Home renovations are no small feat. They require lots of planning and forethought, not to mention a sizeable budget compared to redecorating. One of the greatest challenges is walking that fine line between a classic, stylish space, without falling into the trap of current trends, or alternatively, a space that’s so plain it lacks personality. Learn the ins and outs of renovating, and when taking risks can really pay off.
Do: Invest in Quality Appliances
While surface updates like countertops, floors and lighting can create a strong visual impact, appliances are the investment you’ll really feel day-to-day. Do your research, learn about the manufacturers, read reviews, and understand your warranty. Kitchen appliances, a furnace, a washer and dryer, are all things that will make a huge difference to your lifestyle and bills, not to mention impress potential home buyers.
Sure, you could tile your own backsplash, and lay your own hardwood floors, and rewire your sound system, but should you? Honestly? While the desire to save money on what is bound to be an expensive renovation is always a draw, when it comes to the bones of your home, and renovations with major ROI potential, leave it to the professionals. Buyers will be able to spot less than perfect work on your home, and while it may be a point of pride for you, it’ll be a point of contention for them. You might also be interested in learning Sebastian Clovis’s savvy solutions for common reno woes.
Do: Consider Your ROI
Spend your money where it counts. New windows, updated appliances and great floors will go a long way to impress a buyer. Things like lighting, hardware and paint can (and most likely will) be replaced by a buyer, so don’t waste your money on those areas of a renovation.
Don’t: Follow Bold Trends
Avoid browsing high-end design magazines and websites for inspiration and look to homes on real estate sites for ideas. You’ll get a better sense of what’s standard on the market, and be less tempted by up-to-the-minute trends that’ll be long-forgotten before you even place the “For Sale” sign on your lawn.
Do: Rely on Neutral Colours
When choosing a palette for your home, especially if you’re preparing to sell in the next few years, opt for a neutral colour palette that lends itself to multiple styles (modern, tradition or rustic, for example). White or black are timeless, but wood accents work as a great neutral too.
Don’t: Use Many Different Finishes
A standard rule for creating a cohesive look in kitchens and bathrooms, is to limit yourself to one or two colours, and one finish. Gold and copper are popular accents right now, but chrome is always timeless. Avoid incorporating more than one, or your bathroom will look cluttered, like it’s seen multiple renovations in a short period of time. Learn the 12 biggest kitchen reno mistakes so you can be sure to avoid them in the future.
Do: Create a Triangle
If your renovation includes a complete gut and new layout, keep in mind the triangle rule. Your work space in the kitchen is comprised of the fridge, stove and sink, and they should form a triangle that measures 26 feet, with each arm no more than four to nine feet long. This will make for easy movement throughout your kitchen, especially during big dinner party prep!
Don’t: Forget About Your Budget
It’s common for renovations to go over budget, and you shouldn’t beat yourself up over it (the smartest renovators leave lots of wiggle room). But aside from unavoidable hiccups that dig into the budget, continually reference your budget and stick with it. It’s usually the little decisions, towards the end of a renovation, that aren’t measured against the budget, and add up!
Do: Place Your Laundry Room Beside Your Bedroom
If you have the option of shifting the layout of your home, moving the washer and dryer in closer proximity to bedrooms is a must, and a major selling point.
Don’t: Clutter Your Rooms
Once the floors are in and the crown moulding is perfected, resist the temptation to clutter your spaces with too much furniture, accessories and artwork. Let your spaces breathe, too much clutter (particularly décor on shelves and surfaces) will leave your home feeling small and cramped. Not a good look for potential buyers!