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Home Improvement & Renovating
Maybe you’re planning on selling your home in the next few years and what to know how to get a little more money when it's time to list. Perhaps you just want to upgrade your home but want to make sure you’re not spending money without increasing its value. Consider the following list of renovations to add ‘move value’ to your home.
As with all home renovations, kitchen remodels can cost a varying amount of money. If you’re working with a smaller budget and aren’t looking to change the floor plan of your existing kitchen, you might opt for a minor kitchen redesign. This can include:
If you’re working with a larger budget, you might go with a full kitchen remodel. First, consider the layout of your kitchen. In older homes, kitchens were built separate and closed off from the rest of the living space, but modern buyers are looking for more open-concept layouts with clear sightlines. Is there an opportunity for you to rearrange the layout of your kitchen by removing a wall or turning a half wall into an island? What didn’t you like about your old kitchen that other buyers might find unappealing and how can you correct this with your new remodel?
Similar to kitchens, there are options for doing minor upgrades for your bathroom without spending the same amount as a full remodel. Existing bathtubs can be given new life with reglazing or tub inserts. Outdated vanities can be removed and replaced often without the need for major changes to the plumbing or layout and the same goes for replacing old toilets. If you have old shower doors, consider replacing them or removing them for a lighter look. Simply removing old caulking and replacing it with fresh caulking and a new coat of paint can go a long way to making your bathroom look clean and welcoming.
If you’re really looking to add value to your home with a bathroom, consider adding a new one entirely. This may not be possible for all homes but even a half bath can make all the difference. Are there unused spaces that could be reimagined into a bathroom, like a large closet or even space under the stairs? For a half-bath you need a minimum of 18 square feet, for a 3-piece bathroom with standing shower you’ll need 30 square feet and for a full bathroom with a tub, you’ll need at least 35 square feet. If you aren’t able to add a new bathroom entirely, you might investigate whether your existing bath needs additional space that could be found moving a wall or a new layout that might be more functional.
There’s no doubt that a house with more usable space will have more value. While building an addition would certainly increase the value of your home, you may be able to create more usable space without the add-on. The two options for making more space are finishing your basement or converting your attic to living space. Some homeowners may also opt to create additional living space in their existing garage by creating a living space upstairs. When creating this new space, keep in mind what future buyers might use this space for. Basements are often used for second living rooms and family space. Attics work well as additional bedrooms or offices. Garage conversions make great offices or guest space.
If a buyer feels they can save money in a new home, then that makes your property all the more appealing. Most buyers who see old, drafty, single-pane windows will immediately start running the tab for replacing them. You might consider upgrading old appliances to more energy-efficient models. While these two items might be higher on the price scale, making your home more energy-efficient doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. Make sure your home has the necessary insulation, put weather stripping around doors, caulk leaks and fill holes. Add a programmable thermostat. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs. Check your local municipality as many offer rebates for energy-efficient upgrades.
If your roof needs replacing, replace it. If your plumbing is wonky, sort it out. If your electrical is outdated, get it updated. If a buyer sees major items that need repairing, they are taking it off your listing price and you want to make sure the bones of your home are in good order before handing off the keys to the new owner. That said, if your roof is older but doesn’t need replacing, leave it be. If your air conditioner is getting old but still does the job, let the new owners decide if they want an upgrade. When it comes to the essentials, don’t fix things that don’t need fixing.
There are a few items that have a big impact with little cost and can be done throughout the house.
There are some projects that you are not likely to recoup the cost of when you sell such as inground pools, new garages and expensive landscaping. Keep in mind not to over-renovate your home. New renovations are great but if you’ve put in so much money that you would need to sell hand and shoulders above the rest of the homes in your neighbourhood then you likely won’t see that money again.
Most important when planning your renovations: look for opportunities to offer something other houses in the area don’t. If you live in a neighbourhood of wartime houses, closet spaces are likely lacking in more homes. Is there somewhere you can upgrade the closet space in your home? If you live in an area of similar homes, where can you add usable space to stand out from the crowd? Also, remember to keep your tastes in check, if your designs are too specific to your style, they may not appeal to a wide array of future buyers.