In­vest in smart home ren­o­va­tions

The Hamilton Spectator - - REAL ESTATE - - News Canada

Sum­mer is the per­fect time to re­fresh the look of your home with strate­gic up­grades that im­prove your fam­ily's daily liv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and of­fer the best re­turn on in­vest­ment if you even­tu­ally de­cide to sell.

Make sure to fo­cus your ef­forts be­yond cos­metic up­grades to truly in­crease the value of your home and max­i­mize its po­ten­tial. Af­ter a ren­o­va­tion, your home should be more com­fort­able, cre­ate a health­ier in­door en­vi­ron­ment, and pro­vide you with en­er­gysav­ings and lower util­ity bills. Aim for achiev­ing spa­ces that are de­signed for you now and in the fu­ture.

Here are some projects that de­sign­ers and re­al­tors agree give you the best bang for your buck: ROOM-BRIGHT­EN­ING SKY­LIGHTS. We spend 90 per cent of our time in­doors, where the air qual­ity is about five to 10 times worse than out­side. Lack of day­light may cause sleep dis­tur­bances, stress, fa­tigue and de­pres­sion, while a lack of fresh air ham­pers learn­ing and work ca­pa­bil­i­ties and causes al­ler­gies. You can open up your home and fill it with pic­turesque views, more day­light and fresh air with a Velux pro­gram­mable sky­light that works to cre­ate a health­ier liv­ing en­vi­ron­ment for your fam­ily. Sky­lights also de­liver two times the amount of day­light as ver­ti­cal win­dows, greatly re­duc­ing the need for ar­ti­fi­cial light and low­er­ing elec­tric­ity costs. FAB­U­LOUS KITCHENS. Your kitchen is the heart of your home and one of the most high-traf­fic and pop­u­lar ar­eas. Make sure the space works for you with high-per­for­mance fin­ishes that stand up to messes and re­quire lit­tle main­te­nance. When it comes to ap­pli­ances, en­ergy-ef­fi­cient ones are of­ten more at­trac­tive, re­duce your hy­dro bills, and are bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment. You can even DIY cab­i­netry im­prove­ments with a fresh coat of paint and up­dated hard­ware fix­tures. EN­TRY­WAY EN­HANCE­MENTS. A great first im­pres­sion is price­less, and your home's ex­te­rior is even more im­por­tant in the sum­mer months. Cre­ate a home that's wel­comes both you and guests right from the curb with a new front door or garage door, which both do won­ders for re­sale value. Steel is the eas­i­est to main­tain, and is of­ten con­sid­ered a safer op­tion to pro­tect against fire and break-ins. Add some land­scap­ing and green­ery for the per­fect fin­ish­ing touches. SPACE-IN­CREAS­ING AT­TIC AND LOFT CON­VER­SIONS. Bump up the square footage in your home with a bed­room, play­room or of­fice ad­di­tion in this pre­vi­ously un­used space. Just re­mem­ber that costs can add up quickly, so be care­ful to plan and bud­get ahead of time for floor strength­en­ing, stair ac­cess, and adding a win­dow or sky­light in­stead of a dormer. When dec­o­rat­ing, opt for cre­ative so­lu­tions that make the most of small spa­ces, like builtins and Scan­di­na­vian-in­spired low fur­ni­ture.

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