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17 Renovation Ideas That Increase Home Value
Renovating the house is something that you either find fun and enjoyable, or troublesome and a big headache. Maybe you have just bought the house and starting works on it soon, or you are just so sick of your old looking home that you feel it’s time to give it a face lift. Whatever your reasons, there is an extra thought that you should consider.
Should your design take into account remodeling works that tend to increase your house’s value?
You could already be up to your neck with all the mess that comes with coordinating contractors and their quotations. To throw everything into complete chaos by factoring in home value might be something that you would refuse to undertake.
But think about it.
If you are going to spend money into sprucing up the house, why not let the end result have a measurable gain in terms of property value?
Theoretically, the gains will more than cover for your renovation costs in future when/if you eventually sell the house to someone else.
1) Front yard makeover
Whether it’s a pleasant paver walkway or basically adding some shading to your leafy friends, keeping your front yard looking crisp is modest. This is your chance to take the concept of curb appeal into your home.
If you can’t convince yourself about taking care of the yard, here are 3 big reasons:
- It tells everyone including neighbors and visitors your home is a reflection of you.
- It easily makes your house look more valuable when the neighbors’ front yards look like junk yards.
- It accomplishes the first impression test.
For gardening hobbyists, it can be a huge draw to see sprinklers installed. And since you are at it, you might as well take the time to prune your plants and give those overgrown shrubs a snipping.
You don’t need to conduct a major landscaping exercise. But you do need to get it looking crisp and tidy.
2) Change the front door
The main entry door to your house commands a lot of attention. Because of this, it is often where the first impression of visitors are formed… unless you have a mud pool in your yard…
You don’t need to go with a rustic look by going retro or have the safe look of a bank vault.
What you want your front door to communicate is strength, power, and authority.
And if your house is landed property, don’t forget to build a shelter in the form of a portico or some sort of overhang. This is so that you are somewhat protected from the sun and rain when you are combing through your purse for the keys.
3) New paint
You can easily differentiate old paint jobs from new ones. And sometimes, signs of it’s age can be so obvious that you’d wonder who in the world could miss it.
Peels, stains, fades, etc, are signs that tell visitors that the walls are in dire need of a makeover. Freshly done paint goes a long way in creating a positive experience to visitors… And we all know perception can often translate to value…
Go with neutral colors.
4) Heater/HVAC replacement
This is seldom a priority to most homeowners. But is can be something people look out for especially in geographical areas that are prone to extreme cold or heat.
In this case, it can even be a deal-breaker or deal-maker.
5) Attic insulation
If your house is located in an area with icy atmosphere, keeping it warm in winter is costly. There is an increasing demand and usage of regular gas and warming oil during winter in recent years. And that is inevitably leading to increases in the prices of these substances just to keep a home warm.
You could of course, choose to cosy up with the family to keep everyone warm, or wear thermals in the house with double sweaters to cut down on those expenses.
But if you have an attic that is not insulated from the weather outdoors, giving it the protection it needs is the first line of defense against extreme temperature outside. The bill for keeping the family warm will take a downward hit too.
Proper insulation works does 2 jobs. It blocks the cold from coming in, and also helps to keep warm air in the house.
Laying protection can be simply done DIY style. The costs of materials are reasonable. And even if you were to stagger out the job by doing it little by little, you should be able to complete it within a week.
6) Knock down a wall to create a bigger living room
While the kitchen is the place to feel the warmth of the family, the living room is the place to feel it’s energy.
So while the kitchen is generally agreed to be the most important segment of a house, the living room comes a close second. Many homeowners may even rate it as the are with the most “family warmth”.
Let’s not leave the perception of potential buyer to chance.
If you have a vacant room that is not in use, consider knocking down it’s wall to connect it to the living room. This expands the available space to play with. It also creates a more luxurious feel to the place.
Open floor plans create a feeling of spaciousness making a house look and feel bigger than it actually is.
7) Light up your space
Only a disturbed person would enjoy a dark, cold, and dull living space. But you really can’t be certain with the craziness going on in the world these days.
But surely, even a little extra light to brighten up the kitchen and bathrooms will be welcomed by most people.
