Recipe For Renovation's Key Ingredients

Recipe for Renovation's

Key Ingredients

A beginner's guide to renovating homes. Featuring an easy to follow 5 step recipe with 7 key ingredients to make your home remodel a success.

1. Exterior Curb Appeal

Psychologically, curb appeal plays a large role in the sale of a home as it's the first and last part of the home a buyer sees. Three aspects I consider important in regards to curb appeal include:

1.1 Paint
1.2 Landscaping
1.3 Feature of Interest

1.1 Paint
A neutral, yet bold paint color choice for the exterior. You want your paint color to attract attention but not so much so that it is off-putting to potential buyers. Rich colors like navy, black, and dark gray are currently trending.

Paint your front door a color that will "pop" from the street like red, yellow, violet, teal, etc. A colorful door against a neutral exterior paint color is attention grabbing and memorable. Buyers may find your home more identifiable than others, i.e. "the home with the yellow door".
1.2 Landscaping
The house needs to be seen to be admired so clean up the landscaping and sight lines.

Add landscaping if the yard is bare; include a tree or two for height.

If your home is on a busy street, add plants for privacy and noise like hedges or contained bamboo. A home on a busy street will be a selling disadvantage which is up to you to mitigate. If mostly families with children are purchasing in your area, consider putting up a fence for child safety in order to attract those buyers.
1.3 Feature of Interest
Create a layer of depth and interest. You have the paint and the plants, but you will see that (lately) new builds are incorporating modern features of interest which you may be competing against with your remodel.

A pathway to the door (makes the buyer feel like they are on an adventure in comparison to walking on the sidewalk or driveway).
A wood feature wall or privacy fence, custom sign for house numbers, window shutters, planter boxes.

4. Floors

If only every old home had beautiful original hard wood floors, sigh. Most likely your fixer upper is in rough shape and needs new flooring. The right flooring in the right places will make an old home feel fresh, cohesive, and add great flow.

Laminate hardwood throughout (minus the bathrooms and sometimes kitchen) is an affordable, safe, and stylish choice. If your home has salvageable hardwoods, refinishing them is a great option.

Laminate Has Come A Long Way
Laminate is easy to install, clean, and overall low maintenance. It can protect against water, moisture, foot traffic, and resist damage from pets and children. Laminate has become so durable that it can even be laid in kitchens and bathrooms.

I prefer a laminate with texture as it more closely resembles real hardwood floors. Laminate is so detailed now that most people can not tell what is laminate and what is real hardwood. I do not recommend a laminate with multiple "boards" printed on one actual board.
Create Flow
Continuous flooring of the same type throughout the living, dining, bedrooms, ETC. helps to create a harmonious flow throughout the house. The simplicity of continuous, uninterrupted flooring makes a home feel larger and more modern.

More than half of all buyers prefer harwoods over carpet in bedrooms so please step away from the carpet! Simplifying your flooring choices will also simplify and cheapen the home renovation process as you won't have to coordinate, purchase, and install different types of flooring materials. So go with the same flooring throughout minus the bathrooms and sometimes kitchen. If your kitchen is large, go with tile. If your kitchen is small, flow the same flooring.
Light or Dark flooring?
Flooring comes in many different styles and colors. I prefer a darker laminate in particular for flips because the color compliments a wide range of home and decor styles (can compliment industrial, modern, traditional, craftsman, farmhouse, boho, eclectic). Yellow, orange, blonde, gray, and distressed wood floors all have their place in design but are not as versatile as a dark brown wood. You will want to appeal to the largest crowd possible with your design choices without being too boring.

Think about the demographic of buyers in your area. Remember that while dark floors are rich and beautiful, they also show dust and can make a room feel smaller. Light floors will brighten a room and make it feel larger.

6. Lighting, Switches, & Outlets

Lighting may be the most important design feature. Lighting affects our mood, productivity, and even our decision making processes. Utilize the persuasive power of lighting to help sell your home.

New Outlets and Switches
Toggle light switches lack style and make a home feel dated. One of the easiest and most cost effective ways to update your home is to replace all of your toggle light switches with rocker style switches and dimmers. Make sure to purchase new outlets in the same color as your new switches.
What Lighting Goes Where?
For the living room, two semi-flush mount lights (fans if necessary). If your living room is large with tall ceilings, go for something larger and lower hanging. For the dining room, 1-2 dramatic low hanging lights above the table. For the kitchen, recessed lighting, pendant above the sink, and pendants above bar/island. For bedrooms, semi-flush mount lighting of the same style (though, chandeliers are popular above beds). For full bathrooms, recessed lighting in the shower and lighting over the vanity. For a powder room, I prefer pendant lighting over the vanity (for drama) and recessed above the toilet.
Lighting Finishes
Lighting finishes (silver, black, brushed nickel, copper, oil rubbed bronze). When I'm designing a home, it's a must that my lighting finish and style matches what i've chosen for the rest of my home hardware. For example, if my front door has black hardware, then my kitchen cabinets will have black hardware and so will my bathroom shower fixtures and all of my light fixtures. Keep your design consistent; pick a style and stick with it for a cohesive feel.

7. Household Maintenance and Repair

In the process of buying your home, do you remember your initial Purchase Inspection Report that was completed before your lender's appraisal? If you bought a fixer-upper, there are bound to be quite a lot of issues listed and all of those should be remedied before you put your remodeled home on the market.

A messy inspection report can negatively affect the success of your home sale.

If the home is upgraded, yet has a list of "honey-do's", the flip can be seen as having a lack of attention to detail and craftsmanship which in turn will affect the sale price.

Rotting Wood
Unfinished Wood
Peeling Paint

plumbing leaks
water damage
irrigation issues
Tree Limbs Above Roof

Missing handrails
Cracked Concrete
INSUF. insulation