Houses used to be a lot more compartmentalized than they are now. Rooms used to be designated for specific functions and they were separated as such. But lifestyles have changed and today’s homes reflect that. Eat-in kitchens are common, as are open concept kitchen/living areas, and combined living/dining spaces. If your home has this type of layout there isn’t much you can do to increase the value, but if you live in an older home, opening up the main floor to accommodate an open concept kitchen, dining and living space is a great way to improve the value of your home (depending on the complexity of the renovation of course).
The number one phrase that pops up in North American real estate listings is “hardwood flooring throughout”. While there are a lot of great options for flooring, and what you choose will ultimately be determined by your budget and lifestyle, hardwood flooring is usually a good bet for adding value to your home. Just keep in mind that given its susceptibility to moisture and humidity, real hardwood should only be used at or above grade, and in climates without drastic changes in humidity from season to season. If you have a below-grade living room I generally recommend laminate or vinyl.
‘Reno to Reveal’ Callout
In Andrew’s basement we used vinyl plank flooring throughout (except the bathroom). It mimics the look of wood but comes without any of the risk. It’s durable enough to withstand the day-to-day wear and tear, and if any moisture ever finds its way into the basement the floors won’t suffer.
Lighting is an important element in any room, and while it may not need to be quite as thought out as in a kitchen or bathroom, you still want to give it the proper importance.
A quick way to give living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms a high-end look without spending much money is through faux wall panels and applied moulding. While traditional carpenter-fashioned wainscoting can cost a lot of money, the DIY version will give you a similar look at a fraction of the cost.
The living room probably isn’t the first room you think of when you think about hardware, but chances are pretty good that you have a few switch plates and doorknobs somewhere in there. It’s important that you don’t overlook these things as shabby or dated hardware will make the rest of the room look that way. Make sure any hardware in the room is up-to-date and stylish.
Fireplaces are an interesting subject because most people assume they’ll add value, but that’s not necessarily the case. While fireplaces are great design features and they can certainly offer some great benefits, they don’t usually add value to your home other than aesthetically and in the personal enjoyment they may bring you. That said, updating an existing fireplace that’s looking old and dated is a great way to add value.
‘Reno to Reveal’ callout
Living in a cold climate, Andrew wanted to be sure to have all the possible comforts in his basement, and that included a gas fireplace. “It heats up the entire basement really quickly, and because we’ve insulated so well the heat stays put. I’m thrilled with it.”
Don’t put too much stock in trades who give free estimates over the phone. A plumber or electrician can’t properly diagnose an issue unless it’s in person. A free estimate given over the phone is likely to go up significantly once he or she is on-site.