By Jeb Breithaupt
Most of the homeowners who visit me at JEB Design/Build say they’ve been thinking about remodeling for a long time—two years on average. If you’ve been pondering a renovation, here are eight good reasons to stop thinking and start remodeling.
- You’re tired of your home’s dated look. For two years running, remodelers in a National Association of Homebuilders survey say the No. 1 reason their clients remodel is to replace outdated appliances, decorations and other home amenities with newer, better items.
- Your home is in need of repairs. Small problems like leaks and cracks just get bigger, the longer you wait. And serious problems, like mold in the bathroom, can really create an expensive mess if you don’t address them sooner rather than later. What in your home needs repairing or replacing? What have you been living without simply because you’ve put off calling a contractor?
- You need more space. You thought your kids would have moved out by now, right? But they’re back from college, all grown up but living in their old bedrooms. Or your children are small, and there’s no way you’re going to find a better school district than the one you live in. Or you’re getting ready to start a family. Either way, it might be time to add on.
- You’re staying put. Maybe the kids have nothing to do with why you’re still in the same house. Maybe you love your neighborhood or your place just feels like home. If you’re going to stay for five or more years, fix your place up so you’re comfortable and happy. Update your kitchen; enlarge the master bathroom; and install an outdoor living space with a built-in grill and plenty of room for entertaining.
- Retirement is beckoning. If you plan to live out your golden years in the home where you raised your family, do it up right. First, make some changes that will improve your quality of life as you age: replace old toilets with taller ones; exchange your bathtub for a curb-free shower that’s easy to get into; add lighting in the kitchen and bathroom; widen the doorways; and maybe even convert your little-used dining room into a big, first-floor bedroom. Make it easy on yourself to age in place.
- You want to increase your property’s value. Your home is a good investment. Even if you’re not planning to move right away, updating the kitchen, bathrooms, patio and porches will make your home more comfortable to live in and more marketable once you do decide to sell.
- You’ve become energy-conscious. Especially in older homes, air conditioned and heated air has an easy exit route through single-pane windows, attics without enough insulation and drafty doors and walls. Replace your old heating and air conditioning systems with high-efficiency models; invest in the most-efficient water heater and appliances; install double-pane windows. You’ll save money, and you’ll do your part for the environment.
- Your closets are too small. If you live in an older home you probably don’t have enough closets, either. A good design/build remodeler can help you figure out where you can add closet space or how to enlarge the closets you have.
Jeb Breithaupt, B. Arch., MBA, has been president of JEB Design/Build in Shreveport since 1983. You can contact him at 318-865-4914.