Aaron Wluka's Blog
If you’re planning to stay in your new home for many years, incorporating certain features into your home's design can make for a smooth transition. While you might not necessarily need these kinds of features immediately, you'll likely find they add convenience to your space. What can you do to make sure your home stays comfortable for you throughout the years? Consider the following ideas that can allow you to comfortably live in your home at any age.
Installing grab bars is a good place to start. Grab bars offer support for sitting and standing, especially in bathroom spaces. Common locations for grab bars include on the walls of shower stalls, next to toilets and along hallways. Grab bars are readily available in modern designs and finishes that can seamlessly blend with the other fixtures in your bathroom. They can do double duty holding towels or clothes as well.
Introducing light fixtures in dim areas, on stairways and layering light sources is a great way to ensure your home functions well over time. Selecting LED fixtures over conventional ones ensures you won't have to worry about replacing bulbs in high or otherwise awkward locations. Introduce task lighting in the kitchen. This will add to the overall design of your kitchen while also providing a well-lit prep area for cooking and entertaining.
Consider adding pull-out shelves or drawers to lower cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom. These allow for much easier access to stored items so you can avoid searching through dark cabinet corners for your favorite pan or baking dish. You may also consider pull-down shelving options for top cabinets that allow for easier access to items stored high out of reach.
Lever Switches and Handles
Switch out traditional light switches in favor of lever switches or dimmers. Their larger surface area makes them easier to use and adjust. Use lever-type door handles simplifies the action needed to open and close doors. Finally, consider updating cabinet door handles to D-shaped ones that are more comfortable to grab and open.
If you're getting ready to sell your home, then you might suddenly find yourself faced with deciding which home improvements are the best to tackle. Though it can seem like a hassle -- and it's going to cost you some time and money -- the reality is that even a few improvements could be beneficial. You might find that not only does your home sell more quickly than you expect but that the final sale price is above your listing price.
1. Landscape Your Yard
Your home's exterior is the first thing interested homebuyers see when they show up so make sure the yard is welcoming. In addition to keeping the grass mowed, be sure that any trees and bushes aren't overgrown. Plant some perennials if your yard needs some color or put some in a couple of pots by the front door.
2. Paint the Interior
Even though painting the interior of your home has one of the lowest costs of all home improvement projects, it also has a high rate of return. About 36 percent of homeowners decide to tackle this project. Be sure to opt for a neutral color though you might need assistance from a professional to determine what that is. It really depends on aspects like the flooring and cabinets, for example. Gray has been trending as a paint color for a number of years so it's a safe choice for interiors.
3. Replace the Flooring
More than a quarter of home sellers decided to replace the flooring before putting their home on the market. Upgrading to wood or faux woods floors throughout your home has several advantages. It creates a seamless flow from one room to the next. The right kind of wood flooring is also easier to maintain than carpeting.
If it's too costly to replace all the flooring in your home with wood, then new carpeting can still be a strong selling point. Just make sure that you choose a neutral color.
4. Update the Bathroom
Did you know that your bathroom can make your house seem outdated? Adding a few new touches such as new cabinets, countertops, fixtures and flooring can breathe fresh life into one of the important rooms of the house. Just make sure to go with a minimalist look to make the room look bigger.
Opting for any of the four home improvements noted above can really boost your return on your investment. If you aren't sure which project is the best one to tackle, ask a real estate agent. Their objective advice is grounded in the realities of what's selling in your area currently.
In the gray days of winter, everyone can benefit from some additional sunlight. Take advantage of the well-documented medical and psychological benefits of sunshine and the vitamin D it generates. Sure, you can open your windows, but then you lose that privacy. You can split the difference with a skylight or a light tube that allows light to come down from the roof of your home.
What is a Skylight?
A skylight is a window that opens up to the sky through the ceiling and roof of your home instead of out the side wall. Skylights come in a variety of styles from clear to frosted or patterned. Some even open and may include fans to help increase ventilation. Skylights must reach all the way through the roof to get access to that sunshine, so they require rooftop placement. That means single story properties can have kitchen skylights, but your two-story home limits skylights to upstairs bedrooms or an office.
Skylights can be as simple or as fancy if you like. Just want some light? Go with a simple glass pane. Want some architectural detailing? Try a domed skylight or one with built-in shades or blinds. You can even get smart skylights that respond to apps on your phone or open and close on a schedule or with the predicted weather.
How about a Light Tube?
Light tubes differ from skylights because they reflect light down through a variety of tubes using mirrors. This structure removes the "view" element entirely and opens up a variety of locations that wouldn't work for skylights. One of the best features of light tubes is that the rooftop location doesn't have to be directly above the interior position. A lot of modern light tubes come with LED lights, so they work whether or not there is sunshine. Great places for light tubes include bathrooms, closets, and basically any dark niche. Light tubes that terminate in your walls instead of the roof open up lower or middle floors as well.
Value and Energy
Properly installed skylights potentially decrease your energy costs by adding more natural light which means less electric light. However, if installed poorly, they can mess with your insulation increasing your heating and cooling costs. Always ensure you use the correct skylight for your home and weather. When you add a skylight correctly, it increases your home’s value. The best skylights protect the home’s energy efficiency and blend in well with the original design. You don’t want your skylight looking like an afterthought.
Before you add skylights or light tubes to your home, talk to your real estate agent about what the actual market value increase will be and the best skylights to use.