Seattle?

 

 

Sometimes a pool can be a great choice that will add to the value of your home.  But pools are very expensive so be sure that it is the right choice for your house.

       There are a number of ideas that many people often have for building complicated structures in the spare rooms, basements, attics, and garages of their homes.  

 

 

After watching the movie “Sideways” your basement or garage becomes a wine room with intricate racks of wine storage built into the walls.  After a long power-outage or a surprisingly good valentines day you find yourself with an unexpected third child on the way and you convince your oldest child that they would love to have a new bedroom built for them in the attic, the basement, or the garage.  And when it comes to the all important “Man Cave,” any and all extra space is fair game.  These are all great uses of space if your needs will be fulfilled by remodeling the space in question.  The only problem is that the next owner of the home may want to fill that space with a treadmill and a home gym.  The more personalized and specific your remodel goes the better it is for you, but at the same time it also becomes less appealing to the next buyer who does not have the same needs as you.  So when it comes to complicated structures built into spare rooms, think about it just like the pool in your backyard; it is a great idea if you know that you won’t be moving anytime soon.  If there is a decent chance that you will be selling your home in the future, think twice about major remodeling.

     Finally, be careful what you add and what you remove from the house.  I know this is vague, but it is important.  When remodeling their home many people are quick to make quick decisions to remove things that they don’t like, and this can have a dangerous snowball effect.  It starts small with things like the ugly outdated lighting fixture in the dining room, followed by removing the wine rack in the kitchen to make more storage space.  Next thing you know they are making plans to demo the extra fireplace in the family room so that they can hang a massive painting where the brick chimney ran up the wall.  Fixtures and cabinets can be replaced and many people buy new homes planning to make these changes.  But removing something big like a room or a fireplace removes possible selling points and value from your home.  

Be sure you have thought out all the possibilities before making these removals.  Likewise, people have the same problem with adding bits and pieces to their homes without fully thinking things through.  Sometimes small bathrooms, closets, and garages would be more comfortable if you could just move a wall out 4 to 10 feet.  This is usually a massive undertaking that costs a lot of money.  But in the end, after you’ve demolished walls, poured new foundations, added structural supports, added new walls, and a list of other major remodeling chores, you added a whopping 80 square feet to your home.  You are not likely to profit from this sort of remodel so if you are going to do it, be sure that what you gain will be worth the whole remodeling process.

       If your house needs some remodeling, then there is no reason that it should not be a positive experience.  I think that if you have the money and the desire, and no plans to sell your house anytime soon, then don’t let anyone dissuade you from doing the remodel that you want.  But be aware that some of the changes made during a household remodel can and will have an affect on any potential resale.  Make sure your remodel choices are worth the cost.

 

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