6 Valuable Renovation Ideas for your small home
With the trend toward tiny houses being all the rage these days, creativity and innovation has become even more important in the world of home improvement. If you bought your home before small was “in,” the design may no longer fit your lifestyle. Therefore, a renovation project may be in your future. Wonder where to start? The internet is flooded with thousands of renovation ideas for improving your space. Let’s explore the top 5 worthy renovation ideas for small houses:
No matter how big or small your kitchen is, it seems to be one of the most used spots in the house, so it’s the best place to start. Improving function and efficiency should be your top priorities so think about what doesn’t work now.
- Are the countertops always cluttered because of the lack of storage?
- Do your full-size appliances take up more space than the room warrants?
- After meal preparation, do you constantly have to walk between the kitchen and dining area because there’s no place to eat?
- Does it feel like the walls are closing in on you every time you enter?
There are a few small kitchen renovation ideas that can help resolve some of these problems right away.
- Utilizing smart storage solutions will help maximize counter space while keeping all your supplies within easy reach. Consider open shelving, a built-in pantry, slide-out cabinet shelving, narrow cabinets with built-in racking, corner drawers, retrofit free-standing furniture pieces, or use a multi-use mobile island that provides both countertop workspace and shelving underneath.
- There’s no need to squeeze a standard-size refrigerator or stove into your miniature-size kitchen. Most appliance manufacturers now offer a line of narrow and compact units that will fit your limited area. As an added bonus, many of them come with movable shelving and beautiful finishes to blend function with style.
- You may not be able to accommodate a standard-size table in your kitchen, but by extending a countertop overhang and adding a couple bar stools, you’ll have a convenient spot for a quick breakfast or light lunch. A high-top bistro table made for two can also save a few steps at mealtime.
- Brighten up cabinets with light-stained wood or a white painted finish to create the illusion of more space. Glass doors, wall-hung mirrors, open shelves, uncluttered countertops and under-cabinet lighting also reduce that closed-in feeling.
Your small house was likely built with only one bathroom. This probably means that your family must endure a lot of juggled schedules in order to be ready on time each morning. While you may not be able to alter the footprint of the room, reconfiguring the space can make it more efficient. Consider these renovation ideas to allow multiple uses at once:
- Add a second sink and mirror.
- Incorporate a make-up vanity (either built-in to the existing cabinet or a free-standing unit.)
- Add a divider wall to separate the commode from the balance of the room.
- Create separate shower and bathtub fixtures.
- Build corner shelving for towels and toiletries.
- Use slide-out shelves inside base cabinets to maximize storage access.
We all know that windows can enhance the exterior design of any home, but did you know that they can help improve the interior as well? When you welcome more natural light into a room, the area will appear larger. Compare replacement windows with the style you have now. You may be able to enlarge the current window sizes to improve light infiltration with a full-frame installation or select a style with more glass area if you’re limited to a retrofit replacement.
Bay and bow replacement windows that extend away from the house offer the benefit of bringing in light from different angles. Arch-top and transom windows can also help brighten any room and increase the sense of space. Planning your window replacement project research on available energy efficiency options and cost.
When it comes to worthwhile home renovations, finishing your basement adds extra living space, value to you home and provides a significant return on investment when you go to sell. As the space is already there with a roof, walls, ceiling, foundation, electrical and plumbing, the cost to transform it into a home office, media center, playroom, bedroom or in-law apartment can be one-third to one-half less than building an addition.
As an owner of a small house, you’ll see an additional benefit with improved quality of life. You new space can provide more work-from-home or entertainment opportunities; accommodate lifestyle changes for a college student seeking independence; or make room for an aging family member requiring additional care.
While it will increase your renovation budget, hire a professional contractor to evaluate and waterproof your basement. Doing so, prior to finishing it will help protect your investment and family’s health.
Outdoor Living Space
Another excellent project idea for your small house includes increasing outdoor living space. With proper planning, even minor improvements can change the way you use your home.
- Add a backyard deck—create a relaxing retreat, an exciting entertainment venue, and make a huge impact on your outdoor plans. Build with low-cost pressure-treated wood, maintenance-free composites or long-lasting cedar. Add a pergola or outdoor kitchen. Add built-in benches, bars, planters, cabinets and lighting to enhance the small space inside your home.
- Design a patio—this popular feature is usually built at ground level from flagstone, fieldstone or textured concrete. Canadian homeowners are taking patios to new heights with multi-levels and divided, designated areas for dining, playing and relaxation.
- Build a covered front porch—large or small, this expansion will improve curb appeal along with outdoor living space. The roof line, porch columns and railings are all visual structural features that will affect the overall appeal of the porch and your home. Add an inviting porch swing, some pretty potted plants and a wind chime and be amazed at how many neighbours stop by for a visit.
Whether owning a small home is something you desire or strictly a financial decision, you can maximize every square inch with an effective renovation project. By increasing the efficiency of your kitchen and bathroom, enhancing the visual impression with new windows, or adding living space through a finished basement or outdoor improvements, you’ll experience a better quality of life, calmer family relationships, and greater home value.
Bonus Tip: Updated Heating and A/C Systems
The heating and A/C systems are not immediately visible and not considered a ‘wow-factor’. However, I can tell you from experience that knowledgable home buyers WILL ask about the age & quality of those systems. Make sure you have your heating and a/c serviced at regular intervals, and maintained to operate a top efficiency. If your furnace is over 25 yrs old, you might even want to consider upgrading it by a reputable HVAC company.
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Guest Post by Serge Bojinski
Blogger & contributor. Home improvement enthusiast. Editor & writer behind RenoHood.com. Half marathon runner. Dreamer and doer. You can connect with him on Twitter @SBojinski