front porch and siding remodel

How to Increase Home Value in 2021

People often fantasize about finding their “forever home,” but what they should be daydreaming about is ways to increase home value — particularly those with a high return on investment (ROI). A National Association of Realtors study showed that the median time span between a home purchase and a home sale was around 9 years — far short of “forever.” 

How you approach a remodel or renovation depends on your long-term goals — do you plan on sticking around a while (5 years or more), or is your current residence just a stop along the way? It doesn’t make sense to delve into a highly involved, low-ROI project if you won’t be around to enjoy the fruits of that labor (and recoup those costs yourself). Conversely, a simpler, high ROI project will yield greater dividends over a shorter period of time — consistent with a seller’s mentality.

The Cost vs. Value Report for Home Remodeling Projects

So what are the best ways to increase home value then? The answer can vary from year to year and region to region, which can make it hard to know where to start. Thankfully, the Cost vs. Value report published annually by Remodeling magazine helps keep things straight. The report compares the average cost of 22 popular remodeling projects with the value they retain at resale across 101 U.S. markets — in our case the Middle Atlantic and more specifically Philadelphia (right across the Delaware River). 

Compared to 2019, the costs of nearly all project types went up while the perceived value dipped. It’s important to note, however, that there are many factors that figure into the numbers — such as the condition of the rest of the house wherein the project is taking place, the economic health of the surrounding region and home values within the neighborhood, and the fact that many projects come with some sort of tradeoff. A solution you’re creating for yourself may actually be problematic for a prospective buyer. 

For instance, say you absorb the walk-in closet or spare bedroom beside your master bedroom to create a luxury master bath. Yes, certain buyers may appreciate the beauty and indulgence of that reimagined space, but the loss of an additional bedroom may be a dealbreaker for buyers with growing families. This is why we see such variances from region to region (e.g. a population heavy with single young professionals vs. families) 

Three popular remodeling projects (and their ROIs)

In South Jersey and across America, kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects were among the most coveted in 2020. Home Advisor’s annual State of Home Spending Report polled 5,000 Americans about their home improvement spending habits, and kitchens (22.6% of respondents) and bathrooms (30.9%) both ranked within the top 5 most popular. On average, people spent $745 more than the previous year on home improvement — a byproduct of higher prices and a lot more time spent at home due to the pandemic. All that stress had some Ayars customers wanting to retreat into a beautifully appointed new master suite.

Kitchen remodeling projects

kitchen remodel south jersey

Midrange minor kitchen remodel

The midrange minor kitchen remodel mentioned in the Cost vs. Value Report assumes a “functional but dated 200-square-foot kitchen,” the project calls for replacing cabinet fronts with shaker-style wood panels and drawer fronts with new hardware, as well as upgrading the range and refrigerator with new energy-efficient models. Laminate countertops, sink, faucet, and flooring all receive mid-priced replacements. The walls, trim, and ceilings get a new coat of paint.

Major kitchen remodels

A midrange major kitchen remodel takes all that but ups the ante with a more functional layout, including 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets and a 3×5 foot island. An upscale major kitchen remodel spares no expense: fully customized cabinets, stone countertops, imported tile backsplash, commercial-grade cooktop and wall oven, designer faucets and filtration system, upgraded general and task lighting. 

Return on investment

The midrange minor kitchen remodel had the highest ROI, with 73.2% of costs recouped at resale. The midrange major kitchen remodel still saw South Jersey homeowners recover over half (54.0%) of their investment, while the upscale remodel yielded the lowest return of the three.

Bathroom projects

mullica hill master bath herringbone floor and vanity

Bathroom remodels

The Cost vs. Value Report bases its midrange bath remodel (5×7 bathroom) on updates to all fixtures with quality but affordable materials (porcelain-on-steel tub, ceramic tile surround, solid surface vanity top), with features you’d expect in a modern bathroom (single-lever temperature and pressure control in the shower). Its upscale bath remodel template greatly builds on that, not only in size (100 sq. ft. vs. 35 sq. ft.) but in luxuries (recessed shower caddy, body sprayers, freestanding soaker tub, electric in-floor heating, etc.). 

