If you’re planning on putting your home on the market soon and want to increase its value, the key is to pick home improvement, remodeling projects that give you the best return on investment. As a rule, aim for projects that earn back at least 90 percent of your investment but preferably 100 percent or more. These are some of the top recommendations for the best ROI.
Along with bathrooms, kitchens are the most expensive rooms from a structural perspective. When inspectors come to assess your home’s value, they can tell when money is invested and when cheap fixes are used. For the fairest ROI, don’t spend more than 10 percent of your home’s value on a kitchen remodeling project.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is investing in high-end designer wood cabinets. Tearing out and hanging new cabinets is a costly home improvement project. If your cabinets aren’t severely warped or damaged, you can refinish them and install new hardware. Granite countertops add value to a home. Appliances are also important. Ask a real estate agent about which appliances are better for your area. Some brands may raise a value more than others in a certain area. Some less expensive additions that add value are under-cabinet lights and pull-out pantries. Installing recessed lighting is also a good inexpensive way to add value.
When you live in a popular area, like Washington, D.C., a smartly planned bathroom renovation can earn back more than 100 percent of your investment. In today’s fast-paced world, fewer people have time to take baths. Install a glass walk-in shower instead of a prefabricated standard combination unit. Low-flush toilets are also a smart purchase.
Adding a second bathroom may be wise in some cases. If your home has more than two bedrooms and only one bathroom, opt to add an efficient second bathroom instead of renovating the current one. In some cases, it can increase the home’s overall value by five percent or more, which is a better average value than creating an additional bedroom.
Add A Bedroom
In a hot housing market, you may be able to top your investment by adding a bedroom. There are several ways to do this. You can make an attic bedroom or loft. Or, you can put a bedroom in your basement. If your basement and attic need a considerable amount of expensive work such as HVAC and wiring, an addition may only be a cost burden. However, you can turn a finished den or office into a bedroom. The presence of a closet is what distinguishes a regular room from a bedroom. Explore cost-saving options for adding a closet. Bedrooms add more resale value than all-purpose rooms without closets.
Install New Flooring
Although floors collect dirt and germs, they shouldn’t look dingy. If you have old carpeting, cracked tiles, or discolored and warped laminate flooring, upgrading your floor is an excellent investment when it’s time to sell. Hardwood flooring offers the biggest payoff. Check to see if there is existing hardwood flooring exposed or hiding under old carpeting, and consider having the wood refinished and adding a dustless finish to entice more buyers. Stone floors also add value to your home and are a coveted feature among many buyers. If you have a large budget, some exotic flooring options add a considerable amount of value as well.
When you have other areas of the home that need attention and you can’t afford a high-end stone or hardwood floor, consider ceramic tile or engineered hardwood. Both home improvement options are more affordable and add value.
Prioritize Home Improvement
While adding a bathroom or converting a den to a bedroom may be the best investments for some people, others would be better off avoiding such projects to address more serious issues. For buyers and inspectors, updated plumbing, roofing, heating, cooling and wiring are more important than an extra bedroom or a bathroom with a glass shower. If the roof needs to be replaced, make that a priority. Fix any serious problems or structural issues that are lowering your home’s value before you start thinking about remodeling the interior.
The best way to approach a pre-sale renovation is to inspect your home or have it professionally inspected. Make a list of what must be done, such as treating a termite problem or patching a newer but damaged roof. Next, make a list of prioritized home improvement tasks, and decide which ones fit your budget and offers the biggest payout.
Laundry rooms have been coming into their own in recent years, with more thought and design savvy being put into this workhorse space than ever. From farmhouse style to patterned tile, here are the top 10 trending features of the year so far, as measured by the number of people saving photos of them to their Houzz ideabooks. Are any of these in your own collection?
Tell us: What’s on your dream laundry room wish list?
Refinishing hardwood floors can seem like a daunting task that just is not worth the effort. However, if you have enough time and patience, you can achieve the beautiful floor of your dreams at a fraction of the cost.
