Posted by John on February 20th, 2014
As promised, I’m back with another post on adding value to our home. If you’re new to our site, here’s what we’ve covered so far in this short series. Oh and definitely check out our new “Start Here” page.
1. How I Doubled my First Home’s Value (Free Newsletter Subscribers Only)
Today I’m going to share with you 6 Ways I’m Planning on Adding MORE Value to my Current Home. Before I get started, I want to stress that if you’re a DIYer, all of these upgrades are achievable with a little know-how and a LOT of hard work. You can be sure we’ll be sharing with you all of our experiences with these projects as we go along. Our blog’s motto is just like voting… visit early and visit often.
Let’s get started.
1. Killer Spaces. When you walk into our home for the first time, I want you to be impressed. Not just, “Hey, nice house,” but “Holy crap, this place is AWESOME.” Actually, I want people to say that in EVERY room in our house. How am I going to achieve that? By adding custom touches through trim, paint and other woodwork. Basically, what we did in our dining room with the wainscoting is what we’d like to do in every space. That doesn’t mean I need to spend months of work or thousands of dollars all over the house, but it means I need to put some level of thought and effort into these spaces.
2. Finished Basement. Right now our basement is unfinished. It’s where I do most of my carpentry and cabinet building. There’s a lot of construction material down there and all of my power tools. My neighbor summed it up nicely during one recent visit when he said “Oh, so it’s pretty much Home Depot down here.” Consequently, Lisa has prohibited me from sharing any photos of it in its current state. I’m thinking we add a bathroom and a bedroom down there as well as a pantry, a sweet common area with a bar and a pool table. Unfortunately, this is going to be expensive, but I can make this addition much more affordable by doing it in stages. I can frame it out and then a few months later I can do the electrical. Maybe a few months later, do the plumbing. You get the idea.
3. Deck AND Patio. Double trouble. Our house doesn’t have anything in the back, other than our shed. Now it’s a really nice shed, but I can’t exactly relax in it with a drink on summer evenings. So, what to do? I’m personally a fan of patios and they seem to add more value than a comparably built deck, but they are mad expensive. Moreover, I can build my own deck, but I’ll probably die of extreme exhaustion if I attempt a large patio build. What makes our property especially patio-unfriendly is the drop off. The back door has a good four foot drop and then the yard slopes away from the house with about a 6-inch drop for every foot of run. It eventually levels out, but it’s probably 20 feet out before it does that. So in order for me to add a patio, I’d have to level out that land or bring in a ton of dirt and stone and bring the dirt up to the door. Either way, it would easily be a $20k to $30k job if I paid someone to do it and I just don’t think it would be worth me attempting it. SO. We’re probably going to build a nice, large, high-end deck ourselves. THEN, we’ll add a small stone patio (i.e., small enough for me to build) further out in the yard where we can sit around a nice fire.
4. More Hardwood. In our last post, our biggest value adder to date has been our new hardwood floors in our living room, office and family room. I’d LOVE to replace our builder grade carpeting in our upstairs bedrooms with the same hardwood. I may have to win the lottery first, but it’s definitely a goal I’d like to achieve. Honestly, this job intimidates me more than any project I’ve worked on to date. It took me two full days each time I installed hardwood floors in those other rooms. So if I repeat that in my upstairs, I’m looking at like ten days of pure laborious hell. Plus, I’d be moving furniture out of some rooms then moving them back. Ugh. I may opt to pay someone to do it. TBD.
5. Luxury Master Bath. Our master bathroom is nice. It’s big, it’s got a nicer soaker tub and if we decided to move tomorrow, I’d be happy to show it to a prospective buyer. BUT, it’s super plain and could use some luxury elements to lift its value. I’d like to resurface the whole space. New tile, new claw foot tub, larger shower with overhead shower heads. Again, by doing all the work myself, I’m only looking at material costs. It’s lower down on our totem pole of projects compared to the deck and the basement, but it’d be nice to get done.
6. More Landscaping. More bushes, shrubs, flowers, trees, plants, etc. Outdoor work is HARD. REALLY hard. I absolutely hate doing it, but it makes such a big impact, that it’s worth the effort. We’d really like to add some ‘islands’ of interest in our yard with some more plants. Throw in some landscape lighting that up-lights those areas and we’ve immediately given our outdoors a boost. I’ll give you a good two weeks notice before I start, that way you can buy stock in Advil. I’m going to need a lot of it.
So that list is exhausting. I’m glad I enjoy working on my home, or else this list would read like a prison sentence. Honestly though, I’m literally looking at 5-10 years of hard labor in this list alone. :)
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I would love to hear from you now. How are YOU planning on adding value to your home in the years ahead??