If you are scratching your head on this one, don’t worry. You are not alone. I have come to the conclusion that interior designer are truly worth their price tags simply for that ability to visualize things that are not there. It’s a little creepy the way I said that.
But when in doubt, know that subtle touches like dimmer switches will always add improvement to any room.
8) Upgrade plumbing
If you are using pipes so old that you would think twice before letting your dog have a drink from it, maybe something is telling you that it’s time to decide on a replacement.
The water works, and even the sewage is a key consideration when those pesky appraisers come over to put a number on your house.
Once upon a time, it used to be a colossal undertaking with dividers being torn up and drywall flying all over the place. These days however, the task of re-piping is professionally done with something called PEX (essentially plastic tubing). You will be amazed at how “house friendly” the process is the first time you see it.
It leaves less destruction in it’s wake. And because of this, it will also be more “wallet friendly” for the customer – You.
The scariest thing for someone looking to buy your house is the prospect that something colossal like the sewage or electrical works require a complete overhaul.
9) Real-wood floors or manufactured hybrids
People are getting better at identifying the good and bad stuff when it comes to flooring. Many can even tell the difference between the authentic stuff and the imitations. Genuine hardwood floors are often perceived as being more expensive than engineered flooring. But that is often misunderstood.
You can often find real wood at more affordable prices, and they add that touch of class to your home too.
10) Install energy efficient appliances
There is a global movement going on for years. It is the environmentally friendly movement which has a growing awareness campaign.
More and more people are coming to terms with what our indulgences are harming the environment. And children who grew up learning about this topic are coming of age.
Even if an appraiser has no interest in playing a part in saving the environment, he has to acknowledge that, with everything else being equal, an energy efficient house will be worth more that has no green appliances fitted.
You don’t need to have a degree in aviation to know what appliances to buy. Just walk into an electronics superstore and the sales staff will be able to present you everything they have that are friendly towards the environment in one way or another.
These can include:
- water heaters
- television sets
- energy efficient windows
A trend that has been picking up in recent years is the use of solar panels in households. This allows you to harvest solar energy from the sun to power your electrical appliances at home.
It’s a no-brainer when you evaluate the long term savings on top of the role you play for society.
Energy efficient heating and cooling systems is trend for modern homes.
11) Revamp the bathroom
You don’t need to go hardcore by replacing the fixtures, re-grouting the shower, erecting a luxurious bathtub or re-paint the room with a modern color. Wallpapers these days are at a whole new level compared to where they were a decade ago. We are so lucky!
A roll of wallpaper can help transform a bathroom from an invisible girl to a glamorous lady. Only a couple of little enhancements can often be enough as a shrewd approach to spend your cash.
Other remodeling jobs that will enhance bathroom:
- use frosted glass for shower screen
- remove rusty stains
- clean the grout
- install a half-flush
- install non-slip tiles on “wet” areas
- reglaze a tub
Bathroom-wise, the best thing to do to increase the value of a house is to build a second bathroom if there is only 1 currently.
Or consider adding a master bathroom to the master bedroom in addition to the current common bathroom.
12) Storm cellar or attic renovation
If you have a storm cellar or a major loft (ahem… attic) that is work-in-progress, it’s time to finish the job. Whether it’s for creating the entertainment room that you have always craved for or a side project your have on the to-do list to create an extra room, finishing the job will increase the livable space in the house.. which translate to higher value.
Do check with the authorities on permits and building codes. You want to be on the right side of the law here. In certain circumstances, your extra “space” cannot be taken into account when doing appraisals due to these codes. And remember, building codes vary from state to state. So don’t think for a moment that you already have the answers to everything.
13) The all-important kitchen
And here emerge the ruler! Unless your house is tumbling down around you, the most astute spot to put your well deserved batter is in the kitchen.
When you hold an open house, very often the first thing visitors do is walk straight into the kitchen. That is the place all the “enchantment” happens, in a manner of speaking. Hopefully, you have done your maintenance and cleared that mess.
