Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ready to Renovate? 5 Strategies for Increasing Value

The abundance of television shows and magazines focused on home updating and remodeling is simply astounding. A quick check of a television program guide for a single day listed more than twenty-five home “improvement” episodes! In 30 minutes you can follow a major six-month kitchen renovation to completion; in just ten minutes you can read a detailed magazine article on how to update your bathroom.

How do you know which projects will not only provide you with inviting home setting you crave right now, but will also add value to your home when it’s time to sell? It’s not easy, but the folks at Builder Magazine recently researched this very topic! Here’s a partial list of their findings:

1. Bring the fireplace inside. People love fireplaces. For many of us, having a fireplace located inside, with the main fireplace structure on an exterior wall, is what we’ve always known. However, if you plan to revamp or replace your fireplace consider a “zero-clearance” option. The venting system will leave your exterior walls and roof intact, which translates to lower construction costs. An added bonus? Ongoing maintenance will be a breeze.

2. Expand your pantry. Custom cabinetry is beautiful, but expensive. Consider expanding a pantry space by using drywall and wire shelving. You still get abundant storage (which both you and future homeowners will appreciate), but your costs will be significantly less.

3. Reconsider the soaking tub. Soaking tubs take up a huge amount of space and are difficult to keep clean. If you’re updating your master bathroom, instead create a tub/shower combo or a two-person walk-in shower. Use the space you saved to expand the closet.

4. Save space with a “straight-run” stairway. Stairways with a corner and a landing are beautiful, but they swallow up a lot of extra space. And these days, with buyers coveting an abundance of storage space, a straight stairway will provide more opportunities for built-in storage under and around the stairs.

5. Consider window placement. Most of us know the value of natural light, and are drawn to homes that are light, bright, and open. If a renovation to the front of your home is on your list, consider adding more windows on the street side. Well-placed windows on the front of the home provide terrific curb appeal, while also suggesting abundant natural light throughout the rest of the house.

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