When homeowners start to plan home improvement projects, their first question should be, "What is my return on investment?" This is not always the case but it should be. Starting a remodel or upgrading your home, your investment should start with a plan. Asking the right questions is the key to a good plan.
What is my return on investment?
So how do you find out the answer to this question. You can research home improvement websites online, follow your neighbor's actions (keeping up with the Jones'), see what new construction is implementing or seek advice from a professional. A realtor can perform a comparative market analysis based on the homes that have sold and are currently listed on the market. They will compare your home on square footage, lot size, year built, and other structures on the property and create a value range for your home. A professional stager can also offer advice based on comparable homes in your area. They compare photos of homes sold based on what your house offers. Knowing the demographic area and the appearance of the sold home allows stagers to offer advice on needed updates to match the market trends.
So what are the projects that get the highest return? Here are the top three projects with the highest return on investment based on a cost vs value report in 2018 by fixr.com. They are all from one area of the house, and it may not be what you think. Any guesses?
All three projects are based on curb appeal! Research states a buyer has a feeling towards your home in the first ten seconds of walking up your driveway. They are judging the home by outside appearance only! Of course they have room for more judgement once inside. So the top three projects are garage door replacement, manufactured stone veneer, and entry door replacement. (The picture at the top of this blog has all three of these items.) These three projects cost the least of all the projects in this study and they had a rate of over 90% return on investment, which proves first impressions are everything!
When you are looking at upgrading the appearance of your home, start with the outside then move inside. Pressure washing the exterior of your home can be a great way to refresh your appearance with minimal cost. A fresh coat of paint on the front door and new mulch in all flower beds can easily be an affordable upgrade to your curb appeal. Making a great first impression is a great return on your investment!
What about the inside projects? What is the best return on investment for interior updates? Stay tuned for the next blog post, where we talk about kitchens and bathrooms!
What curb appeal updates have you done to your home?
Living in the same home for over 10 years or buying a home that shows those years, can challenge homeowners on where to begin those updates. A good place to start may be the living room. A few simple changes in this room can make the most impact, with minimal time and budget. Can paint and window treatments really make that big of a difference? Let's look at this recent living room remodel for an example.
The homeowner was interested in updating her living room but wasn't sure where to start. The kitchen was newly remodeled within the year but the paint color wasn't changed. The hard wood flooring and furniture was staying, and also the current location of TV. The adjoining rooms were recently painted a gray/beige color and style was modern but rustic. The homeowner also wanted to include some of her coastal accessories and art.
The Plan: Bringing in more natural light is key with this space. There is a wall of windows facing the backyard, pool, and large pond. A lighter paint color will brighten any room, a hint of beige will add warmth, like Grecian Ivory by Sherwin Williams. It is a lighter shade then the adjoining rooms, so it keeps consistency throughout the home. Selecting a stone that goes from floor to ceiling will give height to the room, and blend with the built-ins. A new gas fireplace, the same width as TV, and the narrow size gives a modern, balanced look.
The Process: Professionals were called in for painting around kitchen cabinets and tall walls of the living room. A white stacked stone was chosen for the fireplace. The window treatments were removed, and the outside came inside. The view is so evident now. Amazing what simply changing paint color and removing window treatments can do for a space!
A new year can be a great way to reflect and refresh. I stopped making resolutions about two years ago. It was a rough year and a 'resolution' wasn't going to get me through what I had to face. A friend told me I need to find a 'word of the year.' After much soul searching I found my word, Strong! The next year I took it a step further and infused my year with courage. I was starting my new business and needed a lot of internal chanting to get me through marketing and networking. So much so, toward the end of the year I changed it to fierce! This year I took a bit longer to find my word, but when I saw it on my verse of the day it was like a breath of fresh air. Ask. It fits so well into every aspect of my life. I really want to stop and engage more with others. What better way to do that then to ask questions! To truly get to know someone they must also know you. So I am going to share with you 10 things that you may not know about me.
1. I was born and raised in New Orleans. My grandparents had a small house on Robert E Lee and Elysian Fields, an upstairs/downstairs duplex. My mother was a teenager at that house and would eventually move her family into the top duplex. There I spent my childhood. I rode the public bus home from school starting in 6th grade. I am a city girl! My aunt and uncle, and all of my cousins still live there. My brother and his family, and my mother live just outside the city. Yes, I am the only one that has not moved back. Geaux Saints!
Six weeks for a makeover seems long enough until you start the project. If you had someone working around the clock in the room, 6 weeks is easily a good estimate. For some of us, that's only a handful of Sundays to truly makeover a room. The great thing about setting a date and a timeline for a makeover is the planning. Not to mention the One Room Challenge by Linda and House Beautiful and all the participants always encouraging you to succeed! Planning out the room and the materials allows for lots of research for the right piece. Then executing in steps, gives you time to reflect on your next move, and the need to change it;) Here is the room before and the plan.
It has been a busy two weeks of DIY projects for the One Room Challenge with Calling it Home and House Beautiful. To catch you up on the previous weeks and the plan for the space here is Week 1 and Week 2 blog post for your review. Since everyone loves a good, EASY, DIY project. I thought I would share the two I tackled for the one room challenge.
The first DIY project was the pipe curtain rod. I pinned a couple to Pinterest because the idea of not having the break in the rod, the size I want at a reasonable price is just to awesome to pass up! Curtains should be about 12 inches around the window on each side and top. The length of the curtains should puddle or touch the floor. Here is the Pinterest post I followed, it is very informative and easy to follow from Designer Trapped!
We have arrived to Week 3 of the One Room Challenge with Calling it Home and House Beautiful. Halfway there! The holiday weekend took precedent over my DIY projects, so I will have busy weekends in my future. To catch you up on the previous weeks and the plan for the space here is Week 1 and Week 2 blog post for your review.
As an athletic trainer, I knew there was a time in an athlete's recovery from injury they would plateau in their rehab. I was prepared to encourage an athlete to keep them moving forward. We would focus on evaluating the progress made and then reaching the goals. The same can be said about design makeovers. There is a plateau during the project, the hump day of the process, that can steal your momentum. I think the other One Room Challenge participants would agree we are there! So I am tackling the small things and focusing on the goals to gain momentum.
We are on week 2 of our journey to a redesigned living room. I am a guest participant in the One Room Challenge presented by Calling It Home and House Beautiful. It happens twice a year once, Fall and Spring. There are 20 featured designers and bloggers who present their room makeovers over a 6 week period. You are able to see the progress every Wednesday and on Thursday the guest participants join in for the fun! You can view the progress on all the rooms by visiting the link, and following the hashtag, #oneroomchallenge.
gina t graham
Home Staging and Redesign for Jacksonville, FL.
"Sometimes excellent is not a good enough word. I recommend Gina to everyone who is selling their home and for setting up the next home they buy." -Kit, staging client.