People are traveling less and spending more time at home right now and thus, are seeing all the ways their home isn’t looking great or functioning well for them. The pandemic has changed and will continue to change how we live in our homes. Distance learning, gyms limiting their hours, telecommuting employees, home based businesses: these have had a huge impact on the residential remodeling industry recently and t’s positively booming.
While making improvements
to your home may or may not add immediate value on paper, it stands to reason that if other homes in your neighborhood are being upgrading, it’s something you at least should investigate too. Here are some benefits, pros and cons to consider.
As a guideline for you, I’ve chosen the best interior additions and upgrades for you to consider right now. Obviously priorities vary slightly for everyone. Some people care more about the home dollar value while others are interested in lifestyle improvements.
Kitchen and bath remodels/ appliances
Attractive, quality flooring
Upgraded windows and doors
Casing, molding and hardware
Built-in book cases
Fireplaces and mantels
Sky lights and solar tubes
Home gyms or workout rooms
These last four are for homes in neighborhoods with enough home value to justify them economically.
If your home was built before 2,010, chances are your kitchen needs a cosmetic upgrade. Anything older 2000 might need a complete kitchen remodel because of the advances in kitchen design in the past 20 years but if the basic footprint is efficient there are a lot of ways to do that without gutting the kitchen like keeping the wiring plumbing and base cabinets the same and replacing the cabinet doors, appliances, flooring, countertops, backsplashes, sinks, faucets, windows, paint and lighting.
Flooring is not that difficult to choose if you have these easy perimeters to follow. Stick with the basics. I love solid hardwood. It’s costly at first but when worked into the life of the home is actually cost efficient when building new or right after you’ve just purchased the home. This way you will re-coop your investment. I don’t care for engineered wood. It can’t be refinished and I feel if you’re going to that expense you may as well install luxury vinyl tile which comes in the look of stone or wood. Wool carpet looks better and stays beautiful longer. It’s also healthier. As far as being a compassionate choice, I have my doubts. That’s up to you to decide. There are some health sensitive or ‘green’ carpets available that are made from corn.
Improving your home with new windows will of course add value to your home but choosing the right style is important too. Consider the architecture. Is it contemporary or traditional? Contemporary style windows don’t usually have grids or panes but rather large expanses of glass. What materials already exist in the home? If you have light floors it might look best to do light wood windows. Vinyl windows are easier to maintain, but wood windows are a natural product, are better for the environment, and are beautiful to the eye. Will sun or privacy be an issue? Protecting your floors and furniture will be something to consider.
Built-ins like bookcases and cabinets are my favorite architectural details. Without built-ins, a home lacks that distinctive feeling of permanence or purpose. They aren’t that hard to design if you know where they should go, and what they should look like. Coordinate them with your other architectural features like windows, floors and doors.
The most astounding, small home improvement I’ve seen in years is the series of skylights my good friends Charlene and John installed in their downsized home several years ago. The home is now open and light filled and in the Spring, you can see the tops of their flowering pear trees. As we age, our eyes (and moods!) require more light. Skylights are wonderful improvements to consider whether you’re selling or staying put.
If your home is beautifully landscaped with plantings, patios or views, French doors add tremendous beauty and pleasure to home life. Any room in the house will benefit from them. Match the materials to your windows, casing and molding. They are particularly in keeping with an “indoor/outdoor” living style. When deciding on improvements, French doors are not the first, most important improvement for your home. They are something to consider “after” more important improvements have been made, such as kitchen and bathroom updates.
To get more on renovations and redecorating, head on over to to my new download “Healthy at Home, 5 Crucial Design Decisions for Wellness Minded and Wellness Challenged Women”. In it you’ll find super easy to follow design solutions like tips on choosing flooring material; the most affordable way to remodel your kitchen, creating a restful bedroom retreat, the newest in techy kitchen trends, creating workout spaces and more at the link below!
There is more to consider in home improvement than just adding to the dollar value of your home. Think about function and aesthetics, how long you’ll be in the home, the overall value and condition of the neighborhood, the “emotional” appeal the improvements will have on potential buyers, and the enjoyment you’ll derive from the improvements.
Bye for now!
Here’s that free download, click here … “Healthy at Home, 5 Crucial Design Decisions for Wellness Minded and Wellness Challenged Women”. It’s 10 pages long, takes about 30 minutes to read and acts as a guideline for any redecorating or remodeling projects you have planned!