Additional bathrooms

The Cost vs. Value Report’s baseline bathroom addition projects call for very similar features and functionality as the remodeling projects mentioned above, but with the added preliminary steps of framing walls and extending HVAC, wiring, and plumbing. 

Return on investment

Generally speaking, bathroom projects had some of the lower ROIs listed in this year’s Cost vs. Value report, with remodels (45.1% to 54.9%) faring better than additions (41.9% to 43.1%) — running new plumbing and wiring is not a cheap date. That said, an extra half bath adds about 10% to a home’s value, while converting a half bath to a full bath adds about 9%. By extension, a brand new full bath would increase home value by 19% (National Association of Home Builders).

Master suite additions

clarksboro nj master bathroom renovation

Midrange

The midrange master suite addition involves 24’x16’ of new space, with a carpeted master bathroom with a walk-in closet and dressing area, and a master bathroom with a double-bowl vanity (his and hers), freestanding soaker tub, and 3’x4’ ceramic tile shower

Upscale

The upscale master bedroom suite addition is an even classier affair, with 32’x20’ of additional space with a lounge area, custom millwork, a high-end gas fireplace with a stone hearth, fully functional wet bar, custom lighting controls, master bathroom with a dual shower, freestanding tub, and separate custom vanities, and a whole lot more. 

Return on investment

A new master suite is worth the investment if you’re looking to spoil/pamper yourself for years to come, but maybe not so much if you’re on your way out. The midrange project had an ROI of 44.1%, while the upscale project had an ROI of 37.3%.

High ROI vs. Low ROI remodeling projects

The top 5 ROI remodeling projects in South Jersey (i.e. Philadelphia area) favored exterior home improvements: manufactured stone veneers (94.1%), garage door replacement (70.0%), wooden deck addition (66.6%), and vinyl siding replacement (64.0%); midrange minor kitchen remodel (73.2%) ranked second. 

Across the board, more “luxury” and “upscale” remodeling and renovations projects tended to not increase home value as much as one might hope. So is it worth it to add an upscale bathroom, totally reimagine a kitchen with state-of-the-art features and materials, or build on a gorgeous new master suite? 

Again, it depends on your long-term plans and your willingness to spend. If you’re ready to settle down and have the budget, there’s no question that significantly upgrading and beautifying your home will seriously enhance your enjoyment of the space, and in turn, your quality of life. If you’re planning on selling soon, think more surface level. But if you’re planning on staying for the long haul, think deeper about what you want and what would make you happy. 

Custom Showers: Your Master Bathroom’s Main Attraction

If you were to poll folks on what they most look forward to when starting or ending their day, a hot shower would probably be near the top of the list. A custom shower design will have you looking forward to it even more, as you curate every aspect of the experience from your head to your feet.

There are many ways to go about designing a custom shower enclosure for a master bathroom, and few of them are objectively “wrong.” The “right” design all depends on the space you’re working with and personal preference. Let’s explore the options!

Custom shower layout

One of the very few constraints you’ll have when customizing a walk-in shower (other than budget) is the master bathroom layout itself. Its dimensions and setup will force some decisions about the custom shower’s size, shape, and location. Given the number of choices you’ll be making otherwise, that may actually come as a relief!

Size

Generally speaking, most people prefer a shower that is cozy but not claustrophobic. You should be able to fully extend your arms and spin around in a circle without bumping into anything. The standard size for a walk-in shower is 48” x 36,” but larger or more upscale master bathroom remodeling projects might want to consider an enclosure that is 60” x 36” or larger.

Shape

A square or rectangular shower enclosure will work for most master bathrooms in a corner or along a wall, whereas a circular shape is typically only possible in the middle of a larger space. Of course, some homeowners opt to forgo an enclosure entirely, in an effort to capture the vibe of a steam room or spa.

Door

Once you’ve determined the shower size, location, and orientation in the room, it will be a lot easier to choose a door.

