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It’s the question facing every homeowner considering home renovations or remodels: What will my return on investment be if I sell my house? There isn’t a definite answer, it depends on many different factors. But despite the murky waters, it’s important to have an idea of what your improvements might be worth. According to a report by the Joint Center For Housing Studies of Harvard University “Spending on home improvements is projected to strengthen in the majority of the nation’s largest metro areas in 2017, with many markets in the East and Midwest expected to post double-digit annual growth.” This means many American homeowners will be asking themselves this very question.
Remodels that Return
Visit a few open houses, watch any home buying show on TV, what’s the thing that has every potential buyer oohing and aahing? Kitchens and baths. The majority of buyers want a house that doesn’t require a bunch of costly face-lifts right away. So these buyers are looking for a house that doesn’t need any kitchen or bath renovations. While these remodels can be costly, they’re more likely to have a higher return on investment.
If you’re looking to sell in the near future, shy away from installing pools and home offices, because a lot of buyers aren’t willing to pay more for a house that comes with “useless rooms” and “extra maintenance”. And just because a project is expensive does not mean it will pay back more. Minor improvements will return more than a full redesign. Think face-lift – painting, refinishing surfaces, and upgrading appliances.
Keep in mind that you could potentially sell someday, so try to opt for styles that last. “You might want a room in your house in the shape of a cat or a mouse, but can you find a buyer who wants it?” says Gopal Ahluwalia, director of research at the National Association of Home Builders. If you’re living in a midcentury modern and want to add on a family-room addition, keep the design in harmony with the original building. Same ceiling heights and window styles will keep the integrity of the house. The same is true of small projects, too. When choosing new tile for your kitchen backsplash, aim for common or neutral colors and styles. Don’t expect someone else to dish out for your distinctive and particular choices.
You have to consider your neighborhood when remodeling. Don’t expect a high return if you’re neighborhood doesn’t have similar upgrades. You never want to be the most expensive house on the block. Do your research with the surrounding homes of similar square footage and room counts. If there’s an open house in your neighborhood, go check it out, see what improvements they have made (or haven’t) and look at what they’re selling for. This will give you a good idea on what remodeling projects will give you a return in your area.
Trend Alert: Leave Them Floored
It’s a warm spring day and you’re relaxing on the couch, compiling a to-do list for your spring cleaning. You look up and see the same ceiling that was there last year and the year before; you snag your phone, scouring the internet for ideas to refresh your ceiling. How do you remedy this? Do you clean it? Do you paint it? You want something new, trendy, and stylish. Just then, your eyes suddenly spot it: hardwood ceilings. Cozy, natural, refined interiors are on the rise and with Scandinavian influence making their way to the states, this new trend is sure to start popping up everywhere.
Wood Is On The Rise
Clients are in love with the natural look and eco-friendly choice that wood offers, so it’s no wonder why hardwoods are making a comeback. From recycling, reusing, and reinventing, today’s homeowners are looking for every excuse to reduce their footprint and increase style. They’re drawn to the cozy interiors of yesterday and the minimalist design of our European cousins. Which is why the current trend is spilling right onto the wood floors and splashing up to reach new heights: the 5th wall.
The ceiling is a blank canvas begging to be styled. While painting the ceiling is nothing new, affixing a façade or using an unexpected material is becoming more and more popular. This 5th wall has the potential to add drama, cozy up a space, and make a statement. What better material to use then wood?
Why It Works
Wood is more durable and easier to mount compared to drywall. It fits in any room because of the wide variety of species available. Choosing something light can add the desired effect without making your space feel smaller. If you’re looking for a cozy, intimate interior, choosing a darker stain may be the ticket you’re looking for. The most important thing to keep in mind is choosing the right wood. You want the wood species to match the room’s climate. We recommend using moisture-stable species, such as Ash, Cherry, Hickory, Maple, Oak, and Walnut, in areas that will have higher humidity (think bathrooms and porches).
Another tip to consider is keeping in line with the décor of the room. If there is already hardwood on the floors, using a similar species and stain for the ceiling will accomplish a unified look. Remember that the hardwood you choose can always be painted and stained to fit the design needs of your space. A design professional can walk you through the process of choosing the right wood and provide professionals to install so there are no mishaps in the future.
