Kitchen and bathroom renovations are among
the most commonly chosen home remodeling projects, and they also do the most to enhance a
home's future resale value.
Great Rooms are becoming popular -
homeowners are removing walls and merging kitchen, dining and family room areas, moving
toward this combined room effect often seen in model homes and builders' showcases. These
new-style kitchens are acting as the hub of family life - warmer and softer than
traditional kitchens, often with cabinets that match furniture in order to blend the room
Another consideration is the creation of an
energy-efficient, state-of-the-art, Earth friendly kitchen. Search out the companies
currently manufacturing energy-saving appliances, some of which reduce power consumption
in dishwashers and refrigerators by as much as 30% - 50%.
No other appliance uses as much energy as
the refrigerator, so when it's time to retire the old model it pays to purchase a
high-efficiency one. Look for the yellow Energy Guide label to compare the estimated
yearly energy costs of the models you are considering. Include a recycling center in the
kitchen or pantry which serves the purpose of a staging area for primary sorting of
recyclable such as plastics, cans, bottles, junk paper, newspapers, and vegetable scraps
for your compost maker.
Bathroom upgrades should include the
installation of low flow toilets and the latest in water saving shower heads and sink
faucets, as well as faucet aerators. Remember to keep color and style conservative for
best resale potential. Pay special attention to tile, bathroom fixture and appliance
colors; light colors and conservative choices are best.
Personalize a neutral room by decorating
with bright towels, pictures and other decor touches.
Other popular projects include master
bedroom suite remodeling projects which add large windows or French doors leading to
patios or decks, blending the house with the yard. Consider using dual pane windows for
heat retention, compact fluorescent light bulbs to lower energy costs, or an appropriate
solar heating system.
Doing the work yourself?
Survey any and all areas affected by the
project and determine if there are any building materials in place which may contain
asbestos, lead, or formaldehyde. Old pipe and pipe insulating wrap, lead based paint, old
insulation and particle board are among the possibilities.
If you suspect the presence of these
materials, locate a laboratory which can test and thus confirm or deny your suspicions,
research the proper removal and disposal methods for them, or contact a professional who
can remove the materials for you.
Don't remove old lead-based paint using a
method which might spread the dust throughout your home; your entire family is at risk of
inhaling and absorbing lead that may become airborne as a result. The older the home, the
better the chances that it may contain materials of this type, and it's best to confront
and resolve any potential problems now.
During demolition, minimize dust travel by
closing doors and laying damp towels along the bottom or taping heavy drop cloths over
openings. Open all windows for maximum ventilation and to provide an exit for debris,
preferable to dragging it through the house, and wear a mask to inhibit the inhalation of
airborne particles. Remove such things as wall board and wall paneling in as large a sheet
as possible to avoid flying dust and particles.
Keep improvements simple and use a licensed
contractor or obtain all the appropriate permits if you choose to perform the work
yourself. Concentrate on creating an ambiance of spaciousness, warmth and sparkling
Create a feeling in your home that will
invite people in and make them want make your house their home.
Thinking of buying or selling real
estate? Visit the
Appalachian Mountain Realty Guide.
Realtor and For Sale by Owner real estate listings with a great selection of mountain homes and land