  • Sliding doors are good for smaller bathrooms and shower enclosures flush with walls
  • Hinged doors swing outward so you’ll have to account for how an open shower door may interfere with (or be interfered with) by other master bath elements, such as the sink, vanity, or the entrance to the bathroom itself.
  • Pivot doors are a more modernized cousin to the hinged door, operating by the same outswinging mechanic. However, since it is either hinged at the very top and bottom or hinged continuously, the door is tighter to the frame and does not swing out as far. 

From there, you might consider whether you want clear or obscure glass, a partial wall, or windows depending on your aesthetic preferences and privacy needs.

Shower tiling

The selection of shower tile materials available today are virtually limitless, and can pretty convincingly mimic many aesthetics and textures found in nature. 

  • Ceramic and porcelain tiles, which are both formed from clay, remain the most popular option — they’re typically more economical and easier to clean and maintain (porcelain even more so).
  • Natural stone materials such as marble, slate, and travertine are among the most striking and beautiful ways to finish shower walls and floors. However, they’re more high-maintenance, and may fade, discolor, or degrade more quickly without proper sealing and regular cleanings.
  • Man-made materials such as engineered quartz, cultured marble, or solid surface (e.g. Corian) combine ground stone with other binding and fortifying substances. They’re available in a wealth of colors and patterns, replicating materials that would otherwise not be recommended for a shower environment (such as natural wood). 

Shower systems

When we talk about shower systems, we are talking about how water temperature is controlled and regulated. There are three main types.

  • Manual mixer: Features one or two valves that adjust the ratio of hot to cold water flowing through the system
  • Thermostatic: Allows precise temperature control through a thermostat, sometimes digital.
  • Electric: A heating unit directly heats cold water from your water supply continuously. This occurs separately from your hot water system. 

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj shower control panel

Showerheads

Water pressure and spray patterns are governed by showerheads, which greatly influence the sensory experience of your custom shower. They are classified in one of two ways.

By mount position

  • Fixed showerheads are mounted to a shower wall.
  • Hand-set showerheads are also mounted to a wall but attached to a hose. This not only allows you to hand-maneuver the spray to virtually any angle you desire, but also makes for easier cleaning.
  • Ceiling mounted showerheads rain down water from above at low or medium pressure.

By control settings

  • Single-setting: Offers only one spray setting and flows at a constant pressure.
  • Multi-setting: Variable spray patterns and pressures, from beads to mists.
  • Rainfall: The most coveted type of single-setting showerhead; like showering under a gently cascading waterfall.
  • Shower tower: If you’ve ever wanted to use a jacuzzi standing up, this is for you. You’ll be able to adjust several vertically-oriented jets and nozzles to caress you from all angles for the ultimate spa experience.

master bath walk-in shower west deptford nj

Custom shower features

Now that the essentials are taken care of, we can turn our attention to finer details. Liven up or tone the mood with LED lighting and Bluetooth speakers. Accommodate all your sundries with built-in shelves or cubbies. Incorporate a shower bench to make personal grooming tasks that much easier. 

If all these possibilities excite you, you’re not alone! The professionals at Ayars Complete Home Improvements take a true craftsman approach to master bath remodels — a beautiful custom shower is just the beginning!

modern kitchen open concept view from living room mullica hill nj

Getting Started on Home Interior Renovations: Form Follows Function

Residential interior design is so much more than wall paintings, vases, and area rugs (i.e. interior decorating) — it’s a philosophy. Specifically, it seeks to question how our indoor living spaces work for us, how they make us feel

Consider your day-to-day life and the rooms where you spend most of your time — are they laid out in a fashion that frustrates, or in a way that facilitates? That should always be the starting point when contemplating home interior renovations. The finer details of colors, styles, and textures are the icing on the cake!

Floor plan designs

One of the core tenets of residential interior design is the floor plan. Do your home’s rooms flow together in a way that makes sense? Are its shared spaces accessible from more than one direction? Are rooms with similar functions adjacent to one another (kitchen and dining room, for instance)? How easy is it to get to the nearest bathroom? 

