Remodeling for New Homes [Text]
When you move into a new home—one that’s new to you, but not newly built—it’s probably in pretty good shape. But chances are, it’s full of amenities, decorations and features that were perfect for the owner who bought the house when it was brand new. You might not like that stuff.
If you’re going to live in that house for many years, you should be comfortable with what’s in it and love to look at it. You should have what you want.
Remodeling is not a project just for older houses. Plenty of newer homes need some touching up. Personalize your house. Show off your good taste. Your home should reflect your personality and lifestyle.
Here are a few of the common changes owners of newer homes are making:
Paint, wallpaper, carpet. This is sort of like putting lipstick on; sometimes a couple of simple, cosmetic touch-ups can make all the difference when it comes to how your home looks and feels.
Shower, tub. Even in newer homes, the shower is often too small. You might want to convert your bathtub/shower unit to a stand-alone shower, especially if you never use the tub. Or if your home came with a walk-in shower, you might want to enlarge it. Likewise, if your home came with a big, whirlpool tub that you never use, you have plenty of space to replace it with a roomy shower.
Repairs. Sadly, not every home is built to meet your high standards. My company, JEB Design/Build, replaced a shower in a home last year that was only about five years old. It was already leaking like crazy. The original workmanship was poor.
Screened-in porch. Lots of homeowners like to enclose a porch by adding windows and a roof, and then adding air conditioning. That way, the porch becomes a year-round sunroom.
Aging-in-place. A lot of couples who reach their 50s, 60s and 70s move to smaller homes where they intend to stay for the rest of their lives. In that case, they call us in to make the house accessible so they will still be able to get around in case they need to use a walker or wheelchair at some point. In those homes—even if they’re new—we widen the doorways, add grab bars, replace the toilet with one that’s higher, and create a curbless, walk-in shower in the space where the bathtub used to be.
If you have recently moved, or you plan to, think about living in the house for six months or a year before you do any work on it. That will give you a chance to decide what you like about your new-to-you home and what you don’t.
Then, start turning that house into your home-sweet-home.
Jeb Breithaupt, B. Arch., MBA, has been president of JEB Design/Build in Shreveport since 1983. You can contact him at 318-865-4914.