If your renovation plans include an aging parent, or if you yourself are an older adult looking to stay in your own home, consider a renovation with universal design. One type of renovation that should include universal design is the “mother-in-law suite.” Whether the space is prepared for a mother or father, in-law or not, a comfortable space designed to be functional for an older adult is the priority. With universal design, the function and safety of a space can meet the same aesthetic as the rest of the home.
Another type of renovation that should include universal design is a home modification. As an older adult thinking about the future, consider renovating your home to ensure your comfort and safety as you age. No one can foresee the future, but using the principles of universal design in your home modification will help to provide an environment to best uphold the function and safety of your daily routine while keeping your aesthetic preferences in mind.
The principles of universal design ensure that most everyone can comfortably and easily function in your home. This means that even if you use a walker or wheelchair to get around, even if you have difficulty with grip strength or grasp, even if you aren’t as strong as you used to be, you can still safely enjoy the home in which you live. Make sure you consult the proper professionals for a home modification or “mother-in-law suite.” If possible, ask for a contractor who is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) because these professionals will be most familiar with universal design.
As we move into the fall season, we think of cooler weather, football games, and back to school time. If a home renovation is on your agenda for fall, then there are several things to consider in order to make sure you are getting the right renovation for your situation.
If you are looking to prepare your house for sale in order to get top dollar, consider a kitchen or bathroom renovation. These renovations tend to attract buyers and increase the value of your home. When updating a kitchen or bathroom for resale, make sure you choose neutral, classic design elements to appeal to a wider range of buyers.
If you are looking to renovate your home in order to meet the needs of your family for years to come, consider a home addition or basement renovation. While these renovations can still add value to your home, they can also add convenience to your daily life. Perhaps you would enjoy more space for entertaining, a workout room, or an office.
Whatever your needs are, make sure you do your research before beginning a renovation. If you have your needs in mind when researching a renovation, you end up with exactly what you want.
During a renovation, safety needs to be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. As a homeowner, you need to make the decision to either live in the home through a renovation or temporarily move out of the home during a renovation. This decision depends on the scope of the renovation, the age of the home, and who is completing the renovation.
For those do-it-yourself renovators, make sure you use the proper personal protective equipment. While working with anything heavy or sharp make sure you wear heavy duty work boots, preferably steel toe boots. Make sure your hands are protected with work gloves. Protect your eyes and ears with safety glasses and either ear plugs or hearing protective ear muffs. If you are working in a high place like the roof, consider investing in a harness. Above all, think before you work! Make sure you feel comfortable with your tools and materials. If you do not feel comfortable, make sure you consult with the proper professionals.
When you decide to live in your home during a larger renovation, consider these safety tips. Always wear shoes in any space being renovated. Make sure dust is confined to the work space as much as possible. If necessary, you can use a simple dust mask while inside the home. When it comes to things like lead remediation and asbestos, make sure you hire the proper professionals. Not all contractors are equipped to deal with these specialty issues so make sure you ask when issues like these arise. If you stay tuned in to safety during your renovation, it will ensure that your renovation runs smoothly.
Halfway through the summer, you may be rethinking your list of home renovation projects. Perhaps you had underestimated how long your top priority projects would take, perhaps you re-prioritized after beginning your projects, or perhaps your budget has changed. Each of these are important factors to weigh in to your home renovation projects, but the budget will dictate how much more renovation you can take on.
For those lucky few, a winning lottery ticket or an unexpected monetary gift could fund a home renovation, but what about the rest of us? Whether you are looking to borrow, or save until you have enough to fund your home renovation projects, make sure you work with a financial professional you trust. Once you have a sum of money to put towards a home renovation project, you can come up with a budget. Make sure you consider materials needed, labor costs, permits, etc. when setting up a budget. Whatever budget you set up for your home renovation, be sure to add a little extra for a contingency fund. Every renovation has the potential for unexpected costs, and if you have already built those unexpected costs into your budget, you do not get left with an unexpected bill at the end of the project.
Once you have a budget, you can move forward with the home renovation of your dreams!
It seems many people want more space in their homes but are not willing to move out of their current space. If this sounds like you, consider adding more square footage to your current home with a home addition. Depending on the lot size your home sits on, you can expand with an outward addition, or expand upwards with a second story addition. Expanding your home with a first floor addition can create space for the kitchen of your dreams, a great-room for family gatherings, or an easily accessible mother-in-law suite. A second story addition can create space for a soothing master suite, extra bedrooms for a growing family, or an added space for a game room. A home addition can take on any shape or need you can dream up, but there are some things to consider when thinking about a home addition.
Think about the neighborhood you currently live in, and the style of homes in the area. If the home addition you have in mind will be double the size of all the other homes in your neighborhood, then you might consider rethinking your plan. A home addition can significantly increase the value of your home, but you want to be aware of the range of home values in your area so you are careful not to price your home out of the area you live in. Because a home addition can be a large undertaking, you want to make sure you have the proper professionals on your team. Make sure you research professionals in your area to find the best fit for you and your home addition.
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.