If you hired a home improvement contractor in the last couple of years you likely experienced some sticker shock and delays getting your job scheduled. Many things contribute to this all too common phenomenon. While we can’t control a lot of it, there are some things we can do to minimize scheduling delays and possibly save some money. Understanding what drives some of these delays and cost increases is helpful.
A bathroom remodel can be an ideal home improvement project. Depending on how modest or extravagant your plan, it can be one of the more affordable (relatively speaking) improvements when considering a room or home remodeling project. An updated or remodeled bathroom adds value to the home and perhaps most important, personal enjoyment or improved function. You might finally have an excuse to purchase that claw tub you’ve been dreaming about for ages!
As a homeowner, it can be fun and exciting to decide how best to use your space. Let’s put our creative thinking caps on and consider some of the many ways to better use some underutilized space around the home. Whether it is creating more storage, a special cubby for some quiet time, or getting better organized, I bet there is some place in your home that isn’t living up to its fullest potential.
The weather in the Pacific Northwest is wildly unpredictable. A sunny day in February might be 70 degrees, while April could bring snow flurries. That said, the three months out of the year of near-perfect weather make the other nine months worth the wait. If you like to maximize your time outdoors once the weather is conducive, now is the time to make sure your outdoor living space is ready.
Depending on how much space you have available to work with, the opportunities for elevating your outdoor experience are endless. Is dining alfresco something you enjoy? Consider carving out some underutilized space for an outdoor dining area. Perhaps add a patio or convert an existing patio into an outdoor kitchen. An outdoor fire pit is a cozy place to gather with friends and family after sunset. These are just a few ways to expand your living space and add value to your home.
For those planning to sell their home in 2019, spring can be the opportune time to place it on the market. In addition to the right timing, selling a home in a reasonable amount of time for the best possible price requires some careful strategy.
Step 1 – Consult with a Real Estate Professional
The first and most important step is to consult with a real estate professional. They will walk you through the steps of what to expect and how to best prepare and show your home to maximize return. You only have one chance to make that all important first impression. Following are tips we have gleaned from the real estate professionals we know and trust.
Is your family outgrowing your home? Do you want more living space but selling and buying a larger house is out of the question? A good solution might be right under your nose, or roof that is.
In multi-level houses, the main floor tends to be the most utilized and gets the most attention. Typically, this is where the primary entrance, living room, and kitchen are located. While this might continue to be the family hub, there could be a gold mine of extra space potential in either an unfinished attic or basement. Before uprooting or considering a costly home addition, it might be worth taking a closer look at underutilized space you already have. Finishing an attic or basement could give your family some much needed extra space, add value to your house, and could be less expensive to accomplish than many other significant home improvement projects.
In today’s world “go green” encompasses a more impactful meaning than it did even a few short years ago. As society moves toward a more eco-friendly mindset, you might think about how a more sustainable home can help your pocketbook and decrease your carbon footprint. Creating an energy efficient home is an investment. It involves a lot of initial planning and upfront costs. In the long run it should decrease overall energy consumption, improve your home’s comfort, and increase value and desirability at resale. Another benefit, some energy efficient upgrades also qualify for tax credits and reimbursement programs.
The fireplace is a natural focal point in your home. Left untouched it can make the entire room appear tired and dated.
These before and after photos from a fireplace renovation project in Snohomish, WA, is an example.
However, replacing a fireplace is no small undertaking and can be messy and expensive. A more cost-effective and efficient approach may be to reface the fireplace. A reface focuses on upgrading the visible surface of the fireplace, without changing its functionality or how it heats the room. Think of it as giving your fireplace a facelift. If the fireplace is otherwise sound and in proper working condition, refacing may be a good alternative for you.
“Alexa, let me know when someone is breaking into my home,” said no one ever. Let’s assume her response would be honest, as in, she can’t. As technology evolves to make our lives easier, smart homes are the newest addition to technological convenience. Although digital assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, can recite the weather or play your favorite song, they cannot stop an intruder from entering your home. Luckily, smart home security systems can. There are several smart home security options to choose from. Make sure to do some research before you put your house on lockdown.
Move over men, the female revolution has arrived. For every Man Cave, there should now be a She Shed. A She Shed, or Babe Cave, is the female equivalent of a Man Cave, and is a tranquil space to relax and rejuvenate from the many responsibilities women have.
Like the Man Cave, the She Shed should reflect what is most important to you, but in an environment separate from the chaos of everyday life. This can include an area for hobbies such as yoga, a personal library, horticulture, crafting, or even a place to escape for a much-needed nap.