Upgrading and remodeling certain aspects of your home will add to your family’s enjoyment and potentially lower utility costs in some cases but it’s also a good financial investment that increases the overall value should you choose to sell down the road.

Adjustable wrench in male hand isolated on white

Sometimes we buy a home in a specific neighborhood, at a lower price point and even an older home but they are not always turnkey or suitable to our tastes.  We often make sacrifices and trade offs to get a home with more land, a high demand area or to be zoned to a certain school district.

Sometimes if there are numerous projects it can feel overwhelming and intimidating and we often have no clue where we want to start.

Below we have outlined the 2 main areas to start when upgrading your home.  These areas are the focal point of your home and a starting point to build around.  These foundation upgrades will allow everything else to fall into place.  Quality upgrades add enjoyment, value and gives the homeowner a chance to express individual style and taste.

FLOORING  
The type of flooring you choose for your home must not only reflect your personal tastes and go with the overall look of your home, it should also serve the functions you need in a floor.  To help you choose the right flooring, see the list below:

  • Tile - a popular use for both outside flooring projects such as patios and balconies, and they are also very popular in bathrooms and in entrance ways. Tile flooring offers a variety of colors and patterns, making them ideal accent pieces for floors to give you unique floors that better reflect your style.  A variety of materials are also used to make tile, so you can choose the best material to fit your home's decor and needs.
  • Stone - one of the classic choices in flooring, a stone floor gives you long-lasting durability and subtle beauty.  Choose among slate, travertine, marble, granite, or limestone, all popular and durable choices.  Generally easy to clean and maintain, stone is the choice of homeowners who want a rich and opulent yet elegant and timeless look for their home.  Stone flooring is definitely up there with the best of them with regards to beautiful and dependable flooring.
  • Wood - hardwood is a classic flooring choice which gives homes a certain degree of character and richness.  There are a number of hardwood species that can be used for flooring.  You can also customize it according to your tastes by staining it, painting it, putting various finishes, or getting it cut into the right size for your intended applications.  You can use wood flooring on almost any room in the house, including living rooms, bedrooms, hallways, kitchens, and other applications.
  • Laminate - an alternative to hardwood or stone flooring, this flooring is a product of technological advancements developed over the years. This type of flooring features a highly-rendered photograph of a flooring surface under a layer of various resins to protect it from wear, tear, and fading due to everyday use.  A very low-maintenance flooring option, this is great for busy homes with children and pets to think about.
  • Bamboo - from such a beautiful and elegant plant comes beautiful and elegant flooring that rivals hardwood in hardness and durability.  It is said that the unique grain patterns of bamboo is among the most beautiful patterns in flooring today.  Bamboo is also steadily rising in popularity as a flooring choice due to today's environmentally conscious times.  Bamboo flooring is a highly renewable flooring source because a bamboo plant grows faster than wood, and its use does not put a great strain on the environment.

KITCHEN COUNTER TOPS

Modern kitchen with cozy lighting, and food ingredients on the counter top.

 

There are so many options and styles of kitchen countertops available to you when updating your home.  It can be overwhelming and difficult to determine what material is the best fit for your family’s needs. Home decor is has common trends much like fashion.  There are classics, that are timeless and will last a lifetime and there are trends or fads that come and go. Generally, the shelf life of kitchen decor is usually 10 years or less.  When upgrading your home or creating your dream kitchen you will want to consider functionality and style that will enhance your use of the space.  How much do you know about the options available to you? There’s more to a counter than granite or marble these days and one of these options may work better for you.

  • Poured concrete – Poured concrete counters offer strength, a touch of industrial flare and are sleek in appearance.  They offer a natural, organic look and are very durable. These counters need to be sealed well, perhaps more than once, to prevent staining. Poured concrete can be tinted any color you want and concrete floors are now very popular, especially when treated with a patina finish.  Its appearance improves with age, as opposed to other materials that can look dingy in just a few short years.
  • Cork - Cork is a material that is growing in popularity in kitchens.  It is dense, sturdy and lightweight. It is a sustainable product (another good choice for those of you who want environmentally friendly alternatives) that has sound-cutting properties that may appeal to mothers of small children.  The material is resistant to water and heat and has anti-bacterial properties.
  • Stainless Steel - Stainless steel has an elegant and modern feel.  These counter tops are resilient to water, heat and germs.  Over time they are susceptible to dings and scratches, and these surfaces show prints and marks but other than a regular polish and wash, these tops require very little maintenance.
  • Soapstone - Soapstone is a natural stone that’s quarried like granite.  It’s a softer surface composed mainly from mineral talc, but the varieties used for kitchen counter tops are generally sturdier as they contain more quartz.  This makes it a suitable option for a kitchen surface. The color is naturally gray which darkens with age.  Like stainless, this material is not impervious to dents and scratches. Soapstone has a beautiful natural grey color, offers smooth, matte feel. Scratches can be sanded or oiled away.
  • Slate - A natural, fine-grained rock, slate is softer than granite but harder than marble. Slate has a naturally uneven surface that many find aesthetically appealing.  This is also appealing because these natural occurring dents make it harder to detect nicks and scratches. Slate has a dull matte finish and would not be the material of choice for those who prefer more of a high gloss look.  Maintenance is easy – a simple wash with soap and water. Slate is not a material conducive to bacteria build-up.  To prevent staining and uneven coloring or discoloration it is best to use trivets under hot pots and pans and coasters under glasses and other items containing liquid.

There are of course tons of additional upgrades that can be done to any home.  It can be as small as fixtures and landscaping or on a larger scale like a room addition.  Whatever upgrades best fit your home’s needs the flooring and kitchen are some of the biggest projects that will get tackled.  In fact, with those 2 upgrades checked off your “to do list” everything else will fall into place.