Have you ever watched one of those home improvement shows on TV and started thinking about your own house? Maybe you’ve wandered the aisles of Home Depot in search of a toilet seat replacement but secretly hoped that a young, good looking and overly-effusive General Contractor would come along and right there on the spot offer you an entire bathroom makeover that doesn’t seem to cost you anything but a weekend of your time.
I guess that could happen. But reality is that like it or not, we’re each responsible for maintaining the value of our home. You don’t have to make every decision alone, but it’s not likely a TV crew will track you down anytime soon. I’m sorry to tell you that some of what you see on that ‘home’ network just isn’t true. No, I can’t renovate your entire kitchen while you’re out to dinner. But I CAN help you make smart renovation decisions.
Closing in a two-story space will always bring a good return. The roof, foundation and walls are already in place and typically there’s minimal electrical and no plumbing involved. Pretty quickly you’ll have increased square footage—transforming once wasted space into something highly functional. Real estate expert Carol Sherman of Allen Tate Realtors tells us that typically you won’t get a return on a swimming pool or big outdoor landscaping project but replacing old windows is a wise investment—translating into lower utility bills and if you’re selling, a nice plus for potential buyers. But Carol also advises that the biggest bang for your buck is in the most used spaces in your home. Homeowners can expect a 75 to 100% return on their investment in a kitchen or bathroom renovation. Find the right balance in material selection and you’ll get 100% of that back at resale.
So if you’re deciding between a patio and pool vs. a kitchen or bathroom remodel, get some good advice before making a final decision. Speak to a realtor about home values and projections in your neighborhood, and work with a builder to help you design the project you have in mind. I’m thinking about my own kitchen but I’ll bring in a realtor to help me figure out how much investment will bring that big return. Maybe I’ll start blogging about my kitchen reno soon…..