Most people that I come across really do not understand that not every home improvement project is an investment that will truly increase the value of the home after a renovation.
There are so many times that I have walked into a newly remodeled home that was done for the sake of the “updated look”. Yes, they have the new granite countertops, new Backsplash, new lighting and in most cases they have even found a way to refinish those outdated kitchen cabinets… at times, they have even added the new appliances… Just because its new does not mean that it actually has tangible market value which would ultimately increase the value of the property. At first glance, the space looks really pretty, however, the meaningful transformations that needed to be considered go much deeper than the superficial exterior quick fixes that cost a lot of money but add very little real value to the home.
No, I am not talking about the difference in styles or taste . I am talking about key factors that must be carefully considered before making decisions as to what to focus on and in what order?
- Layout: Taking time to consider multiple options of the existing layout in the space. Which layout will serve the best purpose of the investment for years to come?
- Traffic flow: How does the family live in this space or are there better options if the area was re-arranged.
- Space potential: What is the actual potential of the space if the layout was considered and real changes were made to the space with a consideration towards the future and how people will use it and live in it for years to come. Just because the builder built it with a mistake, does not mean you have to live with it for the rest of your life.
- Existing Cabinets: Consider the quality of the existing kitchen or bathroom cabinets before considering to adorn them with a new expensive countertop. That is no different than building a new structure on a very bad foundation which will not last long.
- Function of the space: Consider the function of the space and what organizational elements need to be added to improve the quality of the user’s experience when using the space.
- Lighting: Task and general lighting is critical to the space planning and the experience of the user.
- Color and Finishes: Carefully consider the entire color scheme not just of the space being renovated but of the surrounding areas that impact the overall living space. Colors have a strong impact on our subconsciousness and how we will feel in the space we are in..
- Plumbing: Not all plumbing fixtures are created equal. Unless you are in the business and have taken the necessary time to tour many of the plumbing manufacturing plants and you have seen first hand what sets them apart. Knowing the critical details of what the guts of the fixture are made form may actually affect the life span of that fixture. Plastic and Aluminum may not last as long as SS or Brass fittings. In addition, Where you purchase the fixtures may also have an impact on the quality of that fixture. If you consider making these purchases on line or at one of the box stores, you may actually be getting the fixtures that has the more cost effective components. Cheaper? Yes. But it will not last as long..By now we have all seen that not all fixtures are created equal and as such, some will perform better for a lot longer. I have been incredibly privileged to have toured many of the current plumbing manufacturing plants and have seen the difference. I am impressed with some and shocked by others…
- Appliances: There is a new term in our industry but it has been kept a secret. SHHHHH! They do not want us to know.. Manufacturers are creating what some have come to consider as disposable appliances. These new appliances look great on the surface, in fact they have all the bells and whistles. However, they were built to last 5-7 years. For some, that timeline is all they are looking for, however, if you are like me, and would prefer a long term investment, where the appliances will perform better for 20 plus years and save you money on energy and food storage, then I would be looking for the details of what makes an appliance better than the mainstream.
Plumbing fixtures are no different. Buyer beware… The fixtures look the same on the surface, but to consider the real quality, one must see beyond the exterior finish and style.. The actual materials that are being used on the inside of each fixture is what sets the plumbing fixture apart from the rest.
Next month, We will consider the energy benefits of the new LED lights their switching components. Are all LED bulbs created equal? what sets them apart and why? What does this mean to you and me?
Stay well my friend and always consider what is the real value of what your dollars are buying you.
Melinda Dzinic, CR, CKBR, UDCP