Now that the holidays and Super Bowl parties are over, the last decorations have been tucked away, and the final houseguest is safely back home, you have time to re-evaluate your playbook and determine whether your home’s holiday performance was on your naughty or nice list. The aftermath of what tends to be our home’s most heralded time of the year provides a wonderful opportunity to realistically assess how well it functioned under the stress of a crowd and to make any necessary home renovation or home remodeling changes well ahead of the next holiday rush.
One of the most frequent complaints we hear is from homeowners who lacked ample space to accommodate everyone over the holidays. Oftentimes, we discover it’s really not a matter of adding square footage but of maximizing the space homeowners already have. One of the easiest ways to accomplish that is by removing walls that separate living areas. Opening kitchens to family rooms encourages a better flow for entertaining, creates more room in the areas where crowds tend to congregate, and prevents the chef from feeling isolated as they prepare meals and snacks.
Some homeowners may feel frustrated with a boxy, outdated floor plan because they are under the mistaken impression that they can’t remove a loadbearing wall. While homeowners should never attempt to remove a load-bearing wall on their own, a qualified, professional remodeler can easily do so. We reengineer the walls to add a support beam to bear the load and then proceed to open up the space.
In some cases, closing in unused upstairs space above two-story foyers and family rooms is an option. This is a great way to add an extra bedroom or study cost-effectively, because the space is already under roof and heated and cooled. Although they may entail more utility connections, garage additions are also a relatively inexpensive way to create usable space (since the foundation, exterior walls and roof are already in place).
Kitchen remodeling projects tend to show up on homeowners’ most wanted list after the holidays, as outdated appliances or layouts that simply don’t function well for entertaining are often graphically revealed during these peak times.
One of the simplest yet often overlooked interior home improvements is upgrading your lighting. Once the tree and lights are down, homeowners may suddenly realize just how dark some of their rooms are. Homes built just a few years ago often featured a single, central ceiling fan with a lighting package, which is completely inadequate for daily use. In these cases, we add recessed can lighting, and put these new lights on dimmers. This gives homeowners the flexibility to add bright, functional lighting when they need it and to easily dim the brightness and save energy costs when they don’t.