Upgrades to the home come pretty far and few in between, so it makes sense that we would want to get the most out of each and every instance. To do this, you need to use your brains and think of where your money would be best spent.
One way to do this is to think about which part of the house gets a lot of use. Kitchens and bathrooms are particular places of interest here. The bedroom gets various amounts of use, and even then it is not used with a lot of activity involved. The living room is usually pretty sedate too. The dining room is used at meal times, and maybe not even then, if you are the type who likes to plop down in front of the TV when having dinner.
Truly, it is the kitchen and the bathroom that get the most active use across different demographics. In addition, these two get a lot of focus from home designers. There are multitudes of choices to pick from and a seemingly infinite number of options available to the home owner.
If you have a pretty loose budget, then you might want to consider getting high-quality eco-friendly upgrades – things like more energy-efficient appliances, tank-less and solar water heaters, half-flush toilets, and so on. These tend to be more expensive than their standard counterparts, though that is a principle that can be overturned quite easily.
Getting solid granite slab countertops, whether for the kitchen or the bathroom, is a good way to go. That way you can get a solid surface to work on, and a visually pleasing one at that. Remember to choose granite slabs and not granite tiles, especially in the kitchen.
Many kitchens are built to include an island, and this is one thing that you might want to revamp. In all likelihood, your kitchen island is not big enough or is at a height that makes it a little difficult to use. Having it adjusted is okay, getting it replaced is better. Make sure that you have enough space for all your kitchen gadgets, with the exception of the oven-stove combo unit.
Your cabinets all throughout the house could use some sprucing up, if not total replacement. The fact is, most basic cabinets are not spacious enough to contain all the stuff that we gather from years spent in the same house. Replacing your cabinets, or even just rearranging the partitions, can give you the storage space you need. Changing the wood used can also change the visual appeal, in addition to improving functionality.
Rearranging your electrical outlets and increasing their number can be very helpful, especially if you are a techie who loves his or her gadgets. At the very least, you won’t have to rely on extension cords and outlet-multiplying power strips!
Still, a home without a heart is just a house. In the same way, you need to listen to your heart as well when deciding what upgrade to get. That way you can be happy with your purchase, whatever it may be!
Susan Felt of The Arizona Republic