More homeowners are considering remodeling as an alternative to selling their home and moving. Remodeling isn't new. Early settlers added extra rooms onto their homes, to accommodate a new generation. Look anywhere in New England and you will see houses that have changed over time to reflect the evolving lives of their owners.
A commitment to schools, neighborhood, community and location are some of the reasons that homeowners decide to expand, reconfigure and rethink their existing homes to fit changing needs and desires. Today, remodeling or renovating your current home enables you to avoid today's uncertain housing market while gaining the efficiency, space and comfort you need from your living space.
Renovating to Stay in Your Current Home
… Contributed by Hannah Burke, co-owner of Classic Building & Design in Eliot, ME
Reasons to Stay in Your Existing Home
Maybe your previous moves resulted from job changes. Now you have a choice of moving or staying and you are not alone. People frequently renovate their homes so they can:
- Remain in the community where they feel connected
- Keep children in the same school system and with the friends they love
- You love your location, the view and the street that is safe for the children
- After many hours nurturing your garden, you love your yard
- … and others too numerous to list
Evaluating Your Options
You can do a lot of preliminary research online today. Whether you are considering a small remodeling project or a large addition, your most important decision is seeking the advice of a professional. Whatever the scope of your project, a well-conceived design, including an evaluation of your needs and a cost range analysis, will make for a successful project. At Classic Building Design, we like to tell our clients “We build it on paper first.” Seeking the help of a professional will ensure your goals are met and that you gain maximum return from your investment immediately, and when it comes time to sell your home.
Simple Remodeling Ideas
Many relatively simple ideas can create special realms within your home, and have a huge impact on your lifestyle. One or more of these custom features will add selling points that differentiate your home form others when you place your home on the market.
|Photos of Work Done By Classic Building & Design Co.|
- Window seat bump-out adds an intimate area, with additional light, and hidden storage below. This space feels much larger without the cost associated with more square footage.
- More storage and counter top space can be added with custom cabinets sized to fit your existing kitchen space, and the items you need to store.
- The ambiance of a gas fireplace and custom mantle is a natural focal point for any living space. It is also a cost-effective heat source.
- A formal entertainment center, encompassing your television, stereo system, and books, pulls a room together in a sophisticated way.
- Decorative trim gives a room a fresh appearance. You can add wainscoting and chair rail, install a quality pre-finished floor or new windows.
- Create an inviting workspace with a custom desk area, complete with storage and proper computer set-up. This can be designed to meet your work needs and as a decorative asset.
When Only a Renovation Will Do
If your requirements demand a larger project, you will want to consult with a professional. An architect, home designer or build/design company like Classic Building Design, can work with you to find solutions that fit within your existing footprint. A home that does not flow comfortably can be modified by taking down walls, opening up or actually changing the location of specific rooms/features to create a whole new home. Rethinking the floor plan and elements such as light, window and door placement, and detailing can transform your existing space into your dream house.
Good design can create a seamless addition, one that feels like it has always been there. This requires thinking about an addition and its relation to the existing house and tailoring its proportions accordingly. When designing new space, it is critical to consider lighting and the relationship of the space to the existing house along with outside living space.
Whether you are renovating existing space or adding on new space, lighting is key to creating a sense of spaciousness. Window and door placement, along with scale and shape will make a huge impact on the feel and use of each room. The use of detail, such as decorative trim, built-ins and varying ceiling heights can all influence how space is perceived. Even small additions, when smartly and creatively designed, have a tremendous impact on the livability of your home.
Investing in your current home can rejuvenate your lifestyle when done with good planning, design, and financial planning for future resale (see Remodeling Cost vs Value articles). No home is perfect, but redefining your current home allows you to build on what works and gets you one step closer to your dream house, all without the hassle of a moving truck.
Hannah Burke is co-owner of Classic Building & Design Co., along with her husband Paul. Together they have more than 40 years of experience in home design, construction and exceptional customer service throughout New England.
An advantage of building new is that you are less likely to encounter the unexpected. This doesn’t mean you won’t, but the risk is greater when you’re renovating. If you choose to renovate, you should assume unpleasant discoveries will occur, and know how you’ll cover them if they do. Stories abound of renovators who begin a simple project, such as a superficial wall repair, and within the week have torn down half the house. Building new has its own problems, but finding unexpected rot, insects, water damage, and toxic materials generally are not among them.
Your comment brings back so many memories of personal projects, it’s a bit scary. When running my handyman business I did buy and renovate one house & while I had a structural engineer review the house before making an offer, there were lots of surprises. Some things worked out better than expected (living room floors came out great, saved dining room built-in china closet) and others not so good like a new furnace that looked but it okay was cracked. When we remodeled my 100 year old Victorian, our remodeler had the experience to estimate the job (new foundation to the roof & 4 floors, each 12 x 22 ft) properly and the only big problem was our custom cabinet maker who took 6 months to complete the cabinets. I’d recommend that builder, Steve Pearson on the NH seacoast, to anyone!
Home renovation is really important to make your home looks fabulous and beautiful and if you are house looks bad then it is your time to remodel your home you can also used the advantage of DIY project.
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In every home renovation plan, evaluation is essential to define the needs of your home. Of course, everyone wants an affordable budget for renovating a home. So you have to check every corner of your home such as windows, doors, gutter, and etc., to be able to know what changes you should focus on. Then you should do a research on modern home designs.
Katie, It’s interesting that everyone knows you need to buy new tires every 40,000 miles but homeowners don’t have similar insight into standard replacement schedules for appliances, let along the key home exterior systems like the roof, siding and windows.