You’ll know it’s time to do some serious remodeling when:
… you feel you can afford to take advantage of the marketplace, which has left contractors ready to work on your home now, the products you want in stock, and the higher-end materials you dream about a bit more affordable. If granite countertops are on your wish list, for example, check out the prices now. They’re lower than ever.
…you want to change the way you use the space. Maybe you don’t have enough closets, but there’s an unused bedroom right next to the master bedroom. You could knock down the non-load-bearing wall between them and enlarge the room—plus add bountiful closet space. Or perhaps you want to replace your traditional oven with a wall-mounted double oven, and that means you need to move appliances, counters and the kitchen sink. Don’t try to force your new oven into a space that will make it inconvenient to use. …you’re thinking about selling your home in the next five years. Remodeling—especially in the kitchen—can add value to your home. With so many properties on the market, you’ll have a hard time selling yours if your kitchen and bathroom look tired and out of date. Upgrade your countertops, floor, appliances and lighting. And get rid of your popcorn ceilings.
…your appliances and fixtures are costing you more to operate than they should. If you live in a 20-year-old house with the original toilets, sinks, water heater, refrigerator and washing machine, it’s time to think about replacing them. Newer models are so much more energy efficient and use so much less water that you’ll see an almost immediate return on your investment—in the form of lower utility bills. Replace showerheads, faucets, the dishwasher—anything that uses electricity or water and is more than 15 years old. While you’re at it, trade your leaky, single-pane windows for more efficient double-pane models, and watch your air conditioning bill drop.
…your home’s finishes and surfaces are worn out, cracked or dirty beyond redemption. A 40-year-old house that still has the original shower tile is bound to be hiding some mold behind the walls. Tile that is cracked or falling off the wall could be covering damaged drywall. If your cabinet doors are scratched and dented, if the linoleum on the floor is curling at the corners—it’s time for a change.
…you’re getting older and hope to age in place. A remodeler can widen doorways so a wheelchair or walker can fit through; get rid of the curb that forces you to step up to get into the shower; and reinforce the walls in the bathroom so you can add grab bars there when you’re ready. Also, consider replacing the toilet and sink with taller versions so you don’t have to bend so far to use them, or lowering the sink if you’d like to use it while seated.
…your children have moved out and your house seems too big for just the two of you. How about converting your unused formal dining room to a first-floor bedroom so you don’t have to climb the stairs every night? Or making over one of the kids’ bedrooms to a craft room or an upstairs laundry room?
…your parents want to move in or you’re starting your family. You might want to add space by building an extra room. Remodelers are getting more requests for mother-in-law suites—additions that resemble a small apartment but are attached to the house and give the resident easy access to the main kitchen.
…you’re tired of what you have. Your home really is your castle; if you don’t love it, you won’t enjoy spending time there. If the space doesn’t function the way you would like it to; if you have too little space; if the layout isn’t appealing or if you have to struggle to use the kitchen or bathroom, add a remodeling project to your to-do list.
Need help with your remodeling project? You'll find a list of Rosie's most-trusted home-improvement companies in the award-winning Rosie on the House Referral Network