Archives For Home improvement

kitchenWhen you love the location of your home but feel that you need more space, there are a few smart fixes that can increase the value of your home. Remodeling efficiently means recasting existing space and building up instead of out. Additions can be very costly; therefore working with increasing the space you have in different areas will help you to avoid the added cost of new foundation.

CNN Money asked remodeling pros for cost-effective solutions for renovating your home; Here are five of the smart fixes they came up with:

Problem: No first-floor powder room

Few older homes have a bathroom on the first floor, requiring guests to go upstairs to use one.

Solution: Recast a closet. You can transform a space as small as four feet by four feet or even three feet by 5 feet into a powder room. One option would be to repurpose a pantry or a large closet under the stairs. Another is to carve a space out of a hallway, back foyer or porch. For the sake of new plumbing, try to build directly next to, above or below the kitchen, laundry room or another bathroom.

Problem: Master suite that’s not so sweet

Today homes have generous master bedrooms with walk-in closets, dual sinks, and a separate shower and tub. Older homes tend to offer much less space.

Solutions: Steal a bedroom or build over the garage. These are both good options, depending on your existing floor plan. Turn the master bedroom into a suite by taking over an adjacent bedroom. “A lot of people do this when the kids go off to college,” notes Indianapolis contractor Geoff Horen. One thing to keep in mind is that you want to make sure your bedroom count matches the other houses in the neighborhood.

When building over an attached garage keep in mind that it is no small job. You will need to remove the roof, beef up the structure plus add a new roof on that.  However, an above the garage room will still save you more money than adding on a whole new space away from the house.

Problem: Bedroom shortage

One of the biggest factors in families moving is that they need more bedrooms. The good thing is bedrooms can be fairly inexpensive to renovate since they do not require plumbing or additional appliances.

Solution: Convert the attic. The attic is the ideal place to add a new bedroom if you have the space. Also remember that not all attics should be treated the same either. You need to make sure you have room for a full-size stairway to the floor below and an emergency exit.

By code, you will also need to make sure at least 50% of the finished space is at least seven feet high, and that portion must be at least seven feet wide and at least 70 square feet.

Problem: Kitchen is too small

Before the 1980s, kitchens were not the main room in the house. Many older homes have closed off kitchen areas with not much space for prepping and eating.

Solutions: Lose a wall or hang a small addition. “Removing the wall between the dining room and kitchen creates a feeling of spaciousness — and also clears room for an island or peninsula that can become a key workstation or a place for family and guests to congregate,” says kitchen and bath designer Erin Davis.

Putting on a small kitchen addition that hangs off the side of the house can help give you more space, especially if you want to keep the dinning room as is. Although the space can’t be any deeper than two feet, it can still run the length of the kitchen to be able to add enough space to redesign the layout.

Problem: No place to play

A spacious rec room with a home theater and wet bar is now commonplace in today’s high-end homes. Thirty five percent of homebuyers think a rec room is “very important,” according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors.

Solution: Finish the basement. Finishing the basement is a fairly inexpensive fix if you aren’t planning to add a wet bar. You’ll typically need a ceiling height of seven feet depending on local building code. Lastly, you will need to think about moisture. Which could lead to repairing roof gutters or getting a sump pump.

Source: CNN Money