How can you improve curb appeal with exterior home renovations?
One of the best things you can do for your home is improve your curb appeal. It impresses the neighbours and increases the value of the property. Exterior home renovations don’t have to be complex and expensive, either. There are many things you can do to make the outside of your home and yard look better.
Decide if the external wall covering needs fixed up or renovated
Wood is the most common home siding in North America. Look over the wood carefully – you might even want to look at it from a distance with binoculars. Is a paint job, patching, and/or scraping necessary? Should the wood be replaced entirely?
Older homes may have artificial sidings that have been added on over the original shingles or clapboards. Consult with a renovator to find out if the original siding can be restored.
Install landscape lighting
Outdoor lighting serves many purposes. Its primary purpose is to light up the walking path to the door to make it easier to find your way to the home at night. Other ideal places for lighting to be installed include pool areas, patios, driveways, gardens, and architectural elements. A good strategy is to put lights up all around the yard so that there are no dark spots when you look out of any window at night. However, you don’t want to go overboard with the lighting, as too much of it can hurt the eyes.
Make sure the front door is appealing
The focal point of a home’s front entry is the door. Either give it a new look with fresh paint and finish or have it replaced. You can get away with using a bright colour, since you will want it to look as warm and inviting as possible. Since it’s the focal point, it can’t be dull.
How Can I Prepare for a Home Renovation Consultation?
The first step toward completing a home renovation is requesting quotes from contractors who can help you get the word done properly. Especially if you are not very familiar with renovating and remodelling, this can be a daunting step. You can get the most out of your time speaking with a perspective contractor if you do your homework and a little bit of preparation first
Make a Plan
What are your goals for your home renovation? Are you going to be remodelling one room or transforming the entire house? You do not have to create detailed designs for your finished remodel, but it will be helpful to your contractor if you can describe which areas you will be renovating and the changes that you would like to make.
Determine a Schedule
Anyone who has ever been involved with a building project knows that it is laughable to expect every step to follow a precise schedule, but it is worthwhile to determine when you would like major aspects of your job to be completed. If it is important to you that your guest bathroom be finished before the holidays, this is something you should tell your contractor during your home renovation consultation. Remember to be realistic and flexible when it comes to scheduling expectations.
One of the first pieces of information your potential contractor is going to want is the measurement of any areas being renovated. These measurements will be used to estimate materials and labour costs and you can save time by having them on hand. Before an estimate is provided, your contractor should take measurements personally, but for the sake of an informed initial home renovation consultation, it is good for you to already have these numbers.
Research Potential Contractors
Once you have this information ready, you can begin to look for contractors to hire. Do not limit yourself to the first contractor you find in your area. Do your research to find multiple contractors with extensive and relevant experience and a strong reputation in the community. By contacting multiple contractors for estimates, you can then find the company that not only has the strongest portfolio and history, but also one that provides you with a clear and reasonable estimate that plainly provides you with great value.
How Can a House Renovation Reduce My Utility Costs?
Utility costs have been steadily rising from year to year and this trend does not show signs of stopping. This is why many homeowners throughout have been looking for ways to make their homes more energy efficient. During the house renovation process, there are many changes that you can make to reduce the amount of energy it takes to run your home.
Improve the Insulation
Especially during cold winters, heating costs are generally the largest utility cost. Your heating equipment does not have to work as hard or run as frequently if your house is well insulated.
Seal the Building Envelope
Speaking of air barriers, you can further reduce your heating and air costs by sealing the building envelope. This means taking steps to eliminate areas where air can flow in and out of your house, such as gaps around windows and other areas where there are drafts.
Update Your Appliances
You can also cut your utility costs by upgrading to major appliances that require less energy to operate. This might include your washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, or dishwasher. These are obviously very large purchases and it will be a while before your utility savings allow you to see returns on this investment. It is likely best to wait to replace your appliances until they are in need of costlier repairs or they are clearly beginning to run quite inefficiently.
Replace old HVAC Equipment
The same rule applies to your HVAC equipment. Your heating and air conditioning systems may be operating more frequently not because the house is poorly insulated, but because the equipment is struggling to supply the temperature control that is needed.
