TIP OF THE WEEK
Investing in a bathroom upgrade is in the cards for nearly a quarter of homeowners planning to renovate within the next 12 months, according to a new survey by Bankrate.com. Improving a bathroom is rewarding on multiple levels; if you're selling, buyers love great bathrooms. If you're staying, a luxurious bathroom can be a relaxing oasis where you'll be happy to begin or end a busy day.
Choose a showpiece sink. Few design elements afford such a perfect opportunity for utility and artistry to blend as does the bathroom sink. A statement vessel in patterned porcelain or smoky glass can be a focal point for your vanity while still providing ample space for essential functioning. It's not difficult to find statement-style sinks, but to truly elevate the basin to a form of art, look for options that evoke the look and feel of the era when luxury items were handcrafted by learned artisans.
Stun with a standout shower. Most Americans spend six to 10 minutes or more in the shower each day, according to multiple surveys. But a shower is so much more than just a place to get clean. A shower can soothe at the end of a trying day, or invigorate your senses in preparation for a busy day ahead. Statement showers incorporate luxury features such as multiple shower heads, wall jets, hand showers, rainfall showerheads, seating, customized lighting and even sound and video.
Create luxury with countertops. Options like granite, marble, concrete, limestone and other natural stones might be too costly for a kitchen, where you have a lot of counter space, but they're a cost-effective way to make a statement in a bathroom where you have less square footage to cover. These high-end materials can pair with statement sinks to create a one-of-a-kind look. Upgrade bathroom countertops to your dream material and then add luxury touches like a matching backsplash or under-counter LED lighting.
Updating the basement can up your home's value
With fewer homes for sale and good returns on the remodeling investment, more homeowners are reclaiming their lower levels and remodeling their basements. Updating your lower level is a sound investment in your home. Remodeling magazine's 2016 Cost vs. Value Report put the average basement remodel at $61,303, with a 70.3 percent payback -- a far better investment return than adding a bathroom or garage. Depending on local regulations, the additional space can often be added to your home's total square footage, making your market listing more appealing to buyers and potentially increasing your property value. To recoup the most from your remodeling efforts, make sure your design and decorating choices are attractive and functional -- not too quirky or customized.
-- Brandpoint/Armstrong Ceilings
Expand bathroom storage by going vertical
Expand the storage potential of a small bathroom by using vertical storage options. Floor space may be limited, but by installing shelving and other storage options on walls, you dramatically increase space for necessities. For example, floating shelves are a space-saving option that are easy to install over the toilet or between a mirror and a pedestal sink. That small space above the door? Perfect for a shelf to store mason jars full of supplies or those beautiful perfume bottles. Need extra space to store linens and washcloths? Install stacked towel racks on the back of your door or hang baskets on the wall and then place folded linens inside for a tidy look that keeps fluffy towels within easy reach.
-- Brandpoint/Sterling Plumbing
Turn on a humidifier to save on heating bills
Increasing the humidity in your home during the cooler months adds moisture to your living space. This raises the "heat index," making 68 degrees feel more like 76 degrees. Be sure to maintain a relative humidity in the home between 20 to 40 percent. As the temperature outside drops, lower this percentage so condensation does not form on the windows.