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5 Ideas to Increase the Value of a Basement

basement_bar2

Photo courtesy Shannon Dittmann

Article Submitted by Fixr.com

The basement doesn’t just have to be a space to throw all of that extra storage. Show it as usable space, and it may even help you increase the value of the home. Basement remodels typically recoup about 70 percent of their costs at time of resale, which can add a tremendous amount of value to your home.

Making it the coolest room in the house may not be too difficult either. After all, basements tend to stay cooler during the summer months, making this an ideal place for the family to hang out when the weather heats up outside.

basement_media3

Photo courtesy Shannon Dittmann

1. Create an In-Home Theater

Basements not only are typically cooler than the rest of the home, but they’re also usually darker. For that reason, they’re an excellent place to add a theater to watch movies on those hot summer nights. Best of all, you don’t have to do a complete basement remodel, with costs around $50,000, to gain this space. A TV mount costs around $250, while built in seating costs around $840 – $1,680. (Just be sure for safety to completely waterproof the room before running wires through the basement.)

2. Make a Children’s Play Area

Basements are often neglected areas of the home, used primarily for storage and not much else. So why not turn your unused basement space into a new playroom for your kids?

Start with the staircase. Most basements have only partially finished staircases so installing a new one will help make the space more comfortable as well as safer. Next, ensure that you have egress windows installed, and that the basement is fully waterproofed. From there, you can carpet the floors to make the space more comfortable, and move your children’s toys downstairs to make more space in their rooms.

3. Create an Adult Entertainment Space

basement_bar3

Photo courtesy Shannon Dittmann

If you love to entertain, consider building a bar into your basement. Basements are already the ideal place to install a wine cellar, so why not take it a step further and put in an entertainment area and bar for parties as well? Basements that walkout onto patios can be the ideal place for summer entertaining, giving guests a way to get in out of the heat or a summer rainstorm. Consider putting in a tile floor to give the room a finished look and keep the floors easy to clean. Match the bar countertop to the color of the floors for a fresh, stylish appearance.

4. Create a Garden Utility Room

If you spend any time out in the garden, you probably know about the dirt, tools, and pots that accompany this hobby. Basements are a great place to install a utility sink and counter, and to store all of your garden paraphernalia. Installing a french drain and a hose will make cleanup a snap, while shelving placed just beneath the windows will give your plants a place to sprout before you take them outside for the summer.

basement_media2

Photo courtesy Shannon Dittmann

5. Create a New Family Room

Family rooms often get even more use than the more formal living room, so family rooms in a cooler basement can get a lot of use during the summer months. Basements finished as family rooms may be coveted by homebuyers too, giving you the maximum return on investment. This includes not only tiling or carpeting the floors, but also putting up drywall to complete the walls as well. Consider adding a suspended acoustic ceiling to help insulate the basement from the sounds above, while making the rooms more attractive at the same time.

To find out more about projects to tackle around the home, be sure to visit the Cost Guides.

Hot Home Trend to Watch: The Two-Toned Kitchen

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Two-toned colored kitchens are gaining popularity this year. White and gray painted cabinets are dominating kitchen color schemes, according to the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends survey conducted by the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Particularly gray-toned kitchen cabinets are seeing a surge in popularity lately.

 

 

 

Other colors are getting mixed in too, adding a little more pizzazz to kitchen design. For example, the surrounding kitchen cabinets may be white and then the center island may feature gray cabinets. Or, white cabinets may be on the top and then gray cabinets on the bottom.

 

 

Other materials are getting mixed in the kitchen too.  The combinations, however, are mostly muted and simple. “Clean lines with no fussy moldings or trims,” one NKBA survey respondent said. “White kitchens are never going away, but I’ve recommended mixed countertop materials, mixed cabinet colors and frequently use lots of light/dark materials for contrast.”

 

 

 

That said, for the more daring, blue or black-toned cabinets as well as high-gloss finishes are gaining popularity in kitchen designs too, according to NKBA’s survey.

 

 

 

 

That Small Backyard Can Still Be a Selling Point

By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine 

Don’t underestimate the power of a space based on its size. Sure, your listing may be size-challenged in the yard department, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be a showpiece.

“As building lots continue to be smaller and scarcer, lot preparation with the goal of maximizing livable outdoor space tops the list of property enhancement desires,” according to Kermit Baker, chief economist at the American Institute of Architects. Indeed, the desire for outdoor living space ranked tops among architects for landscaping trends in the first quarter of 2017 AIA survey. Blended indoor/outdoor living came in second.

In the latest issue of REALTOR® Magazine, we took a look at How to Make a Big Statement With a Small Yard.

There are plenty of ways you can enhance a small space and several design experts showed us how, from setting a focal point to using reflective materials, tweaking the furnishing scale, accenting with container gardens and layering the light. Read tips on each, and take a look at a few examples.

 Show off the green

Prune plants so they’re more vertical than horizontal, training them to grow up rather than out. Also, consider creating a vertical wall of planters, like containers of ornamental grasses. You can also raise plant height by several feet using retaining walls, raised beds, or extra long, slender containers.

Dennis_vertical garden

Photo courtesy: Dennis Hammett, Ebby Halliday REALTORS(R)

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Photo Credit: Photos by Linda Oyama Bryan for Mariani Landscape, Lake Bluff, Ill., a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals

Create functional, inviting spaces

Even a small backyard can show off a dining space or an area with comfy chairs around a fire pit. Show how the space can be used for entertaining.

 

NALP_dining area

Photo Credit: Photos by Linda Oyama Bryan for Mariani Landscape, Lake Bluff, Ill., a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals ]

Accentuate the far side of the yard

By getting buyers to gaze across a stretch of yard, you’ll help make the space feel larger. For example, place a bench at the far side of the landscape, surrounded by lush greenery.

Porches and Gardens perennial garden

Photo courtesy Costa Farms

View more examples.

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