Image Source: RSU Contractors http://www.rsucontractors.com/sun-room/
Guideline for a Timeless Remodel
As Americans, we are engrossed in a culture where fashion affects nearly every aspect of our lives. The way our homes function and our products of choice are no exception. As our lifestyles change, so do our expectations for these spaces. Many clients’ first priority in a kitchen or bath remodel is to avoid trendy elements and to incorporate materials that will not become outdated. If that is a part of your objective, you may find the following ideas helpful.
- Look to the established and highest quality suppliers of the items in a particular product category for guidance as to general shape, materials, color and function. Whether you choose to buy from these suppliers or not, they have design authority and they tend to evolve their products purposefully and comparatively slowly.
- Use a design pro. People who study design and make it their life’s work have the combination of skill and training to help you. The good ones will listen to you and understand where you will be comfortable on the trend curve and help you select things that fit your taste and goals.
- Beware of ideas that are “suddenly everywhere”. Design elements that pop up quickly and dramatically will likely pass just as quickly.
- Use neutral colors. If you don’t know what those are, design pros and professionals can direct you.
- Don’t be first (and don’t be last) with a particular product, material, shape or color.
- Select things you really love and take care of them. Then be a little philosophical. Quality design ideas may ebb for a period but they will loop back around to preeminence.
Within this collection of renovation concepts, a few will immerse as remodeling trends. Although long-lived, stainless steel appliances, open-concept kitchens and spa-like baths are examples; in the end, even the most popular trends will quiet down, replaced with new, innovative concepts. For those whose goal is to achieve a timeless remodel, look for classic design elements with upward and less volatile lines in their trend curve and avoid those with short, intense fluctuations.
5 Tips for Turning a House into a Home
#1 Keep it personal.
Let’s get real for a minute: we all want to live in an HGTV home. No shame. But let’s also be honest: what are you going to do with an old, rusted kitchen scale? Don’t get me wrong; if you would use it by all means decorate with it. But if you’ve never set foot into the kitchen nor plan to bake French macarons, skip the scale.
Keeping it personal in your home seems like a no brainer, but the second you walk into a home décor store you are bombarded with every kind of trinket and doodad you can imagine, or not imagine. They are so well positioned and presented to you that you think you absolutely MUST have it. It’s no secret; we are conditioned to think stuff will make us happy; more stuff equals more happiness, right? Wrong. So wrong!
Let’s take a test for a minute: think back on your life and the moments you were happiest. What are you picturing? Is it that Easy Bake Oven you got as a kid, or is it a sleepover with all your best friends? Are you picturing your pricey cell phone case, or your child discovering a snail? Our relationships and experiences make us happy.
So hang a picture up of your sassy dog, not a canvas of some artist’s dog. Own those mismatched dining chairs; eclectic is in now, anyway! Saturate your house in memories, adorn it with your own personality, choose function or fashion, and then your house will start becoming a home.
#2 Don’t be afraid to get creative.
New is always enticing. But if you’re on a tight budget, that’s not always an option. So instead of buying a new hand carved loveseat, give that tired piece your grandmother left you a try. New or different pillows are a quick and easy way to update a couch. New fabric and a fresh stain will liven any piece of furniture. If you’re not the DIY type, paying someone else to do the work will cost about the same, if not less, than buying a new piece. Except now you will look at your rejuvenated heirloom and remember priceless moments shared with loved ones.
Not only is new unnecessary, some of your existing pieces may be the perfect fit, but in the wrong space! Shake things up; try moving a few items into a different room. Remember those sketches you bought years ago to hang in your son’s nursery? Move them into the dining room; every time you look at them, you will remember all those sweet cuddles.
#3 Let there be light!
Consider utilizing lamps instead of overhead lights. Overhead lights are great for when you’re baking a masterpiece, but contemplate using lamps for relaxing in the living room. Lamps have a delightful way of making the room they reside in cozy and put less stress on your eyes. They are easy to move around, easy to adjust, and are way easier to coordinate with the rest of the room.
Sometimes making a house feel like a home is as modest as installing window treatments. Curtains are an unpretentious and efficient way of adding color, drama, or even simplicity to a space and can completely transform the way it looks. Window treatments are also an impeccable solution for controlling the amount of sunlight allowed in the room.
If you hate all of these ideas, try changing out boring or ugly overhead lighting for something with style. You can make your own or go with something already made. Either way, the change of design will make a world of difference.
#4 Let’s talk paint.
I’m sure you were waiting for me to pull out the paint card. I’m not surprised, either. Paint is without a doubt the biggest change that I’ve mentioned thus far. However, while the previous tips were easy, almost effortless, painting is not alike. Painting takes time, a lot of taping, reaching up high, and patience (and probably another coat). But don’t let this scare you!
