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Top Home Renovation Ideas

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In spring and summer, coming up with the best home renovation ideas is a topic of many homeowners. Whether you've just bought your home and you'd like to upgrade or are planning on staying in your house rather than selling, read on for some renovation inspiration. Let's go over popular options and unique ideas, from affordable interior and exterior upgrades to full additions.

Home Extensions & Additions

Rather than a whole house remodel, you can make a significant change and spend less money with an addition. Even adding an extension of a few hundred square feet (sometimes called a bump-out) can add the needed space to a tiny room.

One of the first things to consider if your home's design is dated is to open your floorplan. You'll need to talk to a knowledgeable contractor to see which walls aren't load-bearing and can be removed.

  • Opening the main floor and adding a kitchen-living room addition is one of the best ways to increase the equity in your home. Take advantage of natural light with large energy-efficient windows.
  • Great room additions can bring the family together for movie and game time and add more room for entertaining. If the room is on an outside first-floor wall, add a large slider that opens into a patio for easy entertaining and fun barbeques.
  • Basement renovations are trendy in states like Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota. Turn a dark and neglected space into a home office, media room, second living room, guest room, or mother-in-law suite. The options are endless.
  • Kitchen and bath remodeling are the top two projects that can enhance your home and increase its resale value. In the kitchen, opt for new flooring, cabinets, countertops, and appliances. Create an oasis in the bath with a large sunken tub and a separate large shower.
  • Building an extension on the house can give you the needed space if your home is cramped. Reconfigure your current space and add more room. Consider a second story or add a larger living space that opens into an outdoor entertainment area.

Affordable Interior Upgrades

If you'd like to spend less money and keep your budget around $10,000, there's still a lot you can do. Here are our top ideas:

  • Kitchen Upgrade: New paint does wonders, and so does replacing the countertops. If your cabinets have seen better days, consider having them repainted. Make sure you get a painting contractor that specializes in cabinets and uses special hard-drying cabinet paint.
  • Bathroom Facelift: Paint the bathroom walls, update the lighting, replace the vanity, and upgrade the tub to a large soaking tub. Add some custom tiling to tie everything together.
  • Garage Renovation: A garage upgrade can make any homeowner smile. Have cabinets installed and a nice long workbench. Get the floor painted in heavy-duty epoxy paint. Add storage shelves to utilize the space. And if needed, replace your garage door.
  • Patio Conversion: If you live in the southern states, this is a popular project for the back porch or patio. Enclose the area, add insulation along with heating and air, and you've just added more usable space. Take advantage of the natural lighting and add energy-efficient windows. You can use this area as a home office, exercise room, media room, or breakfast nook.

Exterior Home Renovation Ideas

Whether you're doing an entire outside makeover or just painting the exterior, taking care of your home protects it from the elements, dry rot, and pests. When you're in the initial planning stages, consider what projects go well together. For example, if you're getting a new roof and painting, consider having the roof and new gutters done first. Then once that's complete, have the painting done to add the finishing touches.  

Home Exterior Makeover — Modern Updates

  • Remodeling the front of your house can change it from a dated eyesore to the envy of the neighborhood. New siding, windows, and an updated porch can completely transform your home. Plus, energy-efficient siding and windows will help keep your utility costs down.
  • Adding a new roof can upgrade the look of your home and increase its value. Some of the new roofing trends are solar roofing panels, metal roofing, and energy-efficient cool roofs with reflective coatings to deflect the UV rays. Varied tile colors are popular as well as lighter colors for roof tiles and shingles.
  • Painting the exterior can make a tired old home appear new. A good coat of paint can protect the exterior from the elements. And updated colors can modernize the look. Consider a satin sheen for the body — it's easier to keep clean and doesn't show dirt as much as a flat sheen.

Backyard Renovations

There's nothing that brings a family closer together and makes entertaining easier than backyard renovations. Here are the most popular backyard additions and updates:

  • Add a built-in swimming pool. Landscape your yard to highlight your new addition. And if you have enough room, add a pool house.
  • Patio renovations can range from smaller projects like adding a patio shade structure to creating an outdoor kitchen with all the conveniences of your central kitchen plus a bar and wide-screen TV.
  • Deck remodels range from small projects to entire backyard transformations. Most homeowners still prefer solid wood like cedar or redwood. Add some shade with a pergola. Your new decking can connect to the rest of your yard with natural stone tiles, stepping-stones, and planters.

Best Home Renovation Loans

The best way to start planning is with a home renovation budget. Decide how much you're willing to spend and go from there. That way, you're not borrowing more than you should. Plus, thoughtful planning includes making sure you don't overbuild for the neighborhood. For example, it might not make financial sense to add a second story when your entire neighborhood has single-story homes and is priced accordingly. In that scenario, you'd have a hard time getting your investment back.

If you're wondering how to finance your home renovation, it's smart to shop your options just like with any loan. With a smaller renovation project, a credit card may be your best choice. If your current interest rate is low, consider a home equity loan. If interest rates are lower than what you already have, take a look at cash-out refinances.

From interior to exterior, home renovations are fun to plan and do. They can make your home more comfortable and increase the value of your investment. Have fun planning and enjoy your upgrades!

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