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Give An Older Home a Refresh with Improvements that Pay Off

If you have a kitchen remodel in mind, Grand Forest Cabinetry can help. We offer designs to fit any aesthetic and affordable options to fit any budget. Reach out today! 510-736-2211


Having an older home often means you have an abundance of character you don’t often have in new home models. It can also mean you have to make periodic repairs, upgrades, and improvements. Some things you can do yourself, if you’re handy, while other projects — particularly those dealing with expansion or electrical components — are best handled by a professional. Grand Forest Cabinetry can help you make informed decisions that work with your unique needs and your budget.


Structural Upgrades

Older homes often need structural upgrades, explains Prestige Homes, like a new roof, siding, foundation repair, or an electrical or plumbing overhaul. Unless you have formal training and experience in these areas, it’s best to hire a licensed and insured contractor to do the work on your behalf. Ask for referrals, get several written estimates, and have a solid understanding of cost and timeline for completion. This is especially important if you have to temporarily relocate for a major project.


Size and Functionality

Older homes are often smaller than their more modern counterparts, which can make for cramped living conditions, particularly in multi-generational households, or if you need a home office. Adding on to an older house can make your home more livable and can also substantially add to the property’s value. Even small changes like a bump out can make a difference, particularly if you’re hoping to add flex space or create the ideal remote work office.

Note, this is another upgrade that should be tackled by a pro, particularly because adding rooms or making other expansions will require special permits, inspections, and approvals, and may have to comply with local zoning ordinances.


Safety and Accessibility

Many older homes lack some safety and accessibility features new homes possess. This is important to address, especially if you have young or elderly residents. Some repairs can be done on your own, with a little know-how. Examples include installing handrails in stairwells, installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, adding deadbolts on doors and locks on windows, and eliminating lead paint. Adding safety gates and fencing, outdoor motion-activated security lights, and repairing broken stairs and sidewalks are all wise investments.


Energy Efficiency

According to Conserve Energy Future, making energy-conscious improvements are smart ways to help you be environmentally conscious while saving money. You can purchase and install energy-efficient appliances and smart thermostats yourself, as well as seal doors and windows and install solar shades — replacing windows, installing water-saving plumbing and fixtures, or installing solar panels are best hired out to a professional. Drought-tolerant landscaping can also reduce water consumption, and if you’ve got a green thumb, you can probably manage that on your own.


Resale Value

It’s wise to think of resale value when making upgrades — according to Classic Home Improvements, some alterations provide a better return on investment than others. For example, a kitchen remodel can be a great way to boost your ROI, and updated kitchens are a common must-have for buyers these days. An updated kitchen can take many forms too. You can go big and redo your cabinets, add granite countertops, install a new stove with a professional-quality range hood and swap light fixtures. If you want to go small, you can swap out your sink and faucet, change out cabinet hardware, go with a new paint color and add a backsplash. Really, the options are limitless. Just remember, at the end of the day, you want to make value-adds that contribute to your home’s appraised value.


Some older homes need improvements to make them safe and livable, while others add to value. Some are just nice to have to add to your family’s comfort and enjoyment. Before making any big investments or changes, do your research and get written professional estimates to ensure you’re making the best-informed decisions.

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