Jun 26, 2016

Update Right This Summer

If you're planning to update your home this summer, reworking the bath or kitchen is a great way to add value to your home. Even if you make small changes, done right, they're an investment in the equity of your home. It's smart to consider what you'll need in the future as you raise your family, age in your home, and even entertain the possibility of having grown children and elderly parents living in the same house. 

1. Update Your Bathroom  
A bathroom is easy to update in phases. A quick upgrade might mean changing the counters from tile to solid surfaces. Next, improve your lighting with sconces instead of a bar light, recessed LED lights, and accents like makeup mirrors and shower lights. Sometimes an update is as simple as adding storage like intalling glass shelves, hanging a wall cabinet over a toilet, or even bringing in an etagere for a light and open feel. If you're like many homeowners, you've reworked your kitchen and left the bathroom for a later date. If a bigger remodel is in sight, consider updating for multigenerational living by replacing flooring and shower surfaces that are slip resistant and easy care as well as aesthetically beautiful. Be sure your lighting plan is energy efficient, conserve water by installing EPA certified faucets and plumbing fixtures, swap your water heater for a tankless model to get hot water on demand, add radiant heat mats under tile for energy savings in cold months, and use sustainable processes and products so that your bathroom can be as eco-friendly as the rest of your house. Take a look at current building code in your municipality. If you are considering a resale in the next five to ten years, be sure your remodel meets the current code. You'll add value to your bottom line and won't need to reduce your price to enable the new owners to do code upgrades like improved ventilation, level entry showers, widening doorways and installing water efficient toilets and faucets. 

2. Remodel Your Kitchen Right 
A well-planned remodel is a must in the kitchen. New appliances and cabinetry, surfaces like granite, and changing the footprint for better function often make the kitchen a top dollar remodeling project. Storage and function are key components of a smooth working kitchen. New appliances offer smart home technology for cooking as well as keeping track of food items. Implementing interior cabinet upgrades make cooking and accessing everything in your kitchen easy and efficient.  Beautiful surfaces offer easy care, antibacterial properties and come in fabulous colors and textures whether they are stone, ceramic, porcelain, or Quartz. Specialty areas for coffee making, pet food service and storage, smart phone and laptop charging, wine collections, and baking centers, should be considered to enhance your lifestyle. Don't forget the outdoors. Add an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, pizza oven, and even a second refrigerator. 

3. Exterior Facelift  
Perhaps all you need is a new coat of paint and to refresh your landscape. Consider how the exterior functions and how it reflects your personal style and the interior of your home.  I recommend updating concrete paths and patios with natural stone because it's slip resistant, timeless, and even helps with drainage.  Just like granite is considered an upgrade to a kitchen, natural stone is an elegant material for the exterior. A facelift can include better lighting, architectural details like shutters, columns and posts, new fences and gates, trellises to cover patios and extend living spaces, and adding portable planters that can be moved seasonally and filled with lush greenery to give fabulous curb appeal. If you're considering a larger remodel, consider dormers, covers for your entry, extending patios to create additional living space, and upgrading to energy efficient windows and a new roof with fire retardant tiles.  If you're updating your landscaping, take advantage of your home’s proportions and architectural features and make it an integral aspect of your property rather than an add-on.