Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Home Upgrades – Worth the Investment

It's that time of year and many of you will be considering upgrades to your home and surrounding property. Any changes you make on your house now should increase your home value later. Hiring a reputable contractor to do the work is best. People know that renovating can be a nightmare, and you will appreciate that they did the dirty work for you. But which projects will yield the most bang for your buck? Take a look at this list, starting with the upgrades most likely to recoup your investment, down the road.

Painting - Paint provides dramatic results with little investment. A fresh coat of paint or a new, interesting  wallpaper pattern instantly rejuvenates walls. Can’t decide on a color? Experts say that pale yellow homes tend to sell faster and for more money: yellow is optimistic and inspirational; gives people a sense of joy and the sense that brighter times are ahead.

Adding Siding - According to a study conducted by Remodeling magazine, fiber-cement siding (which is made of sand, cement, and cellulose fibers), while vinyl can crack, split, and warp and aluminum tends to dent and fade, easy-care fiber cement holds up well against the elements and is resistant to fire, rotting, and termites.

Building a Deck - A deck will provide you with more than a place to flip burgers and soak up the sun. People see a deck as a seamless transition from inside to out. Experts suggest using natural, rustic wood. Wooden decks (as opposed to concrete or composite ones) add impressive value to your home.

Updating the Kitchen - You really can’t go wrong with remodeling your kitchen. Stick with high-quality fixtures, like stainless-steel appliances and granite counters. A word of caution: If your house is a tiny two-bedroom bungalow, don’t bother splurging on, say, a high-end stove; you will never get your money back by installing fancy appliances in a smaller home. And if an appliance overhaul isn’t in the cards, you can easily make cosmetic updates on a kitchen that’s in decent shape. For example, if your existing appliances are in good working order, coat them with electrostatic paint to give them a metallic or enamel-type finish.

Replacing the Windows - If you’re experiencing cool and blustery weather … in your living room, it’s time to buy new panes, pronto. Not only are you losing precious heat but your utility bill could also be skyrocketing. Energy-efficient windows eliminate drafts, so your home feels warmer.

Modifying a Bathroom - Bathroom upgrades, like updated countertops and new fixtures, prove to be a solid investment. Ornate moulding and panelling, is a stylish way to update a contemporary bathroom. Avoid anything too trendy, choose classic features that will appeal to people with both traditional and contemporary tastes, should you decide to sell. There’s no need to splurge on fancy fixtures, either. A tub is a tub ... a Jacuzzi will never make or break a sale. Opt for a floating vanity, which will create the illusion of space in a small bathroom. Switch to a low-litres-per-flush toilet that, over the course of a year, can save thousands of litres of water in your household. Or, for quick touch-ups on existing sinks, toilets, and tubs, consider hiring a surface-restoration company that recoats ceramic, porcelain, and fiberglass fixtures with a chemical bonding agent that looks like shiny new porcelain.

Fixing up the Basement - There’s nothing worse than that unmistakable damp-basement smell. A dry basement is far more important than worrying about the right lighting or furnishings. If your basement is prone to flooding, leaks, or excess moisture, call in a pro. If you do want to finish your basement by adding drywall, insulation, laminate flooring, or even a bathroom, be sure it’s proportional in quality to other areas of your home. Basement remodels can also add great value to your home, depending on the quality of the materials.

Landscaping - The front of your house is the first thing people see, so it makes sense that any improvements―from planting petunias to surrounding your home with a hedge―will be worth your while. Don’t be afraid to spend money on perennials, which come back year after year. As for big-ticket investments, like trees, they aren’t just nice to look at; they also stave off erosion, block storm-water runoff, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and filter groundwater pollutants. They might make your home sell for more money, too. Properties with well-established trees are even more attractive to potential home buyers down the road. When determining which areas of your yard to attend to first, try approaching the house from the curb to the front door. Buyers make their decisions in approximately the first eight seconds. After that, they’ve either fallen in love or are just honoring an appointment.

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