In the early 2000’s the growing trend at that time was the Mcmansion. A house of ginormous size, with incredible curb appeal with a whole lot of rooms that were never used. Everyone was doing it, buying more house than they really needed or could afford, mainly because they were approved for it, but looking snazzy for having it. Then 2008 occurred, many lost their homes or were forced to downsize.
Hindsight is twenty twenty. Compared to homes built thirty years ago, the average home today is still fifteen hundred feet larger. But we had stars in ours eyes for more. The good news is, the crash has brought a sense of practicality and love to homes that I haven’t seen for over a decade. Homeowners are starting to purchase up older, smaller homes to grow into them, making remodeling a huge trend. I’ve done more remodeling jobs in the last three years than I’ve done through out the course of my career. However, remodeling isn’t all it’s cracked up to be if your ill prepared. On TV it’s as simple as thirty minutes, and you’ve got your dream kitchen. But the real truth is, remodeling is costly, takes twice as long as expected and isn’t as easy as it looks on TV.
Here’s 7 things to consider when remodeling your home:
- If possible, move out during the construction phase. It’s easy to move walls and tear things apart in your head but living with 6am crews, a torn up house that doesn’t function and a ton of dust for three months is incredibly hard and frustrating.
- Before you add on, consider renovations to the existing skeleton to the home. Reconfiguring space within the homes original foot print can save a lot of time and money, and often give you exactly what you need.
- Have a strategy. Live in your home for at least six months before any major renovations, unless its a complete gut job. Think about how you use your home, your lifestyle and determine what areas are under used. Those are spaces that can often add immediate value to how you live in the space. For example an underused dining room can become converted into a spacious new larger kitchen.
- If an addition is necessary, make sure your existing spaces are getting used. Often homeowners just add on thinking they need to gain more square footage, but you essentially end up with two different homes. The original, low functioning house and then the new over used addition. Doing this cuts the house in two, and creates wasted space and wasted square footage.
- Always consider the style, scale, and circulation of the original house. If an addition is necessary it’s important to maintain the flow so it doesn’t feel like an addition.
- The best way to really add value to an existing space or an addition is to add a lot of windows and french doors. People love the outdoors. A light, bright room always feels fresh and inviting.
- When remodeling, take it back to basics. Don’t get caught up in the trends. Simplify, consider how you truly live and choose what works best for you and your family. Keeping it simple, keeps it classic and classic details will stand the test of time.
I’m working with a couple now who’s going through this very thing. Rather than moving out they are trying to take a lot of vacations. Their home is torn up, workers are everywhere, but rather than add-on, we are trading up on their existing spaces to make them better for they lifestyle. Doing this is less expensive and we are able to give them high-end upgrades like built-ins, larger trim, new granite counters, and other finishes to take it all up a notch.