5 Renovation Tips

Most people do not think of sprucing up their homes (oh they do, but other priorities intrude) until it’s time to sell.

And then, they renovate and beautify for the sole purpose of getting a better price on the sale.

Isn’t that a pity that our house looks its best when we are about to get rid of it?

Why not spend a little time and effort to renovate it now so the whole family can enjoy it?

Why, you may find that your efforts pay off big dividends by increasing your enjoyment of living in your home.

Here are the top five renovation ideas that are usually proferred. They are what you and I look at critically (consciously or unconsciously) whenever we step into someone’s home — and when a guest steps into our home:

1. The Heart Of A Home Is The Kitchen.

This is where the family spends the most time. This is especially true for the wife and if she does not like her current kitchen, she is not happy in the house, no matter what she says to the contrary.

Instant renovation ideas include new faucets and sinks (if they are chipped or dirty and cannot be cleaned off).

Consider faucets that are tall enough to wash large pots and pans under.

You do not have to install an expensive food disposal unit because it’s usually more trouble than it’s worth (unless you are prepared to run the water for a long time, the mashed up food waste will tend to accumulate somewhere in the pipes, causing unnecessary plumbing problems later).

A sink that installs nearly flush with the counter top makes cleaning easier.

A waste basket under the sink is nice, but get a good one and install it properly or it’ll break easily and leave you with an almost unfixable mess.

New brighter lights not only cheer up the kitchen but make for a safer environment to work in. Consider using energy-efficient lighting with bulbs that are easy to replace.

Many American-designed light fixtures still use old-fashioned screws to hold heavy glass orbs in place. Consider more modern fixtures with covers that snap off and on easily, efficiently and safely.

Refacing cabinet doors and installing matching handles cost much less than replacing the whole cabinetry.

If you do decide to replace all the cabinets, it is paramount that you do your homework and hire a professional and reputable company.

Homeowners can recount many personal horror stories where a contractor comes, does half the job and then leaves for another project — leaving you high and dry without a usable kitchen for many weeks.

Oh, they’ll come back and eventually finish the job, but not without a lot of hassle and frayed nerves.

Many “home service clubs” are simply a one-person outfit who often sends you unqualified subcontractors and their guarantees are not worth the paper they are printed on.

Go with a reputable firm (you’ll pay more) and get everything in writing, including firm price, what’s included (cover every small details!), and time frame.

Ask for, and check, references.

2. Clean Bathrooms.

If bathrooms are not the first place many of us check, then they are easily the second.

If the bathrooms are dirty, we feel the whole house is also. But renovating the bathrooms does not have to be costly.

Worn out sinks can be retouched with special paint, caulking can be scraped off and redone, lights fixtures can be upgraded, and toilet seats can be replaced.

If the bathtub is really disgusting, consider replacing it with a one-piece prefabricated tub and shower surround. This will take care of any worn tiles on the walls. Refinishing a bathtub is not worth the effort and price.

3. Closet Space.

We never seem to have enough closet space!

Why builders build houses with limited closet space is a mystery to me.

Building a couple of shelves is usually all that is required to reclaim unused closet space.

4. Come In!

Your entry door can be inviting or foreboding. First impressions count and a few changes can make a big impression.

Instead of a small flimsy door handle, replace it with a handle-and-lock set.

Depending on your neighborhood, you may want a brightly painted door or one that looks expensive (e.g., cherry wood).

5. Welcome Home.

Next time you drive home, stop a few meters away and look at your house critically. Does it look attractive? Pay attention to the curb and landscaping.

Patch up the driveway. Plant a few flowers, if only in pots that you can move around.

Hire a landscaper (or your neighbor with the green thumb) to add in some design and color.

Why wait until you want to sell your house to spruce it up? Do it now and you will not only increase the value of your home — but might also well decide this is home for you for a long time yet to come.

Everything you need for your Home.