Let's face it, at some point your house is going to become outdated, whether it be in its layout, design or overall functionality. This may be due to your changing needs or to architectural trends as a whole. Buyers just are not looking for the same compartmentalized homes they were 30 or 40 years ago, and even if you are not looking to sell, your family's needs, habits and lifestyle need to be considered in the layout of your home. Sure, you can pack up and find something new; in fact, according to a study conducted by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, 35 percent of Americans do just that. The idea of remodeling can be overwhelming, to say the least. But, it does not have to be.
When it comes time to make significant changes to your home, an officially licensed architect is your best ally. In fact, as a general rule of thumb, if you are severely altering the floor plan of your home, making changes that affect the exterior of the structure or spending more than 5 percent of your home's value on a project, it is a good idea to recruit an architect oversee your remodel. If your remodel includes adding on livable square footage, additions almost always call for architect-drawn plans to ensure an excellent flow from the rest of the house and a perfect fit on your tract of land.
Not only does an architect work to actively work to transform your current home into your dream home, he can be your biggest advocate, a project supervisor, a budget manager and even a negotiator or middleman with contractors. An architect's detailed plans for your remodel project can make selecting the correct contractor easier and make the construction process move along more quickly, since the expertise in place negates the need for guess work - both on your part and the contractors'. Join the approximately 64 percent of homeowners who feel increased enjoyment in their home, and begin a remodeling project that is near and dear to your heart and maximizes the potential of your house.
A master suite, also referred to as an owner's suite, is a desirable feature the homeowners treasure and buyers desire. Even though often buyers are willing to pay more for a well-planned master suite, it is something that only 4 percent of realtors recommend adding to a home prior to selling, according to the National Association of Realtors. Why, you might ask? It is costly, and the return on investment - ROI - is medial, at roughly 53 percent.
An average master suite addition measures 20 feet by 20 feet and adds approximately 400 square feet to a home. If this addition includes middle-of-the-road features, finishes and furnishings, the rough estimate is $112,500, as calculated by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). Of course, there are many factors that can increase or decrease this price tag, such as the materials used and the location of the addition. Additions can be made to the ground floor of a home or as a second story; alternatively, existing areas of a home can be reworked to accommodate the new master suite. Because all of these are major changes that affect the home as a whole, an architect is needed for the planning and construction processes.
The return on investment is not everything, though; your happiness in your home is. The National Association of Realtor's 2015 report states that 88 percent of people who complete a master suite renovation have an increased sense of happiness when at home and 42 percent say it increases the livability. This is more important than any number on a spreadsheet.
One of the easiest ways to bring a truly updated feel to your home is to update its heart, the kitchen. As a place where many hours are spent preparing meals and entertaining friends and family members, kitchens are essential to the functionality of a house. It comes as no surprise, then, that homeowners want their kitchens to be a reflection of their needs. There are a variety of layouts to choose from, including galley, linear and U-shaped kitchens, and factors to consider, such as whether or not a social element is important to your design. Most of all, though, a home's kitchen needs to fit with the existing floor plan.
With a renovation project of this capacity, one of the worst things you can do is go at it without the assistance of an architect. Kitchens have so many components to consider: cabinet placement, appliance setting, distance between the island (if one is included) and the cabinetry, sink placement, the list goes on and on. Trying to fit your whole wish list into a space is tough; let a professional take the reigns to give you as much as possible in a realistic fashion.
Done correctly and efficiently, complete kitchen renovations add tremendous value to a home and are, in fact, one of the top things that buyers look for. A complete overhaul typically costs about $60,000, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, and homeowners can expect to recoup up to 67 percent on the investment upon the sale of their home. Further, because this is such a personal and important space, the 2015 Remodeling Impact Survey reports that 90 percent of homeowners who spring for a complete kitchen overhaul have a greater desire to be home, and 86 percent of people have more enjoyment while at home.
If you are like approximately 49 percent of homeowners, your desire to completely overhaul your bathroom stems from it being outdated. Ugly finishes and sometimes decades-old design choices do not lend themselves well to modern families, and this is just as true for current homeowners as it is for new buyers. One of the top three things that buyers look for is completely updated bathrooms.
