As Remodeling magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report shows, most home-renovation projects don’t pay back on resale as much as they cost to complete. So think twice before planning major upgrades right before you put your home on the market. But on the other hand, if you’re going to stay a while, there are plenty of projects that will help you live better in your home.
The remodeling choices you make depend, of course, on your lifestyle and what’s most important to you and your family. So if you’re not really into entertaining large groups of people, you’re not going to spend a bundle on an elaborate kitchen with socializing space for guests.
The National Association of Home Builders regularly asks people what they would look for when buying a house. The responses give hints about the kinds of features that you might find would improve your lifestyle at home.
You really can’t go wrong here. If you’re planning a major remodel, a laundry room with storage, hanging, folding, and stacking space should be high on your list, as it was on the survey respondents’, because who doesn’t spend a lot of time doing laundry? Making that chore more convenient is a no-brainer.
If you’re going to spend money creating a custom home or remodeling your house, incorporate exterior lighting to show off the place. Such lighting can illuminate the outside of your house to dramatic effect, and it also should be incorporated into your landscaping and outdoor living spaces. The beauty of outdoor illumination is a plus, and safety and security are practical reasons to emphasize it.
Giving your budget a break falls under the category of “living better in your home,” so designing energy efficiencies into the house will pay off every year that you live there. Super-insulating your home, using low-e, triple-paned glass, taking advantage of passive solar heating, and choosing energy-efficient systems and light fixtures all will help you use less energy.
Here’s a feature that’s becoming increasing popular. Whether it’s a simple patio or a luxury “living room” with fireplace, roof extension, built-in heaters, and high-end lighting and furniture, your outdoor living space will bridge the gap between the out-of-doors and your home’s interior and give you a place to gather for good times with friends and family.