While it’s important to ask yourself these things prior to buying a house, deficiencies aren’t always apparent from the outset. But before you change your floor plan, think about how you might make better use of the existing layout. For example, you might shuffle the kids’ bedrooms around or finally get around to finishing that basement

Knocking down and/or reconfiguring walls can get complicated quickly, and might become more than you bargained for if structural engineers, plumbers, or electricians need to get involved. If your home’s layout just isn’t working for your or your family’s lifestyle at all, you may be better off looking for a new house altogether.  

modern master bathroom clarkboro nj full detail

Functional living spaces

In residential interior design, form always follows function. Having a beautiful space is secondary to having a usable space, although it’s certainly desirable to have both! 

Open and inviting kitchens

Consider the example of a kitchen. Of course, a kitchen’s most important function is the preparation and cooking of food. If there are obstructions between the sink and fridge and oven (the work triangle), that’s a problem. If there is inadequate counter space to prepare food, that’s another problem. If it’s a struggle to store or locate food, utensils, appliances, or cookware, you’re going to be tempted to order out more frequently than dine in. 

But for most people, kitchens serve another essential purpose — gathering, socializing, and entertaining. That is why open concept kitchens are among homebuyers’ most coveted items. Without walls between the kitchen and dining area (and possibly living room), communication is free and easy. People are pleased to be in one another’s presence as opposed to in one another’s way. 

modern kitchen with island mullica hill nj

Rounding home interiors into form

Once you’ve arrived at a floor plan design you’re pleased with, then you can turn your attention to surrounding yourself with the features, fixtures, and decor that reinforce or support a room’s intended function. For instance, you might choose kitchen lighting that helps illuminate workstations and a color palette that is warm and inviting.

Secluded and peaceful home offices

Now consider something like a home office — focus and privacy now become paramount. You’ll want it located in an area of the house that is more isolated or removed from the action. You might tab a socially distanced corner of your upper story (with a nice view of the backyard or nature) or the basement so you can focus on work and not get distracted by play. You might invest in soundproofing to muffle foot traffic and commotion overhead (basement) or a skylight to add more natural light (upper story). 

home office south jersey

Find the heart and soul of your home’s interior

Residential interior design has too much impact on daily mood and quality of life to ignore. Whether you’re shopping for your dream home or mulling over home interior renovations, it’s important to honestly assess how each part functions — both independently and in relation to others. Find a floor plan that fits your lifestyle, then maximize its potential. 

Don’t know where to start? Ayars Complete Home Improvements has been helping South Jersey homeowners through this process for decades. 

walk-in shower stone

Modern Master Bathroom Ideas to Fuel Your Design Imagination

Of all the rooms in the home, the master bathroom may be the most sacred — a place to decompress and unwind that is distinctively yours. Modern master bathroom design keeps that firmly in mind, helping you get away without getting in the way. How so?

Simple geometries

mantua nj bathroom renovation

The modern master bath incorporates graceful curves and/or straight, clean edges. This master bathroom project we completed in Mantua, NJ utilizes a few basic shapes to great effect — the rectangular form is present in the herringbone floor tile, the walk-in shower, the vanity drawers, and the backsplash (which is also echoed in the shower as an accent). By varying sizes and orientation, visual interest is generated from a minimalist design element. The large circular mirror is a nice counterpoint and captures natural light from the other side of the room.

Neutral or basic colors

mantua nj bathroom renovation

Modern master bathroom design uses louder or brighter colors sparingly, allowing softer neutral colors to provide a tranquil backdrop. In the opposite corner of our Mantua bathroom, this white freestanding bathtub stands out against the various grayscale applied tones throughout the space, from the steelier gray of the vanity to the medium grays of the floor and shower tiles to the lighter gray of the paint. The white of the wainscoting, doors, and window trim tie the tub in with the rest of the room, while the tub’s placement in the middle of that gray flooring spotlights it as the featured attraction. The greens of the plants on the vanity top and red towels add modest but not overbearing pops of color. 

