So, you’re ready to remodel. Whether it’s to make major upgrades – to finally get rid of that linoleum floor you inherited – or you’re thinking of selling in the near future, there is a lot to think about.
No matter if it’s just one room or several, here are some tips to consider.
1. Plan for your future
▪ If you are planning to sell your home in the near future, make your money count. Don’t overspend on expensive, trendy finishes. It’s best to select timeless materials at an affordable price point. Examples include neutral paint, chrome metals and hardwood flooring.
▪ Create flexible spaces that can change as your family does. Nurseries will eventually become big kid rooms, which later become teen rooms. Play rooms may later become an office space. Don’t overspend in a way that makes your space harder to transition.
▪ When designing your forever home, don’t overthink spending that extra $100 on the perfect finishing touch. Upgrade things such as carpet, cabinetry, lighting and mirrors. You’ll love them for years to come. It is worth the extra investment for the home where you plan to spend the rest of your life.
2. Blend the old and the new
▪ Drastic changes often happen in remodels. The key is to make the updates look as if they have always been there. Consider the whole house before making major changes. For example, if your home has all chrome fixtures, consider using chrome in your remodel. Make new parts of your home flow with older parts: match door styles, hardware, trim, etc. Details matter. They will help the remodel flow with the rest of the property.
▪ Consider the architecture. Your remodel should match the architecture of your existing home. Modern? Farmhouse? Colonial? The architecture of your home lives in the details. Consider this when choosing windows, doors, light fixtures, columns, beams and wainscoting.
3. Think about finishes
▪ Choose finishes that work with your lifestyle. If you suffer from allergies, you may choose hardwoods over carpet. If you have small children or pets, you will want washable paint, durable surfaces and stain-proof textiles. If you are planning a home for retirement years, you may want to consider ADA-compliant hallways and bathrooms.
▪ Consider energy efficiency. Is your energy bill through the roof, literally? Check the R-values of insulation to maintain heat in the winter and cool in the summer. LED lights will reduce your energy usage. High efficiency appliances, faucets and bathroom fixtures will save on both energy and water usage.
▪ All upgrades should be customized to your needs, budget and goals.
▪ Think functional, especially when it comes to technology. While new technology comes out every day, keep in mind how quickly it can become outdated. Dimmers and heated-tile floors are luxurious for the long term. Think twice before creating built-in technology features that could soon become obsolete.
4. Consider key upgrades
▪ Consider built-ins, but don’t overdo it. Think twice before adding so many built-ins that it limits how you can use your space. Today, that extra space might seem like a great luxury dressing room, but two years from now, you might need it as a bedroom. In this case, it might be best to purchase removable clothing storage.
There are a few built-ins that are always a good idea, however. Built-in shelving works wonders in living areas and bonus rooms. Built-in seating by the front door or in the “drop zone” is always functional.
▪ If your space is too dark, consider splurging on a new, larger window or skylight. Transom windows in bright rooms can allow more light into dark spaces, such as a hallway. Your electrical plan is also crucial to making sure you have adequate lighting for the intended use of your space.
5. Turn to the experts
▪ When in doubt, hire a qualified designer to help. Space planning, aesthetic and cohesive flow is easier said than done. Designers are familiar with resources that fit your needs and within your budget. There is a lot of information to consider while remodeling, and designers do this for a living so you can relax and enjoy the process.
▪ You may need a structural engineer to ensure your project goals are attainable for major remodels. Always hire a structural engineer before removing potentially load-bearing walls.
▪ Use licensed contractors who are insured, offer references and have proven records. Asking for references and price shopping is always a good idea.
The designers who participate in this N&O design series are members of the Alliance of Interior Designers at allianceofinteriordesigners.org.