To Do or Not To Do? That Is A Question

And one you should take very seriously when considering a home remodel. It’s only natural that we crave a little change here and there. Renovating your home can improve the quality of your life as well as the efficiency and value of your home. But which home improvements are worth the money and effort and which are better left in the pictures of swanky magazines? While each room has its own set of rules, follow these general guidelines to make sure you’re getting into a reno that will give back as much as you put in.

DO

Modify your space for more efficiency in your daily life. What exactly does this mean? Well, some homes are just built kinda funky. Perhaps you live in one of these homes. Sometimes there’s huge bathrooms and teeny tiny bedrooms. If you live in one of these spaces you’ve probably thought about making changes for this purpose. You want your rooms to flow, be easily accessible and inviting while also suiting your needs for privacy, work, rest, and whatever else you do in your own home. That may mean modifying the backyard so it’s more play friendly for kids, or maturing it back after the kids have left. Moving the laundry room from the basement to the first floor is great if getting up and down those stairs is too tasking. In the end, it’s about making life as easy as possible so you home is your safe haven from the daily stresses of life.

DON’T

Modify your space just to fit all the stuff you have especially if it comes at the cost of losing vital space elsewhere. Part of human nature is to collect and keep things, just think about your holiday decorations. The extravagant holiday decorator has boxes upon boxes of Christmas decorations piling up in the basement and attic and shoved in every nook and cranny they can make space. But creating more space for yourself just to accommodate your things isn’t the way to go. When it comes to storage, there are ways to organize and store without adding a walk-in closet to every room. Shelves up near the ceiling not only draw the eyes up to make small rooms feel bigger, they’re also great for storing things that don’t get regular use. A kitchen island may seem like a great way to increase work and storage space in the kitchen, but if you don’t have the room to fit an island and still move around it with ease, it won’t be worth it.  

DO

Invest in upgrades that have a known return investment. Especially if you’re considering moving in the next few years and your renovations revolve around a turnaround, making improvements that return their value are worth it. Switching the bathroom walls from painted drywall or wallpaper to tile is a great upgrade because the tiles will last far longer in this humid environment than any paint or paper ever will.

DON’T

Make improvements that out-market your home. Okay, wait. What? There’s a current trend in bathrooms to bring the Spa into the privacy of your home. That’s great. But putting an infrared sauna in your master bath that’s covered stem to stern with marble and diamond encrusted fixtures and a smart toilet that measures your movements will undoubtedly shoot the price of your home waaaaayup into the stratosphere. That’s great if you live in Beverly Hills. But Anywhere, Middle America? Eh. If you’re selling, buyers are likely to take one look at the bathroom and say “I need to have this!” Then they’ll look at the asking price and run for the hills. Okay, maybe this is all a bit of an exaggeration but the point is you don’t want to make upgrades that are going to place your home in a price range that is too high for the rest of your neighborhood’s market. It makes your home harder to sell and you’ll never see the return on that investment.

DO

Go Green! Any opportunity you have to reduce your home’s carbon footprint should be taken. New doors and windows that control heat loss or have protective UV coverings to reduce heat coming in, as well as switching to Hemp insulation and adding solar or green roofs to your house will help conserve the energy it takes to keep your home’s temperature moderate and comfortable. Upgrade all your appliances to Energy Star rated models to save water, gas, electricity and money. Drought-proofing your yard is another way to not only cut down on water consumption, but reduce the amount of work you have to put into it to keep it looking nice.

At the end of it all, you want to know you’re getting back as much as you’re putting in to a home renovation. Innovations in design and materials are making it easier and easier to achieve high-end looks without the price tag. Your contractor will be your best tool in determining what’s absolutely necessary, achievable and right for you. Trust them, but don’t go in blind. Take control and make this reno work for you.