Where do I start in my home upgrade plan?


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What do you do when your home improvement lists is larger than your budget? Start prioritizing and spend money where the payback is best.

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  • It was a great idea to add this type of presentation to your overall work and I think it helps any potential customers prepare themselves for any time of renovation and remodeling. I wanted to add that a lot of people don't put aside money for any potential problems, or shifting in their home decades after it has been built. Even adding more structural integrity to the foundation would be a great start, and a lasting remodel ROI.
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Where do I start in my home upgrade plan?

  1. 1. Face it: It’s just not possible to upgrade everything in your home at once. Chances are, you don’t have the budget (who does?), the patience or the time. So pick one thing at a time and upgrade steadily. Here’s how.
  2. 2.  Make a list of all the things you currently want to upgrade, and anything that you think will need an upgrade in the next few years. Start out by performing triage -- order them in terms of what most needs upgrading, with the neediest item going at the top of the list.Then rearrange your list in terms of what you use most and what you actually want to replace -- there’s no use putting a new vacuum at the top of the list if you know it’ll never come out of the closet.Also, if you have a few items listed in the same room, put the most focal one at the top of the list -- that way, you won’t be later stuck decorating an entire room around, say, a toaster.
  3. 3.  Set aside money each month in your “upgrade account.” Once you’ve got enough saved to make the purchase, go ahead!Then start your account over for the next item on the upgrade list.
  4. 4.  When you upgrade your couch, don’t just think about your couch. Remember, it’s the same couch you’ll have when you eventually upgrade your carpet, chairs,TV and everything else in the living room that you plan to, so make sure it’s something you can live with for a long time and something that you’ll want to decorate around in the future. Even if it’s something that lives independently -- say, a car -- think about what you’ll use it for three or five years down the road. Do you want it to be kid-friendly?You get the idea
  5. 5.  Have you ever noticed everyone gravitates toward the kitchen during a dinner party? It's known as the heart of the house for a good reason.The draw of your kitchen to party-goers has the same value to potential buyers, so a kitchen remodel is one of the best ways to add value to your house.An updated kitchen appeals to a buyer's emotions and a homeowner's wallet because, if done correctly, it can give you close to a 100 percent return on your investment. Plenty of counter and cabinet space is a must, and granite countertops are popular with buyers. Stainless-steel appliances are also a hot ticket, but the most important thing is to make sure your appliances all coordinate. A window over the kitchen sink is a great place to daydream away your dishpan hands. Island counters are wonderful additions if your kitchen has the space. They not only provide additional counter space, but can also be used for homework, grabbing a quick bite or a place for guests to hang out while you cook.You can even add features like a prep sink or extra burners that will make your kitchen a chef's dream.
  6. 6.  If you've ever lived in a house that doesn't have enough bathrooms, then you know firsthand how valuable these rooms are to potential buyers. Updating or adding bathrooms, especially master baths, will add considerable value to your house. A master suite with his and her sinks, spacious showers and plenty of square footage are what buyers are looking for.Added amenities such as heated floors, steam showers and whirlpool tubs will serve you well, and ample storage is a must. Traditional ceramic tile floors are preferred over wood flooring or linoleum because they handle water better. Half-baths can be created out of small closets or under eaves. If you want to go green, low-flow toilets and skylights are good choices. Keep your design in the same period as the rest of your house.You can still have modern amenities while retaining a classic look. Bungalows command subway tile and pedestal sinks, while a modern bathroom may contain more wood and neutral-colored tile. Don't be shy when it comes to spending -- the average bathroom remodel can get you back the majority of your investment.
  7. 7.  Why add a room to your home if you've already got an empty basement downstairs? Basements can easily be transformed into recreation rooms, bar rooms, media rooms or "man caves," not to mention extra bedrooms or rental units, if there's a separate entrance -- and they bring in more money when you eventually sell. But don't just rush downstairs and start hammering away. It's important to make sure your lower-level remodel includes a bathroom, as the presence of a bathroom can dramatically increase its value. Also, try to avoid adding a lot of walls or hallways, which will make the area feel smaller and darker -- basements already tend to feel that way. Installing a gas fireplace is another way to make the area feel brighter and cozier. And don't forget to add storage space.You can never have too much of that!
  8. 8.  Many homeowners don't give much thought to their landscaping, but a good design can add significantly to your home's value -- sometimes as much as a new kitchen or bath. Have a landscape architect out to your house to assess what you've got and offer suggestions. Perhaps creating a more formal look will better match your home's style (think geometrical shapes and straight lines), or, if your lot backs up to lots of trees, a woodland look full of natural paths, native plants and lots of groundcover.There's often no fee for an architect's design if you buy at least a few items, which is well worth it. Keep in mind, too, that landscaping is more than greenery -- it includes lighting, fences, rock features, paths, ponds and more. So even if your current trees and plants are attractively laid out, they may still be greatly enhanced by, say, a curving pathway, bench and a few well-placed lights. Landscaping is especially important (and more valuable to your bottom line) in temperate climates, where your plantings are visible year-round and you're able to be outside enjoying features like ponds all 12 months of the year.
  9. 9.  Painting is one of the least expensive ways to freshen and improve your home's look, and consequently its value. And we're talking everywhere -- your home's interior walls, of course, but also the exterior: the siding, trim and associated elements like decks and sheds. Don't forget to consider interior features as well. A coat of paint can do wonders to brighten up dingy cupboards, for example, or old paneling. In the past, neutral colors were seen as the best way to create a fresh, bright, versatile look. But today, people crave color, so don't be afraid to consider a wide range of hues. Just stay away from super-bright colors, such as hot pink or neon yellow. Don't really have an eye for color? Not a neat painter?Then hire a professional. Painting is such an affordable home enhancement that you can probably manage to spend a little on an interior designer who can help select colors, and a professional painter to do the dirty work.
  10. 10.  Many homeowners are creating outdoor living spaces ranging from a nice sized stamped patio to enjoy time with friends and family to designing areas to prepare food for cooking and the appliances to cook on, bake a pizza in a fired-pizza oven, to sitting at a bar enjoying refreshments. The designing and planning for this is not easy for first timers. If you would like to explore an outdoor living space please see contact information on the next slide.
  11. 11.  http://www.northernconcreteinc.com/design_center This will provide us the information for you to set up a visit to our design center.  Call 920-863-3043  FaceBook - https://www.facebook.com/NorthernConcreteConstruction  Pinterest - http://pinterest.com/concretewisc/  Twitter - @concretewisc