Pet-friendly design, adding home renovation value and avoiding common mistakes

Certain projects have a proven track record of providing a greater return on homeowners’ investments than others. The following renovation tips will not only add beauty to your home but will totally increase its value:

Using paint It’s one of the least expensive improvements, but one that has huge impact (neutral, modern colors always liven up any room or space).
Lighting- Including more overhead, accent and/or under-cabinet task lighting adds a nice touch. Skylights and sun tubes can bring natural light into rooms lacking south or west-facing windows.

Renovating the HVAC A new heating/cooling system is a substantial value that can last for years. Attic insulation, and replacing older windows and doors are also great options.

Kitchen remodeling- Did you know that it’s possible to recoup between 60 and 120 percent of a kitchen remodeling project (particularly if the kitchen matches up well with the rest of the house)? And it doesn’t have to be a pricey undertaking; just a few moderate improvements can create a whole new look.

Avoiding Common Mistakes

According to a recent study, 85 percent of homeowners say that remodeling is more stressful than buying a home; here’s a few pitfalls to watch out for:

Failing to understand just how big a commitment a project can be- It can be time-consuming and involve a lot of demolition and reconstruction; for example, renovating a bathroom can require removing drywall, flooring reinforcement, new plumbing installation, wiring and much more.

Not setting a budget can totally mess up or even drain your finances. If you can’t afford the materials you really want or need, it’s usually better to just wait and save more money, so you’ll get things right first time out. Once a budget allotment’s been set, try to stick with it by all means possible to reduce further stress-and lack of money!

Getting too trendy- If you’re planning to reside in your home forever or for a very long time, go for the fire-red bathroom. But if you’re making improvements with the idea of selling the home down the road, don’t get too personal; it’ll be less appealing to potential buyers (and remember, trends tend to come and go). Opt for renovations that are timeless.

Always expect that something may-or-will-go wrong or get delayed; you’ll be in a better position to go to Plan B-or even Plan C, if necessary.

Overestimating your DIY skills- Sometimes you just can’t do it all by yourself. Unless you have the right tools and skills for certain jobs, taking on too much will cause problems (and great stress). Sometimes hiring a professional can not only save you money; it’s the best thing to do.

Pet-friendly Design

There’s a high demand for homes that feature pet-friendly design in the kitchen, laundry room/mud room and even outdoor spaces, like patios and porches. And it’s not just housing; many condos and apartment buildings now offer amenities like dog parks (on the roof!) and self-serve grooming stations.

Here are two ideas to accommodate your furry beloved:

The Kitchen- Have a small or medium-sized pet? Why not create a built-in eating area? Consider using the free floor space under a kitchen island as a spot for the food and water bowls. Or, clear out a large lower cabinet, remove the door and create a feeding spot there. A comfortable cushion can be also be added for a pet bed. Is your pet a sloppy eater? Be sure to keep the feeding spot away from most of the foot traffic (and watch out for water spills!). For those with larger pets, feeding bowls may be better situated in the laundry room. Space pretty tight? Try an alcove or space under the stairs.

Laundry Room (or Mud Room)- A large one offers many possibilities; a separate room within the laundry area can be not only the feeding spot, but also a pet-washing and grooming station (If there’s an enclosed tile area with an extended faucet, this would be ideal for baths or simply to clean dirty paws from outside). Pet toys and even dry pet food can be stored in boxes, containers or baskets along with other family gear and supplies.

Additional Info

The term “Aging-in-place” is generally defined as living in one’s home safely, comfortably and independently, regardless of age, income or mobility level (recent research shows that Americans, in particular, have a strong preference to remain in their current residence for as long as possible as they grow older, which means remodeling a home very crucial to meet their changing needs, abilities and circumstances).

  • 89% of people 50+ want to remain in their own homes.
  • 72% of remodelers are already doing aging-in-place renovation.
  • According to remodelers, the most requested aging-in-place features include: Grab bars, higher toilets, curbless showers, wider doorways, ramps or lower thresholds, changing floor coverings to add traction and task lighting.
  • The NAHB Remodelers, in collaboration with the NAHB Home Innovation Research Labs, the NAHB Seniors Housing Council and AARP, has developed the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists program (CAPS). This designation program provides remodelers and builders with marketing, technical and customer service skills required to help homeowners (regardless of age).