The Remodeling Corner

Janet Cook
It’s a new year and a new decade! It’s a time that many take the time to reflect on what they want to improve and what changes need to be made. While many focus on healthy resolutions, is it time to address your home’s needs as well? It is hard to relax when one sees things that needs to be done, and it is good self-care to make a plan so you can have the peace knowing it will be taken care of. Here are five areas to consider if they need improvement.
Layout/design People want an open concept living experience. When one walks in the front door and has a sight line to outdoor living area, it makes the home seem larger and draws one in. Dividing walls are eliminated so the person who is working in the kitchen can interact with others in the adjacent family rooms. Homeowners want a single level kitchen island with seating, and enough space for two to be working in the kitchen. Good design will have a sensible flow throughout the house, with a focal point in the rooms.
Age There are telling signs if a home still has builder-grade elements beyond cheaper light fixtures and cabinets. Common ones include: having lower ceilings in the kitchen, bath, and hallway, with textured ceilings and walls. Having a minimal backsplash in the kitchen and bathrooms. There may be a lower height bathroom vanity, and tub/shower combinations. There often is poor lighting in rooms, and different flooring with low baseboards and no crown molding.
Storage People want to eliminate clutter and have space to organize things so they can be easily found. They want a pantry. They want a customized clothes closet. They want cabinetry in the laundry room and garage. Some want to tuck the washer and dryer in a cabinet or give the refrigerator and dishwasher a cabinet panel.
Efficiency If appliances were made before the mid-1990s, today’s models are so much more efficient, saving on utility costs. One can be efficient in terms of space, too. If one is not using a room, or space, how can it be designed or repurposed so it will be used? Would a home office or exercise room serve your needs more than a formal dining room? Would having a pavilion or guest house in be better use of the yard?
Safety When remodeling, make your home safer and more accessible for all abilities. Include a zero-step entrance to the home. Are the hallways wide enough for a wheelchair or walker (it needs to be 36”) with an accessible bathroom? Is there a walk-in shower? Are there grab bars in the bath and shower?
Homeowners as well as buyers find great value in a remodeled home that is ready to be fully enjoyed! Happy home remodeling!
Janet Cook, certified Aging in Place specialist, president of Cook Remodeling (celebrating their 41st year), invites you to visit their website for more articles and photos. @