Home Upgrades For A New Year

Which types of investments will you make in your home this year?

Home upgrades include projects ranging from easy, energy-saving solutions you can do yourself over the weekend to major renovation projects like a full kitchen remodel. The objective of a home upgrade project may be to improve your long-term living expenses, increase comfort, or make your home more salable. Many home improvements are done for all of these reasons, but comfort and cost effectiveness are currently at the top of the list for our clients as more of them prepare to stay in their homes long term.

Kitchen by Case Design and Remodeling of San Jose.

A major kitchen remodel upgrades appliances and materials and adds features such as a kitchen island and additional storage. It also adds increased comfort and value to your home. Even if you never plan to sell your house, home upgrade projects should always be planned around a budget and design that adds value to your home. Increasing your home’s value through remodeling adds equity that can be used to make future repairs and improvements to your biggest asset. Home upgrades that add value also tend to be the ones that increase our comfort and functional living space the most: attic conversions, kitchen remodels, and deck additions were at the top of the list in 2012, followed by family room additions, bathroom remodels, and basement conversions. And window and siding replacement remain popular and important home maintenance projects because they do so much to increase comfort, energy efficiency, and curb appeal.

Image courtesy of Case Design and Remodeling

A basement renovation like this Case Design remodel can double a home’s functional living space and transform the entire home’s use. This remodel upgraded the basement family room and added a full bar that doubles as a second kitchen where the homeowners can cook and entertain without trips up and down the stairs. Even new homes, whether they’re new construction or just new to your family, can require some immediate improvements. New home upgrades often mean custom modifications that help tailor a space to your family’s needs, including projects such as converting full rooms into usable spaces, custom shelving and organization, aging in place modifications, and child-friendly improvements.

Home upgrades that add value.

Every home upgrade should add multiple levels of value to your home. A well-planned home improvement will solve your specific design dilemmas to increase your own ease of living while making the space more universal for a range of future users. Just as empty nesters begin remodeling their spaces into the home of their dreams, it’s time to baby-proof the house again for the grandkids, so universal design has a lot going for it these days. When it comes to adding monetary value to your home through a remodel, attic bedroom additions, minor kitchen remodels, and outdoor deck additions were the projects that added the most value to homes in 2012, with all three projects providing a return on investment (ROI) over 70%.

Image courtesy of Workshop/apd.

An attic conversion is often the most affordable way to add both a bedroom and a bathroom to your home within the existing footprint. As one of the most efficient ways to transform unused space in your home, attics make great bedrooms, offices, libraries, and family rooms. Many of them add architectural value to your home as well, like this attic bedroom by Workshop/apd.

Kitchen by Case Design.

A minor kitchen remodel can make your home look more appealing to buyers, or it can address functional issues over aesthetic ones if you plan to stay. A minor kitchen upgrade usually focuses on one or two areas such as replacing appliances, increasing storage and countertop space, or making energy-related upgrades. Adding a kitchen island is a home upgrade that can create a lot of value in the home’s most frequently-used room, by adding storage, counter space, and the possibility of additional features such as bar seating and an improved kitchen work triangle.

Composite deck addition by Case Design and Remodeling Indy.

A deck addition is considered a lower-cost home upgrade with a high ROI that makes a home’s exterior more appealing and also adds a lot of value in the home comfort arena. A deck or patio that includes high-end features such as an outdoor kitchen can be a lot more costly, but the return on investment for homeowners that stay put can be limitless.

Home upgrades that increase function.

More people are moving toward urban centers, living in smaller spaces, and choosing to stay in the same home long term. It’s imperative for many households to maximize their amount of useable living space in order to maintain comfort as families grow and change. Basement renovations, family room additions, and bathroom remodels are all remodeling projects that increase usable living space, and all three had an ROI over 60% in 2012.

Image courtesy of Peregrine Design Build.

This basement remodel by Peregrine Design Build combines a family room, children’s playroom, storage and organization, and a backyard entrance. The custom shelving keeps the room open and full of sunlight.

Aging-in-place and universal design.

These two design concepts make homes more user-friendly for long-term use and more appealing to a variety of users. Open floor plans, continuous spaces, and addressing safety issues are the hallmarks of universal design ideas that inherently include aging-in-place concepts as well. Aging-in-place modifications are usually made to increase the safety and comfort of aging homeowners who want to stay in their homes, while universal design concepts are attractive to multi-generational users and make homes more salable by pleasing a wider range of people and their needs.

Image courtesy of ID by Gwen.

A no-threshold shower entrance is safer and more manageable for users with limited mobility. This design by ID by Gwen uses extra shower space and the open design to fit a separate soaking tub inside a smaller bathroom, making it useful for users of all ages.

Image courtesy of Monarch Renovations.

An open floor plan limits narrow halls and entryways and the number of mobility-decreasing obstacles a person may encounter in the home.

Easy home upgrades.

You don’t have to do a home remodel to make your home more useful, valuable, or beautiful. Many homeowners are beginning with small, energy efficiency-based upgrades that help save money and reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Lower bills are attractive to buyers and the extra savings can be recycled into additional home improvement projects.

Kitchen remodel by Case Design.

Low-flow fixtures in the bath and kitchen save tons of water without decreasing water pressure.

Bathroom remodel by Case Design and Remodeling Indy.

Insulating Roman shades decrease energy costs and add texture and a beautiful accent to a space.

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