How To Increase Your Home's Value

A home is one of the largest financial investments you will make in your lifetime. While property values are determined by the national economy and local market conditions, the care and upkeep of a property is also a crucial element towards achieving solid market value.

Whether you are planning on adding more rooms to create extra space, upgrading your kitchen or bathroom, or are thinking of putting your house on the market, Southeastern Salvage Home Emporium offers some essential home improvement tips to increase your home’s value.

While a paint job, double-paned windows, a leaded glass front door, even new carpeting will increase the price of a house virtually dollar-for-dollar, if you are planning to sell your house, don’t go overboard with home improvement projects that will push a house too much above the current average value of homes in your neighborhood. You do not want to price yourself out of the market.

If you plan to live in your house for years to come, sometimes the cost of improvements vs. current market prices is not as much of an issue. After all, you are going to be living in your house and want to enjoy it, so your projects need to be ones that will please you. And given enough time, the market value will usually catch up to your investment.

It is important to set a budget that you are comfortable with for your home improvement projects. First you need to decide what features you would like to change or add, what style you want and then do your homework. Are you planning to do the remodeling yourself or hire a professional? Either way, Southeastern Salvage Home Emporium can save you money on materials.

If you plan to hire a professional, whether you need an architect, gardener, interior designer or contractor, it is always important to do a background check. Get references and call the local business association for any record of complaints. Ask lots of questions, request a copy of their license and proof of insurance and make sure there is a good personal chemistry between both of you. If a job becomes difficult for one reason or another, it is easier to deal with a problem if you have a good rapport with the person you are working with. The most important quality to look for is trust, not initial price.

Some important questions to ask when getting references:

  • Did the company finish the job on time and to the customer’s satisfaction?

  • Did they stand behind their work and were they willing to come back to make minor repairs or adjustments if necessary?

  • Did they clean up after themselves?

  • Did they come in over or under budget?

  • Did they require any kind of deposit or money upfront?

Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen is the most popular to remodel. Money spent to upgrade a kitchen produces the highest return on investment. New cabinets, granite countertops, a dual stainless steel sink or porcelain tile flooring will add beauty and value to your home, but even something as simple as adding a kitchen cart can provide more workspace.

Tired of that dripping old faucet, that leaking toilet with the split seat, or just don’t want to continue to look at your pink and black 1950s bathroom any longer? Then perhaps it is time to get a bathroom makeover.

The bathroom, though usually one of the smallest rooms in your house, can end up being one of the most complex, so be realistic in your goals. Adding skylights, glass block windows and a sunken whirlpool bath is not feasible for every bathroom; however, updating cabinetry, refreshing the flooring or replacing the sink or toilet is something most bathrooms can use. Even small features like new towel bars and light fixtures can give your bathroom a facelift and be very cost effective.

Adding a room or two, such as a spare bedroom, a study or a sunroom, is a significant home improvement that you will be able to take advantage of every day. In addition to the much-needed extra space, it can also potentially provide you with a good return on your investment when it comes to selling the property

One of the first things to consider is what kind of flooring will you need in this new room. Will it be a high-traffic area or is comfort and style more important? Keep in mind that flooring creates the visual consistency that connects rooms. Southeastern Salvage Home Emporium can help you decide if carpet, porcelain tile or hardwood flooring is right for your room. Always make sure that your room measurements are accurate. Even being off by a few inches can add cost and frustration to your remodeling project.

What if you just want to breathe new life into an old room? Adding a new area rug or light fixture can be just the thing you need. If you want to divide a room, an iron and wood screen will add a touch of elegance. And the addition of a new piece of furniture, a piece of artwork or a lamp can also add color as well as charm to any room. A large framed mirror can make a small room look larger by giving the room the illusion of more depth.

Beautifying your lawn is one of the most inexpensive home improvements you can make and can certainly increase the “curb appeal” or desirability of your home. It is the first impression that people will get of your home and it will give you a sense of pride when you pull up to your house each time. Start by trimming and edging the grass, manicuring the trees and shrubs to open up the view of the house and planting flowers to brighten up the yard. Adding simple concrete edging around a flower bed can often make a huge difference to the look of your house. You do not need to be a professional landscaper to put down a tree ring and some mulch or hang a bird feeder. However, having the right tools, such as a gas trimmer, lawnmower, wheelbarrow or ladder can be important.

Lighting is also important to the look of your house. Deciding what purpose you want the lighting to provide will determine how bright the bulbs need to be. If you want added security, you want the lighting to be bright. You might also want to put your lights on a timer or motion sensor. If you just want to see to put your key in the door, you can use a lower wattage. If you want to set a mood on your patio or deck and not attract bugs, a yellow bulb is the way to go.

An easy way to create a patio, garden path, sidewalk or driveway is by using pavestones. They require no mixing and pouring of cement because they are designed to hold each adjacent stone in place. With so many styles and colors available at Southeastern Salvage Home Emporium, it is simple to put together beautiful patterns and designs. If you really want to add some character to your garden, use a marble medallion as the centerpiece.

Accent your garden with pots and urns of all shapes and sizes to add color and charm. Pots also allow you to bring some of your plants inside during cold weather. For a lusher garden, cover an arbor or trellis with climbing plants such as vines or roses to give your garden height and create more privacy. And if you’re a birdwatcher, you might want to add a birdbath or several bird feeders to attract a variety of birds. A firepit or chimenea will offer warmth on cooler evenings, and building a deck with composite decking will be maintenance free for years.

If privacy is your goal, lining your yard with wood or vinyl fencing will do the trick. A small area of fencing can also be used to build a decorative screen to hide that unsightly garbage can or air conditioner. If your goal is a little shade and charisma, bamboo fencing will provide that and add a touch of the Orient to your garden. And what is a garden without a hardwood bench or a hammock? When your remodeling projects are complete, you can kick back, relax and enjoy your efforts.

Tips for surviving the remodeling process:

  • Pre-plan – determine your needs, wants and use of the space you are renovating.

  • Conduct a thorough walk-through with your remodeler, focusing on the home’s traffic flow, mechanical systems and other concerns identified during your pre-planning.

  • Review your architect’s or remodeler’s plans carefully. Ask questions. Remember that the proposed timeline may be affected by variables such as special-order items or materials.

  • Once you sign the job contract, you have three days to change your mind, under legal terms of the right of recision. Review the contract carefully to make sure it is what you thought you agreed to.

  • Before construction begins, remove wall hangings and other fragile pieces from the work area.

  • Upon completion of the job, conduct a walk-through with your contractor and carefully review the work to assure that everything has been completed to your satisfaction.

Market trends aside, the value of your home will most certainly increase with tender loving care. It is vital to look after the minor problems such as a leaky faucet or a loose cabinet to ensure that your house doesn’t undergo any long-term damage. As soon as you notice a problem, fix it since this will help avoid a larger expense later on and help retain the value of your home. It also makes your home a more pleasant place to live. And if and when you do decide to sell your house, it will prevent costly touch ups to get the house ready to put on the market.

When you are ready to start that remodeling project or just do a few repairs around the house, Southeastern Salvage Home Emporium can help make the experience easier and save you money in the process.