A few interesting targets for home improvement next year
By Annette Brooks
Keeping your home updated makes it more enjoyable to live in now, and if you decide to move, more marketable. While completely remodeling your kitchen and bathrooms are obvious options, as are large projects like whole-home makeovers, other improvements can also make it more livable and valuable.
1. Energy efficiency and in-home air quality is an important priority for a growing number of homeowners and buyers. Start with a professional home audit that will identify what is causing your home to be energy inefficient, and learn about the steps you can take to remedy the situation. From installing radiant barrier products in the attic to installing replacement windows and new HVAC systems, not only will you feel more comfortable in your home, you’ll also be adding value.
2. Create an outdoor experience—a space where you can build life memories with friends and loved ones. Think about adding a deck with built-ins, a patio with a firepit, an outdoor kitchen, or a pool. These enhancements will not only increase your property’s livable square footage and make it more enjoyable for you and your family, it can add to your bottom line when selling.
3. Give your front door area a facelift. Don’t underestimate the power of an updated, eye-catching front door and covered entry. People tend to make up their minds about a house within the first seven seconds. A new front door and refresh of elements that have fallen out of fashion since the 80s or 90s can boost your home’s curb appeal as well as your pride of ownership.
4. Not ready to renovate your entire kitchen? Aside from painting the cabinets and getting new hardware, how about updating your backsplash and countertop? And what about that old island? Kitchen islands today don’t have to match the cabinets. Have fun as you explore designs that will work as new focal point. Add workspace, storage, and even a dining area to your kitchen with an island update. Consider adding a raised bar that frames the kitchen and acts as continuation of the countertop, hiding objects on the kitchen-facing side.
5. Few individual changes can breathe life into your home like new flooring. Replace old-fashioned shiny kitchen and bathroom tiles for modern faux wood or faux stone tiles that come very close to looking like the real deal. Replace worn carpet with easy-to-maintain modern carpeting or with durable laminate flooring.
6. Even relatively small, strategic tweaks can make huge differences in your space, both visually and from a livability perspective. As the new year arrives, look around your home, decide what you’d like to upgrade, then create a plan that will help you and your family get more out of your home as you push through the coming months.