41. Make your kitchen and bathroom not only environment-friendly, but also safe to use for children and the elderly.
42. Treat your feet to the latest in flooring material, from exotic hardwood to heated tiles that warm your soles.
43. Install the Jacuzzi with all the bells and whistles and multiple jets that looked so good at your friend’s home.
44. Increase your storage space – walk-in closets in your bedroom, large areas in your garage to stow your bicycles and other stuff, and roomier cabinets and larders in your kitchen.
45. An empty basement with lots of clutter? Turn it into a TV den, or, if you are a sommelier, it’s the perfect wine cellar.
46. If your fireplace has a mantel, consider modernizing.
47. Use materials of good quality when building or replacing things.
Adding additional appeal
48. Remember those days when you fought over who got to use the bathroom next? And banging on the door to get your sluggish sibling/child out? Build that extra bathroom to add more comfort and order to your daily routine.
49. Quantity is desirable when it’s a question of bedrooms. And before your mind wanders into realms beyond the scope of this list, let me explain – a three-bedroom home is much more valuable than one with just two. So if you have that extra den, put in some closets, add a bed, and voila, a bedroom is ready.
50. A loft is a great way to add more room to your home without compromising on existing space. Cozy, comfortable, and convenient way to increase your living space.
51. Garages and off-street parking spaces are desirable additions to a home.
52. Consider converting your attic into an extra bedroom.
53. A patio or an outside deck is an option to consider if you are looking for external appeal.
54. Home theaters, gyms, game rooms and computer rooms are becoming trendy these days. Extra room to spare? Put in that big screen, set up your sound system, and throw in a few cushions to add comfort; or just make space for a computer table and all the paraphernalia that surround it; or set up your treadmill and exercise bike, sweat it out and get fit in the comfort of your home; or treat yourself to a ping pong or foosball table, have friends over, and have yourselves a gaming party.
55. Your home may have the perfect interior, but if the outside sucks, let’s face it, people are just going to drive by. Start the cosmetic makeover by cleaning up your yard first; get rid of old junk lying around, trim the hedges, mow your lawn, and rake up those leaves.
56. Paint the fence (or railing) surrounding your house, and get those broken boards and bars fixed. The walls could do with a coat or two too.
57. Spruce up your front door – a fresh coat of paint, a new knocker, or even a shiny knob – they work wonders. And make sure your doorbell works!
58. Make sure the address number is in a readable, visible font. Stylized curves may not be those easiest on the eyes.
59. Paint that mailbox; better still, pull it out and put in a new one.
60. Recoat your driveway. Pull up those weeds in the cracks between the tiles, and clean up the mold and mildew.
61. Uproot those dead and dying plants and shrubs.
62. Add new vinyl and siding to replace those shoddy ones.
63. Shake out not just the dust from the welcome mat, put in a new, bright one that says more than just welcome.
64. Wash your windows – you wouldn’t believe how much of a difference one coat less of grime will make.
65. Clean the roof – get a professional to help.
66. Chop those tree branches that tempt entry through your house’s windows.
67. Add subtle lighting effects that make your home look appealing in the dark from the outside.
68. Use those hard-earned dollars on the features that are visible rather than on those that must be used to be appreciated. At times, a look is all it takes for instant attraction.
Permission to putter, peel or paint
69. Before you pull out that first tool, check local zoning laws to find out if you are allowed to remodel or make alterations. You may need separate permits for electrical, plumbing, and mechanical jobs.
70. Also ensure that you speak with a construction or semi truck attorney (link) as they can help you avoid liability and costs.
71. Be very careful when tearing down walls to create larger spaces; you don’t want to pull down those load-bearing walls without a second thought.
72. Finalize your plans before you start carrying them out, and get the opinion of a professional appraiser to check if all the changes you’ve chalked out are worth it.
Enough is enough
73. Don’t go overboard and build additions that are not necessary. Make sure your home is as good as, not better than, the rest of the houses in your neighborhood. While a swimming pool might earn your neighbor’s envy, it’s not necessarily going to add value to your home.
74. Retain the essence of the original – modern is not always good. Avoid taking out traditional fixtures like stained glasses and putting in new-fangled replacements that do not blend with the fundamental core of the house.
Final words of wisdom
75. You may be a jack-of-all-trades, but it’s wiser to hire a professional to take care of most of the suggestions in the above list, if you wish to save yourself the considerable time and cost that are associated with repairing botched jobs.
76. It’s your home after all, so make sure you choose the right people to help you increase its value. Shop around, find out the best (not necessarily the costliest) in the business, and check their references before inviting them to have a go at your home.
77. And last, but not the least, make sure that the value you add reflects the worth of the house. You may end up spending thousands of dollars only to realize that you have not improved your home’s monetary market worth by much. So tread with caution.
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