This post will cover the time commitment it takes as well as the various steps that are involved in overhauling your hardwood flooring.
Before you go any further, keep in mind that remodeling your floors is the very last thing you want to do when you’re working on your house. It’s too easy to ruin all of your hard work with paint drips or accidental bumps and scratches from other projects.
What to Expect
First, it’s important to have a detailed plan to follow before you start on anything.
Step One: Refinishing Method
Step one should be deciding which refinishing route you want to take. If your floors are very worn, deeply scratched or damaged in any way, you should do a complete refinish. This requires more time and effort because you must sand all the way down to the bare wood, but the end result is worth the extra work.
If your floors have scratches, worn finish or dullness that is only cosmetic, you should be able to opt for the simpler process of screening. Screening only strips off the topmost layer of polyurethane coating, which should remove any unsightly wear and tear.
Step Two: Choosing a Polyurethane
Regardless of which option you take, you will need to decide whether you want an oil-based or water-based polyurethane.
Oil-based polyurethane does take longer, but it also lasts longer. Generally speaking, it will take about three to five days plus drying time to refinish a hardwood floor with this method. Expect to do one coat per day, because an oil-based product will need at least a full 24 hours to dry.
For water-based polyurethane, the entire process usually takes about two days. These products take far less time to dry, and in most cases, you can move furniture back into the room closer to the 48-hour mark.
These timelines are general estimates, though, so you will want to take into account things like square footage, how dark you want the initial stain to be and even the weather. Because wood is porous, things like dampness and humidity can affect absorption and dry time.
Step Three: Plan-Ahead Prep Tips
Many experts recommend that you remove your baseboards prior to staining and sanding your floors because they will inevitably get dinged and stained no matter how careful you are. If this isn’t possible, just keep in mind that you will need to go back through and touch up the baseboards once your flooring project is done.
It’s extremely important to seal off the room as much as you can to keep dust contained. It’s also easiest on you to plan this project during a time where the weather will be nice so you can open the windows to ventilate and speed the drying process.
Overall Time Commitment and Final Thoughts
While it depends on how dark you plan to stain your floors, which polyurethane you choose and other factors like the weather, you can still make at least a general estimate of how long the process will take from beginning to end.
For a beautiful finish that will last for many years to come, plan for the project to take five to seven days from beginning to end.
Keep in mind that, even though the floors are dry, you still need to take precautions. Furniture should have felt pads installed, pets should have their nails trimmed and no area rugs should be laid down for three to four weeks to allow the wood to “breathe” and cure properly.
Refinishing hardwood floors is a process that’s not overly complicated, but it is time-consuming. However, the end result will last for many years with proper care, so it is a wise investment of your time.
Ready to refinish your hardwood floors? Contact Us!
Wide-plank hardwood floors
If you are wanting to install hardwood floors in your small spaces, consider choosing planks instead of strips. Planks are wider than 3 inches, and wide-plank floors have planks of 5 inches or more. With wide planks, there are fewer seams, making the room look larger. Another trick is to install your planks adjacent to the longest wall in the room so the room itself will appear longer than it is.
Light vs. dark flooring in small spaces
Designers differ on whether or not people should stick with light-colored floors or if they can instead choose dark materials. Either can be used effectively as long as they are paired with the right color choices in walls and molding. If you choose walnut for your floors, you’ll want to choose to paint your walls in a cool color. Cooler colors tend to recede, which makes the room appear to visually expand. If you also add crown molding at the top of the walls, it can draw visitors’ eyes up, giving an added feeling of roominess.
Light-colored floors also work well to help rooms appear larger. Whether you choose a light-colored wood or a natural stone like travertine, the lightness of your material can reflect light to make your room appear larger. If you do choose to install natural stone tiles, selecting large tiles and avoiding using grout in between them may help to visually expand the floor and the room.
Use the same floor materials in adjacent rooms
You can increase the feel of roominess throughout your office or home by using the same floor materials throughout it. Spaces that are adjacent to your small room that have the same type of material used on their floors will give the impression that the rooms expand into one another, making all of them feel like they are larger.
