The last thing that you want to worry about when you are tackling a kitchen, bathroom or whole home remodeling or renovation project is having to redo it in a few years. Yet the experts tell us that if you don’t make the proper choices the first time around, that might be exactly what you’ll end up doing.

While articles like this typically focus on technology and what you need to put inside your walls, we thought we’d instead focus on some of the most visible aspects of your home. After all, if you’re remodeling to improve the appearance of your home, you want to be certain that the choices you make today will keep it looking better – today, tomorrow and in the years to come.

Newly remodeled living room with large wood frame windows overlooking spacious backyard

Photo Copyright Andersen Corporation

Along those lines, one of the least costly but most impactful decisions you will make is the paint that you put on your walls and ceilings. While most homeowners are highly involved in choosing paint colors, many don’t look beyond the tint to the quality of the paint itself. There have been many advances in paint composition and durability in the past few years. Washable interior paints and maintenance-reducing exterior paints may cost slightly more now, but the ability to scrub away crayon marks, prohibit the growth of mold, and simply to look newer longer are well worth the investment. Make certain you ask your contractors about the type of paint they are using and insist on one that will stand the test of time.

Another large surface area is countertops – whether in the kitchen or in bathrooms. Granite has been the reigning king in this area of the country for quite a few years, but other surface materials are closing that gap. New finishes and varieties of marble and quartz are all the rage on the west coast as well as in local home shows. While you don’t want to make a major and costly decision based solely on trends, you do want to keep in mind that consumer tastes may be changing in these critical areas that have a major impact on how dated or timeless your home looks and feels. Along those lines, one of the least costly but most impactful decisions you will make is the paint that you put on your walls and ceilings. While most homeowners are highly involved in choosing paint colors, many don’t look beyond the tint to the quality of the paint itself. There have been many advances in paint composition and durability in the past few years. Washable interior paints and maintenance-reducing exterior paints may cost slightly more now, but the ability to scrub away crayon marks, prohibit the growth of mold, and simply to look newer longer are well worth the investment. Make certain you ask your contractors about the type of paint they are using and insist on one that will stand the test of time.

Likewise when it comes to cabinets, Shaker-influenced styles are now in vogue thanks to their strong geometric lines. This movement away from traditional raised panel cabinets has several benefits. They are easier to clean, since they don’t have edges where dust, kitchen grease or bathroom lotions can build up, and they lack traditional glazing, which keeps overall costs down.

One somewhat hidden luxury is becoming much more visible – heated floors. Technological advances have made them much easier to install, which reduces initial labor costs, and much more efficient, which cuts down on energy bills. While the initial cost is still pricey, heated floors may be an investment worth considering.

Finally, one very visible surface in your home is its windows. This is another area where a small splurge now will save you in the future. Simulated divided light windows have come a long way in a short amount of time. These windows mimic the traditional look of multi-pane glass, but with much improved insulation and better aesthetics than plain windows. They feature metal strips on the inside with wood bond trim permanently applied on the outside of insulated glass. New, larger grid patterns have a modern, updated feel that works well with many architectural styles

When you are undertaking a remodeling or renovation project, you want to be certain that the choices you make reflect your family’s needs and tastes first. After all, you have to live with your decisions. However, being mindful of the direction in which the market is moving – and having a professional, qualified remodeler who is in tune with those shifting directions – is always a solid investment in the longevity of your project.