Through the years, our lives, needs, and circumstances change. And so does what we want to get out of our homes. You may have purchased your home while your children were little, or maybe before you had children. But now, the kids are grown and on their own, and your home is an empty nest. And the home you needed when they were growing up no longer fits this next season of your life.
If you’re dreaming of making changes to your kid-free home but don’t know where to start, here are 6 tips to get you on your way.
1. Set a budget. Decide what you’re willing and able to spend, remembering to include a contingency fund for all those little surprises that are bound to pop up. If a major remodel is in your future, get a few quotes from reputable contractors and make sure you’re comparing apples to apples. For example, are permits included? Do they bring in a team of electricians, tile installers, and HVAC technicians or do you have to hire your own?
2. Fix problems first. If there are underlying problems with your home, like old, drafty windows, an aging, energy-hogging heating or cooling system, or an unsafe, rotting deck, tackle them first. They may not be as fun as say getting the kitchen of your dreams, but they’ll make your home a safer, more comfortable place to live.
3. Futureproof your home. You might be able to move about your home with ease now, but what about in 15 – 20 years ? Consider projects that make your home more accessible for those of all ages. If you’re planning a bathroom renovation, consider installing a walk-in shower. Finishing the basement? Add a half bath to eliminate the need to run up and down the stairs when nature calls. And swap doorknobs for handles which are easier for arthritic hands to use.
4. Rethink your space. Whether you’re undergoing a full remodel or simply putting a now-empty bedroom to good use, don’t be afraid to rethink how you’ll use your space. Consider combining an adjoining bedroom with your master bedroom to make a luxurious en-suite. Or maybe you know longer need that mudroom with cubbies but instead could benefit from a large, main level laundry room. No matter how minor or ambitious the renovation, it’s worth rethinking the current layout of your home and how it might be improved.
5. Buy the best you can afford. When selecting new flooring, cabinets, furniture, and appliances, buy the best you can reasonably afford. This is the time to invest in quality materials that will stand the test of time, without fear of scratches from hard plastic toys and stains from sticky fingers.
6. Don’t downsize too much. Have a space where the kids can comfortably stay when they visit and remember that they may eventually be visiting with families of their own. Equip a rec room or spare bedroom with a sleeper sofa, daybed with trundle, or a murphy bed so guests have a place to crash.
If a finished attic, room addition, or a more open main floor are in your plans, will your current HVAC system will keep up? Contact Relief Heating & Cooling for workable ideas on how to maximize any space for the ultimate in indoor comfort now and for years to come.