Install floor materials on a diagonal
Another trick to make your small room appear larger is to install your flooring materials on a diagonal. This helps by giving a different perspective in order to expand the space. A diagonal pattern also creates added visual interest, drawing people’s eyes across the room’s expanse.
Avoid clutter and use the walls
Once you’ve chosen your floors, don’t clutter your small room. Use the minimum amount of furniture that you need in the space. If you are left without enough room to store your belongings, don’t forget about your walls. You can install shelves on the walls for the most effective use of the available space in your small room.
While small spaces can be challenging to decorate, you can use these tips to help your room look airier and larger than it is. Classic Floor Designs is available to help answer any questions you might have or to offer additional suggestions for choosing the floor materials that may work the best for your small rooms.
Hardwood Flooring Trends in 2017
What’s on trend for hardwood flooring in 2017? Our experts at Classic Floor Designs have suggestions for this year’s top trends: darker colors and wider dimensions. This is directly related to a desire to bring a natural look inside. Everyone has personal likes and a budget to follow. When you are contemplating a renovation that includes new hardwood floor ideas, here are a few that will be popular in the coming year.
Wide and Long Planks
Traditional hardwood flooring has long been available in narrow planks. Today’s flooring trends are seeing more size choices, and many people are opting for wider designs. Using wide and long planks will make a small space appear larger. The elongated lengths will provide a smoother look with fewer seams. Depending on desired results, these pieces can be installed vertically, horizontally, or diagonally.
To make a bold statement, it may be wise to choose hardwood with a dark stain. If you want some contemporary flair, consider an ebony color. For added sophistication, you may wish to select a rich red wood. Selecting dark walnut is a smart way to bring traditional elegance to your space as well.
Gray is Good
Gray is the hot hardwood flooring trend in 2017. It is a smart alternative to tan and other brown shades. It has seen great popularity on the West Coast, and it is spreading fast across the country. If your space is feeling old, gray hardwood is the ideal update. Since gray is available in a variety of tones, you can select one that works with your existing decor and that adds a modern feel.
The public is becoming more and more aware of environmental concerns, which has led consumers to search for eco-friendly flooring options. When you want a hardwood floor that is “greener” and beautiful, consider reclaimed wood. Reclaimed products are either reused or remanufactured and include material that has been sourced from old beams, barns, barrels, or similar items. Thanks to the various knots and grains, each piece offers unique beauty.
Authentic wood appearance is important for 2017 flooring. This means that the rustic look of maple and pine will be two of the most popular choices. If you want to create an antique vibe, distressed flooring will work well. Many hardwood pieces are being hand scraped by manufacturers to provide an aged and vintage look.
To brighten a space, 2017 is seeing flooring that goes beyond white-washing. Lime-washing is a whitening technique that began in Europe and involved the application of a water and lime mixture to bare wood. The end results are a soft and rustic appearance that brings a touch of brightness to your space. The modern way to achieve this look is with liming wax, which fades and ages the look of dark wood.
Traditional hardwood often has a high shine. However, trends are leaning toward a low-gloss appearance. The look brings a number of benefits. For instance, scratches are easier to hide, and dirt buildup is less noticeable. This is especially important in high traffic areas. Another reason that this type of finish is becoming popular is the authentic appearance that spotlights the wood’s natural color and texture.
Hardwood is a classic choice for both homes and corporate settings. At Classic Floor Designs, we are ready to share the top 2017 flooring trends with you. We are proud to offer some of the finest products that are made from high quality craftsmanship. No matter your needs, we will discuss some of the most popular items and will recommend something that will help your company get noticed from the ground up.
When it comes to flooring, you’d be hard-pressed to find something that is as timeless or attractive as hardwood. Although it’s among the most durable flooring options around, a hardwood floor of even the utmost quality requires regular maintenance to stay in tip-top shape. At Classic Floor Designs, we have lots of tricks for keeping hardwood floors looking like new. Check out 15 especially useful tips below.