Common Mistakes Made During DIY Home Renovation Projects
It is admirable – and sometimes quite fun – to decide to get your hands dirty and renovate your home on your own. It is very rewarding to not only have a remodelled home, but also to see and enjoy the fruits of your labour. However, especially if you are not trained in many facets of construction, home renovation projects can quickly spiral out of control and you could have a nightmare on your hands. Below are just a few examples of how DIY home renovation projects can go wrong.
Having Unrealistic Expectations
When you are working on your own home, it is easy to have tunnel vision and only think about the end result. This can mean taking on more tasks than you can handle, running out of funds, and/or having your project go unfinished much longer than anticipated. Before you ever start your project, it is necessary to have a specific and realistic design and budget in place before ever beginning any work. Allow yourself room for unexpected expenses as well.
Failing to Plan or Having a Plan that Fails
In addition to knowing what you are going to do, you need to know how you are going to do it, step by step. Many renovation projects must be completed in a certain order. If you go out of the necessary sequence, you may find yourself having to remove finished drywall, pull up new flooring, or otherwise backtrack in order to repair your misstep.
Using Inappropriate and/or Cheap Materials
One of the reasons you might choose to do DIY home renovations is to save money. Homeowners that do this will often be tempted to buy the cheapest materials possible. This can lead to using materials that are not right for a particular installation or using materials that are going to need to be repaired or replaced soon. It is important to do your research and know that you are getting a quality product and not just a good price.
Ignoring or Not Knowing Safety Procedures
When beginning to work, you might not have the safety goggles, gloves, kneepads, masks and other protective gear that is necessary for safely completing many DIY home renovation projects. You may not even be aware of the recommended precautions and gear for different activities. Failure to follow recommended safety procedures can lead to serious, potentially life-long injuries.
Before and After House Renovations – Room By Room
You might want to whip out the camera and take pictures before and after house renovations – the transformations are amazing. Looking at other homeowners’ before and after images is also a good idea, as you can get some inspiration of what you want done to your house.
The kitchen is often considered to be the most important room, since it’s the one that every occupant visits several times throughout the day. For this reason, it should be where you spend most of your budget. Tips include:
If there are small children in the house, keep the stovetop and oven away from the traffic areas. This way, you won’t have to worry about the kids running through and catching handles or causing spills. The refrigerator should be accessible to everyone.
Consider the countertops. If you cook frequently, you will need plenty of counter space. If you just prepare simple meals and don’t cook as often, you can get away with less counter space.
Invest in durable materials for your kitchen’s renovation. Since it receives so much traffic every day, high quality hardwood or porcelain is ideal for the flooring. You will also want fire and scratch resistant countertops.
For bedrooms, comfort is the most important factor. Do whatever you need to do to enhance the level of comfort in each bedroom. Get new windows to eliminate stuffiness. Add better lighting fixtures if more illumination is required. If illumination is too bright, consider having a new lighting system is put in. Decide whether you want a hard floor with rugs or carpet. If anyone has allergy problems, use only hypoallergenic materials and make sure the quality of air is good in that particular bedroom.
The Living Room
There are so many ways to renovate and remodel a living room, no matter how big or small it is. When the ideal colours, furniture, wall art, and accessories come together, an amazing livable space is created. If it’s too small for your liking, you can either add some space by knocking a wall down (if possible) or swap your existing furniture pieces for small, compact pieces. An L-shaped sectional, for instance, can be situated in a corner, making it a better choice than a typical long couch. You could also get a flat screen TV panel mounted on the wall.
Before you renovate your bathroom, have your plumbing checked out. Make sure your pipes and draining system are in good condition. Select durable, water-resistant flooring. Marble, ceramic, and stone tiles are all good choices. If you want to go with hardwood, make sure it’s well-sealed. Install an energy-efficient toilet and tub/shower. For larger bathrooms, install wall scones beside or over top of the mirror. For smaller bathrooms, consider having an open shower area that does not require a door or curtain.