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How to Add Value in Living Rooms

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Living rooms are different from the rest of the rooms in the house because they don’t serve a specific function. Unlike kitchens, bedrooms or bathrooms, there’s no utilitarian focus, and generally speaking there’s not much to them other than the decorative elements. The only real requirement is that they be big enough to accommodate the number of people who will be using them. That said, there are a few ways to add value to living rooms in order to increase the value of your home.

 

R2R Living Room with Media Wall

 

Layout

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).

 

Flooring

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.

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‘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.

Reno to Reveal - Basement Makeover

 

Lighting

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.

 

Architectural Details

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.

 

Hardware

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

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.

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‘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.”

R2R Gas Fireplace
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#ScottTip

The planning stage is arguably the most important part of any renovation. Remember, If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.