Industry statistics and customer requests to many home improvement companies, plus a poll by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), indicate that people are choosing to tackle a series of smaller upgrades around the house rather than investing in larger renovation projects. The most popular home remodeling job remains a kitchen makeover, while bathrooms are a close second.

Canyon Creek with travertine floor

Canyon Creek with travertine floor

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has continuously reported annual statistics of homeowners in the market who are now selling their homes have a return average of 81 percent from their investment in a kitchen remodel.  Remodeled kitchens are the number one selling factor in the market competition with other properties, bringing higher selling prices to homes with new kitchens and baths.

Meanwhile, kitchen upgrades offer convenience and energy savings for those homeowners who have reconsidered selling and elect to stay in their home due to the sharp decline in home values and poor market conditions. Often these homes have dated kitchens and baths after homeowners have resided there a number of years while raising children and building careers.  Now the homes have 20+ year old features and styles, less durable materials have become worn and disintegrated, inducing homeowners to weigh the costs of selling and purchasing another property versus lesser costs to improve the existing property to create their ideal home.

With today’s vast choice in stone counter tops, farmhouse sinks, refrigerators with French doors and other convenience appliances and cabinetry, homeowners prefer to invest in remodeling their existing homes.  Since they’ve know fairly everything about their existing home’s quirks and charms, built great memories there and know their neighbors, it’s often easier than starting with unknowns in another house and in an unfamiliar new location or neighborhood.  The affordable convenience of lawn maintenance companies to manage our properties has enabled more aging Americans to “age in place” and continue the enjoyment of their homes.

More extensive kitchen remodels include walk- in pantries, butler pantries, vast island cook centers with seating for dining, multiple ovens cook centers, beverage centers for additional cold storage, elegant range hood options with spice drawer built- ins, slow- closing drawer features, pull- out tray drawers and more.

Bathroom remodels are nearly always a must- do project, considering the amount of plumbing involved and that the general lifespan of less durable products manufactured in the 1970’s – 1990’s have reached their end.  In that era, bathtub and shower products were often fabricated with plastic coated molded fiberglass, which eventually developed dull, ravaged finishes despite the invention of “soft scrub”- type products.  Showerheads, faucets and valve covers were limited to 2 metal finishes – polished chrome and brass – and had limited design selections. Vanities were commonly veneered laminate over particle board and subject to deterioration from exposure to water – a natural bathroom element!  Boring vinyl floors, wasteful toilet water consumption and ugly “light bars” were as inexpensive as they still appear, giving a less than appealing overall visual aspect to the  bathrooms of yesteryear.

Kohler bathroom, whites

Kohler bathroom, whites

Today, many homeowners are opting to turn their bathroom into a spa since it usually costs less than a kitchen remodel. Updating a bathroom with new tile and heated flooring, furniture- like vanities with granite, marble or onyx counter tops and decorative plumbing fixtures such as rain shower heads, high arc faucets, deep soaking tubs and LED mood lighting will set the tone for relaxation after a long day.  We are finding many homeowners moving away from multiple tubs in the home, opting for one bathroom with a single person soak tub while modifying an existing 5’ long tub/ shower unit stall by converting to a large spa- like shower unit with enough room for a seat.  In fact, this is one of our favorite bathroom conversions.  We’ve experimented with all kinds of tile, stone and marble products to create absolutely gorgeous shower units: it’s always satisfying to see the end product and the look of happiness on our clients faces!

Certainteed porch

Certainteed porch

Sunrooms are another all-time favored and affordable home addition which can easily be added to any style home. A well- designed sunroom greatly enhances the value of a home and provides extra living space and year- round enjoyment without changing the existing footprint and structure of a house. Sunrooms also increase the energy- efficiency of a home by taking advantage of passive solar heating (refer to our news article on “Passive Solar: an affordable alternative”), reducing heating bills, while at the same time providing unobstructed views of nature to homeowners who have often been staring all day at a computer screen or four walls.

Roofed porches are a very affordable option for 3- season rooms, and wrap around roofed porches are becoming a favorite of many.  Adding patio rooms to the porches, with walkways along garden paths brings your outdoor living rooms into a whole new realm of peace and serenity, while increasing the utility and value of your property.

We are seeing a marked increase in the amount of homeowners doing remodeling projects that enhance their living space and increase energy efficiency, wanting their remodeled space to add convenience and increase the quality of their family’s lifestyle.  Many of us have realized the value of the quality of our home atmosphere reflects the quality of our lives.

Simpson Doors

Simpson Doors

“Green” remodeling continues to be a best practice we implement in remodeling your home: increasing your energy efficiency, reducing heating and cooling costs while boosting curb appeal is always at the top of the list. Replacement vinyl windows are environmentally strong, providing increased insulation while adding aesthetic beauty. Fiberglass replacement doors meeting ENERGY STAR guidelines offer solid utility- busting properties, provide safety and security, can match the style and décor of any home while offering an authentic wood look. Roof replacement with proper ventilation systems promotes energy efficiency by keeping a home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, attic insulation and vinyl siding (installed with a contoured insulation foam backer) makes a home’s walls well insulated promoting energy conservation while saving you money.  (Refer to our articles on R-values, Energy tips, etc.)