Natural elements

clarksboro nj master bathroom renovation

Many modern master bathroom ideas focus on uniting natural tones, lighting, and material with higher-tech features and functionalities. This master bathroom suite in Clarksboro, NJ sees several modern design ideas in play. A softly lit, spacious walk-in shower employs simple square and rectangular shapes; the subdued warmth of the paint plays nicely with the handsome stone and wood accents. Darker fixtures and lines add contrast. The double vanity with two sinks allows this couple to share their space while providing plenty of storage. Ayars customers often prefer DuraCeramic flooring, which can mimic the look of natural surfaces while also offering great durability. 

Open design

walk in shower and dressing table open design

Modern design encourages a sense of depth and openness through the use of outdoor views (where privacy and opportunity allows), mirrors, glass panels and/or doors, and walk-in showers. It may also highlight different features in a single space based on context, such as this master bathroom project in Sewell, NJ. Notice how the dressing table is slightly set in from the walk-in shower, sharing the same room but defining itself as its own area. Subtle design choices like this can make all the difference. No matter how you go about it, feeling free and uninhibited in your modern master bath suite is the key.

Bring your modern master bathroom ideas to life with Ayars

Bottom line: life’s busy; a modern master bathroom should not be. These modern master bathroom ideas represent only the tip of the creative iceberg. Your inspiration and our expertise can make your dream oasis a reality. We build with alluring, durable materials and with an eye for detail, optimizing your space and integrating cutting-edge fixtures and features. To further feed your muse, visit our bathroom project galleries and bathroom remodeling services page

custom millwork fireplace

4 Good Reasons to Save Interior Home Remodeling Projects for the Winter

Preparing for hibernation this winter? A little R&R is fine — and probably well-deserved — but if you sleep through the whole thing, you might miss the best time for interior home remodeling projects. Whether you’re in the market for minor touch-ups or a more major undertaking, winter can actually be quite kind to the opportunistic homeowner. Here’s why.

You have more downtime

During the spring, the outdoors demand our attention as we prepare for a busy summer. When the warm weather finally arrives, it can be a struggle to go everywhere, see everyone, and do everything we want to. Autumn is a scramble with back-to-school shopping quickly giving way to a string of holidays. When things finally settle down for the winter, the quiet can seem downright eerie. Interior home improvement can be the perfect way to fill the void. Consider what’s working for your space and what isn’t, and use that as a springboard to plan your remodeling projects.

Remodeling contractors have less volume

Quality remodeling contractors are busy year-round — repeated successes build trust, and a good reputation breeds more opportunities. However, warm weather means longer work days and more projects. That means if you wait until the spring or summer to schedule your kitchen or bathroom remodel, it make take longer for your contractor to get around to your project. Therefore, winter is the ideal time for interior renovations — your contractor will appreciate being kept out of the elements, and you’ll appreciate additional insight during the process, including the scoop on available and forthcoming specialty products that can elevate your project to the next level. 

kitchen remodel hardwood floor

Home improvement material prices increase in spring

The leaves may have fallen, but the laws of supply and demand are evergreen. Manufacturers leverage the fact that more home renovation projects occur in the spring and summer and adjust prices accordingly. On average, material costs increase 2.5 to 5 percent at the start of the spring season. Beat the rush by slating your home improvement project for the winter and reap the savings. 

Winter remodeling is a good excuse to travel

Interior remodels can be disruptive. Although most professional contractors will try to minimize their footprint as much as they can, there’s just no getting around it. Fortunately, however, the colder months often coincide with vacations and holiday getaways. South Jersey winters can be harsh at times, which is the perfect excuse for an escape. Meanwhile, your contractor will enjoy unimpeded access to an otherwise crowded workspace. This can alleviate much of the stress that a bathroom or kitchen remodel can impose on some families. When you return, much of — if not all— the work may very well be done. And you’ll be much happier and may even have a sun tan. 

