Improvement Tips

Adding value to your home:

The Kitchen:

The kitchen is the main focal point of your home. It’s where all the action is and where everyone spends most of their time. I’ve been to enough dinner parties to know that eventually everyone gravitates to the kitchen. A simple update is sometimes all it takes to rejuvenate the “heart” of your home. Plenty of counter and cabinet space is a must, and granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, and open concept plans are very popular. A well done kitchen will give you close to a 100% return on your investment.


Updating or adding bathrooms, especially master baths, will add considerable value to your house. There is no better way to relax after a hard day at work or a stressful day with the kids than soaking in your oversized bath w/ ambient lighting and a glass of wine. A master suite with his and her sinks, spacious showers and plenty of room to move around in are what appeals to home owners. Added amenities such as heated floors, steam showers and whirlpool tubs will serve you well, and ample storage is a must. Traditional ceramic tile floors are preferred because they handle water better. If you want to go green, low-flow toilets and skylights are good choices. Keep your design in the same period as the rest of your house. You can still have modern amenities while retaining a classic look, and don’t be shy when it comes to spending — the average bathroom remodel can get you back the majority of your investment.

Remodeling Your Basement:

If you have an unfinished or out of date basement, you can add incredible value to your home! Basements can easily be transformed into recreation rooms, bar rooms, media rooms or “man caves,” not to mention extra bedrooms or rental units. If there’s a separate entrance, rental suites are very popular because they help you pay off the mortgage faster and are very appealing to your future home buyers. But don’t just rush downstairs and start hammering away. It’s important to make sure your lower-level remodel includes a bathroom, as the presence of a bathroom can dramatically increase its value. Also, try to avoid adding a lot of walls or hallways, which will make the area feel smaller and darker — basements already tend to feel that way. Installing a gas fireplace and ample lighting  are useful ways to make the area feel brighter and cozier. And don’t forget to add storage space. You can never have too much of that!


Many people don’t give much thought to their landscaping, but a good design with functionality can add significant value to your home. sometimes as much as a new kitchen or bath. Perhaps creating a more formal look will better match your home’s style (think geometrical shapes and straight lines), or, if your lot backs up to alot of trees, a woodland look full of natural paths, beautiful stone and native plants looks amazing. Keep in mind, too, that landscaping is more than greenery — it includes lighting, fences, rock features, paths, ponds and more. So even if your current trees and plants are attractively laid out, they may still be greatly enhanced by, say, a curving pathway, bench and a few well-placed lights. Landscaping is especially important (and more valuable to your bottom line) in temperate climates, where your plantings are visible year-round and you’re able to be outside enjoying features like ponds all 12 months of the year.

Upgrade Interior Finishings:

Replacing smaller trims and older crown mouldings can really bring out the elegance in your home. Consider replacing your old fireplace with an ornate mantle that will surely impress home-owners and wainscoting in craftsman styled homes looks amazing.


Painting is one of the least expensive ways to freshen and improve your home’s visual appeal and value. Not only your interior walls, of course, but also the exterior: the siding, trim and associated elements like decks and sheds. Don’t forget to consider interior features as well. A coat of paint can do wonders to brighten up dingy cupboards, dark rooms and old paneling. In the past, neutral colors were seen as the best way to create a fresh, bright, versatile look. But today, people love mane color, so don’t be afraid to consider a wide range of hues. Just stay away from super-bright colors, such as hot pink or neon yellow. Painting is such an affordable home improvement that you can probably manage to spend a little on an interior designer who can help select colors, and patterns.

Add A Deck:

Nailing on a deck is truly a bargain. According to Remodeling Magazine’s “Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report for 2007,” more than 85 percent of your wooden deck’s cost can be recouped if you sell your home, compared with 78 percent of a bathroom remodel and 68 percent of a family room addition. Modern design concepts for decks have truly come a long way and today’s homeowners crave outdoor living space, and are looking for something very special for their backyard oasis. So if you’re going to add a deck, take some time to come up with an interesting shape, and consider adding enhancements such as a gas fire pit, BBQ / lounge areas, and benches or raised garden beds. Using higher-grade materials for the flooring and railings not only further enhances this addition, but can make it easier to maintain as well.