5 Things to Know before Converting Your Garage to a Living Space

5 Things to Know before Converting Your Garage to a Living Space

If you have decided to add new living space to your home by converting your garage into an additional living space, you’re in for a treat! This is a popular trend in home renovation. However, before you begin making any changes, make sure you read these five things to be fully prepared for your project.

Budget

Know exactly how much you are able to spend for your transformation project. Keep in mind that unexpected expenses will probably occur, and you should budget for them accordingly. Also, don’t forget to budget the cost of furniture for your new living space! You will be disappointed to learn you don’t have any money left over for these items.

Check Your Cars

Double check to make sure you won’t need your garage to store your cars. If you plan on getting an additional vehicle in the future, you may want to delay your renovation. Also, if you are comfortable keeping your vehicles outside of your garage, you still may want to consider investing in covers for your cars to protect them from the elements.

Know Your Purpose

Make sure you know the exact purpose of your new living space. Are you interested in using it as a place to quietly relax? Do you intend to use it for parties or social gatherings? Will you be using it as an additional bedroom? The choice is up to you. However, knowing exactly what you want to get out of the new living space will give you the focus you need to complete your project successfully, whether that be managing the garage door or adding amenities like air conditioning or more electrical fixtures.

Checking Permits

Remember, transforming your garage into an additional living space is a type of renovation project. This means you may need to obtain permits for some of the work. Double check with your local officials to learn if you will need to get any paperwork done before you begin. If you don’t, you may be forced to pay a fine or undo your entire transformation!

Can It Be Undone?

Keep in mind that the future owners of your home may want to use the garage for more traditional purposes. This means you should consider how easy it will be to undo your renovations. There also may come a time when you need to use the garage for other purposes. Having a plan to transform the garage back into a great storage area for cars and other big items is something you should consider.

Transforming your garage into an additional living space is a great idea. After you have considered the above points, get started on that transformation!

Seasonal Renovation: 4 Home Upgrades Better Done In Summer

home improvement new windows

The impulse to do home upgrades can strike at any time. Some upgrades you can do any time you want. Carpet replacement is not season-dependent. As long as you use low-VOC, water-based acrylic paint, you can do interior painting year round. There are, however, some upgrades that will go off much better in the summer.

Deck Building or Repair

Decks are a functional way to extend your home’s summertime living space. Installing or repairing a deck is a summertime job. Deck installations require holes in the ground for the corner posts. No one wants to dig holes in the frozen soil. Repairs often require you to do some staining and sealing. Stains and sealants almost always need to be applied at temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Replace Doors and Windows

New doors or new windows can help shore up your home’s environmental envelope and temperature control. While they can be replaced at any time, in theory, having gaping holes in your walls during the winter isn’t a great play. Summer replacements make temperature control substantially easier and cheaper if you can tolerate some extra heat in the house. Plus, it’s not a crisis if all the finishing touches don’t get finished until the next day. For extra convenience, get a company like Gilkey Windows to come out so the job gets done quicker and easier than doing it yourself.

Refinishing Floors

Much as with deck stains, the varnishes used to refinish floors work best above the 50 degrees mark. Oil-based varnish fumes are potentially toxic, but also flammable. Having a furnace on in the winter to keep temperatures over 50 degrees is a potential fire hazard. While not flammable, water-based varnishes have a substantial odor. You’ll want to be able to throw open the windows to air out the house, which simply isn’t practical or cost-effective in the winter cold.

Concrete Repairs

If you have any damaged concrete at your home, such as a walkway, summer is the only practical time to repair it. Winter isn’t an option because the water in the wet concrete will freeze. This interrupts the chemical curing process that hardens the concrete and leaves you with shoddy concrete. Spring and fall are also problematic because rain exposure is a possibility, which also damages the curing process.

Summer is an excellent time for home upgrades, but it’s especially good for exterior projects and projects involving chemicals or strong odors. Door and window replacement also go more smoothly courtesy of more moderate temperatures. Just remember to consult product instructions or a professional any time you’re in doubt.

How a Few Simple Renovations Can Increase Your Home’s Resale Value

When you are preparing to list your home for sale, you will likely have a long list of things to do. By performing some simple renovations now, you can avoid requests for remedy later. These four home renovations are also likely to get all of your investment back through a higher sales price.

How a Few Simple Renovations Can Increase Your Home's Resale Value

Refinish or Replace Your Counter Tops

One of the most important parts of your home is the kitchen. When prospective buyers enter your home during a showing or open house, they are likely to make a beeline for the kitchen. Refinishing or replacing your counter tops will make a big improvement in how the kitchen looks. Granite is a top-of-the-line material. Some other good choices include concrete and Corian. You might also consider refinishing or replacing the fronts of your cabinets if they are old and worn, dented or dinged. If the cabinets themselves are in good condition, a replacement of the knobs and drawer pulls provides an affordable facelift.

Install a Wood-burning Stove

A wood-burning stove is a delightful addition to the living spaces of your home. If you have a family room, adding a wood-burning stove creates a cozy space that is just right for cool autumn and winter weather. Wood-burning stoves in Woodinville, or in other areas, can also be at home in a four-season room or a den. A wood-burning stove adds value to your home because it gives the new owners an affordable and efficient method of heating. Wood-burning stoves are also safe in case of a power outage. Today’s wood-burning stoves offer ideal levels of safety and efficiency. If you have a log cabin or rustic styled home, it will fit right in with your architecture and decor.

