Sometimes a relatively modest improvement to your home can have dramatic aesthetic benefits. Here are some ideas that can really make a big impact on your home's comfort, style, and livability.
Home remodeling ideas
Paint, Change Floor Treatments
Painting is the number one way to do something simple that can dramatically impact your home’s appearance, especially if you go with a very different color. Likewise, consider different carpeting and flooring. As with paint, the color and style of carpeting and tile, laminate and hardwood flooring is virtually limitless.
Rearrange Your Floor Plan
By simply rearranging your furniture -- or moving furniture from one room to another -- you can create a dramatic new look at little or no cost.
It’s easy to find yourself with the same wall hangings for a decade. Take a fresh look. A few hundred dollars could completely revamp your wall decorations. That plus fresh paint can make the house look dramatically different.
Light fixtures can be relatively inexpensive and today’s LED lights are super efficient. Reimagine your home lighting plan, and be sure to make the best use of natural light as possible. Bringing light into dark areas -- and vice versa -- can have a big impact on your home’s atmosphere.
Create some nighttime curb appeal while making your house a less-attractive target for burglars with exterior lighting. Lights can also be mixed in with landscaping to create a dramatic night-time effect. Super-efficient LED bulbs and solar lighting make exterior illumination more cost-effective than ever. Bonus: 90% of home buyers say outdoor lighting is a desired home feature.3
Add Crown Molding and Chair Railing
Everyone seems to love crown molding and chair railings (the molding that goes around the room at chair-back height). Crown molding makes rooms seem bigger and taller. Chair railing should be placed at one-third distance of the ceiling height. Chair railing placed incorrectly can make a room look out of proportion. Molding comes in a broad array of styles and materials and costs about $1.50 per foot if you do it yourself or $8 a foot if you hire.3
Plant a Tree
Trees are great long-term investments that deliver both aesthetics and increased home value. Well placed trees not only add curb appeal, but they shade the house, which can help significantly reduce cooling costs and protect it from wind, rain and the damage of direct sunlight. Plant a carefully positioned tree the year you move in and if you sell in 10 to 15 years the tree could add $1,000 to $10,000 to the home’s value, according to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers.3
Add a Deck
Adding a simple deck can be a relatively low investment. Decks open up the possibilities of outdoor dining and entertaining. HGTV claims that homeowners recoup 65%-90% of their investment in their deck through increased home value.2 If you already have a deck, consider repainting or re-staining it.
Energy Efficient Windows and Doors
Replacement windows increase curb appeal, update your design and enhance your interior home aesthetic. They can also dramatically enhance home comfort through energy efficiency. Homeowners can expect a 72 percent return on their investment,1 which is higher than average
Likewise, a new entry door can give your home an aesthetic boost and increase efficiency. Studies show you can recoup 91% of the cost of a new steel entry door if you move within five years of installation.1
PROJECT: BRINGING THE OUTSIDE IN
Make Better Use of Your Space
Adding rooms to an existing house via new construction can become expensive. Instead, give yourself more room to enjoy your home life by making better use of existing spaces. In older homes, unfinished attics and basements are prime candidates for remodeling into usable space.
Also think about reclaiming space taken up by clutter or unnecessary storage that could be better used for family living.
Minor Bathroom Remodel
The importance of bathrooms has grown beyond their obvious functional value. Today they are more like warm, safe private retreats. HGTV estimates the average cost to replace the tub, tile surround, floor, toilet, sink, vanity and fixtures is about $10,500. That’s not bad for the enjoyment you’ll get. Plus you could recoup up to 83% of that value in increased home value.2
Minor Kitchen Remodel
The kitchen has become the heart of the American home, where families share both good and bad moments. People today spend more time socializing in their kitchens than previous generations so it makes sense to consider the kitchen in your modernization plans.
PROJECT: A GARDEN VIEW - CREATING AN OPENING
Minor updates include energy-efficient appliances, fresh paint in modern colors, contemporary backsplashes and flooring and open shelving on upper areas rather than cabinets. The average minor kitchen renovation recoups about 83% in increased home value.1
SEE ALSO: FINDING THE RIGHT KITCHEN WINDOWS
Adding a Second Bathroom
Using an existing space reduces the costs of adding a bathroom without diminishing the positive impact your capacity to entertain and the comfort of your family and guests. Look at extra rooms or underused spaces when considering where to put the second bathroom. Half-baths don’t require a lot of space, about 18 square feet, while full bath including a shower requires about 30 square feet. Plus, an additional bath can recoup up to 56% of what you spend on the upgrade.1
Maintenance and Updates
Stay on top of maintaining your electrical system, HVAC, roof, driveway, sidewalk and other concrete, and deck. Regular maintenance ensures peak performance so you get the most out of these systems and home features. Regular maintenance also catches problems before they become big and expensive.
SEE ALSO: FIVE TIPS FOR WINDOW MAINTENANCE