Taking this into mind, refreshing the ambience by replacing old fixtures with news ones can give it a modern look. And since you are getting into the mood of replacing things, weight out the possibilities of replacing countertops with those made of granite or stone, faucets, light fixtures, sinks with shiny ones, cabinet knobs with sparkling ones, etc, to revitalize the area.
I won’t go into the whole speech about walls, tiles, stone, stainless steel fixtures, under-mount sinks and such. That is starting to sound like a broken record every time I hear them.
Rather consider your format and workspace. This layout within the “triangle” is fundamentally the space where your sink, cooking area and dishwasher meet to streamline your cooking like a six-sigma factory.
- the distance between your sink and stove
- the space between the sink and dishwasher
- creating ample space to move smoothly within the triangle
If it is within your budget, invest in designing and creating a comfortable workspace.
Other than that, consider:
- knocking down a non-structural wall that does not serve any practical purpose.
- removing kitchen islands that seem out of place
- creating more storage space by erecting more cabinets
A lot of homeowner spend the bulk of their remodeling budget on aesthetic design and fixtures that beautify the place. But they don’t put enough priority into practicality and functionality. Spend the cash on the format. In addition to that, when you have a good layout designed, creating a synergy for new appliances, fixtures and cupboards can be pretty effortless too.
A final note on the kitchen. If you intend to build a luxurious kitchen, don’t forget that it has to blend with the rooms connected to it. Or else, it could become an eyesore.
14) Build an income suite
An income suite is basically a living area meant to be rented out to tenants. In many cases, such a shrewd business move can pay off your mortgage every month.
The basement is the most common are to build such a living space. Some people even get it done in the attic!
If you have an income suite in the basement, it give a potential buyer the opportunity to technically own the house for free if he have no issues with renting out that space.
If you find this idea deliciously attractive, just remember to check with the authorities to ensure that whatever you do is within the law.
Now that dual-key condominium apartment looks a little more attractive, don’t it?
15) Add a deck
An outdoor deck can not only be a great area to have some fun with the whole family (including the dog), it also adds livable space to your property. This means that if a valuer takes the floor area of the deck into account when doing appraisal, your home value increases by $10,000 if you have a 100sqft deck at a price of $100psf.
It’s not that far off as a thought.
When you visit your friend’s house that has a deck, the immediate thought that goes through your mind is often about the fun activities that goes on in that space. So maybe… you should have one too.
The main problem is often the costs of constructing one. And if you are entertaining the thought of building one yourself, you are close to being paranoid. It’s not as easy a task as what real estate TV shows make it.
Well, at least the price you pay could be balanced out when you factor in the increase in home value. Just remember to hire a good contractor for jobs like this.
And please… don’t confuse a deck with a patio. There are varying pros and cons for both.
16) Add more storage space
It is almost a sin that home design magazines continue to publish picture perfect homes with rooms that have no clutter.
If those studio quality images are real homes, then there is something they are not telling you. It’s storage space.
Every home, no matter how big or small the family is, will have loads of stuff that are not pleasing to the eye. Yet you cannot throw them away.
This is why the more storage spots you have in the house, the better it will be for those living in it. I’m not talking store rooms or walk-in wardrobes. I’m referring to storage spaces below the bed, behind the sofa, in the wall, etc.
Dual-function furniture and stealthy storage spaces are the way to go.
You can never have too much storage space.
17) Build an extension
If regulations allow, and you have a generous budget with land to spare, consider building an extension or “wing”.
These can not only increase your total floor area, but it can be a clever way to re-shape an oddly shaped house into a convention square or rectangle layout. An extension instantly gets attention from visitors.
If you want to stretch your smartness, consider building a sunroom, or home office (soho), in the extension. That would be like doubling up your aces in card game.
No matter how much modern styles have been influencing out tastes these days, squares and rectangles are still the more in-demand shapes when it comes to a house.
18) High ceilings
If creating a high ceiling is possible, do put serious thought into it.
This might be impossible for apartments that has no additional headspace. But for houses with abundant space in the attic and suitable roof structure, it can be totally feasible to vault the ceiling.
Creating a high ceiling for the living room or any room for that matter can give the house something unique that other houses do not possess.