Best interior home remodeling projects for the winter

  • Walls: Cooler, drier air conditions are ideal for painting. Interior crown molding and wainscoting add a refined touch to any room, especially dining rooms, living rooms, and master bedrooms. Tiled backsplashes can add a pop of color to a bathroom or kitchen while protecting walls from moisture and water damage. 
  • Floors: New carpeting, tiling, or hardwood flooring can help refresh the look and character of any room. Exposed hardwood floors have especially gained popularity with modern homeowners for their timeless appearance and ease of cleanup. 
  • Basements: A finished basement or home entertainment center is not only a great place to huddle together during the winter, but it’s also a great place to escape the heat in the summer. It’s also a terrific boost for home resale value. 
  • Kitchens and bathrooms: Build the kitchen or bathroom you’ve always dreamt about with stylish lighting, fixtures, and decor.
  • Custom Millwork: Installing new cabinets or shelving systems can both reduce clutter and uplift a room’s aesthetic.

Whatever your winter upgrade plans are, Ayars Complete Home Improvements has the staffing and experience to help you make the most of the season. Contact us for a free estimate today.

freestanding bathtub

Bathroom Remodeling Tips That’ll Make You Want to Indulge a Little Longer

Many people would agree that bath time is the best time. As the days grow shorter and the nights grow cooler, a warm bath or hot shower is a superb way to fade stress and escape reality. However, an ugly, outdated, or under-equipped bathroom can seriously detract or minimize the experience. Fortunately, the bathroom remodeling experts at Ayars Complete Home Improvements know a thing or two about creating a spa-like ambiance that you’ll be reluctant to leave. The following bathroom remodeling tips are based on hundreds of bathroom remodels across southern New Jersey.

Optimize your bathroom’s color scheme

Do you prefer colors that pop or colors that blend into the background? Bright reds, oranges, or yellows are going to evoke a very different response than more subdued whites, beiges, or blues. If you’re a morning person at heart, then perhaps a zesty color scheme might suit you as you get yourself fired up for your day.

If you’re one of the many who are not, however, you probably treat your bathroom as a place to wind down. Softer, cooler, or earthier tones figure to pose less of a distraction from your luxuriant bubble bath, steam shower, or novel. In this case, you’ll want to choose paints, tiling, wallpaper, fixtures, and decor that reflect this purpose.

walk-in shower stone

Set a spa-like mood

A spa setting is all about disconnecting with the outside world’s responsibilities and reconnecting with the self. With prudent planning, you can replicate this phenomenon with these bathroom remodeling tips. Well-placed greenery, natural stone, and skylights can simulate the feel of an oasis. Adding mirrors or reflective surfaces can create the illusion of more space. Consider dimmer switches (for dialing back the light), oil diffusers (for an aromatherapy element), or portable speakers (music, audiobooks, or podcasts) for a more immersive experience.

bathtub relaxing

Don’t forget plumbing and fixtures

A shower or bath is a tactile experience as well — variations in temperature, moisture, and pressure can either relax or invigorate, soothe or energize. A rain showerhead can transport you beneath a rainforest waterfall; a hot tub with bubble jets can melt tension away in aching muscles or joints. Stepping out of the tub or shower can be jarring if the bathroom floor is freezing cold. Either opt for a heated floor to maintain a better equilibrium or go with a surface that stays warmer, such as DuraCeramic flooring.

bathroom fixtures showerheads

Remaster your master bath or make your hallway bath a getaway

Whether your ambitions are grand or more humble, Ayars Complete Improvements is ready to guide you to your own little slice of paradise by putting these bathroom remodeling tips into practice. Check our hallway bath pricing guide for an idea of typical project scopes or contact us for a free consultation.

Increase Your Home Value with 8 Home Remodeling Ideas

Increase Your Home Value with 8 Home Remodeling Ideas

Did any of your home upgrades pay off when it came time to sell?  There are many things you can change and remodel in your home, but these 7 key home improvements are guaranteed to increase the value of your home.

  1. Remodeling the Kitchen

The kitchen is usually the first room in the house that needs updating.  After all, the kitchen is the heart of the home.  I’m not sure about you guys, but the hang out spot at my house is usually the kitchen.  Remodeling continues to have the highest budget allocation.

 

For many families (mine included), this room is where everyone gathers around or entertains their guests.  Holidays, birthdays, a little family get together; this room is definitely utilized the most in a home.  For this reason, you can expect to recoup 60%-120% of investments from remodeling a kitchen, as long as you stay within your budget.

