After being cooped up all winter, spring seems like it is finally arriving. You may be venturing outside and realizing your outdoor spaces could use some sprucing up. A custom deck or patio to compliment the style of your home can add curb appeal, add useable living and entertaining space, and add to the resale value of your home. Outdoor kitchens are becoming more popular as well. This can turn an outdoor space from a run-of-the-mill, everyday backyard into a high end retreat that will be the envy of the neighborhood. One thing to consider when dreaming up your ideal outdoor space is how much use it will get throughout the year. To maximize use in areas with colder weather, consider at least partially covering the outdoor space through use of an awning, pergola, or roof overhang.
Other features that can add architectural interest to your outdoor space include: a gazebo, a garden trellis, or an outbuilding. Remember, you want to bring focus to the natural beauty of your yard (mature trees, ponds, lake views, etc.) and enhance your outdoor living space at the same time. Allow your outdoor space to compliment the landscape, and then add more greenery and living beauty to let nature enhance your outdoor space. Potted plants or built in flower beds on a deck or patio are an easy design feature to let the eye flow seamlessly from house to yard. Once you have your dream outdoor space, you can spend your time relaxing, entertaining, and enjoying.
Universal design can be incorporated seamlessly into a bathroom to be functional and beautiful. Flooring in the bathroom and in the shower can be non-slip for safety but in the color and style you prefer. Grab bars bring to mind a white, plastic, unsightly hospital setting but it does not have to be that way. Grab bars come in many different colors and styles now that can accent your bathroom perfectly while functioning the way you would hope.
Similarly, the average toilet height is 14-16 inches high, but consider installing a higher or “comfort height” toilet ranging from 16-19 inches high. Due to the taller height of these toilets, it is easier for the average person to get up and down off of them and for an older adult who might be experiencing a loss of range of motion or mobility. When considering children using these higher toilets, a step stool works well and might have to be used for an average height toilet as well.
The tub vs. shower debate is a lengthy one, but you need to make the decision that is right for your home. One thing to consider is how many bathrooms you have in your home. If there is already a tub in another bathroom, you might make this current bathroom renovation a walk-in shower. Tubs are great for resale value for bathing children or relaxing after a long day, but showers can be more practical for day to day use and can have great resale value when thinking about adults functioning in the home.
Getting creative with storage can make or break your bathroom. Under the sink, above the toilet, and other wasted space in a bathroom can be the perfect spot for extra towels, soaps, hair care products and other such items that take up space in a bathroom. Even adding an inset shelf in the shower for soaps and shampoo can make a small space more functional. A bathroom should be both a beautiful and functional room in your home.
After a long winter, you might find your home seems to shrink around you. You could add more space to your home with an addition or you could renovate the space you already have to serve a more functional purpose in your life. Imagine the possibilities a basement renovation could offer: relaxing family room, space for guests, bar and lounge area, kids play space, movie theater, workout room, craft and hobby area, or clean, dry storage. The possibilities are endless, but there are some things to consider when thinking about a basement renovation.
Water is something that every homeowner should consider when renovating a basement. No one wants to renovate a basement only to have to repair water damage next time it rains. An exterior mitigation system can include waterproofing the outside of the foundation walls and ensuring proper drainage around the home. An interior mitigation system can include a system of drains and sump pump to remove excess water. Even if a home had a dry basement prior to renovations, you should still take all precautions to ensure no water can enter after the basement renovation is complete.
Most single family homes in Michigan are built with basements, but basements vary greatly depending on when they were built. A renovation of a basement post 1960’s might be more straightforward while an older home and an older basement may bring more complicated renovations. Every home is different and brings different challenges. A trusted contractor will be able to estimate how much time and resources are needed for your basement renovation.
The kitchen is the heart of the home. If your kitchen is not functioning properly, if you have dreams of a beautiful new kitchen, think kitchen renovation! When considering resale value, a kitchen renovation is one of the best ways to increase the value of your home.
First, think about the layout and style of your current kitchen. Turning your galley style kitchen into an open concept great room-kitchen combination is going to require a higher budget than adding a breakfast bar pass through to a 1950’s style kitchen, so keep your style and budget in mind. Next, consider the materials used in your kitchen renovation. Your kitchen renovation can be more than granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Flooring materials need to be easily cleaned in a kitchen so consider hardwood floors, tile floors, or even cost effective linoleum. Man-made flooring products have come a long way in recent years. Similarly, countertop materials could be stone, concrete, tile, or butcher block. Consider mixed use of materials, for example, granite around the sink and stove but butcher block on the peninsula. This can help your kitchen renovation budget and become a design feature.
Along with layout and materials used in your kitchen renovation, make sure you hire the best professionals. Ensure that your contractor, electrician, plumber, and anyone else who works in your home are licensed and insured. Your kitchen renovation deserves the most experienced experts!
A new year brings new projects around the house, but what do you tackle first? Take a walk around your home and take note of each of the projects, large and small, you have on your mind. Some of these projects might be things you do not like about your home or that are no longer functioning for your current lifestyle. Other projects might be dreams for the way you see your home down the road. Once you have compiled a list of home projects, you can sit down and decide which projects are realistic for this year and which projects are more realistic for the future. It is never too early to plan for the future!
Now that you have that list of home projects for this year, you need to prioritize. One way of prioritizing your home projects is to put them in order of small to large. It might seem less overwhelming to tackle fixing the front door before renovating your kitchen. Another way of prioritizing your home projects is to determine your budget. Some home projects can save you money in the long run or even increase the value of your home. Ultimately, you decide which home projects to focus on in the new year. Make sure you have your budget set, the right safety equipment and tools if you are a do-it-yourself kind of homeowner, and a reputable contractor if you are looking to complete a home project that is bigger than your scope of work.