1. Routine Cleaning
One of the best ways to keep a hardwood floor looking terrific is by simply keeping it as clear of dust and other debris as possible. Once or twice a week, thoroughly sweep the floor with a regular broom and then go over it again with a microfiber duster.
2. Take Care with Water
Water and wood don’t mix. When mopping your floor, use a lightly damp mop—not a soaking wet one. Never allow water to sit on your floor for extended periods of time.
3. Ward Off Dings and Scratches
Even the toughest hardwood floor can get pitted and scratched over time. Minimize this by having a shoes-off policy in your home. If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed. Keep felt pads under furniture legs. Whenever possible, lift and carry furniture instead of pushing or dragging it.
4. Act Quickly
When spills and other mishaps occur, act quickly. Sop up excess liquid right away, and then apply a floor cleaner that is specially formulated for the surface with a soft cloth. Have these supplies ready to go at a moment’s notice.
5. Eliminate Dents
Despite your best efforts, your hardwood floors may develop dents from time to time. Repair them by wetting the spot and then laying a dampened cloth over it. Rub a clothes iron on the high setting over the cloth in circular motions until the dent is gone.
6. Wipe Away Marker Stains
If permanent marker ends up on your floor, don’t despair. Both toothpaste and cologne work wonders for eliminating even the toughest marker stains. Gently apply either to the spot with a soft, dry cloth, and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
7. Clean Up Scuffs with Melamine Foam
Melamine foam, which is popularly known as Magic Eraser, works incredibly well at wiping away scuffs and other marks. Generic melamine foam is very affordable, so stock up to ensure that you can clean up stubborn marks when necessary.
8. Say Goodbye to Urine Stains
In addition to being unsightly, urine stains give hardwood floors unpleasant odors. Eliminate even old urine stains by pouring hydrogen peroxide directly onto the spot. Cover it with a hydrogen peroxide soaked cloth, and then cover that with plastic. Let it sit overnight, and then wipe it clean with a damp cloth.
9. Use Kitchen Items to Clean Big Marks
If you think that you need heavy-duty cleaner to eliminate that big, stubborn mark, think again. Mix equal parts canola oil and white vinegar, rub it on and then wipe it away with a damp cloth.
10. Restore a Fading Floor
If your hardwood flooring is less bright and vibrant than it used to be, a little lemon oil should do the trick. Rub down the entire floor with it and allow it to dry. You’ll be amazed by how much better it looks!
11. Bid Adieu to Scratches
Are your hardwood floors riddled with scratches? It’s nothing a little steel wool and sandpaper can’t help. For light scratches, use fine steel wool to gently work them away. Use lightweight sandpaper on deeper scratches. In both cases, finish up by rubbing mineral spirits in to smooth the surface.
12. Take Care of Cracks
During the winter, it’s not unusual for cracks to appear in hardwood. Wood expands when it’s warm and humid and shrinks when it’s cold and dry. The cracks should go away when warm, moist weather returns, but you can always run a humidifier to resolve it any time of year.
13. Clean Up Tape Residue
Sticky residue from tape, stickers and the like can be easily and gently cleaned away. Combine two tablespoons baking soda with 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of water. Spread the paste onto the residue, allow it to dry and then rub it away with a damp cloth.
14. Make a Natural Floor Cleaner
Clean your floors naturally and restore their sheen with black tea. Brew some up, dampen a clean cloth with it and wipe down your floors. The polyphenolic compounds in the tea inhibit microbial growth, so your floors will stay clean longer. The tannins in the tea add a lovely sheen.
15. De-Squeak Your Floor
Finally, if your floors look fine but sound terrible, there’s an easy way to eliminate squeaks. Use a paintbrush to work baby powder in between the floor joints. You can also use powdered graphite, which comes in a tube, to accomplish the same thing.
There you have it! By keeping these tips in mind, your hardwood flooring will continue to look as good as new for years to come. Check back with Classic Floor Designs for more helpful tips in the future!