Simple changes in your home can have an amazing impact on the look and value without putting a serious dent in your pocketbook. In this economy, most of us are staying in our homes longer and learning how to create our dream homes out of our current homes. One way to do this is by upgrading the most important rooms, kitchens and bathrooms, and doing it all on a budget. Make your dream home a reality without ever moving, and increase your investment at the same time.
In a recent Forbes Magazine article, real estate brokers stated that the two most important rooms in your home are the kitchen and bathroom; they offer you the most return on your investment. According to 2008 National Statistics, bathroom and kitchen remodels recoup around 84-85% of the cost invested in upgrades. Replacing old fixtures with modern faucets, showers and tubs, sinks and toilets can make the room look more inviting for you and your family. In addition, new plumbing fixtures not only increase your enjoyment and home value, but can also potentially save you money and make your home more “green.”
- Replacing faucets is a small project that has a big impact on updating a bathroom or kitchen, but doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. While upgrading your faucets, consider adding low-flow aerators to the fixture. This is an easy way to “green” your home. These small devices attach directly onto the head of the fixture and allow you to adjust the flow of water from the faucet, without affecting water pressure.
- Low-flow showerheads provide an upgraded look to your shower and reduce water usage, saving you money on your monthly utilities. These showerheads are similar to aerators; you can modify the rate of water flow without sacrificing water pressure.
- Installing new, energy-efficient toilets can update and beautify a bathroom. New, water –saving toilets use significantly less water than older models. A 20-year old toilet uses five gallons of water per flush, a five-to-seven year old toilet uses about 3.5 gallons of water, and most new models require only 1.5 gallons of water. Shane Judd, a product manager at Kohler Co. states, “People don’t think about how much water they flush in their toilet. When you tell somebody that 25% of the water that’s consumed for indoor use is flushed down the toilet, they start to connect the dots.” With this upgrade you’ll be saving water and money.
- Upgrade plumbing fixtures in kitchen and bathrooms. If your plumbing fixtures are more than 10 years old, consider upgrading them. If you have standard grade fixtures, such as chrome finish, opt for higher end finishes and materials. Brushed nickel, antique copper and brass fixtures are relatively inexpensive to replace. At kitchen sinks choose plumbing fixture collections that offer matching faucet, control, and sink sprayer. Similarly in bathrooms, choose bathtub/shower/and sink controls that coordinate for a unified look throughout your home. These small touches can give your home a whole new look!
- Bathroom Remodel. One of the top renovations for home resales is bathrooms. Keep the colors neutral for long-term style and redo what is only in your budget. Change out cabinets for pedestals if you need to make your room look larger. Repaint or stain cabinetry and change out the hardware. Consult with your plumber to help find new plumbing fixtures, sinks, toilets, etc. in your budget. Learn to do tile installation yourself with free classes at your local home center. Each change you make will bring you closer to a new bath.
- Kitchen Update. This can be an expensive proposition so do what you can toward updating the kitchen. Changing hardware and just cleaning the cabinetry with special products can make the overall appearance more updated. If new cabinetry is not in the budget, then think paint or stain for your old cabinets. Purchase new appliances when possible and keep a look out for dented or slightly used ones at clearance centers. You can save a bundle!
Enjoy your “dream home” while increasing your investment for the future!
“Top Ten Budget Renovations – Adding Value to Your Home,” March 15, 2009, Articlebase.com.