Hopefully Gregg Cantor won’t mind me adapting his homeremodelingbootcamp.com blog content for a purpose that won’t exactly serve his market — the website and weekly eletter for Ottawarenovates.com. Much of his content is as relevant and useful in Canada’s frigid winters as it is in San Diego County, where Murray Lampert Design-Build-Remodel is based.
Cantor, a third-generation contractor has successfully remodeled thousands of homes in San Diego County. His blog provides the simple, straightforward and immediately practical advice that anyone contemplating a renovation project should consider.
For example, in a recent posting, he outlines the priority areas for remodeling, where the homeowner has the highest probability of recovering the investment through higher resale values.
More bathrooms. The National Association of Home Builders reports that adding just another half bathroom can add as much as 10.5 percent to the value of the home. A full bathroom? As much as 20 percent. Buyers are becoming increasingly concerned with the number of bathrooms they are purchasing, along with bedrooms. In some regions, you can recoup up to 67 percent of what you spend to add the new bathroom.
Better kitchens. In the past decade, the kitchen has transformed from a one-purpose room to the household hub. Any improvements that you make to your kitchen will add to the value of your home, even if all you do is give it a fresh coat of paint. Cabinetry, lighting, and hardware will also add a lot of value.
Curb appeal. Consider hiring a landscape architect to work on your yard to make it look as attractive from the outside as possible. If you are planning to sell your home, you should make sure you pay attention to both the front and backyard. The importance of making a good first impression applies here, as some appraisers estimate a poorly maintained yard can decrease home value by 10 percent!
Essential systems. Outdated plumbing, heating, sewer, and electrical can be a major deal breaker when it comes to selling your home. These basic necessities may not be much to look at, but they certainly influence a buyer’s decision. When it comes to a home, form truly follows function—nobody wants to deal with the nightmare of major infrastructure problems. Pay attention to any issues in these areas that could affect future buyers negatively.
- Bonus: The improvements will help you live more comfortably and lower utility bills during the time that you live in the home as well.
A finished basement. Transforming your basement square footage into livable space is a smart way to increase its value without the expense of adding on. You can transform it into an extra living area, more bedrooms, or even a children’s play area. Even if you only convert part of your basement into a living area, you are adding to its value and your own enjoyment of the home.
- Important: Whether you finish your basement or not, be sure you have a properly maintained sump pump along with a battery backup. These two essential appliances insure against devastating water damage in the event of a flood.
Additional space. For every 1,000 square feet you add to your home, the value goes up an approximate 3.3 percent. When that extra square footage comes in the form of another bedroom, that value goes up to 4 percent, and we’ve already covered the added value of bathrooms. Another good option if you want to add some square footage is to add a first-floor laundry room (opposed to one in the basement). Having one that takes stairs to access decreases a home’s value by 2 percent!
Miscellaneous fix-ups. You do not need to take on large-scale, expensive projects to raise the value of your home. Other modifications like more storage options, alarm systems, built-in wine coolers, home theater systems, and spa-like bathroom features can elevate the sophistication and value of your home.
If you have a remodeling business in a non-competitive market, you might consider similar content, as well. Obviously, it is wrong to reproduce the words without permission. (I let all Best Construction Blog competitors know that I may use text from their blogs in these reviews, and give them the opportunity to ask the text to be removed.) However, “standard” advice can easily be adapted to local circumstances and markets. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to develop an interesting and relevant blog.