Paul R. Andrews' Blog
If houses with unique architecture are at the top of your wish list while house hunting consider planning to renovate an attic space into an additional room. An attic room is truly one of a kind and will have all of your family and friends wanting to move in too. You’ll also maximize the space in your home and even increase the value of your home.
The first, and most important, step you’ll want to take is to ensure that you can legally renovate your attic. Do some research on your local building codes and contact an inspector for a professional opinion. It’s important to make sure your home has the right support in place to support the added weight your renovations will add to its structure. I can’t stress how critical this step is for both your family’s safety as well as your home’s value.
Okay, so you’re armed with building code knowledge and approval from an inspector. Now you just need a vision to start your planning. Part of what makes having usable attic space so appealing is its unexpectedness as well as the cozy atmosphere that can be created from its nooks and crannies.
A bedroom, either for yourself, a family member or guests, might be where your mind first turns to. Can’t you just imagine waking up each morning to a magazine spread worthy room? You could also create a room dedicated to entertainment. Think a playroom, reading nook, home theater or game room. You could even simply design a better storage solution.
When dreaming up your new room plan to make the most of it’s one of a kind structure. Add dormers for both natural lighting and cozy nooks to tuck a chair or desk under. Create recessed storage in knee walls by adding cubbies and drawers. You may even want to design a seating solution that doubles as storage.
Another important task for your attic renovation is to ensure your attic has the proper insulation in place before becoming an inhabitable room. Attics are prone to both extreme heat and cold depending on where you live. Insulation not only helps maintain climate control but when added in the flooring it can help to reduce noise impact on the rooms below. Adding temperature controls to the room allows you to further maintain your ideal temp at all times.
Attic spaces create a fun and uniquely structured room but can easily appear to be too small and dark. Create the illusion of more space and light by choosing paint colors such as creams, beiges, and shades of white. Opt for wall sconces, table lamps, and floor lamps when overhead lighting isn’t an option. If your attic doesn’t naturally have much natural lighting consider adding dormers for more windows and space or a few skylights.
For that classic attic room coziness look to beadboard or wood paneling to add along the ceiling. Additionally, when painted white both add a more clean, modern feel to a room. Decor with natural textures such as straw baskets, leather details, and woven textiles bring in a cozy warmth. However, attics tend to be small spaces so be mindful of decor and give each piece a purpose to add a personal touch without overcrowding.
Whether you bought a new home with plans to renovate or have room in your budget for something more than a quick weekend project turning your home’s attic into an additional room maximizes space and adds a unique touch. You’ll increase your home’s value and have all of your friends and family excited to visit to check out your latest addition. And while it’s not a quick weekend project you’ll have plenty of time to kick back and relax in your new room when all the hard work is done.
While your real estate agent will often be the best source of information and advice when it comes to home staging, here are a few crucial basics that many homeowners overlook:
- Curb appeal: Sometimes first impressions can be the strongest and most indelible memory in the minds of potential buyers. If your front lawn needs mowing and your hedges are looking shabby, it definitely sends the wrong message to would-be buyers. Conversely, if you have a manicured lawn and impeccable landscaping, it speaks volumes about the pride of ownership and quality of care that the current owner (you) has given to the property. One important thing that a lot of homeowners forget about curb appeal is the "drive by factor." Many house hunters will screen properties that potentially interest them by driving by and getting a quick, general idea of how it looks. This process of evaluation (and elimination) is often done on a pass/fail basis. In other words, if the appearance of your property creates an unfavorable impression, they will cross your house off their list and move on to the next one.
- Clutter is always a turnoff. Many homeowners equate "clutter" with too much furniture in a room. While crowded, cramped living spaces do comprise a big part of the problem, there is much more to it than that. Other symptoms of a cluttered home are tables and counter-tops that have little or no empty space. The same can be said of walls that are too "busy" with framed photos, paintings, clocks, nick-knacks, and miscellaneous memorabilia. Very often understatement and simplicity create a better impression than visual clutter and excessive "busyness". One aspect of your home's appearance that is especially worth mentioning are your closets. While some people might say that closets are "out of sight and out of mind," unfortunately, that principle does not apply when your home is on the market. Since the type and amount of storage space available is a high priority item for many potential buyers, they are almost invariable going to open and look in every closet and storage space in your house. If those areas are crammed with clutter of every description, then that is going to leave prospects with a bad feeling about the cleanliness and the amount of care the house has received. If you're getting ready to sell your house, it's definitely time to de-clutter those closets and other storage areas. (Hopefully, people will be a little more forgiving about the appearance of your basement and attic, since you may be in the process of packing up to move!)