 

  1. Adding a Bathroom

You can never go wrong with having more than one restroom in your home. This is why you can recoup 80%-130% of investments from adding another bathroom. Most homebuyers will use any room with underutilized space or take an extra room to upgrade it into a master bathroom.

 

  1. Reinventing a Room

This home improvement can be the most expensive upgrade to a house. Adding more square footage to your home can easily accumulate costs but it can bring you a 50%-83% return on investment.

 

  1. Adding Energy-Efficient Windows

Energy-efficient home improvements not only recoups 60%-90% of investments cost, but it can also reduce energy taxes as well!  When you replace your windows or doors with energy efficient models, you can receive a tax credit and 10% of costs, up to $200.00 per window.

 

  1. Adding a Deck

Outdoor living spaces, otherwise known as staycations, can significantly increase the value of your home.  As more homeowners are adding decks and patios to their backyards, it instantly becomes more appealing to prospective buyers when the house is for sale.

 

  1. Energy-Efficient Insulation

It’s about that time everyone has basic insulation installed, otherwise the cost to live in and maintain an unmodified home can be a burden.  Most potential buyers make sure to include this home improvement into their reports.

 

*One way to ensure your house is well insulated is with the right masonry.

 

  1. Basic Updates

Making basic updates to your home is a no-brainer.  Making small improvements such as fixing a leaking roof, replacing rotting wood and keeping paint fresh will always add the most value to your home.  A solid and safe home is always appealing to homebuyers.

 

So if you plan to remodel or make improvements to your home, remember that even the smallest of projects can make a big difference to the value of your home.  Also, focus on making your home safe and energy-efficient because it guarantees lower energy costs in the future.

 

  1. Flooring

Take a look at your home’s soft flooring. Are your carpets and area rugs stained or worn? Ideally, you may want to replace them all, but if a limited budget puts a snag in that plan, start by replacing the carpet in the room that shows the most wear and tear and replace the others as your finances allow.  Hardwood flooring is also an upsell.  Visually it’s beautiful, and gives such a natural feel to your home.

Bathroom Remodel

Bathroom remodeling.

There comes a time when you are just in need of remodeling your bathroom.  This can be for many reasons, but the point here is not to put up with the problems around your home if you are not happy.  Fix anything in your home before it gets worse, otherwise you will be paying more than you would have in the first place.  Here are five reasons why remodeling your bathroom may be necessary.

It is not safe to use:

 

If for any reason your bathroom it is not safe to use, then this a clear sign that something needs to be done.  A simple way to solve your safety issue is just to remodel your bathroom, instead of just making do with the issues you have.  Safety issues can be anything from broken floor tiles to a broken shower door.

It will increase the value of your home:

 

If you get an estate agent to value your house before you remodel your bathroom and then afterwards, then there will be a difference in the value.  If you remodel your home, the value is bound to increase because it is making your home more modern and desirable.

It has too much mold and mildew:

 

If there is too much for you to clean and it is becoming impossible to maintain, then this is a sign that you should be thinking about remodeling.  Mold and mildew are a nightmare and it would be simple for you to remodel and start over with your bathroom.  There are cleaning supplies that you could purchase, but if you are unhappy with your bathroom anyway, then remodel.

Too many plumbing problems:

 

Bathrooms are an obvious place for plumbing issues to occur; they happen all the time.  If you are beginning to have too many problems with plumbing, for example a leaky tap or dirty water, then you would most likely call a plumber.  Instead of calling a plumber to fix everything that goes wrong win your bathroom, why not remodel and hire the plumber just once to install your knew appliances.

Completely outdated: 

 

Sometimes bathrooms can just become completely outdated and you may not be happy with that.  If you are unhappy with your bathroom, then this is a good reason for remodeling your bathroom.  Everyone would like to walk into any room in their house and be happy with it and let’s face it, a bathroom is probably the most frequently used room in the house.

