Home improvements worth the investment

In today’s economy, many homeowners are choosing to stay put, making the most of their current home, instead of looking for a new one. It’s possible to make smart remodeling choices that will add beauty and functionality to your living space, while maximizing your return-on-investment. This makes sense should you decide to sell sometime in the future. The question is: where do you put your dollars? Here are some projects that are guaranteed to pay off. Kitchens The kitchen is the new hub of the home, so this is the first room to consider for remodeling projects. Kitchen remodels almost always recoup the cost of renovations. You don’t even need to do a total gut. If you like the layout, you can upgrade your current cabinets with new doors and hardware. Because of its convenience and ease of use, a pullout kitchen faucet is at the top of the list for kitchen remodels. Also consider new appliances and countertops. Obviously new paint is a must, and you can consider new flooring. There are numerous choices for the floor: ceramic tile, wood, bamboo or cork. Bathrooms Adding a bathroom can also significantly increase the value of your home. So does upgrading an existing one. Nothing dates a home as much as a worn out bathroom. If the cabinets are good, then add a granite countertop and sinks. If the cabinets are outdated, replace them. There are numerous styles to choose from. If you only use the bathtub for showers, consider taking it out and replacing with a nice large shower. Adding new light fixtures, faucets, showerheads, ceramic tile or marble, as well as a fresh coat of paint are just some ways to enhance a bathroom. Decks Building a deck enhances the enjoyment of your yard and lets you recoup approximately 85percent of the project costs in terms of added value. Don’t think you are stuck with the old wood deck and railing. Today’s decks come in a variety of materials and sizes and can be single-level or several stories high. Decks with retractable shades are also popular options for more sunny spaces. Painting One of the most affordable and effective improvements you can make to your home is painting both the interior and exterior. Painting the exterior not only helps maintain the beauty of the home it also helps prevent damage to the siding. Indoors, a coat of paint can add personality and style to a room, or create a clean updated look Prioritize the projects above with your home in mind. What room is most in need of an upgrade? What projects fit within your budget? By asking yourself a few basic questions and using the above improvements tips as a guide, you can enjoy your current home and enhance its value at the same time.

DAVID H. WULFF, AIA, is a retired architect living in Lake Lure

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