If you intend to buy a house, you probably will check out a lot of home listings over the next few days and weeks. However, it is important to note that not all home listings are created equal, and how you analyze home listings may dictate your homebuying success.
Ultimately, there are several factors that homebuyers need to consider as they assess home listings, and these factors include:
The price of a home is one of the key factors – if not the most important factor – that a homebuyer needs to consider in a home listing. Because if you ignore a home's price, you risk wasting precious time and resources as you pursue a home that falls outside your price range.
When it comes to buying a home, it pays to develop a budget ahead of time. That way, you'll know how much you can spend on a residence and can tailor your home search to fit your budget.
You may want to get pre-approved for a mortgage prior to looking at home listings as well. By doing so, you can enter the housing market with a budget in hand and explore available residences that won't force you to spend beyond your means.
Are you looking for a fixer-upper or a brand-new residence? Take a look at a home's condition, and you can determine whether a particular residence is right for you.
Oftentimes, a decades-old residence may require myriad upgrades. This means you may need to allocate significant time and resources to enhance the condition of an old house after you finalize your home purchase.
On the other hand, it is essential to remember that a new house may prove to be more expensive than an old residence. And if you're on the lookout for a bargain, you may want to shy away from listings for brand-new houses.
Creating a list of must-have home features is ideal, as this will enable you to narrow your search for your dream residence.
For instance, if you want a home that has a big swimming pool, you can browse home listings accordingly. Or, if you would like to buy a house that is located near some of the nation's best schools, you can focus on home listings in cities and towns that feature top-rated schools.
If you want to streamline your home search, it usually helps to look beyond home listings. Fortunately, real estate agents are available to help you accelerate your search for the perfect residence.
A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market. He or she will learn about your homebuying goals and provide you with the latest home listings. Then, a real estate agent will work with you to simplify your home search and ensure that you can discover a terrific residence at an unbeatable price.
Take the guesswork out of reviewing home listings – use the aforementioned tips, and you can quickly evaluate a wide range of home listings and find your dream house.
Whether you're staging your home to sell it faster or preparing for a big family gathering, there are a lot of easy, inexpensive things you can do to accentuate the positive and downplay the negative.
While one or two small touches may not guarantee making a great impression, a handful of upgrades and improvements should tip the scales in your direction. Here are a few ideas and possibilities:
- Clean carpets: If you have pets, children, or teenagers in the house, there's a good chance your carpets have some ugly stains on them. Fortunately, there are relatively easy solutions ranging from hiring a professional carpet cleaning service to renting a steam cleaner machine from your local hardware store or supermarket. In some cases, you may need to pretreat the stains with a cleaning spray. Keep in mind, however, that pre-treating carpet stains can be risky. First of all, there's the potential for certain cleaning solutions to permanently fade the color of your carpet. Secondly, some cleaning chemicals are toxic, so it's important to read the label and use them with caution. Fortunately, more and more professional carpet cleaning services are using non-toxic, "green" cleaning products, so look for companies that are environmentally friendly in their practices. Depending on the extent of your carpet stains, a good vacuuming and thorough steam cleaning, alone, might produce the desired results.
- Upgrade door knobs: You probably never paid attention to the quality of your door hardware, but it's not uncommon for homeowners to have very plain-looking doorknobs throughout their house. Visitors will probably notice them, at least on a subtle level, if the knobs are either exceptionally cheap or -- on the other hand -- very stylish and distinctive. Granted, replacing a bunch of ordinary doorknobs with $40 antique-style or crystal glass hardware could get rather pricey! A more economical alternative would be to get moderately priced doorknobs that would achieve the desired result without costing hundreds of dollars. If you're going to continue living in your home and are looking for ways to add extra style and quality to your decor, then doing an extensive doorknob upgrade is an option to consider. On the other hand, if you're staging your home for sale, then a more conservative approach might be appropriate.
- Replace light switch covers and outlet plates: Many homes seem to have run-of-the mill, plastic light switch covers, which serve the purpose, but don't enhance the decor at all. While it may be another subtle aspect of your overall decorating scheme, it's one of the many features people may notice. Metallic or artistic-looking switch covers make a much more positive statement about your attention to detail and quality.
- Remove smudges from windows and mirrors: Crystal clear windows and mirrors help bring out the best in your home. It's one of those small touches that can make a big difference in the impression you make on family, friends, and -- if your house is on the market -- potential buyers.