Even though we are in the midst of a financial downturn and a government shutdown there are still many ways to finance and keep your house looking nice. Here are some of the very best home remodeling ideas that Buck can come up with, and even if these are a little out of your price range, they still allow for inspiration.
Bigger Kitchen Without Adding On
Category: Kitchen remodel more than $100,000
Got a smallish kitchen in an older house? That doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it. Architect Kent Lineberger unstuck the kitchen in this 1917 house by borrowing adjacent space — in this case, removing walls to convert a pantry and hallway into more kitchen and open space to breathe.
Takeaways: Even if you can’t expand from a claustrophobic 115 sq. ft. to spirit-freeing 275 sq. ft. like this kitchen did, you can ramp up practicality and gain breathing room with these smart touches:
- Extra-tall upper cabinets take advantage of unused space, especially in older houses that have tall ceilings.
- Widening passageways to the kitchen is a breath of fresh air for the whole house.
- Painted wood cabinetry keeps the space bright and is both modern and traditional — the definition of popular transitional style that’s exceptionally marketable.
- A single window above the sink replaced with a trio of double-hungs adds lots of light to a kitchen that now breathes instead of wheezes.
Garage: From Flawed to Fantastic
Category: Residential exterior more than $200,000
A quote that well summarizes this project is “Half of construction is knowing what to do, and the other half is knowing how to fix the screw-ups.”
In the case of this 26-year-old garage-carriage house, basic design flaws conspired to rot out siding. What happened? Too-short eaves let rainwater splash around the foundation, eventually causing the decay.
Takeaways: Short eaves are common in the northeast, especially for modern and Colonial-style houses. Make sure rain and splashing isn’t infecting your siding with moisture.
- Keep gutters and downspouts in good repair.
- After a rain, check your siding — splash problems usually show up as sprays of dirt. A shallow trench filled with pea gravel can help reduce splashing.
- If you’re thinking of replacing old siding, consider rot-proof fiber-cement and vinyl siding.
Secret Storage Space
Category: Craftsmanship/detail less than $25,000
We like well-crafted details almost as much as we like trick storage. This project has plenty of both. Challenged to fit an au currant recycling center into the existing footprint of an historic 17th-century Colonial house in Massachusetts, builder Halsey Platt designed a built-in period hutch.
Takeaways: That space underneath a stairway is a storage bonanza waiting to happen.
The Indoor/Outdoor Connection
Category: Addition $100,000-$250,000
This nicely detailed sunroom addition in Nashville blurs the connection between indoors and out. Designed by Scott Wilson Architect, the traditionally styled, 602-sq.-ft. sunroom puts the homeowners right in the midst of their wooded backyard and opens up the interior of the house to lots of natural light.
Takeaways: Matching windows to your climate reduces temperature fluctuations so you’re not having to adjust the thermostat all day to fine tune the degree setting. Plus, you’ll save on your energy bills.
For example, south- and west-facing windows in hot climates, such as the southwest, should have a low solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) to reduce the amount of heat-producing sunlight that falls inside your house.
The big windows you see here are insulated with argon gas and low-E coatings to reduce heat transfer.
Also: Matching patio pavers to the style of your house creates continuity that boosts overall appearance and helps preserves value. Brick and manufactured pavers are traditional; natural stone is more country casual.