If you have any of these problems in your home, then remodeling your bathroom is a great idea.  Obviously if you cannot afford a whole new bathroom, then there are little things you can do to make your bathroom better, for example, try replacing the taps; this may not seem like it would make a very big difference, but you would be surprised.  Wouldn’t you rather have nice new taps in your bathroom than old and rusty taps?

5 Steps to Maintain your New Bathroom Design

5 Steps to maintaining your new bathroom

You spent so much time dreaming about your new bathroom, saving photos of design ideas, discussing the plan with your bathroom design expert, and then watching the transformation take place. Finally, your dream bathroom is finished and you can enjoy your new space! Now you need to properly maintain this room to keep it looking good as new.

Here are a few tips for cleaning and maintaining your new bathroom.

  • Use new storage space to stay clutter free.
    • Your bathroom renovation probably included a new vanity cabinet or recessed medicine cabinet with plenty of specialized storage. Use it!  Keeping the countertops and floor clutter free is the first step toward properly maintaining and cleaning your bathroom. A clear space will be more enjoyable and also make it easier to clean.
  • Maintain new surfaces rather than waiting to do a deep clean.
    • Daily cleaning habits only take a few minutes and are the best way to make sure your bathroom maintains that new appearance. Bathrooms attract a lot of dirt, hair, soap scum, and moisture. Allowing this to build up not only leaves your bathroom looking grimy, but it can also cause damage to the new fixtures you carefully chose for your bathroom.

A prime example would be a glass shower enclosure, which looks sparkling and clear when it is installed. Every shower you take after that leaves soap residue on the glass that can build up and become difficult to clean.  It also leaves water spots, but water is harmless, right? No! Water spots can etch the glass causing irreparable damage over time. The simple solution is daily maintenance using a squeegee or m microfiber cloth to wipe down the shower. It may seem tedious, but this step only takes a minute and can extend the life of your glass shower.

Daily cleaning also benefits the sink and faucets, where soap residue builds up and evaporating water can leave mineral deposits. A daily routine of rinsing away soap residue and wiping down the sink and faucets with a microfiber cloth saves time and effort later.

  • Regular or occasional cleaning will be a breeze once you follow a brief daily care routine.
    • Here are a few tips for keeping that new bathroom sparkling:
      • Scrub showerheads regularly with an all-purpose cleaner, or depending on the finish you may want to opt for a softer cloth. Several times a year clean your showerhead by securing a plastic bag filled with undiluted white vinegar over the showerhead. Leave it overnight, and in the morning scrub the showerhead and run hot water through it.
      • Spray the glass shower enclosure with a cleaner and wipe it down using a microfiber cloth or old t-shirt. For built-up dirt, you could occasionally use a “magic eraser” or even wipe the glass with a dryer sheet.
      • For a tub, tile walls, and floor, run hot water with the bathroom door closed before cleaning. Steam and heat help to loosen dirt and make cleaning easier. You can use a standard or disinfectant cleaner unless otherwise instructed.
    • There are many effective natural alternatives to harsh cleaning products.
      • If you are concerned about the effect of harsh cleaning products on the environment, as well as your product finishes and skin, consider using more natural cleaners. Everyday household products like vinegar and baking soda can be very effective in keeping your new bathroom clean.
        • Let vinegar sit in metal tracks around a shower door to loosen dirt and then wipe clean.
        • Baking soda can be an effective alternative when cleaning grout lines.
        • Combat moisture by allowing light and air to circulate, by making use of fans and natural light sources.
      • Some products or finishes may require particular cleaning products or special care.
        • Your bathroom design expert should advise you if there are any special cleaning requirements or restrictions for your products. Most products used in a bathroom wear well and are designed to withstand moisture and dirt.  Some products or finishes are more susceptible to wear and tear.  Get informed before finalizing product selections if your chosen faucets, countertop, or floor need a special care routine.

BONUS TIP!  If you are still thinking about a bathroom remodeling project, then consider picking a design that is easier to maintain.  A frameless shower, for example, is much easier to clean than one with a metal frame or tracks.  Better yet, go for an open shower design that gives your bathroom a spa-like feel, is accessible, and is much easier to keep clean!