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: the color of your walls will impact your mood. Are you an early riser? Go with light, airy colors. Are you a night owl? Reach for the stars, and choose darker, full-bodied hues. Grab a few samples, slap them on a wall or two, and live with them for a week before deciding which direction to go. Bare in mind that the time of day will change the look of the colors you pick. This is why I suggest living with the samples for at least 24 hours. Oh and when you do decide on your color, grab a sample size again for future touch-ups.
If you’re not a DIY painter don’t stress out, let the professionals help. We would love to hear from you, discuss your needs, and determine a budget that you are comfortable with. Give us a call or fill out the contact form on the side of this page.
#5 Don’t stress it.
The pyramids weren’t built in a day, your home won’t be either. And that’s okay! Making your house a home should be done with care and meaning. It doesn’t need to be complete the second you move in. Think of your home as a carefully curated library, filled with all your favorites. Your home should be your sanctuary, a place of comfort, a happy place. Don’t stress yourself out trying to make it look like a Fixer Upper episode.
Let home making be fun and you will cherish the experience and every article that comes along the way. If you want your home to look like a Fixer Upper episode, then do that! This is your home after all. We, at Create, wish you luck and happiness in turning your house into a home.
Remodeling your kitchen can create feelings of both excitement and overwhelm. Careful planning before embarking on your kitchen remodel can not only save time, money, and frustration down the road but also allow you to enjoy the process every step of the way.
Linda Eberhardt, President and Owner of Create Distinctive Home Remodeling, recommends the following prior to starting your kitchen remodel.
1. Do your homework when it comes to finding a reliable remodeler or design firm. Choosing the right company to work with is probably the most important decision you will make. Not only in terms of the end result of the project, but the process that you experience getting there. Some things to consider when choosing a remodeler: Are they a member of the Better Business Bureau or Houzz and what are their ratings, how many projects like yours have they completed, do they use their own craftsmen or do they use subcontractors, can they provide you with references of others who have worked with them?
2. Determine the best type of company for you. When it comes to kitchen remodeling there are many different choices in terms of the type of company to work with. You can choose a kitchen showroom, big box store, general contractor, electrician and plumber, or design/build firm. While any one of them may work for you, it’s important to weigh all of your options and based on your particular needs, go the direction that is best suited to you and your project.
3. Consider your budget range. Kitchen remodels come in many shapes and sizes and the possibilities are almost endless. It’s important that you think about what budget you are comfortable with and work with options accordingly. This will help allow you to prioritize those things that are most important to you in your remodel.
4. Determine big picture goals for the project.Will your kitchen be used primarily as a place for the kids to do their homework? Or will it be a room for entertaining guests? Will there be multiple cooks using the kitchen? Determining the goals for the room will help guide many decisions along the way.
5. Begin thinking about the scope of work. Is your plan to update your kitchen by leaving the floor plan as is? Or are you looking to reconfigure the floor plan within the existing space? Or maybe your plan is to expand into an adjoining room or add new space. There are a lot of options when it comes to scope of work and all kitchen remodels are definitely not equal.
6. Narrow down the kitchen style. Whether your taste is contemporary, French country, eclectic, retro or something else, determining your overall kitchen style will help to direct the selection process when it comes to cabinets, countertops, appliances, flooring and more. Create has a produced every style you could ever want, check out our portfolio!
7. Consider project timelines. A kitchen remodel is a big investment when it comes to time. Find out a realistic timeline for completion from your remodeler so you can coordinate with your personal schedule. Think about vacations and how you might be able to tie those in with your construction schedule.
8. Think about contingency kitchen accommodations during construction. With most kitchen remodels, you will be without a functioning kitchen for a period of time. Many good remodelers can help you with a makeshift plan that allows you to operate at least partially out of another area in the home.
9. Browse through magazines, visit showrooms, browse the internet, and attend seminars for product and design ideas. The possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to kitchen products and designs. Familiarizing yourself with some of the possibilities can help alleviate the initial overwhelm. Oh look! Here’s a showroom right here!
10. Make note of your needs, wants and priorities. Talk with other family members who will also be using the kitchen and try to reach common needs, wants and priorities among the group.
While the idea of remodeling can be stressful, it can also be a lot of fun. The kitchen is truly one of the most important rooms in the home as it is no longer just a place to cook your meals. It’s a great opportunity to show off your personality and create a warm and inviting room that the whole family enjoys spending time in day after day.