So… Is It Time to Renovate the Bathroom?

Let’s tackle an age old homeowner question, “So… Is It Time to Renovate the Bathroom?” Well since I’ve never seen your bathroom, that’s a question you’ll need to answer yourself. 🙂 With that said, it is something that does bring value to your home! The best way to inject freshness back into your bathroom is by redoing the walls. Tile wasn’t made just for the floor! Bathroom remodel

Consider these:

  • Accent tile above the vanity adds a bit of glam at a low price.
  • White subway tile is a classic look that can be paired with any other patterns or colors. Choose a dark-color grout to avoid visible mold stains.
  • Three-dimensional tile can echo another time period and is a unique decoration.
  • Create a tile rug using a different pattern of tile in the middle of your floor. You don’t have to do a whole renovation for this — simply remove some old tiles and pop in the new ones.
  • Tiles add texture and personality to a bathroom, so don’t be afraid to play it unconventional.

You know you want a new shower and bath and there are some gorgeous ways out there to bring the spa into your en suite.

  • Frameless glass showers are getting big right now, and for good reason: They look sleek, clean easily and help aging family members have easy access. Having an ADA-compliant house may also increase your resale value.
  • Freestanding tubs may add to your water bill, but they’re great for a bubble bath.
  • Shower benches bring relaxation into the shower — add steam, multiple showerheads or a rain shower for extra luxury. (If you add a steam feature, be sure to add a vapor barrier to the ceiling and walls to prevent moisture from rotting the wood.)

An absolute necessity is some good storage in your bathroom. Towels, hairdryers and more must have their place.

  • Vertical cabinetry is stylish — go up whenever you can.
  • Floating vanities are all the rage right now, as the open space between the vanity and the floor adds an airy quality to the room. Add cabinets to turn art into extra storage.
  • Antique or interesting furniture can also provide storage with a unique twist.
  • Mix up open and closed storage to prevent the monotony of a cabinet wall.
  • As much as possible, remove cabinetry to make room for other, more rewarding bathroom features.

Amenities are the most fun part of renovating, when you get to add all those exciting features.

  • Radiant-heat flooring under stone floors can bring warmth to a cold winter day.
  • Seating in the bathroom can give you a place to relax in the morning; consider an ottoman or a window bench.
  • A fireplace can be classy and soothing.
  • Bring in some radio or music with a Bluetooth speaker or showerhead; if you really want some entertainment, go for a TV.
  • Heated towel bars ensure your towel is warm when you get out of the shower.
  • Windows and skylights fill the bathroom with natural light.

Budget carefully and you could have your own five-star spa without breaking the bank. A bathroom reno can let you live in luxury every day.

 

Four Steps to Finishing Your Basement

Dehydrate the space

The worst place to hang out is a damp and drippy basement. Inspect your basement first to be sure there are no obvious pools of water or leaks. A few more tests include:

Basement fix up

  • Inspecting for water or insect damage in the structure of the basement.
  • Repairing cracks in the foundation or around pipes; any crack wider than a pencil should be inspected by a structural engineer.
  • Taping squares of plastic sheeting to the ground and walls to see whether moisture builds up in a couple weeks; if it does, check the foundation again.
  • Checking to make sure the ground slopes down and away from your house.
  • Checking the carbon monoxide ventilation system.

Planning your space

Your basement needs the right balance of natural light and darkness for the entertainment space. A lounge should have sunshine, but a TV room should be dark for best viewing.

  • Be wary of adding too many rooms and doors — you don’t want your basement to feel like a string of rooms.
  • Bedrooms must have a window from which to escape in an emergency.
  • If you’re installing a bathroom or lights, be sure plumbing and electrical work is up to code. Indeed, all structural changes may need local approval.

Special rules for basements

With all the extra moisture, coolness and heavy-duty structure in your basement, the same rules aren’t going to apply below ground as they do above when beefing up the walls. Take note of the following guidelines — and make sure your contractor knows the rules, too:

  • A vapor barrier is key to a moisture-free basement; lay it on the walls and floors for a few days, and check for moisture before continuing.
  • Place your vapor barrier and foam insulation over the foundation walls and the stud frame, and install drywall on top of that. Your insulation may come with a vapor barrier on both sides.
  • Mold will grow on standard drywall, so use wall panels meant for basements.

Decorating the results

Once all the behind-the-scenes work is done, the fun part can begin: the interior! Here are some recommendations for a beautiful basement:

  • Consider adding dropped ceilings to provide easy access to electrical and plumbing lines. Check out the options at your local home improvement store; you’ll be surprised by how many handsome options you have.
  • Recessed lighting helps ceilings seem high.
  • Baseboard heating keeps your basement warm, and the rising heat warms upstairs, too.

Leave the space around your HVAC unit and water heaters unfinished so that it follows code. Plan on two to three feet around the equipment for the people who will be inspecting and repairing it.

Once you’ve finished your basement, you’ll feel like you won a marathon. Now you can fill it with your guests, kids and pets — if you allow them in your nice, new area!

Curb Appeal

Curb AppealDollar for dollar, no improvement has more impact on the future sales price of your home than dollars spent enhancing its exterior, also known as Curb Appeal. You’ve seen it on all the TV “fixer upper” shows, curb appeal is what brings attention to your home and many times can help raise its value!

Luckily for you, it’s also one of the easiest places to make a swift impact. A coat of paint, some landscaping improvements, shutters and planter boxes, neighborhood-appropriate fencing, and a decent lawn guy are all affordable fixes that will do wonders for the foot traffic you get when your home is on the market. And we all know once a prospective buyer is in the door, anything can and usually does happen. That doesn’t mean interior improvements and amenities don’t matter, because they do, but creating a wow factor before a prospective buyer steps out of his or her car is the biggest bang for your buck you can buy.