Making the choice to completely renovate your bathroom comes at a NARI-estimated price tag of $26,000. For this price, you can expect mid-to-high-end range finishes and sometimes even a change in the floor plan. Moving a toilet, bathtub or sink requires the reworking of plumbing, and as such, careful planning by an experienced architect. After all, it is important that all of the elements are measured carefully and set appropriately as to not take up too much space and overly crowd the floor plan. On the other side of the coin, using a vanity that is too small or placing the toilet in an odd location can totally throw off the aesthetics of a room.
Good news for homeowners: When done correctly, this project is so desirable to potential buyers that it has an ROI of approximately 58 percent. The National Association of Realtors also reports that those who get a complete bathroom renovation are 62 percent more likely to want to stay at home and 58 percent happier while there.
What is better than a home with one well-planned living space? A house with two. Using an architect to convert your basement into a living area not only adds to your eventual enjoyment of the space but also ensures that the design maximizes the things your house needs the most. Efficient storage solutions are important to many homeowners, while others covet open space for children to play, while still being a functional living space for adults. Long-gone are the days of drop ceilings and dark paneling; architect-designed basements now feature such amenities as great molding and attention to detail, lots of light and finishes that are upstairs-worthy. A full basement conversion costs approximately $36,000, as noted by the NARI.
The most common reason people choose to undertake a basement-to-living-area conversion is simply to improve the livability of their home; indeed, 49 percent of people cite this as their main reason for the renovation. Having more space to spread out and enjoy their home makes 78 percent of the people surveyed by the National Association of Realtors want to be at home more often and 63 percent of people enjoy their time in their houses more. Best of all, when it comes time to sell, homeowners can expect to recoup 69 percent of their renovation costs.
Attics are so often a blank canvas; an abundance of untouched space just waiting for the potential to be uncovered. When looking for additional square footage within a home, especially for living space, the attic is an excellent candidate. Around 50 percent of homeowners choose this section of the home for a complete conversion for no other reason than to improve the livability of their homes. Buyers seem to agree, as an attic-to-living room conversion is one of the most appealing features to buyers.
When you make the decision to convert your attic to a second living space, an architect is absolutely essential. The space needs to be evaluated for safety and suitability, first and foremost. Minimum ceiling height codes exist throughout the country - many times dictating that there must be at least 7 feet from floor to ceiling. Further, the floor joists need to be evaluated for their ability to bear weight. Often, ceiling joists are framed with smaller pieces of wood than floor joists and need to be reinforced to bear at least 30 pounds per square foot. Square footage requirements and stair placement are other important factors to consider, and all things that an architect knows to look at and account for in their plans.
On average, a homeowner can expect to spend $65,000 converting their attic into a living space, and when complete, he can expect to recover 61 percent of the cost upon the sale of the property. This project makes 71 percent of homeowners surveyed by the National Association of Realtors want to be home more often, while 41 percent note that they are happier when they are home. Extra living space, a great ROI and added value, what more could a homeowner ask for.
One big trend in today's homes is the open floor plan. People desire the social element an open floor plan allows, as well as other benefits, such as the ease of entertaining and keeping an eye on the children. The removal of interior walls lets natural light shine through a floor plan, which can lower heating and electric bills and make for an overall happier home environment.
Creating an open floor plan is often just as simple and as complicated as removing a few walls. This is something that should be done by an architect who can identify which walls are load bearing - structural walls that support the weight of the house between the roof and the foundation - and which walls are simply decorative. Once a structural wall comes down, the proper supports must be in place until a support beam can be installed to bear the weight of the home.
Sometimes, an architect is also needed to rework a floor plan after a major wall is removed. Something as simple as moving a row of cabinetry or adding in some windows can make a world of difference in the feel of a new great room. Other changes that may be necessary, yet less noticeable, including the reworking of electrical systems and the moving of duct work. Overall, this major change to a house's floor plan significantly improves a home's livability and flow without putting a homeowner out of their house for weeks.
Ultimately, only you can decide what the best improvements are for your home. Sure, some have a higher return on investment and others are highly desirable to buyers, but it is your enjoyment of the space and desire to be home that matters the most. Contact Space and Mark today, and let us turn your dreams for your home into a reality.