Give the Walls a Fresh Coat of Paint

Giving the interior and exterior walls of your home a fresh coat or two of paint is a quick and affordable way to increase the structure’s resale value. A quality paint job can hide many minor imperfections that would capture the attention of prospective home buyers. Choose a neutral yet attractive color for the outside of your home. Make sure that you conform to any homeowner’s association or historical society rules governing exterior colors for homes in your neighborhood. While many real estate agents recommend going all neutral for interior wall colors when selling a home, you could add a little bit of visual interest by painting the wainscoting or trim in a brighter color. You could also turn to less frequently used neutrals such as buttery yellow for the kitchen or a warm gray for a child’s bedroom.

Replace Worn-out Carpeting with New Floor Coverings

Another way to make a big impact on your home’s resale value is to remove the old, stained, worn-out carpeting and replace it with new floor coverings. If your home has hardwood floors underneath carpeting, arrange for the floors to be professionally finished. Hardwood flooring that is in good condition could add thousands of dollars to your home’s selling price. Consider replacing old carpeting with laminate or engineered wood flooring. Cork and bamboo flooring are environmentally friendly options. Ceramic tile flooring is an ideal solution for front hallways, entryways and guest bathrooms. Many homeowners do enjoy the comfort and warmth of a plush carpet in the bedrooms and family room of the home.

Each of these simple home renovations only takes a few days to complete. You could schedule the renovations for a time that is convenient to you. Be sure to schedule any updates and repairs so they are complete before you want to list your home for sale. Account for potential project delays to give yourself some wiggle room when selling.

Renovation ROI: 4 Home Additions That Are a Tremendous Bang for Your Buck

Basement converted to a gym_White Plains

Many homeowners set aside money every year to reinvest back into their property. Your home will most likely be one of the biggest purchases you ever make, and you want to be sure that every remodeling project you carry out is going to increase its value. Here is a quick look at four popular home additions that often have an excellent return on investment.

Turn Your Attic into a Bedroom

The National Association of Realtors says that an attic conversion has an average ROI of around 61 percent. Adding an extra bedroom is one of the easiest ways to boost the value of your property without actually changing the structure of your home. When you are converting your attic, you should make sure that it is both accessible and comfortable.

Add an Outdoor Living Space

Those who live in a relatively moderate climate might be able to substantially increase the value of their home by adding an outdoor living space. Unlike many indoor renovations, creating an outdoor living space can often be completed by the homeowner. You will only need to call in a professional contractor if you want to install underground gas, water, or electrical lines.

Install a Utility Carport

A utility carport will maximize your outdoor space without breaking the bank. In addition to the covered area, a utility carport from places like Coast to Coast Carports Inc. also includes a small indoor area for storage. These structures can be installed within just a few days, and they are the perfect option for those who have boats, motorcycles, extra cars, or ATVs. You can even run power to the storage area to turn it into a workshop.

Remodel the Basement

While converting a basement into a bedroom can have an excellent ROI, you might also want to think about turning it into a family room, entertainment room, or bar. Many real estate agents and buyers love to see unique additions that will make a home stand out from all other nearby pieces of property. Updating the lighting, adding some neutral carpet, and painting the walls can be carried out in just a few hours, and those upgrades will drastically increase your home’s living space.

Even if you have quite a bit of experience as a DIY enthusiast, most of these major additions should be left to the professionals. Not only will a reputable contractor be insured, but they will also guarantee that your project adheres to all local and state regulations. If those contractors make a mistake, then you won’t have to worry about stiff fines and fees.

A Fixer Upper: 5 Tips for Your First Home Renovation

A Fixer Upper, 5 Tips for Your First Home Renovation

You just bought your first home, and it needs a little work. One thing you should accept from the get-go is that it is going to take some time to complete this project. This does not mean it is impossible to speed up the process, and the following five tips will help you do just that.

Get Permits
One of the most important things to do is to apply for the right permits. You can hire a contractor to help you or go to the county or city office to see what permits you need.

Major Issues
You have deal with the issues that make it hard for you to live in the home. Check if your electrical system needs to be taken care of or check if the plumbing needs to be dealt with. It might even be a good idea to live in your home for a month to see what is absolutely necessary before making cosmetic upgrades.

Damage Repairs
Any damage the house has sustained should be dealt with. This could be flood damage or fire damage, both of which threaten the stability of your home. It would be wise to talk to a professional restoration service such as NiteOwl Restoration, or someone similar that you trust and recognize in your area, because these issues usually cannot be fixed without expert help.

DIY Work
Fixer uppers are bound to have major issues, but they may also be riddled with small ones, which means you can do some things before you start on major issues. Dealing with smaller problems on your own like painting or sprucing up the curb should speed up the process a bit.

Write a List
It might seem silly, but this is also a good time to write up a list of issues you want addressed. Cross out the issues you can deal with on your own, and leave the rest. Be honest with yourself regarding the things you can live with like the tile in your kitchen should you notice it gives your home a vintage touch. Prioritize this list, and tackle each issue slowly because doing too much at once puts you at risk of not finishing anything if money gets tight for some reason.

These are just some tips that could help renovate a fixer upper a little quicker. This does not mean you should expect perfection, but it should move things along smoothly.